Tuesday, October 27, 2009

South Carolina

Sometimes I get this crazy notion that a vacation would be a good idea. Relaxing, fun, entertaining ... all those things vacations should be. Then about halfway to our destination our lovely little 1-year-old who we'll call "Olivia" starts screaming. And let me tell you, that little girl can holler. Did I mention it's a 6-hour drive to Murrells Inlet, South Carolina? Which leaves sweet Olivia plenty of time to scream. Then Ezra starts saying over and over again, "I want to go home. I want to go home." Ahhhh, vacation. We had plenty of good times, though. We went to the beach one day when it was near 80 degrees. This was the middle of October and the kids were playing in the water ... just like back in Oregon in the middle of October, right? (Editor's note: Um, you don't go in the water in Oregon in the middle of the summer. Author's reply: Untrue! Say you've been running and twist your ankle. Instead of using ice, just go in the ocean! It's no different!)
We went to Georgetown, S.C., which is a gorgeous little town on the water. It's the third-oldest city in South Carolina (The Palmetto State) and named after a guy who went by the handle of "George." I knew you would appreciate that tidbit. Anyway, we hit an ice cream shop in Georgetown and pritnear cleaned them out. And remember, as the sign says on the boardwalk in Georgetown, "Don't feed the alligators." Those signs are all over Oregon as well. (Editor's note: Dear, no. There's no such signs in Oregon. Author's reply: I meant "Don't feed the ducks." You know, ducks ... alligators ... it's all the same.)

One of the highlights for me was shopping for groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly. I've always wanted to shop in a Piggly Wiggly. Why? Well, I don't know exactly. It just sounds like a cool place to shop. I mean, who wouldn't want to shop at a Piggly Wiggly? I was not disappointed. They had a killer ice cream selection, a great selection of pickled pig's feet and okra like you wouldn't believe. One thing, though. I was shopping in the Piggly Wiggly and was going through the checkout line when the clerk called me, "Honey." No big deal. But then she said to me, "That's $50.43, Sweet Pea." Ahem. `Sweet pea?' Some things I'm not sure I'll ever get used to. Even in a Piggly Wiggly.
The biggest highlight of our trip to South Carolina, undoubtedly, was seeing real-life alligators. For reals. The first day we were in South Carolina we heard some golfer was fetching his golf ball out of the drink when he reached in and an alligator latched onto his arm. Tragically, the dude lost his arm. This was 2 hours away from us and since the place where we were staying was on a golf course FULL OF PONDS, naturally I made some inquiries of the groundskeeper about the local 'gator population. It turns out he didn't think there were any alligators around at the moment. I emphasize `he didn't think there were any around.' Though one was living in the pond right over there, he said, pointing at the end of the parking lot, mere yards from our room. Super. Needless to say, the rule on our vacation was no going near the water unless it was a swimming pool. One afternoon we went to a nearby state park and there's a bike path there that runs through some freshwater swamps/ponds and you can walk down there, like we did, and peer through the brush and see alligators. I mean, they were right there, just sunning themselves in the, well, sun. "Kids, stay close," I said. Ezra promptly took off running down the path. The kid just likes to run. Needless to say, I went running after him. I'm sure he looked like a tasty vittle to those 'gators and I was not about to get him eaten. I'm happy to report that a count of the children who returned home with us revealed that all made it back. No 'gator bait in our crew.