Myrtle Beach!

Who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth— the Lord is his name. –Amos 9:6

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We were so blessed to spend an amazing week at Myrtle Beach. We stayed at Myrtle Beach Travel Park, which could not have been better. We got a spot 122 steps from the water…36 steps to the sand. Smile It was so warm and refreshingly cool at the same time. The kids got to attend a vacation Bible school at the campground, we listened to an interesting talk on the beginnings of our country (the Virginia Charter—so much I never learned about in school), swam in the pool and on the beach, lounged on the lazy river, cheered our chosen duckies on in the rubber ducky race, played pool games, collected shells, took long walks together on the beach, built sand castles. Lovely.

P7078072 A first look at the Atlantic for these two Colorado natives.

 

 

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View from the boardwalk leading to the beach, overlooking our site. The people next to us booked their site a year and a half ago and wondered how in the world, with over 600 sites, we got such a great site with such little notice. Hmmm, must be either the campground knew about this blog, Chad’s good looks, or it was just a God-thing.

 

 

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VBS on the first day. A group came down from a church in Knoxville to run the camp. The kids had a great time.

 

 

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LOTS of wave running and belly surfing going on…

 

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Wave jumpers and lazy-river riders.

 

 

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Morning walks, evening walks, and shells, shells, everywhere!!

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A mermaid!!

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We played for a long time in two holes we dug out with our feet—after Spunky Monkey’s filled in, we dug a new one next to Sweet Pea’s. Who knew holes in sand could be so fun!

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Heartwarming to see this man who works so hard for his family and takes little time for himself, relaxing with the kids, examining little critters on the beach, and having a splash fight.

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When you forget a bag and there are shells that just can’t be left behind, you sacrifice whatever else you have.

 

 

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The sandcastle extraordinaire, complete with a tiny little king Sweet Pea found on the beach. We got exclusive permission to show a picture of him sleeping in his bedroom:

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And standing at his drawbridge:

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And swimming in his pool:

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Unfortunately, the king and the rest of the castle had to be evacuated due to the storm surge that was expected later that afternoon. I’m happy to report the king as well as many of his shells and other castle décor safely hitched a ride on an RV headed to Charleston later that week. Please don’t tell him there is no sign left of his castle or his comfy shell bedroom.

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More and more and more shells….

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I think this conversation was about how metal detectors work. Or maybe about how cell phone antennas work. Or Star Trek. Hard to know.

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I had to get in one picture to prove I was actually on the beach, too…

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On Saturday morning, we were blissfully going about our last day here, when there was a knock on the door of the camper. Chad and the kids had gone on to the swimming pool and I was planning to join them after I finished up a couple things. The man at the door, though, let me know that we had been scheduled to check out of our site half an hour earlier!! I had just completely gotten the days wrong. Sad smile So we scuttled out of there, let the kids say goodbye to the beach, gather a few more shells (of course!) and we headed for Charleston. We could have stayed in Myrtle Beach at another site for one more night, but decided that since we were all packed up we’d just move on. So many great memories!

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The last thing we did before we left was check on our little crab friend. He had a hole off to the side of the path between our campsite and the beach. Earlier in the week, we started putting a little shell at his entrance whenever we walked by, and the next time we would come by, the shell would be moved several inches away from the hole. We never did see him, but he sure didn’t like that shell by his doorway! I think he was glad to see us go.

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Rain, Lanterns, and Berries

After leaving Asheville, we didn’t go too far—down to Rutledge Lake, between Asheville and Brevard. Yet another beautiful campground in a picturesque setting; we feel so blessed to have found these places.

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One thing we haven’t lacked during our time out east is RAIN!! It rained for about 3 solid days, resulting in a soggy campground:

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So we did some of this:

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And although the rain ruined our July 4th plans to see a “real” fireworks show in Brevard, it cleared enough that the campground could have a little fireworks party of its own:

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We got to experience something we had never seen before, and I think it’s safe to say we will NEVER see in hot, dry Colorado in our near future—sky lanterns!

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The campground provided the sky lanterns—mini hot air balloons made of something like tissue paper, lit with a wax-covered square of cardboard suspended between the edges of the bottom opening. Once they fill up with air, they can be let go and up they float—over the trees and buildings, and sparkling far into the clouds.

Some of the campers had brought their own fireworks and set them off near the lake, the kids had sparklers and glowsticks, and it turned out to be a fine way to celebrate the 4th! (Since it had been raining all day, we settled on movie & popcorn night, so were in the midst of Mary Poppins when we heard the commotion outside.)

Earlier in the day, we had a first and a second place winner in the watermelon-eating contest (the only other contestant seemed formidable…a 13-ish year-old boy…until he admitted he can’t stand watermelon…he got third place). They won money to spend in the camp store, which they were excited about!

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We finished up our time in western North Carolina with a visit to Hickory Nut Gap Farm, in beautiful Fairview. The hilly area is full of small family farms. We greeted the few animals they had, then we enjoyed picking fresh berries! Since the first time I read Blueberries for Sal to my then-younger kiddos curled up on my lap, I’ve wanted to pick blueberries together. Thankfully, we didn’t encounter any bear cubs, my kids didn’t run off with a mama bear, and we DID get to hear “Kerplink, Kerplank, Kerplunk”!!

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After a delicious meal at Tupelo Honey Café, we told my bro and sis-in-law goodbye for now, so thankful for the many days we got to spend making memories with them, and headed on down the road!

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