A Breather...

Just a few days ago, my husband and I took off on a quick trip around our state. While we had a specific purpose for our trip, it still meant 3 days away from our normal routines, reconnecting with each other, and a few days exploring new territory.While we've lived here in SC for nearly 5 years, my husband grew up here and has spent countless hours driving around the state. On the other hand, I've spent very little time discovering where we now live. I've only been to Charleston and Kiawah Island and when I did visit it was only for a few days. Some would argue that I hit the best SC has to offer and I had to agree up until yesterday.

Our journey began Thursday afternoon and brought us to the Florence/Darlington area. While here, we traipsed through the Greater PeeDee Wildlife Management Area. Cheney has now found a new place to stomp around. While there we saw the fattest beaver I've seen in my life. Cheney tried to sneak up on him to get a few good pictures, but he slapped his tail ferociously and hid in his dam.

This part of the country is so different from the foothills in which we live. The roads were lined with cotton and tobacco fields. Every so often, Cheney would say, "I bet there are deer all over the place." And, I'm sure there were, even if we didn't see them.

On Friday we scooted on down a ways and headed to the land where my grandmother was raised - Scranton, SC. Definitely just a map dot!
The last time I visited here I was about 6 or 7. My great aunt Jacqueline still lives there in th
e house she and my grandmother were raised in. I didn't think I would recognize it, but I did. I knocked on the door and introduced myself and then enjoyed a short visit. I never realized how much my mom looked like Aunt Jacqueline until yesterday, probably because I only saw her once. I enjoyed hearing stories of my grandmother when she was young and can't wait for the next visit.

After Scranton, we had lunch in the big city of Lake City and then boogied onto the beach. When I was 15, my family came to SC in a long detour to get to Gatlinburg, TN - crazy I know. On the way, we drove up the coast of SC and made it to Garden City, but my dad then decided that was all there was to see and we turned off before we made it to Myrtle Beach. That was when the Pavillion still stood. I wish that I would have seen that piece of beach history. So, yesterday I finally made it Dad!

A South Carolina beach is so different than the ones I've been accustomed to on the Gulf Coast. I was amazed at the shells that littered the sand. My experience on beaches has either been empty white sand or rocky Alaskan beaches. The sand was covered with shells as far as you
could see. We spent time finding beautiful conch shells. As we found one we would trade it for a bigger and better one before we finally headed back to the car. I loved the boardwalk and the colors of beach life. After leaving Myrtle, we headed to one of my new favorite places - Murrells Inlet!

This was the quaintest little spot and I absolutely loved it! Cheney and I are off the beaten path people. We like the quiet relaxed pace of life on the water, but without all of the people. Murrells Inlet was the perfect place for us. We also try to find places that are out of the way of most of the population to visit. We drove by this precious vintage motel - you know the kind where you drive your car right up to your door and there is no second floor. It was absolutely precious and I could just imagine what it would have been like when in its prime.
The Brookwood Inn was opened New Years Day 1950. It reminded me of a place Cheney's grandparents would have stayed. It's definitely not a place that I would have taken some people in my life because there weren't any frills - no jacuzzi tub, balcony, lazy river. Just the basics - a bed, bathroom, and a TV. Only a select few would get to visit with me here - those who are not high maintenance for sure!

Just a quick jaunt down the road was our destination for dinner. We landed on a fantastic little spot that ended up being the oldest restaurant in Murrells Inlet, The Hot Fish Club. It was actually established in the 1700s and was a hopping little place then. The food was amazing!! I knew as soon as I looked at the menu that Cheney would be getting the Inlet Steampot - crab,
mussels, clams, oysters, scallops, shrimp, corn, potato, and sausage - YUM!! I ordered in the style of the Old South - She Crab Soup with Shrimp and Grits! I have to say that these were the best that I've had in my life!! We have discovered a new favorite seafood place and everything was fresh out of the water. No frozen seafood for me!

This morning, we woke early, although we missed the sunrise and headed out to the boardwalk along the inlet. I LOVE this life! I so could live in Murrells Inlet. The people we met were amazing and the restaurants were fantastic. If I could move, I would do it now!

As we left Murrells Inlet, we found ourselves in Pawley's Island and then scooted our way across the rest of the state headed to Greenwood to see Cheney's grandmother. It was a long day, but the homemade red velvet cake that we bought at the bake sale, made it much more bearable!

I feel so refreshed, but I'm so glad to be home, in my own bed, with my own pups!