Steps Forward

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I’m back! After a wonderful vacation in Litchfield, S.C. I’m back in State College prepping for the crazyness to begin. Course with all the crap going on around this place, maybe the crazyness never really ended.

Anyways, our family trip was awesome. It was much cooler this year. I’m talking 80s as opposed to the 100s we faced last year. We had a nice chill week. It rained twice, but it turned out not to be a bad thing because I still got a tan and didn’t burn as I have often in the past. We spent all but those two days on the beach and then spent the evenings shopping and/or relaxing. Here are some photos I took with my phone. I have more, but I don’t have my camera with me so you’ll just have to wait!

The Blue Anchor in North Litchfield.

We have stayed in the Blue Anchor for several years now. It’s one of the oldest homes in North Litchfield, but has been remodeled/updated inside and out. This is one of the most common architectural styles in the area. It has four bedrooms and two baths, and most importantly is pet friendly for our little Abby. The house is considered “Off Ocean” as it’s down the street as opposed to beach front or second row. It’s about a 2 minute walk though and it backs up to Huntington Beach State Park so we see lots of wildlife, including deer and owls in our back yard. It has a great screened in porch on the front, a sun room in the back and a large deck, as well.

Our bit of paradise for the week!

Another thing I absolutely love about Litchfield is how quiet it is. The area has building codes so there are no high-rise condominiums, adventure parks, boardwalks or any other craziness (although those things are only 45 min north in Myrtle Beach if you’d need to get your fill). The tallest building in the area is a three-building, second row condominium set that maybe has six stories and a small pool for guests. We have stayed there too and also enjoyed ourselves. However, our house is several blocks down and with it being so close to the state park there are fewer people. It’s very family-oriented and you can spread out on the beach and not hear everyone else’s conversations. Plus there are no rules against playing football, bocce ball or any other games. As you can see the beach gets very wide when the tide goes out. This is the view looking towards Huntington. Huntington has camping and cabins and lifeguards so they do get a nice crowd down in that area. It’s a nice walk down and back. As I mentioned before, there is a ton of wildlife in the area from pelicans, huge groups of dolphins, fish, ghost crabs and even sharks. I saw my first shark in the wild this year and he was about six feet from me in very shallow water. He only stayed briefly, but he did manage to scare a number of people out of the water for a little. It was one of the only days we didn’t see dolphins close to shore. Apparently dolphins hinder the presence of sharks. Not a bad thing!

Mom and I taking Abby for a walk one evening, except she wasn’t interested in the “walk” part.

View looking south from the Sky Wheel in downtown Myrtle Beach.

So towards the end of our vacation, my mom, dad and I drove up to Myrtle Beach after dinner. It’s gotten quite large and bustling. My dad and I decided to ride the new Sky Wheel, an enclosed ferris wheel. Imagine a mini version of the London Eye. Clearly you can tell we were a a few short hours from having a storm. The gondola-like cars were really nice. They probably hold 4-6 people total and they’re air conditioned.

View looking north from the Sky Wheel.

Looking down at the beach.

Apparently someone’s idea of a fun ride.

Across the street was part of one of the couple mini amusement parks in the area. So this ride straps two people in a small roller-coaster ride seat. It’s basically a slingshot except you don’t get hurled out of it. Meanwhile while you’re going up and down, you’re also spinning, and the best part is the camera catching your facial expressions the entire time. This was the view of it from the Sky Wheel and you can see the seat. It’s pretty fun to watch.

Anyway I thought I’d share some links to some of my favorite places down near Litchfield and Pawley’s Island in case you ever find yourself passing through or taking a trip. Plus there are also some awesome restaurants too! I love hitting places local to the area. I don’t understand why people go to restaurants they can eat at when they’re home. Explore! Try something new!

* Pawley’s Island

The Hammock Shops

* Huntington Beach State Park

* Coastal Grand

The Market Common

* Brookgreen Gardens

Food!

* Bovines

* Lee’s Inlet Kitchen

* Pastaria 811

On another note, I’ve made a major decision and will be starting a grad program through Johns Hopkins this fall. I’ll be starting with one class and hopefully increasing to two come spring semester. I’ll be working towards a master’s in communications. I feel good about this and think it’s a step in the right direction toward reaching some professional goals of mine. Obviously starting school means getting a new computer 🙂 While in South Carolina I purchased a new laptop, as mine was definitely in need of retiring. South Carolina, like Maryland and other states, has a tax free weekend every year to benefit back to school shopping. However, unlike in Maryland where it just applies to clothes and shoes, in South Carolina it applies to all that and computer sales. That saved me a bit of money for sure. I ended up going with an HP as I’ve enjoyed using their products in the past. It has a 17 in. screen and an I7 processor…aka it’s really fast. So far so good with it!

Vacation was definitely much needed, but it’s nice to be back and get back into the swing of things. I hit the gym last night and plan to go again today and add on a short run. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve run, so it will be interesting. I also suddenly have the itch to do another Tough Mudder. I loved it when I did it in 2011 and was pleasantly surprised to see they moved the Pocono-area one to June for 2013. Anyone want to join me?

 

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