TRAVEL BUG TALES: A GROOVY TIME AT THE BEACH
Sorry to leave you hanging. It was almost two months ago that I shared my sad tale of woe about my embarrassing day in Williamsburg, VA. The worst thing about it was the knowledge that my busted lip and scabbed-up arm and leg were going to really sting when I got into the Atlantic Ocean.
Back to the Beach
After Williamsburg, we were headed to Myrtle Beach. I’ve already talked about how much my family loved visiting the Lide’s beach house. This trip was much the same, but this time Ann didn’t come. Her brother Bobby was there and I admit I crushed on him in an embarrassing way, but hey, I was 14.
The highlights of Myrtle Beach include:
- the carnival with a ride called The Scrambler
- seining the ocean
- dinner at The Captain’s Table
- putt putt
- driving to Calabash NC for flounder
Nothing Stays the Same
Myrtle Beach was the icing on the cake of a great vacation. It was the last time we stayed in the beach house. The Lide family sold it and bought a condo. I never stayed in the condo, but my mom and dad returned year after year to play in the sand with their good friends.
These visits back to Myrtle Beach were something my parents cherished. The guys would play golf and the ladies would shop. Then they’d make the required visits to Calabash and The Captain’s Table, but they’d also try out everything else on the strip. I was a little jealous that my younger sister got to go along on many of these return visits. I was away at school or out being a career girl, so I was not supposed to mind – but I did.
In later years I would take mom back to Myrtle Beach for one more visit. We rented a condo in a high-rise building and it was very nice, but it wasn’t the old beach house. The carnival with The Scrambler was gone, but the main drag had become one long garish carnival with three million putt-putt courses. The Captain’s Table was still there and the line was still long, but either the food wasn’t quite what it should have been or my tastes had changed.
The most disappointing thing about that final return to Myrtle Beach was Calabash. In my memory, Calabash was a tiny town with a main drag peppered with the best seafood restaurants in the world. I can still taste the fried flounder, hush-puppies and cole slaw. We, of course, had our favorites, but you would have been hard-pressed to get a bad meal anywhere along the street.
On our final return, there was only one seafood restaurant. Every other restaurant was a member of the usual chains you see everywhere. The one seafood restaurant that remained was devoid of ambiance. It was a huge barn of a place with formica-topped tables, while my memory clung to white tablecloths, impeccable service and flickering candles.
But that trip was long after my return in 1969. I’ll tell you about it someday. In 1970 we went to Corpus Christi for our family vacation, but I have only fleeting memories of it that wouldn’t make for much of a blog post. We also visited cousins in Oklahoma City. I remember a remarkable roadside tribute to Native Americans on that trek, but we didn’t have any pictures. Though I’ve researched it in hopes of making a return, it has apparently disappeared, which is really sad.
In 1971, we moved into a new house – the one I always think of as home, so vacations took a back seat. In 1972, we took a trip to South Texas with some friends from church. Come back next week and I’ll show you around.
2 thoughts on “Myrtle Beach SC in the Good Old Days”
There’s nothing like the taste of a home town restaurant to make a vacation special. The now popular chains don’t hold the same charm.
And in most cases, they don’t have the delicious food with the local flavor.