Saturday, May 18, 2013

Playground----Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

This is the view from my balcony at Ocean Bay Drive and Resort.  What a glorious day!  All those college kids on the beach are from Virginia Tech.  It's a tradition to come to this 60 mile stretch of Atlantic coastline and relax when college is out for the summer.  These coeds were playing hard and having a good time.  Me, too!  Mom got brave and went swimming and diving through the waves,  even though the water was a little cool.

Surf's Up in the South

Well, the surf in Myrtle Beach is a lot different than the surf at Sunset Beach.  Usually storms bring in the great waves here, especially at Pawley's Island, a town south of my vacation spot in North Myrtle Beach.  There are a number of surf shops in the area and this is one of them.  So, if you need any gear to ride waves, find Pipeline Surf Shop on North King's Highway.

SUP, What's Up?

SUP stands for "stand up paddling."  It's the latest rage in the surfing world, although some hardcore surfers pooh, pooh this new water sport.  Bryon is one of the owners of the Pipeline Surf Shop and he was showing me the most recent addition to SUP boards.  The board behind him is INFLATABLE.  Now, can you imagine that!  Yep, it's a one-man operation (or one-woman).  Comes with a pump and you just blow it up at the water's edge and, presto, you're ready to paddle anywhere, rivers, streams, lakes, oceans, anywhere!

And Farther South

There are some very charming small towns south of Myrtle Beach that were once home to huge rice plantations.  Oh, my, I had a fish dinner at Lee's Inlet Kitchen in Murrell's Inlet that was absolutely fabulous! The she crab soup was heaven!  The young men in this photo, Jamie, with the beard, and Blake, were working at the Surf the Earth surf shop at Pawley's Island. They were very friendly and gave me a lot of local history.  Blake is a 6th generation resident.

And if You Want Something Sweet........

 Max Goree is the owner of Pawley's Island Bakery.  Trained as a professional chef in France and working in famous restaurants led this baker to open up his own shop just south of Myrtle Beach.  Oh, my, get ready for some delicious pastries!  I was swooning over the coconut macroons and his lobster/crab bisque was out of this world.
It's the place to have lunch, or be a little naughty if you want a sweet treat!

Come, Let Me Read to You


Jessica and I met up at the Myrtle Beach Public Library. She's in training to be a children's librarian.  I did a storytelling hour there with preschoolers.  What a fun time Mom and I had.  Those sweet little children were so attentive as we read, HARRY THE DIRTY DOG, and told them of our adventures around the world.  Afterward they wanted to hug us both!  Children always have their hearts open.

So True, So True

Yes, "Dream Big".  Keep your dreams in your heart and nurture them, let them grow, and always have hope that your dreams will come true!  This llama was a gift from a local Myrtle Beach artist to the library.  I loved sitting on him and so do the kids.

Put Your Heart in all YOU Do

This piece of art in the Children's Room at the Myrtle Beach Public Library was part of a mural dedicated to the classmate of some local 2nd graders.  I loved it, so I thought you would too!

Goodbye, Myrtle Beach

Now, I know most of you have heard the name of this coast town in South Carolina, but don't know much about it.  Well, I was very impressed with the friendliness of the locals and the hospitality of everyone I met.  I encourage you to visit.  I had a great time, made new friends, and learned a lot of American history during my stay. It's a fun place for a beach vacation!  
This is the view from my balcony.  The moon was bright and the surf was singing to the night as I said my farewell.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hello from Myrtle Beach

Look at these poppies.  I'm in the middle of a spring garden on the coast of South Carolina.  Come on along and see a little more........

The Caretakers

Marilyn and Kathy (holding me) are two of 400 volunteers at Brookgreen Gardens, a 4,000 acre estate just a little south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  They were pruning and cleaning up the poppy bed at the entrance to the property.  Kathy loved telling me about the history of the gardens and the Huntington's who bought the place in 1920.

Enjoying the Ride

Paul is from Quebec City in Canada.  Every spring he and his wife come south to the United States driving down in their  recreational vehicle, affectionately known as an "RV".  They head straight for Florida and then meander up the Eastern Seaboard, camping along the way, and bike riding.  It takes them two months to get back home.  Sounds like a fun life.  They also explore, so that's why they were here at Brookgreen Gardens.  Of course, they spoke with a French accent and Paul imparted an beautiful quotation with me, "On n'est rien sans amour" (One is nothing without love.)  Very French, don't you think?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Take Me Away

The collection of American sculptures at Brookgreen Gardens is the largest in our country.  They were everywhere.  The original owner, Anna Hyatt Huntington, was a well-known sculptress and her pieces are showcased in the Garden.  She loved to sculpt horses and other animals.  These two horses are at the entrance to the estate and are the work of Anna Hyatt.

Just the Place for Me!

Well, because I love to learn and am just the most curious of dogs, Brookgreen was right up my alley.  There was so much to take in.  The education department opens its door to many of the neighborhood children and school groups, and, now, me!

Follow Me......

This is Linda, a retired science teacher, who now coordinates the Education Department at Brookgreen Gardens.  Oh, my, did we have fun talking.  Mostly, though, I was listening.  Step inside and see what I saw.


Now this is what I learned.......that little fellow in the glass case is called a red rat snake or corn snake and loves to eat mice.  When I got a little squeamish because there are no snakes in Hawaii and I'm not used to them, Linda said..."Everything in Nature has a reason to be here, or it wouldn't be here."  Now, I thought that was very profound, don't you?  And, it makes total sense.

What a Long Snout you Have, Grandma.

This is another example of the wildlife in the Myrtle Beach area.  The Education Department of Brookgreen Gardens provides many learning opportunities which teach children to respect nature and take care of the environment.  As I said, this place is just right for me, a little dog that loves to learn and take care of Mother Earth.

Looking for Dinosaurs?

No, this is not a fossil hunt.  On the grounds of the Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington estate, Brookgreen Gardens, the staff uncovered the remains of the overseer's house.  This area of South Carolina was known for growing "Carolina Gold" rice and slaves were used to plant and harvest the crop.  In the mid to late 1700's, Charleston, a town south of Myrtle Beach, was the richest town in the United States because of rice.

Catch a Wave........

This sculpture felt like home.  I was just on my way to the restaurant when I passed it and couldn't resist taking a picture.  Did you notice the plants in the garden?  They're edible!

Got Timber?

At Brookgreen Gardens, as part of their educational program, they have a room showcasing the history of the area.  Harvesting trees and making turpentine was big business.  There was the coolest map painted on the floor which showed the rivers and stands of forest.  This coastal area of South Carolina is rich in natural resources.

Guess Who?

Can you guess?  Did you guess?  
So.....if you are ever in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, historically called "The Low Country", due to the ocean tides pushing fresh water from the rivers over their banks and a perfect place for growing rice, please make sure you venture further south to Pawley's Island.  That's were  Brookgreen Gardens is located.  For more info go to: