Date of Trip: November 2010
As those of you who read my trip reports know, I am a thorough devotee of home exchanges. Many of those are long haul trips, but occasionally you get a bonus home exchange closer to home. These are fairly easy to set up because everyone drives.
In November 2010 I got lucky. I got a home exchange in Myrtle Beach, SC. While I had traveled to many of the beach destinations near Washington, DC, when my kids were small, I had never been to Myrtle Beach. I asked a girlfriend to come along. We had a grand time.
We drove to Myrtle Beach in one long day and found our house for the week a block from the beach. Because we had so much we wanted to see, however, we did not get to the beach until the last day of the trip.
We spent a lot of time at Brookgreen Gardens. I had never heard of this place and it sure is spectacular. It is a garden arranged around a sculpture collection. We purchased a ticket for a week and found we had to return several times to see it all. You can find more out about Brookgreen Gardens here: http://www.brookgreen.org/. We went 3 times taking first a tour of the sculptures, then a boat ride in the marsh and finally a slave life tour. This place is huge and you need to go multiple times to see it all.
We also visited the ruins of a historic home and spent a day in Georgetown, SC, where we even found a Jewish graveyard! Georgetown is, however, sort of dead on Sundays because that is the way it is in South Carolina.
Because it was Xmas, we were able to get tickets to the Dixie Stampede Christmas Show. The moment I went in I realized it was based on the Disney Buffalo Bill Wild West Show concept but this time the battle was red versus green because it was Christmas (instead of Blue vs. Grey during the regular season). We had a fun time, but I have seen this sort of show enough (even the Australian Outback Spectacular south of Brisbane, Australia, is based on the same concept. Sadly, the show has closed to be replaced by a pirate show because running the Stampede with the horses was too expensive.
To find out what is going on while you are in Myrtle Beach, you might want to refer to this site: https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox.
My girlfriend and I are both history buffs, so a visit to Charleston, SC, was mandatory. We left early in the morning because it is a 3 hour ride from Myrtle Beach due to slow roads with lots of stop lights, etc., for much of the route. My girlfriend wanted to take a carriage ride and I wanted to see Ft. Sumter, so we did both. We also went to the Slave Market Museum. Just to stand on the spot where the Civil War began was worth the trip! The ranger giving the tour was a hoot as well.
On the last day we finally managed to sit on the beach. Then it was time to straighten out the house and begin the long ride back to DC.
Sometimes you can have a fine time closer to home.
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