Vacation tips · Winter

A January Beach Vacation

Vacations have been at a premium for the last couple of years, haven’t they? I’m sure very few people have not had their leisure time changed in some way.

That is certainly true for us! Our December beach vacation and time in Pigeon Forge were all cancelled because my husband was sick. We changed our reservations for our Myrtle Beach trip to January. What? The beach in January? Yes, we figured even if it is cold, it would be warmer than Tennessee! We certainly got that one right!

Snow was forecasted for our area for Sunday – the day we were to leave, so we packed up one day early and left town before the flurries and ice began! Whew!

We traveled on Saturday and woke up Sunday morning in SC where it was cold and rainy, but NOT snowing! We stayed in a hotel one night until our week’s reservations began elsewhere Sunday evening. We enjoyed a nice breakfast in the Holiday Inn Express breakfast room that overlooks the inlet before we headed to church.

We love the church we’ve found here at the beach. The young pastor preaches expositionally through a book of the Bible and we were blessed to hear his message from Galatians 1 about staying true to the Doctrines of the Word of God and not falling into a false Gospel. What a powerful word for the day in which we live! The Gospel is Christ alone – no works, not anything or anyone else added. He is the only way to God. So encouraging to hear that message!

We ate Sunday dinner at Flying Fish – a favorite place of ours. The meal was exceptional and a lovely retreat from the pouring rain outside!

Monday we were happy to see some sunshine, though it was still cold.

Nothing beats an ocean view first thing in the morning! We enjoyed walks on the beach each day, the briskness was invigorating and made me feel a little better about the fried fish we would eat!

I have a husband that really enjoys shopping! We walked through the shops at The Common, where we enjoyed the Southern Living Store, Barnes and Nobles and then lunch at California Pizza. Their Golden Hawaiian Pizza was different and delicious!

There are lots of other good shopping places in Myrtle Beach and this is a great time of year to find good bargains. I found a few little treasures, some gifts, and a picture I needed for a bathroom I’m updating. It was at Hobby Lobby and marked from $19.99 to $4.99. It’s in perfect condition and it’s going to be so pretty in my house!

For meals, our practice is that we eat breakfast in our room, then go out for lunch where we eat our “big meal of the day.” Then in the evening I fix lunch in our room. My breakfast of Avocado Toast (above) on the balcony tasted extra good out in the salty air! By mid-week, our days were perfect temps with plenty of sunshine! How thankful we were!

I loved our beach walks. What’s better than strolling hand-in-hand and talking about life with your best friend?

Some of the other restaurants where we enjoyed our mid-day meals were Taco Mundo and The Shack in Cherry Grove. This little place is filled with local people who come regularly. We enjoyed a platter of delicious fish while we watched neighbors interacting with one another with warmth and camaraderie.

In my opinion, a beach vacation is always a good vacation! Who could ever get tired of watching the ocean roll in or the sun rising and setting over the water each day? Even if it’s from inside, it’s a reminder of the Creator of the universe Who holds the boundaries, keeps the tides rolling in and out, and is deeper than the vastness of its waters. The sunrise tells me that God is continuously at work; faithful to keep the sun rising and setting.
What an awesome vacation!
What an awesome God!

If you have missed out on your vacation, as we did in December, remember that when it does get to happen, it will be all the sweeter! Be patient – it will be worth the wait!

What have you been forced to wait for in recent months?

This post, or this one can encourage you in practical ways if you’re struggling to get through January,

Vacation tips

The Top Ten Things I Always Do On My Beach Vacation

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My husband and I returned earlier this week from a two-week vacation! Oh, how blessed we were to spend both of those weeks at the beach.  This time of year is our favorite time to go because

  • It’s not as crowded
  • It’s not as hot

The first part of our vacation was spent at North Myrtle Beach.  We are blessed to be able to enjoy staying at the Wyndham there.  It’s so clean and it’s right on the beach!

I thought I’d share with you today the things I always do when we vacation at the ocean that makes it the best vacation (in my book)!

Continue reading “The Top Ten Things I Always Do On My Beach Vacation”

Frugal living · Traveling · Vacation tips

Seven Ways To Reduce the Cost of Vacation

 

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Like most families, we’ve pretty much always had to be very frugal and wise with our money.  It’s so ingrained in me now to shop the bargains that I just can’t stand to overspend on anything.  I want quality at a bargain price!  (Thanks, Mom!)

Going on vacation is no different – it has to be done wisely, but we can still have the BEST time when we get away, and we also enjoy some splurges,at a fraction of the cost!  Here’s how we do it:

  1. Go to your destination at times when it isn’t peak season.  One place we stayed this month was going through some renovations, so we got a reduced price.  The renovations were on the outside and never even affected where we were.  I can still swim in the pool while they paint the outside walls of the hotel!
  2. When eating out at the restaurants that everyone has raved about,
    • Go at lunch time.  The portions are plenty and the price is greatly reduced.
    • Share a meal.  90% of the time, we share an entree.  Most restaurants serve way more food than one person can eat.  We like the same things, so we generally always share a plate and go away completely full!
    • Avoid the appetizer.  If they bring bread to the table, let that be the starter for your meal.
    • Drink water.  At $2 or more for a beverage, that can add lots to your bill!
  3. Eat the other two meals in your condo.  We usually stay in a place where we can cook.  I’ll fix simple meals, but delicious food for breakfast and supper meals.
    coffee
  4. Buy snacks and water bottles at the grocery store and keep them in the car with you when you’re out. Having an occasional treat can be planned for by taking advantage of the next tip!
  5. Look for specials that are running at your favorite restaurants.  Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, Sonic, and lots of other places have specials from time to time.  Search the Internet and see what deals you can find.  Starbucks had half price Frappes when we were at the beach!  That was a great treat on a hot day!
  6. Avoid the tourist-y shops.  They are way more expensive than most stores.  If I need a hat, sunglasses or sunscreen, I run to TJ Maxx, rather than the Beach Shop!
  7. Do things in the area that are free.
    • Bring your own or rent bikes to enjoy the paths in the area.
    • Museums, parks, libraries, outdoor music, gardens, beaches, pools -the list is long of all the things you can find to do that cost nothing extra!

We felt like we truly splurged, but we spent a fraction of the money we could have had we not used our strategies that have become our favorite way to travel!

Were you surprised that not one of the suggestions was to stay with relatives?!  If you do stay with family, only stay a night or two!  “Fish and company stink after three days!” =)

Happy vacationing!

Denise