We stayed overnight with my parents; it was a good way to break up the long journey and to enjoy some quality time with my folks. We arrived in Myrtle Beach at dinner time on Saturday. The van was unpacked as expediently as possible, Louise was thrown into her pjs, and we made a bee line for the beach.
There is a rejuvenating quality to watching a child frolic in the sea, and Cora was only too happy to frolic.
Sunday was also Easter Sunday, so Amanda and I decided we wanted to enjoy a special Easter brunch. We made our way down the coast and eventually found Tommy Bahama's. It wasn't exactly authentic local cuisine, but it had the right atmosphere, a great seafood menu, and quality food. It was a wonderful meal. And even though we had already spent one night at the beach, the brunch felt like it kicked off our vacation in style.
We couldn't help but partake in some retail therapy during the journey back to our beach house. We found it impossible to resist the lure of the outlet mall; I got trainers, Amanda got a dress, Cora bought ice cream with pocket money from Nana and Pop, and Louise got a much-needed sun hat.
Monday brought an enjoyable trip to the beach! Louise was wearing her sun hat and Cora Mae was playing with her bubbles. The weather was slightly brisk at first, but soon warmed up. Louise tried to eat some sand, and Cora tried to build castles with it. Our time at the beach was always going to be dictated by how Louise was doing, and she hung in there for a good few hours before we headed back for lunch and shade. Cora made her first visit to the swimming pools by the beach house that afternoon. Over the next few days, the indoor pool, outdoor pool, and even the hot tub were all used by Cora. Needless to say, the warmer indoor pool and hot tub were more to Cora's choosing than the chilly outdoor pool.
Cora's enjoyment of the indoor pool, and my fondness for the hot tub meant that it was a no-brainer for us to hang out at the pools on Tuesday. Cora continued to practice her swimming, and Louise hung out in the swimming pool for the first time.
Wednesday brought an early departure for Brookgreen Gardens, a 9000 acre public gardens on the grounds of several old plantations. We enjoyed meeting animals at the zoo, a brief visit to the butterfly house, and a wonderful walk through the gardens before taking a boat ride through the rice fields of the old plantations.
Thursday would be our last full day at the beach, and we wanted to make the most of it. We visited the Ripley's Aquarium, where we came face-to-face with sharks, crabs, and a variety of fish. It wasn't a lengthy visit, but it brought lots of looks of amazement and enjoyment to Cora and Louise.
|Louise loved the tunnel under the tank!
|Cora's first tattoo... a 3 inch Mickey Mouse!
|Cora attempts to use chopsticks!