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Summer Vacation Recap

Yay!  No bed bugs this time.  That already made the trip 1000 times better.  We had a great time in Raleigh, Myrtle Beach, and Gatlinburg.  Bonus -- we missed all of the crappy weather whether it was monsoons or heat waves.

We started off at my brother in law's in Raleigh and even though his AC was broke, his house was quiet cool and the pool in the backyard made us forget about it.

A couple days later we made our way to Myrtle Beach, SC and plopped ourselves on the beach for the week.  I highly recommend shelling out the money for renting the beach umbrellas and chairs.  Economics 101 is Opportunity Cost my packing or buying up the gear yourself which you'd use once a year anyways and no lugging it down to the beach every morning and back every afternoon along with the little ones.  Money well spent in our book.  We did ate breakfast and lunch in our efficiency room and had dinner out.  It was a great beach bum vacation full of R&R.  Nothing is better than seeing your little ones on the beach at this age in my opinion.

We circled back through Columbia (lunch @ Groucho's, yum) took in the sights like my old sorority tower (too cool to have houses then) as well as the stadium where my beloved Gamecocks will play in less than a month.

Off to Gatlingburg for 2 nights.  We like the hotel we stayed at and stayed their last year.  They have an awesome indoor pool perfect for kids. We ate dinner on our way in and did the pool that evening.  The next day we did the Ober tram up the mountain and did all the activities up there for the rides.  I found that the ride tickets were pricey, but good news most of the workers didn't care if we had 1 or 2 tickets as long as we had 1.  Can't wait until Pickles is older for the Alpine Slide!  We were super lucky here with wait times for food.  We literally never had to wait, but by the time we left our meals the lines were out the door and we weren't even eating at weird times.

I had earlier scheduled a hike for the 4 of us with A Walk In the Woods.  This was pricey @ $100, but we felt it was money better well spent than on crap on the strip.  Plus it was just us and the guide was great.  I'd definitely do it again.  We did a 2 hour hike complete with Hemlock Tea (did you know it isn't dangerous?  Poor Romeo & Juliet), steered clear of poison ivy, played sensory games, ate trail mix, brushed our teeth with birch twigs, and caught salamanders.  Pickles loved it but Pork Chop was a little cranky until the salamanders. The following day we hiked up to Clingman's Dome which is a crazy workout with a stroller.  Talk about steep!  Unfortunately there was too many clouds/rain/fog/pollution to get a proper view, but I stepped officially on THE Appalachian Trail.  It's on my bucket list to hike a major portion of this trail someday.

We crammed in a lot but had a great time!  Now we wait patiently until the Big D in November!

On top of Ober Gatlinburg
 Double Tree Lobby

Lodging: Double Tree (A+ for the warm cookies upon checkin)
Activities: A Walk In The Woods, Ober Tram, Shoot 'Em Up Cinema, Old Time Photos, Clingman's Dome
Food: Alamo, Blane's, Old Pancake Cabin

Myrtle Beach:
Lodging: Captain's Quarters (eh, wasn't bad but won't return most likely)
Activities: Broadway @ Beach, Putt-Putt
Food: Yamato, Rossi's, Damon's, and yummy burgers @ River City Cafe


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