Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Count Down to Returning Home

Paul and I have only 3 days left here in Surfside Beach before we start our return drive home to New Brunswick.

Paul will miss the graceful pelicans flying overhead and along the surf, as well as his treasure hunting on the beach.

I will miss waking up to the sound of the surf, walking barefoot on the beach and treasure hunting also.

Although we have loved spending the past 2 months here on the beach and exploring the area, we are happy to be returning to our own little house by the sea, even if the sea is still frozen!

This is what we are leave behind,

but this is what we are going back to in Beresford - our own little paradise.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rough Seas

For the past couple of days we have been experiencing rough surfs with cloud and some rain. Paul and I have enjoyed early mornings walks just the same.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Brookgreen Gardens

Paul and I spend an afternoon walking about the Brookgreen Gardens enjoying the flowers and sculptures.

In 1931, Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington founded Brookgreen Gardens, a non-profit garden museum, to preserve the native flora and fauna and display objects of art within that natural setting. Today, Brookgreen Gardens is a National Historic Landmark with the most significant collection of figurative sculpture in an outdoor setting by American artists in the world and has the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the coast of the Carolinas.

It was difficult to capture the true beauty of the gardens in our photos but I will share a few favourite moments.

Some of the spring garden flowers.

Tulips and summer snowdrops

Magnolia Trees (white, pink and yellow)

Violas and a butterfly

Icelandic Poppies
Oak Garden (our favourite area)

My favourite statues of the gardens

Joy of Motherhood
Flute Girl
Boy with Lamb (sundial)

Statue Hall

Friday, March 20, 2009

47th Annual Can-Am Days - 14 to 22 March

On Wednesday 18 March Paul and I set out for another day of exploring. Like every Wednesday, we first stopped at the Spring House Restaurant for our hearty breakfast.

We then took a short drive through Murrell's Inlet and went for a walk on the boardwalk since it was such a nice morning.

Every year during the Ontario Spring Break week, the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce sponsor the Canadian-American Days with events such as The Royal Canadian Artillery Band Concert, official welcome reception, dance championships, and more. We decided to check out the Wildlife and History Day at the Huntington Beach State Park which was one of the events. The setting was in the courtyard of the castle, Atalaya. There were a variety of agencies, organizations and exhibitors displaying information about the local area, as well as a couple of local restaurants selling their delicacies. There was also live entertainment by Wendel Matthews, a local artist.

Upon entering the Huntington State Park, we saw the alligator again resting on his little island.

We drove to the Atalaya castle parking area and we were surprised to see so many cars there. A lot with Ontario license plates as well as a couple from New Brunswick. We strolled onto the grounds and made our way inside the castle walls. Of course we headed straight for the music in the courtyard. Most of what remains of the castle are the walls and the layout of the empty rooms. It was a very nice settling for the music - the area was surrounded by palm trees against the clear blue sky and the sun was shining. People were sitting about on the benches enjoying the moment.

We then took a walk about to have a look at the exhibits.We chatted with a gentleman from the Grand Strand Shell Club and gained some useful information about shells of the area and where and when to collect them. Paul checked out a display of shark teeth, as he is now the proud owner of 2 that he found on Surfside Beach.

I found my soul sister among the exhibitors. This lady collects shells on the local beaches and makes wonderful pictures and gift boxes. She doesn't sell any of her projects as she feels it would lessen her work and the enjoyment she gets from doing them. She is on the beach 2 or 3 times a week looking for treasures.

These are 2 of my favourite boxes that she made.

There was also an exhibit by the Waccamaw Indian People. This lady was doing glass beading. It was amazing to watch her and she gave me a demonstration.

The diamond pattern on her loom took her 1 hour and the finished piece of the 8 diamonds shown took her about 9 hours.

Paul and I had a very relaxing day here. We topped off our day with a snack of hushpuppies and a short walk on the beach there. This event is definitely on our agenda for next year.

Time at the Beach

Some days we just like to relax and when the weather is warmer and not too windy, we take our chairs down to the beach. We walk, read but mostly we watch the waves roll in.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day - 17 March

Over the past week or so Paul and I were seeing a lot of television and newspaper advertising for St. Patrick's Day parades and events in the local area and we were surprised that this day was such a big celebration in the US.

As we both have such a love for Irish and Celtic music, we thought we would wear our green and set out to look for a little live music and maybe a cool one, or two. Well, that turned out to be easier said, than done.

We read that Broadway at the Beach would have several events there so off we went around noon. It is only a 15/20 minute drive from Surfside. First, we went to the Liberty Brewery. It was rather quiet but they were offering Irish Stew on their menu. We decided to check out the Blarney Stone's Pub next which was more busy but their live music didn't start until late afternoon, not what the ad said, and it also allowed smoking so we decide to head back to Liberty again. Although there wasn't any live Irish music playing there, or even any taped Irish music, we decided to try a bowl of their Irish Stew and it was great. Can't say the same for some of their beer. Paul finally found a beer that he didn't like the taste of but his second choice was much better.

So after our Stew and beer, we still want to hear some Irish music as it Paddy's Day. By now we would have settle for taped or even on the radio! We decided to drive back to Surfside as this is apparently the only area that has smoke-free pubs and restaurants. We stopped at our condo and checked the Internet and called a couple of pubs to see if they were having any celebrations but we didn't find much. We pulled out a couple of our own Celtic CDs, played them on our laptop, did a couple of jigs and Paul had a cool one from our fridge! We were determined to celebrate.......

We then drove up the street to the Conch Restaurant on the beach and had a couple of further beers - green at that.

We never knew that Paddy's Day could be so much work to celebrate. Next year we will be bringing my own decorations, music and having a party right here in our condo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Conway, South Carolina

We have been spending a few quiet days this past week at the beach as I have been trying to avoid perfumes, dust, etc in public places to see if I can rid myself of my silly cough.

As we were both needing a change of scenery and a nice day was being forecast, Paul and I thought we would do a little more sightseeing.

It is said that when there is a full moon, there is a better chance of finding great treasures on the beach so I was anxious to check out this theory before we set off on our excursion so we took a short walk on the beach. It was sunny when we started out on the beach but the fog rolled in rather quickly which gave the beach an eerie feel but it was rather neat. I think the fog hid all the treasures as I didn't find a thing and came home empty-handed. Oh well, always another day....

After we treated ourselves to breakfast at the Spring House Restaurant, which has become our weekly Wednesday breakfast place, we set off for the town of Conway, which is inland from Surfside Beach and about a 20 minute drive. We took a back road so we could see a little more of the countryside.

Conway has a really nice River Walk along the Waccamaw River that we enjoyed. It was just after noon when we arrived and it was quite warm in the full sun as the temperature was 83F. The moss-covered Cypress trees were very interesting and gave the area a bayou look. A couple of local people told us you can sometimes see gators (alligators) but we didn't see any during our walk.

There were a lot of nice swings along the walk and I think I tried all of them. Paul was more interested in trying the rocking chairs.

It was so nice to see the flowers in bloom.
After we left the River Walk area, we took a little drive around the town of Conway to see the gardens and the old houses. It was a little too warm for me, so we decided not to walk about. We would like to go back another time as there is a rustic restaurant with a nice patio located on the River Walk we would like to try.

Before leaving the area, we stopped at a local garden and feed centre which was quite interesting. The Conway area is farm country so there were a lot of horse and farm items there, including peppermint treats for horses, which made me think of my horsie friend, Mavis.

Another nice day.