Last Thursday I departed Melbourne after the show and made my way to Myrtle Beach. For you non-hillbillies, Myrtle Beach is THE required vacation destination for West Virginians. I mean, it’s like a law or something.

I had not been to Myrtle Beach in well over 30 years. But, as far as vacation spots go, it’s a good one. There are plenty of places to eat, lots of things to do and see and it’s a place, unlike the Space Coast, that is geared toward the tourist and extracting dollars from him.

While I wanted to see how Myrtle Beach has changed, I didn’t actually do much of that. For instance, I did not go to Myrtle Beach proper. I stayed at a beachfront hotel in North Myrtle. I had always liked North Myrtle because it was quieter than the bustling pavilion area of Myrtle. You can sit on the beach and read and not be bothered, you can browse the plentiful souvenir shops without crowds (especially this time of year) and in general have a more peaceful vacation.

I also have friends who live in the Myrtle Beach area. Chuck and Randy are former partners in my drug unit days. While Randy was under the weather, Chuck and I managed to spend a few hours together over a beachside lunch. It made the trip worthwhile.

Then there was the Alabama Theater. It’s a Rosen property apparently licensing the country group’s name in the area where the band was discovered. Alabama had been the house band at a Myrtle Beach bar called The Bowery before they were discovered. And while I was surprised there was no tribute to the group during the show, the show was amazing and well worth the price of admission. (I wonder if any TDC types have a Rosen or similar connection for such a facility to be brought to the Space Coast. After all, if the TDC is about tourism, this would be a catch!)

I had dreaded the drive; it’s about 8 hours travel time. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t bad. Maybe it’s the aging thing. An occasional gas and meal stop, plus those couple just to find a restroom, broke up the drive so it wasn’t uncomfortable at all. The last hour into Myrtle Beach from I-95 is through South Carolina farm country and it’s simply beautiful with quaint, small towns and buildings older than most of us dotting the countryside. Farmland, crops and farm houses, some glorious, some dilapidated, round out the landscape.

On the way home I made one additional stop. I had lunch with my friend Scott Ryfun and his wife. Scott is my counterpart with iHeart in Brunswick. We did some shop talk and general catching up. Then it was the 3 hour drive on home.

Overall it was a relaxing and fun mini-vacation that allowed me to see an old favorite place and catch up with some friends. I have had worse vacations.


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