Myrtle Beach

On November 18th we went down to Myrtle Beach for the annual SEDUG conference. The weather was nicer this year and we were able to enjoy the beach more.

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Myrtle Beach Hotel

The girls spent one morning on the beach and later on in the day, when it got warmer, they got in the water. It was quite cold, but enjoyed it anyway.

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Walking on the Beach

Friday afternoon, once the the conference was over, we went over to another hotel, the Dunes, where we had a reservation for the night. This hotel has an indoor water park, and when we found out they were running winter specials we decided to jump on the chance. Everyone had a lot of fun going down water slides or just floating along in the lazy river.

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Water Slide

MD and her cousin spent the most time on the slides. CDF went down one with CE, but they both got soaked at the bottom, so CE decided she would stay in the lazy river. I went down the big twisty slide.

Swimming at the Lake

This past week I was on vacation. Our plan was to stay home, and every day I would take Mo to a nearby lake for swim lessons. The weather didn’t want to cooperate and it was colder than I liked, but we persisted and made it every day.

Mo Swimming

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday Clo came with us. On Tuesday CDF was supposed to go to the beach with Clo, but plans fell through and we all went to the lake and made it family outing. Wednesday Clo was just looking so disappointed about not going that I decided to take her. We didn’t get as much swimming practice in that day, but they had fun playing.

Swimming in the lake

Friday was supposed to be the day Mo showed how much she had learned, but we didn’t quite make it to where she is able to swim, but she is much more comfortable in the water and can hold her breath under water for two or three seconds now. So Friday we spent more time playing around. CDF and I swam out to the raft in the middle of the lake and dove back off into the water. Then I went and tried to dive from the diving board (and failed) at the tower. I finally made somewhat of a dive off the side, but I’m better when I’m close to the water. CDF showed me how it should be done from the diving board!

At the lake

Surprise Vacation

Sunday CDF surprised me with plans to go on a mini-vacation to Southern Pines. I think what surprised me the most was that she had arranged for me to have two days off work without me knowing anything about it.

We had a wonderful time. It was too cold to go hiking like she had planned — the weather forecast was revised from low 70’s to freezing temperatures, maybe snow! But we were able to go around the historic sections and visit little shops. We had lunch Monday at a deli that served a lot of German and Irish influenced sandwiches. I got a “Best Wurst” sandwich that was delicious… or would have been except for too much mustard. CDF had a ham and cheese sandwich that was reminiscent of a roast beef sandwich. All that to say we had a good lunch.

A railroad goes through the area, but none of the museum sites were open and since it was too cold to get out and walk around, we only got to see it driving by. It looks like it would be a nice place to come back in the spring or summer and poke around more.

Not so Tweetsie

Wednesday we had plans to go to Twitsie Railroad in Blowing Rock. It was a two hour drive north of us. Unfortunately when we finally got there we found out that after October 3rd, they are only open Friday through Sunday. Everyone was quite disappointed. We headed back into the town of Blowing Rock and stopped at a restaurant called Ichabods. We were seated beside a quartet of ladies playing Bridge and ordered burgers and sandwiches.

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Visiting Rutherfordton

Tuesday we left the resort to drive around. We tried to find something to do on the south side of Lake Lure, but after following Highway 9 for a while with no success, we turned north and followed Highway 108 back to Rutherfordton. The main street had a number of antique shops we visited. Finally we ended up at the children’s museum, which the girls really enjoyed. Their favorite part was the room set up as a grocery store. The spent a long time “buying” food and checking out at the cash register. When it was time for lunch we went to the Pizza Hut in Forest City — about a 10-minute drive.

When we got back to the Condo, I took the girls outside for a short walk, and we found the deer again at the end of our parking lot. We followed them to the edge of the hill where they stopped and looked at us for a few minutes before bounding off.

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Ink Berries

Monday the weather started getting colder again. We went for a walk in the morning, staying close by the condo. The wind made it even colder. That afternoon we drove the Escape back to the lake to walk around, this time it was too cold to get in the water. On the way back, I decided to walk with the girls. Not the best idea, since the wind chill made it really cold and the sun was going down, leaving a lot of the walk in the shadows. But we did stop to pick some ink berries. When we got back, I showed the girls how the berries have purple ink, and they painted their fingers and used leaves to draw on paper with the ink.

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Wildlife in Lake Lure

Sunday we slept late again. We got suckered into listening to a sales pitch from the condo management under the pretense of getting some information on the area. After the girls had lunch and a nap I took the girls to the indoor pool to swim. The water was nice and warm, but we all got cold getting out. That made CE grumpy.

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Later that afternoon we all went for a walk down to the golf course and saw a small herd of deer on the green. When we got back, and while CDF was cooking dinner, I was looking out the front window with the girls — we were looking for another feral dog that had been sleeping in the picnic shelter outside our building — and MD said, “What’s that?” I looked at the small animal running across the parking lot toward our car: a skunk! It ran under the Escape and down the hill.

Late Night

On her way back from the first night at the retreat, CDF got sick. My guess is that her inner ear was thrown out of whack by going up and down in the mountains, but we don’t know for sure. Regardless of the cause, I ended up picking her up from the hospital at 2:00 AM. We finally made it back to the condo and got to sleep at 3:30 AM.

I’m not sure what time we got up Saturday morning, but after breakfast we looked out side and found the rain had stopped and the temperature was nice enough for a walk. So I got the girls dressed and we headed toward the lake. We walked through the golf course along a path that crossed three bridges. At the first bridge we saw some purple berries, “india squirt berries” as they came to be called, and made plans to pick some later. Finally we got to the lake and the girls took off their shoes to wade in the water. On the way back we saw a couple of feral dogs laying in the sun along the path. Fortunately they didn’t bother us. Later that afternoon we drove to the south side of Lake Lure to shop at Ingles and get the groceries we needed.

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Lake Lure

Friday was our first day. We got to the resort around three in the afternoon. We took highway 64 from I-40 through Ruth and past Rutherfordton to get to the resort. There are a lot of hills as you go south of I-40, but it didn’t get really curvy until we got off Hwy 64 and went up the mountain on Bills Creek Road. About halfway down 64 we stopped at a gas station to switch so CDF could drive so she wouldn’t get sick on the dips and turns.

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It had started raining after Greensboro and rained all night until sometime early the next morning. We got to our condo — after taking a wrong turn and going up a very windey road the wrong way — and got everything unpacked. The rain and cold made it too unpleasant to go out for a walk, so we were stuck inside. The condo is split into three levels, dining room, kitchen and living room at the top. Foyer and bedroom in the middle, and the master bedroom at the bottom. The girls were excited about the stairs and both wanted to explore. But after CE fell down the stairs twice, I told them that she would have to stay in the living room with me. That disappointed MD, since she wanted to play chase or hide-and-seek, but that wasn’t going to work with the stairs. But we made it through the evening and I finally gave them a bath and put them to bed.