While we await Hurricane Florence’s arrival on the Carolina coast we thought we would get the blog up-to-date. We are safely out of the hurricane’s path in southern Georgia and will be watching it closely as the days progress. The unpredictability of this storm has made it hard to determine how far inland we should go so we are ready to move again should Florence decide to head our way. We have just spent the last 2 weeks along the beautiful Carolina coast which is in the direct path of this massive storm and we are praying for all of those who will be affected.
Our first stop in South Carolina was Myrtle Beach. Though the weather was brutally hot we still managed to get out and see a bit of the area. We stayed at the Cypress Camping Resort which is about 5 miles off the beach on the Intracoastal Waterway. This is a really nice, small campground with nice sized sites, water access, and at a lower cost than staying in one of the large resorts right on the beach. We were a short drive to the coast and we visited several areas along the Atlantic including an enjoyble morning on part of The Grand Strand and the Myrtle Beach’s Boardwalk with lunch and a ride on their SkyWheel.
We are always looking for unique places to take our daily walks, to get our exercise, and to enjoy the areas we are exploring. Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet turned out to be a wonderful botanical garden, an amazing outdoor sculpture gallery, filled with Low Country history, and to top it off an awesome zoo. And to make it even better our ticket was good for a week so we were able to go back for a second visit for free.
We took a guided walking tour to learn all about how Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington purchased 3 defunct rice plantations in 1931 to build a winter home and studio. Anna was a sculptress and worked in bronze making huge art pieces. Besides Anna’s work they also collected sculptures from American artists to fill the hundreds of acres of gardens. We also took a guided boat tour through the rice canals and Waccamaw River learning about the rice plantations and local wildlife.
While we were on the tour Joanna got a surprise invitation on Facebook to go out to dinner. The day before she had posted a picture of the Boardwalk and her dear friend, Carol Siefken, saw the picture and realized we were both in Myrtle Beach! It was wonderful to meet a friend on the road and we had a fantastic dinner at the Collector’s Cafe.
On our second trip to Brookgreen we strolled the nature trail, admired many more sculptures, and went to the zoo. They have only native Low Country animals, the majority of which have been rescued or where injured, living in their natural habitat, and most in wide open spaces. We also went over to Huntington Beach State Park which is on the land leased to the state from the Brookgreen Foundation. This is where Anna & Arthur built their picturesque Moorish-style home, called Atalaya.
As it was Labor Day weekend the beaches were quite crowded so we decided to hang out in our campground and enjoy watching all of the families celebrating the holiday. After a week in Myrtle Beach it was on to Charleston for a short stay before we were evacuated. More on that next.