9.09.2013

( more Myrtle Beach )


A few more photos and memories of our trip to Myrtle Beach near Charleston, South Carolina and Scott's painting adventures. 

We seem to take trips every September, because we need to use up our Hilton timeshare points before the end of the year. The Myrtle Beach hotel is an old hotel that is being refurbished by Hilton Grand Vacations Club. We always spend two long hours in their timeshare presentations (they want us to upgrade), so we can get free hotel nights on our next trip. But it's so awkward to sit through the nice salesman's pitch and then say, "No, we don't want more points, sorry." We walked out of this pressure situation and sighed a big sigh of relief. Then we took off to explore the beach area and fishing pier.

Scott stopped to talk with a fisherman who called us over to show us some sharks in the water below. ONE HOUR LATER...Scott the jabberbox finally quit gabbing with Al the friendly, bored fisherman. They shared life stories and Al told Scott to never swim under or around piers because that's where the sharks hang out. Never knew that. The next day, Scott decided to paint on the pier and sure enough, there was Al. He spent the afternoon looking over Scott's shoulder and talking his ear off as Scott painted. 

We drove along the stretch of beach and tourist attractions called The Grand Strand...sixty miles of beachfront with restaurants, hotels, and huge beach supply/souvenir shops on every block. I loved getting away from the busy main streets and out into the countryside. This inn was on Pawley's Island and was built before the Civil War. The old but charming sign (Pelican Inn) reminded me of today's chalkboard trend. 

It seems in South Carolina, there's beach life and there's creek life. The residents go boating and fishing on the creeks for entertainment and fun. Every hundred yards or so we saw long boardwalks that led to these wooden docks called "creek docks." It was dusk as we drove south along Highway 17, and we could see groups of people sitting on the benches of their creek docks eating, drinking, chatting, and laughing. 

We visited a beautiful garden and outdoor museum called Brookgreen Gardens. It had been a rice plantation, but in the 1920's a wealthy family purchased it and created a garden to showcase their beautiful sculpture collection including hundreds of statues sculpted by the wife of the family. Scott decided to paint the pretty pond and statue. You can barely see him in the middle of the picture. I left and went to a little shopping village down the road. 

Later we had dinner at a little restaurant along this creek. We were celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary and the seafood was amazing, but what I really loved were the foods that accompanied the fish - the hushpuppies, lima beans, grits (not so much), pound cake, and ginger ale. 

On our last day, Scott continued to paint and I got to enjoy a several long hours on the beach. I went for a long walk and read and took pictures. Through all our travels, I've always complained that I don't get enough "down time" because Scott likes to see and do everything. Well, with Scott painting now, I get the reading and writing time I used to long for. But after awhile I go bonkers just sitting there, so I leave and go shopping. 

When Scott paints, people come by to check out his art. Some people walk right up and look, visit, and offer suggestions or compliments. Many just walk by close enough to have a look from behind. Scott likes to chat - sometimes other artists will tell him about their painting experiences. On this day, we had lots of curious people, but he really enjoyed chatting with this group of Amish tourists. We had watched them walk along the edge of the water, lifting their dresses as the waves came into shore. They were talkative and cheerful. I noticed them walking toward us, and I grabbed my camera and moved away because I really wanted a picture but didn't know if they would let me take one. Then, from a distance, I took my picture of them looking at Scott's painting. It's a great memory for him because they were so complimentary and interested. 

Scott lined up his paintings to dry in front of the TV. They traveled home well - he used water soluble oil paints and even baked them in the oven to dry them out. It was very hot and humid all week in South Carolina which was perfect for swimming and wave jumping in the amazingly warm ocean, but made painting a bit different for Scott. Once we landed in Salt Lake City, we were glad it was still warm here, but were also glad to be in a dry climate again. 
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