Friday, July 4, 2014

Something special for the 4th.......

Den of the Beastly Bear

Hi Folks, Happy 4th. of July!!!

Hope you all are enjoying your holiday, a little fun in the sun...a little swimming, lots of good food and of course fireworks!

We had few traditions surrounding the 4th. in my family growing up. We had a pool and a grill, so cook outs and swimming were practically a daily occurrence for us...
Sure we'd all pile in Step-Dads Caddy and go watch the fireworks...stop for an ice cream on the way home, that was it.

I wanted something a little more special for Princess Bear to remember of her formative years...

One year we had gone to Alabama for a friends wedding, Mamma Bear had made mention that she'd like some beach time for the remainder of our vacation...

So a call was made to the "Travel Gnomes" at Travelocity and I booked us four days at the St. Clements hotel at The Caravelle Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC.

This would be Princess Bears first time to the ocean, and she was excited...and a little nervous.

Her trepidation? Sharks...
She was 13, and too much "Shark Week" on The Discovery channel had worked its magic...

Time for a white lie or two to relieve the anxiety so she could enjoy herself....

So, I allowed that while of course there ARE sharks in the ocean...Myrtle Beach was virtually shark free!

That and the waters around the beaches were much too warm for sharks, and that they preferred the colder, deep waters farther out to sea.

This was all discussed in great detail as we took I-65 South from Athens to Huntsville where we caught I-20 East. This seems like a rather straightforward drive...but it's all of a 10-hour drive!

By the time we got checked into our room, it was getting late in the day...almost sundown. We decided that we'd all take a walk along the beach before dinner, get up early the next morning and spend the day at the beach.

The beach was almost empty, the sun worshipers having left hours ago...
There were couples strolling arm in arm across the white sands, waves gently lapping at their ankles.
The clean fresh tang of salt water filled our lungs as we walked...a few kids hadn't given up on the day yet and tossed a Frisbee amongst themselves.
We passed a fisherman, surf casting into the waves...

The tide was rolling in, each successive wave crawling a little farther up the sands...
When suddenly before us the surf washed a fish up onto the sand, riding in on the wave. But as it retreated the fish got sideways as the wave receded...rolling it across the sand.
Before the next wave smashed into it rolling it back up the beach away from the water...
It was rolling so fast you couldn't even tell what type of fish it was, but it was in trouble so I reached down and snatched it out of the roiling surf.
It was about 12 inches long, so I held it with two hands so I wouldn't hurt it...

"What is it Dad? Let me see..." 
Kaitlin said running up to see what I'd just caught.

Too late...I had to show it to her...a little 12" grey shark!
About the size of the one we caught.

Well SHIT!!!

I got THE parents know the look...

"I thought you said there weren't any sharks in Myrtle Beach?!?" she glared at me, hands on hips.

"Ummmmm, well....this is just a baby....he's probably a little lost, I'm sure if we put him back into the water he'll swim right back out to deep water..."

"Where there's babies...there are mamas!!! No way I'm going in there!!!" She countered.

"Fine, I'll do it myself..." So I waded out to mid thigh depth, made sure he was ready, then released him.
With a couple flicks of his tail, he was gone...

It was only after the fact we realized we didn't get a picture...the camera was still packed, and Kathy had only just gotten a phone with a camera, so had forgotten...they were not as ubiquitous as the are today!

Katie overcame her fear of sharks the next day, and it was hard to keep her OUT of the water! Lol

We talked to a friendly family the next day and they told us they always come over the 4th. of July Holiday and stay at the St. Clements. The reason?
The St. Clements is situated almost exactly between Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, and both municipalities do a fireworks display off their docks.
So from your balcony you can watch both!!!

Before we left, reservations were made for the next year...for the week of the fourth!

This became our little tradition...every year during shutdown we'd head to Myrtle Beach for the fourth!!!
No only did you get fireworks displays both North and South but because all types of fireworks are legal in South Carolina, civilians put on one Hell of a show along the beach well into the night! Finally winding down after midnight!

We haven't been back since Katie graduated in '09...
Well, maybe next year...

Be Well Folks!!!

Beastly Bear


  1. We had a nice show of fireworks here at the Jersey shore. Up and down the beach it was quite a show, but yes I have been to Myrtle Beach on the Fourth and it is unbelievable, also a little scary, the amount of fireworks, and they go all night.

    1. Yeah joeh we always plan for a late night in Myrtle Beach on the 4th.!!! In all the years we went there, the biggest problem we ever had was a jellyfish infestation one year...

  2. Everyone really seems to like Myrtle Beach. Russell used to go with a bunch of friends to play golf at the many courses there. We are having trouble w/ sharks on the Cape b/c the seal population has exploded.

    1. I'm not a golfer...I love the beach, sun, sand and sea! You might find that hard to believe given my displeasure with summer in general...but the beach is different!!!

  3. Sounds like a great tradition! and I can so relate to the end....that is where I am with us all going camping this summer...trying for the end of July (the kids go back to school aug 13) and it is still a lil iffy...and I have said...well, if it doesn't happen this year....maybe next year.

    1. There you are! Welcome back Miss Sherry...I wasn't trying to guilt you honest! ;-)

  4. I have never been to Myrtle Beach but would love to go someday. The closest I ever got was when my dad, who was an OTR trucker at the time, suffered a massive heart attack in Florence, SC just 100 miles or so away from Myrtle Beach. We drove straight through down not knowing if he was still alive or dead. He lived through that particular ordeal. Never got to Myrtle Beach, only the heart institute in Florence. Loved your story! ♥

    1. Thank you Kathy! Hope you had a GREAT 4th. weekend with Hubby home!
      Myrtle Beach can be a little "Touristy" and "Cheesy" but we loved it !!!
      Glad your Dad was OK!

  5. I've not been to Myrtle Beach either and specifically because I thought it was so touristy but the way you describe I'm obviously going to have to go now. :) Our 4th was a cook out and watching the fireworks on t.v. Too many mosquitoes up here now to be outside!

    1. That's another great thing about Myrtle Beach is no mosquitoes near the ocean!!!