Monday, June 27, 2016

Touring the South Carolina Coastal Area

After three full days in the sun on the beach, it was time to see what else the area around Myrtle Beach had to offer. We quickly discovered that we all loved the little village of Murrell's Inlet. There is a line of restaurants right on the marsh, and they host live music every evening. Denisa was a happy camper because she got to do some dancing on the marsh walk with all that music. We were here three different times before we got a picture in the day light along the marsh walk.

Right across the marsh is Goat Island--named for obvious reasons. Actually, these goats spend the winter on a farm in the area, and just vacation for the summer on Goat Island.

For a taste of southern charm and history, we headed to Hopsewee Plantation for a tour. Built in 1740, this house has withstood the test of time. One of its secrets of longevity is that its solid black cypress wood siding was put together without nails. It was built for Thomas Lynch, Sr., a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was supposed to sign the Declaration of Independence, but a cerebral hemorrhage made him physically unable to sign. If you check a copy of the Declaration of Independence, it has a blank line at the bottom for his signature. His son, Thomas Lynch, Jr. would sign in his Father's absence, but on a different line.

Hopsewee's location is the other reason it is still standing 276 years after it was built. It was so far off the beaten path that the Union Army didn't take the time to torch it when making its march across South Carolina. We had a great tour, led by a woman that lived here as a child. She knew the history of all the past owners, as well as interesting stories that happened while her family resided here.

We drove here today, but the easiest mode of transportation in the 1800's was to arrive via boat on the Santee River.

There were no pictures allowed inside the house, but we could photograph interesting things in the yard. This interesting thing is a joggling board. It is a long springy plank resting on two supports. By bouncing up and down, it was a physical therapy tool to give exercise to people with muscular ailments. Our two medical professionals were getting their exercise joggling this morning.

Our next stop was the historic town of Georgetown, with its Harborwalk along the river. We got a rain shower this morning, so it was a good day to be hanging out at historic sites instead of the beach.

After so many pictures of just Mark and Denisa over the last year, it's nice to have some with Luke as well.

Another day, we spent time exploring the area to our north. We crossed the state line into North Carolina, and enjoyed some time at La Belle Amie vineyards. It was a beautiful location with the grape vines leafed out and weighing heavy on the wooden supports.

The grapes are a good size now, and they'll be used to make the vineyard's label "Twisted Sisters" wines. We had good timing with our visit here, as live music and a lunch grill started about the time we got seated in their outdoor pavilion area. There would be limited dancing, however, because Mark managed to injure his shoulder playing football on the beach the day before. (Mark is finding that trying to keep up with his sons on the beach has now caused more than one injury.)

We also stopped by Huntington Beach State Park. Since we are staying at the state park down the road, admission was free to this park. But a big rain cloud chased us out of the park before we had time to take a tour of the ruins of its mansion named "Atalaya."

We also did some exploring of the many shopping venues around Myrtle Beach. We checked out The Market Commons, Broadway at the Beach, and Barefoot Landing. We don't have room in the motor home for new purchases, except those that can be consumed. Denisa is having a good time putting together her consumable bag of candy. You could say that she was as happy as a kid in a candy store.

Another name for the southern section of this South Carolina beach area is the "Hammock Coast." So it is fitting that there is a Hammock Shopping Village that actually specializes in hand-made hammocks. We watched as one of the guys wove his way across the loom.

Mark eats ice cream every day, and he has obviously passed his ice cream genes on to his children. We went out for ice cream every evening except one--and that would be the evening we made home-made ice cream at the beach house. No ice cream pictures, but Denisa did take a picture of the cute ducklings crossing the bridge close to one of the ice cream stores.

Besides eating ice cream, we also played games most evenings. We have always played games with our sons, so it is fun that Jordan's family also loves to play.

It's been a great week of good family time. We love our daughter-in-law and her family, and we have truly been blessed with getting to spend this vacation time with them. But everyone has jobs to get home to, leaving Mark and Denisa to wander His wonders alone once again.

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