Twisters Soft Serve in Murrells Inlet

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1- Twisters Soft Serve in Murrells Inlet: located on Bus. 17 next to the Lazy Gator and across the street from Bovine’s (which sits on the Marshwalk).   Delicious soft serve.  My advice:  don’t go for the cone in the warm/hot weather.  It melts especially fast.

There are jump ropes and hula hoops all over the ground for the kids to play with.

There is Free Marshwalk parking in the lot connected to Twisters….courtesy of the Lazy Gator folks.

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After raising two girls and working on my first grandchild….you’d think I’d know by now not to order a drippy, fast-melting cone……in June……in Myrtle Beach.  But, I did.  And as soon as the young girl saw me walking back up to the counter, she had a cup waiting for me and she greeted me with….”A Cup?”

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3 Great Places For Hiking & Biking in Myrtle Beach.

Since the weather has been so consistently fabulous around the Grand Strand, I’ve made it a point to take my granddaughter out biking and hiking.   And sidenote:  she sleeps much better at night since we’ve embarked on these mini adventures.

In the past two weeks, we’ve visited 3 different trails for the very first time.   I’m amazed at what’s around town if you just look.

The first trail we checked out was one in the Market Common area.   I loaded up our bikes and headed over to Airpark Dr. which is just off of Farrow Parkway.

I had no idea there was a path off the road until I saw a runner emerge from that way.   I I looked it up online and sure enough….there is a bike/running/walking path which runs along the back side of a housing development….though most of the path is cut into the woods and runs alongside a pond.   The evening we went, we saw a bit of everything….young guys fishing, a couple riding bikes, two women walking, and an older couple walking their dogs.

I’ve tried to locate information concerning the length of this path, but haven’t found anything as yet.   We rode it back and forth a few times and we ended the night by feeding the ducks and turtles our stale bread from dinner.

We parked on Airpark Dr.   The spot can only accommodate 2-3 cars.

The next day, I read about the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.   I saw that there were trails in the local area of the Refuge just off of  Hwy. 544 in Conway.    Take Jackson Bluff Rd.  and that will turn into Gary Lake Boulevard.   Once you round the corner by the Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority, the road breaks off.  You can continue on Jackson Bluff Rd by veering to the Left or continue straight….onto the gravelly road….which is Gary Lake Blvd.   That’s the way you want to go.    If you make the left onto Jackson Bluff Rd, you’ll get that uneasy feeling that you’re driving too far out of the way.   That feeling will be solidified when you reach a T-intersection and realize you have to turn around and go back.

When I found the parking lot, and we began our trek……I realized that I would definitely need my backpack of sanitary wipes and other essentials to have on hand with a 6-year old.   I did not see any sort of portable potties, but I didn’t check the main board before beginning on the path.

There is a point when you have to choose between the bike trail or the blue trail.  We chose the blue trail as I was wanting to take the little one over the boardwalk which I saw on the website.     When we came to another intersection and had to choose a trail, we stuck with the blue.    We saw the boardwalk in the distance, but when we arrived……it was closed off.  There was nothing to indicate whether or not it would be reopened.   That was slightly annoying, as I don’t recall seeing anything about a closure on the main board at the entrance.

Because we haven’t had rain in a while, the Cypress swamp was mostly just mud, but that’s OK with me, as it enabled us to get a real feel for the place.  It was serene in there….but if you’re not used to being alone in the woods…..then it takes getting used to.

If we go back; we will definitelhy take one of the other trails.

 The third trail we checked out over this past weekend was the Carolina Forest Bike and Run Park. @ 150 Frontage Rd, B-2,  Myrtle Beach, SC 29579.

This was definitely our favorite.  The link will take you to the Facebook page.  If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can call them at 843.915.5330.    There are a few website links for this group, but they are not current.

The folks who run it are very nice and helpful and they seem to be working on improving the trails all the time.    I have to admit that I was a bit confused by the trail markings and how it all worked.   There were some folks in the parking lot who were willing to clue me in, but that didn’t stop us from getting off the path we started on and ending up somewhere entirely different.

This place is great for riders, runners and walkers.  We spent two hours there and the only reason we left was because our feet started to get sore.  The only facility I saw for a bathroom was a free-standing portable potty in the parking lot at the entrance to the trails.

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I Had Breakfast w/Friends @ the New Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin in Garden City

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Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin in Garden City (directly across from Walmart on Business 17)

Check the times before heading over, as I believe they may close at 1:00pm

I met with a couple of girlfriends for breakfast recently.  It was our first time visiting since it opened.
The thing we all liked most was how different the atmosphere is from other local breakfast joints. High ceilings, two fireplaces, spacious, clean.
I always expect a new place to have friendly, cheerful staff and Flapjacks did not disappoint on that. Penny, our server, was attentive without being overbearing and the epitome of Southern friendly.
I had an omelet and hash browns and toast. I loved that the hash browns were not in the least bit greasy as most usually are.
I found that the toast was only just barely toasted. I mention this in case you’re like me and expect toast to be….you know…..toasted. My daughters, who have both been servers in the local area tell me that’s how toast is served in restaurants here….that most patrons ask for it that way. Being as I’m one who doesn’t like to send food back to be fixed for something so minor….I dealt with it.

If you’re someone who enjoys a robust cup of coffee…..then you might be disappointed. I sometimes wonder why restaurants which primarily serve breakfast don’t realize how important the coffee is in adding to the overall experience. In my humble opinion, this place should have coffee as the leading man and flapjacks as the leading lady.   Maybe weak coffee is another Southern thing?   I’ve lived here for almost 9 years and I can’t answer that question for you.
The ambiance at Flapjacks elevates the experience, but when you strip that all away…..it’s a basic plate of breakfast food…..and I am basing that on one experience and one entree….so please do with that information as you will.
I wish this place well in the upcoming tourist season

An Idea For All of Those Goodies You Found on the Beach After Hurricane Matthew !

For those of us who are self-employed — a week without work due to a storm, can be quite a setback.
I’d love it if you could look around your neighborhood and find those who are owner/operators….and support them as best you are able. I know many of us have experienced a thinning of our wallets due to Matthew.

I have a very good friend who owns the Beach Beads store on Business 17 in Surfside Beach……just South of Hwy 544.
If you’re like me, you and your friends and family probably went hunting for goodies out on the beach right after the Hurricane.
And if you did…….then now what?
I came up with a few ideas for my finds and since I also scavenged several small pieces of the Surfside Beach pier last Sunday morning…….I’m looking forward to putting something together which is very cool and which tells a story. I’m not real big into hiding things away in a bin or in a jar on a counter, as those ideas lack nuance and the story of how they were found will likely never be told.

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The pieces of wood in the back were taken from the beach and are from the wreckage of the Surfside Beach pier.

I came across several very small beautiful shells on the beach and I’ll be hauling them in to Heather at Beach Beads & Glass Studio this week so as to consult with her about turning these pieces into interesting gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

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A few of the things I found on the beach on Sunday morning…..the day after the Hurricane.

Gather up your stuff and go see Heather…..when you do….you are supporting a locally owned business. I think it’s a great idea to seek out and support those who have a personal stake in the local economy…..especially those who have been affected financially by the storm. Thanks!

If you have something groovy made out of your treasures, then I invite you to share them here. I’ll do the same.

A Few Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Myrtle Beach.

Let me just state right off……I could never be a real estate agent in Myrtle Beach — at least not honestly.    I think to sell homes here you have to string together white lies or at the very least…..you have to leave a lot of pertinent information out.

Now that I’ve made that plain…….

The first thing you’ll notice as you drive around Myrtle Beach……as a local or a tourist…..is all of the land clearing and home building that’s going on.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about all of this.   I’m not a fan of clearing land willy nilly, especially when there aren’t the road and services infrastructure to back it all up.  They are working on it….the roads, that is, but on a personal level….. as a person who drives all around town on a daily basis……I wonder if it is enough.  I wonder if it can keep up with the amount of building that’s going on.

Let’s push the road issue to the side for a moment and talk about all of the homes going up.   They sure do look  nice and all that, but are they made well?   My job takes me in and out of these homes on a weekly basis…..and I can tell you that they are ……by and large….not made well at all.   And if you go the route of a used home, then there are issues in that realm as well.

I’d just like to alert you and make you aware of some things to look out for.  I hope it comes in handy when coupled with all of the other research which I hope you’ve done or are in the process of doing.

Things to Consider:

  1. There are many existing homes, especially in Surfside Beach,  which have problems with bats taking up residence inside of the home.   I have not been able to work at this one place for over a month because of bat removal.   These are not exact numbers but I heard that the cost for the exterminator alone was $5,000 because of the toxicity of the bat droppings alone.   Never mind the contractor who has to tear up walls and remove insulation, etc and then rebuild once the removal is complete.

    If there are bats in the home, you cannot just leave them there.  They MUST be removed ASAP and the process to do that is costly.  Rather than get all wordy here about this situation; I will direct you to this article and hope you will heed the message.

  2. Sometimes a bargain is not a bargain at all.   I’ve done some work over in the townhomes around the Shine Ave. area of Market Common.   The builder slammed those things together leaving the homeowners in a situation where they’ve had to constantly call in the builder to fix issues.   Major issues….such as noisy and slanted second-story floors, showers with small holes in the tile face where they forgot to put grout and water was going behind the walls.

    In one instance, I was asked if I would let the guy in who was going to repair the holes in the shower walls.   I asked him if no one inspected it before the job was completed to check for these things before the homeowner moves in.   He told me that this type of thing happens because the guys installing and building are short.   Meaning, they are Mexican, meaning, this guy was an imbecile wrapped up in a moron.  Not just for saying something so absurd and socially backward, but his lame excuse doesn’t account for the tall ceilings and all of the work done above the height of the “short” construction workers and installers.   I was stunned into silence with his remark.  What can you say to someone who believes you will buy that ?   Are there no ladders?  Scaffolding which can be built? Taller people that can be hired?

    I am telling you that you have to look over a place with the finest tooth comb you can find.    Look at rooms during the day with the lights off and see if you notice any sunlight shining through doors and around windows and around the attic door as well.

    If you start to see shoddy work with things such as light fixtures which have been hung crooked……then it’s likely there are many other issues lurking about as well.   I can guarantee that there is.   My advice is to honestly and seriously think twice about most of these new homes and condominiums.

    Talk to neighbors and ask them about how thin the walls are.  And this applies to homes as well.    In the Emmens Preserve section of Market Common….those homes couldn’t be any more on top of each other if they tried.    I cannot comprehend people wanting to live up their neighbors butt, but obviously there are many who do.   If you don’t mind….have at it, but buyer beware.  I don’t have to tell you that a home is a huge investment.    Don’t let a real estate agent try to talk a line of BS to you just to get you to sign on the dotted line.
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  3. I would definitely recommend house hunting when it’s raining….not just to have a     look at how the house handles the rain, but to see how much flooding occurs in the neighborhood.    It rocks to live by a pond or lake, but if that pond or lake overflows up over the road and into your yard….then that could be a problem.    Also, watch for how quickly the water recedes once the rain stops.
    1. Here’s a biggee.  If you move into a neighborhood because you like the idea of living on a golf course, you might want to think again.   Go talk to the homeowners over in Southwood in Surfside Beach or those in Island Green off of Bay Rd or the Myrtle Beach Golf and Yacht Club which is also off of Bay Rd., and if you want to get an earful….go talk to the people who are sort of trapped living next to the ugly monstrosity which was once the clubhouse for the Deer Track Golf Course in Surfside Beach and which closed in 2006.  That was two years before I moved here.   Here it is 2016…..ten years later and it just keeps getting uglier and uglier.

      I have no idea what actually happened with the Wicked Stick Golf Course next to Southwood…..a neighborhood where I lived when I first moved here.   I was situated on the 6th hole of the golf course and the home which I was renting was surrounded by huge, ugly nets in order to lessen the amount of balls which hit the house and the owner had at some point put up some wooden latticework to protect the windows.  It was ugly and vines were crawling up it all the time.  It was a nightmare to tend to the yard.  The vines were actually growing through the walls and into my dining room.  I had to weed my dining room.   Is that what you want ?  If not, then look at these small details ahead of time.

      Back to the idea of living on a golf course (you thought I forgot, didn’t you?)……here’s the thing….if the golf course is being run properly then you shouldn’t have any issues, but if it’s not, as was the case with the MBG&Y Club, then a mismanaged golf course ends up having no funds to keep the greens maintained.   Take a look at what it looks like now.   Imagine being a homeowner over there……holy cow…….you were properly screwed….that’s for sure.    Take a look:

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      Those tall “bushes” are where the greens once were.  This is the Myrtle Beach Golf & Yacht club where there is no golf and there are no yachts.   
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      Another view of the “greens” @ Myrtle Beach Golf and Yacht Club

      Deer Track Golf Course as it looks in 2016

      Word to the Wise:  Drive around the neighborhood you are interested in and really see what’s going on.   Google.   Do your research.   Ask questions about the solvency of the golf course you are interested in moving next to otherwise you too could find yourself living in an ugly, ugly, but once not ugly place and the only way you could get out would be to sell way low to a predator real estate broker, agent, or private buyer.

      Google the local governing authority and see if they are planning to raise taxes or some other nonsense.

      Good Luck.  Happy House Hunting.  If you have any questions, shoot me a message or leave a comment.  I’ll be glad to help if I’m able.

 

A Rainy Day Idea

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I have a few friends who know my love for anything old and the uglier that old thing is, the more lovely it is to me.

I was sent a link the other day to go and check out #7 on this list of Must Try places to eat.   I’ve never been to Bodo’s German Restaurant and Pub in Myrtle Beach, but I think I’ll have to go……just to say I did and to take pictures and to hopefully eat some yummy food…..though I am mostly a vegan-ite….so not sure how that will work.   Potatoes and sauerkraut for me!! — hold the butter.

This particular place does not seem to have a website.   But they are on Facebook.

Before I go anywhere or do anything, I always read the online reviews.  It is high entertainment.   Humans can be really funny……..especially when they aren’t trying to be.

My advice for this rainy day is to choose a place or two that you’d like to go and visit and Bodo’s seems like a good choice if only for its character and longevity here at the beach……then go online and read the reviews to yourself….or out loud as a bonding moment with your family.   Get yourselves all gussied up and head out to the place(s)…….experience it and write your own reviews.

If you do this, I’d love a link to what you wrote.

Got umbrella?

I FINALLY Made it to Savannah’s Playground– An Enabling Park for Everyone!

SAVANNAH’s PLAYGROUND

Next to Crabtree Gym in Market Common

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Located next to the Crabtree Gym in Market Common.  You can also access it from the Fitness Trail which runs along the water in Market Common.

I was waiting for the weather to break a little and we sure got some relief over the Labor Day weekend.

Just about every family in the area seemed to have the same idea we did — fortunately this place is HUGE and can accommodate a lot of people….!

I followed my 5 1/2-year old granddaughter around as she made friends and played non-stop for almost two hours.   I enjoyed the weather and the people watching.

As the playground is right now……this is apparently considered the 1st phase.   I would play the video which describes the whole thing, but quite frankly, I don’t want to give the Mayor of Myrtle Beach any face time with the public.   I don’t like the man and the things he does and I’m not interested in his self promotion.  Having said that……I think this park and the plans for expansion in the next phases are just spectacular…..no matter who thunk it up.

There seems to be something for each age group and let’s not forget that the whole concept is based on making this place accessible and fun for those who are definitely left out otherwise…..namely the disabled.

I’m one of those people who does not like to use something for nothing.  I won’t go in and use the bathroom in a fast food restaurant if I am not purchasing anything.  It’s just the way I am.   Likewise, after having gone and utilized this park and seeing what a great time my granddaughter had there…..I came home and hopped over to the website to see how I could donate, as this is being built partially, if not fully, by donations.

I haven’t submitted money yet because when I landed on the website page, I felt like some of the information was out of date on the Home page and so I contacted the administrators so as to make sure they are still accepting donations.   I’ll let you know what happens.  If everyone who was there on Sunday, the 4th gave just 5 bucks…..that would be quite a bit of money added to the coffers.

Here are some pictures and descriptions.

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When we were there on 9/4/16, the water misting equipment was working just fine.   I’ve heard from a couple of friends that the misters have not been working at times.   I’m sure they are taking a lot of abuse during this hot weather.
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Saucer and seat swings just as you enter area from the parking lot.
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Far left is the Crabtree Gym.   Then an area for tiny tots and in the foreground is the beginning of the area for all ages.
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There must be 8 or 9 slides.   I didn’t count, but I think I’m in the ball park.
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Top of the tallest structure.

 A negative side to the afternoon was this monstrosity in the middle of the pathway.   Had there been a sign or something that blocked it off…..it would have been fine….but I cannot tell you how many children ran over it and tripped.  The wood pieces are all loose.

It was just odd.   I know you would think that people would walk or run around it, but that wasn’t the case.   zsavannah55zsavannah56zsavannah57