Our Five Ring Circus: Myrtle Beach Pandemic Vacation - Day 2

Monday, August 9, 2021

Myrtle Beach Pandemic Vacation - Day 2

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Our first full day at the Myrtle Beach was perfectly relaxing! We were just so thrilled to be back at our happy place, despite all the restrictions due to the pandemic. We weren't quite sure this trip was going to happen, and we were so grateful we were able to pull it together with just one month of planning!

Life is so busy with 5 kids, so when we go to the beach, we keep things low-key. We focus on simply relaxing, and spending uninterrupted time together as a family. We all love the beach, so just being there is enough for us!

Our trip involves slow mornings, hours spent at the beach and the pool, family dinners with the balcony doors open, evening strolls on the boardwalk, night walks on the beach, shell collecting, late night swims, sunrises, and relaxing on the balcony overlooking the beach. We try to plan one or two small outings or dinners, but we mostly love our beach days. Someday - someday - we will move there, or at least get a timeshare!

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We slowly eased into day 2. We were exhausted from staying up all night packing, then the long road trip the day before, so we all slept deeply. It was so nice to wake up naturally, and roll over to see the ocean!

This was our first trip where we didn't take advantage of a free breakfast. We stocked the fridge and pantry with a bunch of easy breakfasts, and let everyone choose what - and when - they wanted to eat. We immediately agreed that we preferred this option over rushing out of bed to make it down to the resort restaurant in time!

We took our time eating breakfast, and sipping our coffee and tea on the balcony. My dad brought his binoculars, and was looking for boats and sea life, and the kids enjoyed people watching. We were able to have a very relaxing morning before getting ready to go down to the beach. It was perfect!

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Getting 8 people ready for the beach is an undertaking! 3 of our kids are old enough to get themselves ready, and apply sunscreen, but we do have to get ourselves and 2 littles ready to go. There is lots of chasing, and lots of waiting. Once we're done with that, we have to gather up all of our snacks, drinks, and gear, which is also time-consuming!

We did invest in a beach cart a few years ago, and it has been one of our BEST travel purchases. We use it to bring in our luggage after we arrive, and then we load it with all of our beach gear, and park it by the door. We still have to make sure we grab food and drinks, along with extras, like sunglasses, key cards, and books. And this time, we had to remember masks, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes!

We eventually made it down to the beach, and set up our spot for the day. My dad immediately made his way to the edge of the water, and sat down with Coen. He was in the Navy, and this was his first time touching the ocean in over 50 years. We all teared up watching him take it all in with his youngest grandchild, who was experiencing the beach for the first time, on his lap. Truly one of the most memorable moments of our trip.

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We had an afternoon full of fun! The big kids went swimming in the ocean with Grant, and the little kids played on the beach near me and my dad. Hours went by, but eventually, Grant and my dad took the two little boys back to the condo to shower and take a nap. 

We started that routine a few beach vacations ago, and it works well for our family. I can easily stay on the beach ALL day, but Grant and Dylan get their fill after a few hours. Our compromise is that Grant takes over nap time with the youngest kids, while I get to relax on the beach with the older kids who want to stay.

This time, the girls stayed with me. They played in the sand, and I got to relax and read a few chapters of a book. I rarely relax or sit still for more than 20 minutes, so it was a MUCH needed break for me!

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Late afternoon arrived, and it was time to pack up for the day. My family was getting hungry, so we had to return to the condo, shower, and work together to make our first family dinner at the beach. With the balcony doors open, and the sounds and smells of the ocean drifting in, it managed to feel magical while we cooked. Plus, the view while we ate did NOT disappoint!

We started cooking dinner in our condo a few years ago, because we were tired of the wait at restaurants. It saves us time (and money), so we are able to have more time for the things we really want to do. After trying it one year, we decided it was a game changer for us!

We do keep our dinners fairly simple - Pasta dishes, Burritos, Meat & Potatoes, Rotisserie Chicken. We also go out to eat one night, and order take out the night before we leave. We work together to make the meal, then quickly work to clean it up, so we can spend our evening having fun!

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After dinner, we decided to go for a walk to explore where we were staying. We opted for a quieter part of Myrtle Beach for this vacation, which is much different than staying on the boardwalk. Instead of dozens of shops and restaurants, there were just a few resorts, and then MASSIVE privately owned beach houses. 

We decided to take a few pictures on the balcony before we left, because we were all clean and dressed, and excited to explore. Dylan and Lexie took a bunch of pictures with their phones while we were walking, so I don't have those pictures on my laptop, but the houses were gorgeous. We just kept walking because each house got bigger and more beautiful as we walked!

We went about 2 miles, then realized we should probably turn around and head back, so we had time to swim before bed! We strolled back to our condo, and then changed again so we could hit the pool until it closed. We rotate between taking a long walk at night to walking on the beach at night, but we always like to fit in a few hours of swimming, too!

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We spent a few hours swimming in the pool, hot tub, and lazy river, Yet again, I forgot my phone in our condo, so I didn't take any pictures. We stayed until the pool closed, then headed back to our condo to change into pajamas. 

The kids were so tired from a day full of sun, sand, swimming, and fun, that they fell asleep quickly! My dad headed to bed soon after. Grant and I were exhausted, but we really wanted to sit on the balcony for a bit before we headed to bed. With the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer running, the chores were done for the night, so we could relax.
Hanging out on the balcony is our way to decompress every night at the beach. We make sure the littles are asleep, and everything is locked up, then we grab drinks and snacks, and head out onto the balcony, shutting the doors behind us. We just listen to the waves, breathe in the ocean air, and chat. 2 years prior, at our last Myrtle Beach vacation, we realized baby #5 was on the way, so those nighttime balcony beach chats can be very memorable for us! After a bit of relaxing outside, we eventually headed in to bed, and fell into a deep sleep yet again. Beach life suits us!

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Day 2 at Myrtle Beach was a success. Traveling at the end of September means there are less crowds, but we also went during a pandemic, during the school year, and we stayed in a quieter area. It was easy to avoid any crowds, so we were safe and we had so much fun! Stay tuned for day 3...

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Myrtle Beach Pandemic Vacation

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