Jul 3, 2011

The beach: getting here

WOW. I forgot how hard it is to blog from the beach until I got here again. It's compounded by the fact that tonight was my night to cook supper, which meant that I was in the kitchen most of the day. I'm going to try to catch up on yesterday's trip here, and then hopefully tomorrow will be able to cover what happened today. Clear as mud? Great.

We actually left Birmingham on Thursday night after work and had a near-death experience (that's not my typical hyperbole) between Birmingham and Atlanta.

We were traveling in the left lane when the SUV in front of us hit a huge (about 8 feet long) 18-wheeler's retread tire. It flew up and luckily hit the pavement before hitting our windshield, but I had to swerve over into the emergency lane to avoid it. The van was very weighed down with luggage, and the rooftop carrier on top made us a little unstable, so I was scared to turn the wheel any tighter without risking flipping it.

Instead, my front right tire caught the edge of the retread, which caused it to flop up and hit the body of the van and also ripped the steering wheel almost out of my hands. We were able to get back on the road safely, but the tow truck that was behind me -- and was towing a car at the time -- had to swerve all the way into the grass median to avoid it. I was literally shaking after that experience, and four fingers on my right hand were numb from the fight with the steering wheel. The boys were completely freaked out, needless to say, and we discovered in the daylight the following day that it actually cracked my bumper.

I'm just thankful to be alive! I'm so relieved that we were protected during what could have been a catastrophic event.

Luckily, we made it halfway across Georgia before stopping for the night, then got back on the road Friday morning. We drove the rest of the way to South Carolina and reached my grandmother's house around 4:30 Friday afternoon. She was so happy to see the boys!

She wanted to have a special treat for them, so she asked my dad (who was there for a visit) to pick up some Tootsie Pops for them. And she tried one, too.

They were BIG hits with everyone.

This, by the by, is what I get when I ask Jake to say "Cheese."

The boys enjoyed their unexpected visit with "Pop," too.

Pop is very popular because he will let the boys tear his knees to shreds playing "horsie."

Dad lasts a lot longer than I do for this particular activity.

We left Grandmother's house and drove on to Myrtle Beach later that evening, spending the night at a hotel there. The next morning, we got up, took a quick swim and departed for lunch at Planet Hollywood.

There was a huge mural in the main dining room. You can see how big it is by comparing it to the waiter in the lower-right corner.

It featured a lot of neat movie memorabilia, including this car suspended from the ceiling.

Nicholas was pretty excited to see Power Rangers there.

This one's for Matt and his dad, my brother-in-law Gerry. It's a coat Bruce Willis wore in Die Harder.

If you don't know Matt and Gerry, it's possible you won't recognize the significance of any piece of apparel worn by Bruce, particularly in any film in which he uttered the words, "Yippy-ky-yay-mother-dot-dot-dot."

Please believe me when I tell you, IT IS OF TREMENDOUS EMOTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE. To them. Boys, it was my distinct pleasure to bring you these photos today.

Anyway, the meal was mediocre but the company was grand.

After Planet Hollywood, we went across the street to Broadway on the Beach. We had a couple of hours to kill before the house was ready for check-in, and we wanted to do something IN AIR-CONDITIONING.

We knew the kids would enjoy a stop at the game arcade.

These places bring back a lot of memories from when I was their age, playing Pac-Man and Galaga and Q-bert at the skating rink.

Jake loved the motorcycle game and threw his hand up in victory as he crossed the finish line.

Like father ...

Like son.

I'll never understand the genetic magnetic pull to guns. But it's real.

Jake wanted to play the Batman bash 'em game, but he wouldn't actually get any closer to the machine than this once I put the tokens in. "Scare-wee, Mommy."

And of course we HAD to play Skee-ball, which is the number-one draw most of the time.

Jake accepted a few pointers from Nicholas.

We made one final stop after the arcade, and it was a delicious diversion.

Cold Stone Creamery.

God's ice cream.

So fabulous. Great way to kick off Beach Week 2011.


HandyFamily said...

So glad your trip ended safely! Have a great vacation!

Sewconsult said...

You were quite well protected & just plain fortunate! Some of the ice cream appears closer to Playdough colors.
Have fun with the "dimple dumpling gang"!

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