Tuesday, December 30, 2008

In the Middle of...International Relations

One of the best things about having a beach house is having the ability to invite friends to share it with you. This week we have been joined by our friends from north of the border, Les and Josee.

Those of you who have met Les know that he provides the entertainment.

In an effort to expose our Canadian friends to the best that South Carolina has to offer we headed to North Myrtle Beach and La Belle Amie Vineyards. OK, the only thing better than Les' natural ability to entertain is Les blended with alcohol. We partook in the wine tasting with a very witty and friendly Chris as our hostess and left with a lot of wine and a lot less cash in pocket! Good times! We took the "self-guided walking tour" of the property, which was about the same as walking around the backyard in Jersey, we are not in Beaune any more ToTo!

At this point we were ready for some lunch, yes that's right wine before lunch! Get over it!

Being the ever courteous host Steve asked our slightly giddy guests where they would like to dine, and Les' response gave us the opening we had hoped for, "Anything with a local flavor will be fine."

So we headed for "Dick's Last Resort", a restaurant where they are known for shouting abuses at their customers and the customers are fully expected to give it right back to them. This was the perfect place for North meets South, Canadian style. We ordered a couple of burgers, barbecues and "Big Ass Beers". Oh yeah, they are also known for these special paper "Trojan" hats they provide each guest, complete with customized phrases. Josee laughed until she...well we won't get into that.

As we drove off, Les' prophylactic hat protruding from the sunroof, even the other idiots in paper pointy hats were laughing hysterically!

Like I said, the best part about having a beach house is sharing it with your friends!

Monday, December 29, 2008

In the Middle of...Natural Wonders

There are days when all the gods conspire together to give us humans a surprise. Today was one of those days. The weather was spectacular, even by South Carolina standards, and the pasty white northeners headed for the beaches. We thought this was our gift from the gods, a perfect day. The gods had other ideas. After a stroll on our local beach we decided to head down to Huntington Beach State Park. I was anxious to photograph some of the unique architecture we had previously seen at Atalaya Castle.

Well, we arrived with Murphy in tow, he loves a good car ride, only to find out that 4 footed visitors are not invited on the castle grounds. No problem, the pictures I was interested in can be viewed from the exterior! So we "off roaded" around the back of said castle where the light was better! I took some interesting shots but vowed to come back sans the Murph for the more interesting interior shots.

That was when the gods unleashed yet another of their little surprises on us! Sand burrs! These deadly, tiny spurs can puncture through flip-flops, socks and blue jeans not to mention unprotected finger tips when you try to remove them. Now imagine the cute, oversized, fluffy paws of aforementioned Wheaten Terrier pouncing unwittingly through the grass surrounding this picturesque castle on a glorious sunny South Carolina day and the gods they were a laughing! Murphy started limping and I realized my folly...too late! I spent the next 30 minutes or so sitting on the sidewalk, removing what seemed like hundreds of the little barbs. Tourists stopped to admire my cute little fuzzy friend and lament his struggles. The locals that passed simply shook their heads and murmured, "sand burrs" and the unspoken, "stupid tourists".

gods 1-displaced northeners 0

We restricted ourselves to the more conventional paths for the remainder of our visit!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

In the Middle of...Learning to "Blog"

OK, my children have exposed me to a whole new way to reflect on life, "Blogging". While I have been a big fan of journaling in the past, the old fashioned written kind, this is a new arena for me.

We are currently in Surfside Beach enjoying the long anticipated break from school and the unexpected 80 degree weather. Ahhhh!

The other "new arena" for me, on this trip, is practicing for retirement. While I'm quickly approaching the big "50", and empty nest syndrome, Steve and I need to learn how to live as just the two of us again.

Well the world is quickly changing and as always I feel stuck...In the Middle!