Checking out of our hotel and gearing up for a day in the car! We decided to visit Myrtle Beach this time, and have Mary and Nash drive up to meet us. Charleston is about 2 hours away, so we thought they could just crash with us and we'd all have so much fun!
Teacher me, I implemented this lovely little system to keep our sanity while driving. I scoured Pinterest ahead of time looking for ideas for how to get kids to behave on road trips. Last year they were near perfect, but for some reason, they are in a season of fighting. As in, they can't get along for more than 5 minutes without one of them screaming or punching or yelling. So I was a little worried about our car time!
I didn't find anything simple on Pinterest, so because of my lack of time and motivation to make a cutesy chart with stickers, etc... I grabbed 4 clips out of our junk drawer (4 being the amount of times I was willing to listen to screaming or arguing). The rule was, they had to get along. No fighting or screaming. Every time they broke that rule, a clip came down. Period. By the time we got to our destination for that day, they had to have one clip remaining. If they did, they both got a present. I had purchased gifts ahead of time, mostly from the dollar store and wrapped them up. This worked like a charm. They totally got into it. They knew they had 3 chances. A couple of the driving days there was only one clip left, but they still got their reward!
We pulled into Myrtle Beach at about 10:00pm. After a very long day in the car (10+ hours). And lets just say I don't have any pictures of the day of driving because it was long. And boring. And exhausting. Ha. We had no fun stops along the way. And Andrew lost his lovey he's had since birth (more on this coming later!) and our hotel was awful. So no pictures. We were a mess. Literally.
(This picture is at the Waffle House the next morning).
We regretted not spending a little more time researching Myrtle Beach. And that there is basically a long strip of hotels along Ocean Blvd. And that the farther south you go, the worse the hotels get.
Picture taken outside our NEW and improved hotel
Literally when we saw our hotel that night, we knew we had to do something different. The reviews were not truthful (we found out later that workers at these hotels get on and give good reviews to even out the bad ones!) I barely slept and kept waking up every hour to check the bed for bedbugs (seriously. It was that bad). We didn't even want to stay but had already paid and it was so late and the kids were exhausted. Mom went down to the desk to ask for our money back and to get out of the contract for the rest of the days, she had no luck. So I took a turn. I knew we had to do it that night or they would not let us out of it. Long story short, I ended up paying for just that one night and the rest of our money back. The next morning we couldn't get out of there fast enough. We grabbed breakfast at the Waffle House (our new favorite place! Oh my YUM!) and headed to our new hotel. Farther north. MUCH farther north.
So. We all felt much better after we got settled into a very nice hotel right on the beach! While we waited to check in, they let us use the pools and the beach!
Somehow seeing the ocean made everything better!
The kids played and played and we all had a blast the whole afternoon!
Andrew just wanted to run farther and jump into the huge waves the whole time! He was loving it!
I turned my sweet girl into a mermaid! She thought it was the coolest thing ever!
After spending the afternoon at the beach, we got checked in to our nice room and showered to get ready for our fun evening!
I had purchased tickets for us online for this show I knew the kids would enjoy.
They got made up to look like a pirate and a mermaid!
She was so excited to look like a mermaid! She's kind of obsessed with them currently!
All done! Ready for the show!
You can sort of see how it is set up. On each side there is a huge pirate ship, one blue and one crimson. We were on the crimson side. Each side competes with each other in some silly pirate races and games and they keep score throughout (see the red flag by the water?) The "deck" was slippery and wet and it was like a trampoline so the pirates could bounce and do flips, etc. It was really neat!
She had to stand by the mermaids
I wish I had taken pictures of all the amazing food. But mom and I got one of our long island iced teas instead! Ha! We needed them after the day we had the day before! Served in pirate glasses. Yes, please!
So when the show started the kids looked like this. They were mesmerized. It was pretty cool I must admit. And somehow I scored us front row seats. I paid a little extra to sit in a certain area of the arena (I knew we didn't want to be in the way back or on the sides) but I wasn't expecting front row center!
Throughout the show, they would bring out different courses, first a yummy soup and bread, then delicious chicken and BBQ pork! Next came potatoes, and corn on the cob! Complete with dessert! It was an amazing meal! We were stuffed!
My handsome pirate and sweet mermaid!
So there were mermaids...
And a sea lion!
Kerigan was flipping out at this point. Real mermaids!?! Wow!
The "treasure" at the end!
They did an amazing job performing!
We took some pictures afterwards in the little boat they had set up outside.
I thought he looked so cute as a pirate! Ha! He wasn't too thrilled about getting make up on but he ended up really getting into it and enjoying it!
Arrrrrrgh! Yay for an awesome day!
And look who drove to meet us when we got back!
We were so so excited to see Mary and Nash! Kerigan wanted to show them her face, but Andrew wanted his washed off before they came so he wouldn't scare Nash! How cute is that?
We put all the kids to bed and Mary and I left Ga Ga with them while we headed out to Broadway on the Beach! I wish I had taken a picture of us! Mary was so cute, I had to take a screen shot of what she put on Facebook:
Mary is truly the sister I never had. I am so grateful for her (and her brother!) because we all grew up like siblings. I was 7 when Mary was born and if I didn't know better I would have thought we were sisters from day 1. We were cracking up about driving the minivan and both of us being moms now- we rarely get out alone to socialize so we were super excited! Ha!
We had a great evening and couldn't wait to spend our next couple of days together!