Checkout time at the Quality Inn & Suites in Myrtle Beach was 11am, a fairly common time, but Jen and I aren't common sleepers by any measure. We'd stayed up at least to 2 or 3 Sunday night, and getting up at 10 just seemed too early. I was having a terrible dream which I won't describe, but it touched on the past and some deep fears, and unfortunately it was a precursor for things to come. No, Monday wasn't our best day by far.
It started out OK, with a shower and getting ready, but we forgot a pillow I'd brought (it was buried under the others, to be fair). I'll miss that pillow. Then we check out, get in the car and Jen realizes she's not wearing her engagement ring, on the right hand. She remembers putting it in the suitcase, checks that, and hears metal on glass or metal, figuring it fell. So she spent about 15 minutes looking for it. So far we have not found it. She was upset about that, but at least it wasn't the wedding band. The engagement ring didn't cost as much as some people spend on theirs, but it did set me back some. Oddly, I wasn't very concerned about it. We knew it wasn't on the ground, so we decided to look for it later.
We went to breakfast at Plantation Pancake House, which was better than Dino's, but to be fair, we didn't order the biscuits and gravy, just pancakes and sausage for me and an omelette for Jen, and grits for both of us. Almost done, Jen said she felt sick. Shortly after, I found myself nauseous, so I got up. I saw an exit door, and ran for it. I made it there, but it was locked - so I hurled. Nothing much came up, but I made a bit of a scene going for the bathroom. I wanted to make more of a scene for them having the door locked, but didn't. We paid and left, and I felt fine as we were going up the road.
Plantation Pancake House in Myrtle Beach, SC.
I think we planned to do the miniature golf today that we'd planned for yesterday, but I instead suggested this place called Barefoot Landing, a bunch of shops on a lake with a few bridges crossing the lake. Real nice place, and this is where the Myrtle Beach House of Blues is located, but we didn't make it that far. We got there, checked out a few shops - and then we just got hit by some real hard rain. We couldn't just get to the car, we had to navigate a course from cover to cover. On a side note, my mother's been looking for any kind of Jack Russel Terrier knickknacks to display as she owns two. The breed was only recently accepted as a pure breed by the AKC, so places that sell dog stuff rarely if ever cater to JRTs - they're considered a mutt, not so common, but one store there did have JRT stuff of all kinds. Unfortunately every single thing they had was 2-4 times what it was worth, and our money was running out, so Mom isn't getting anything from there. We did find a JRT head magnet at a magnet place, but don't tell her - it'll be a surprise.
Jen at Barefoot Landing in SC; shops along the lake.
View to the right of the previous lake/shop picture, and the huge fish everyone was looking at (3-4' long).
We then stopped at a gift shop I had noticed a couple times, but it was completely unimpressive on the inside. We left, and almost got hit by a drunk or otherwise distracted driver.
Jen wanted a seafood lunch, but I just wasn't feeling like seafood, so I told her we needed to find a surf n' turf place, maybe somewhere that had burgers. She rejected my first few suggestions, and we settled on this place called Ocean Garden, a Chinese/Seafood place. Once we saw their selection, we should have left. Shoulda, coulda, woulda... Didn't. Nothing was real good. Even their chopsticks were splintery. All of the food had probably been sitting there all day. I tried a piece of shrimp - which I had tried before, elsewhere, with no problems - but spat it up because I just wasn't digging the taste, and it was hard to swallow. Next thing I know, my mouth started to tingle, followed by nausea and a sharp pain in my stomach. Allergic reaction or food poisoning. I asked one of the people who worked there if they cooked their stuff in peanut oil - which would be a problem. The man assured me they only use soybean oil. I didn't ask if they cooked with nuts, but I may have gotten some. I was throwing up in their bathroom for what Jen described as 20-30 minutes, although to me it felt like 10 at most. The employees were a little sympathetic, but were very glad to see us go.
I took a Benadryl pill - it does help - and Jen drove. The pain was still there and I couldn't really get much water down, so I sipped a bottle of water. Later, I opened a Sprite (lemon-lime soda is great for upset stomachs - 7-Up is the best but Sprite tastes better) and sipped that, too. Mostly I kept my eyes closed and rested my head on my free hand. I know Jen was worried, and I missed most of South Carolina. By the time we got to Wilmington, NC, I was doing a little better. By Jacksonville, I was fine - for the most part.
The sign says "Barstow, Calif, 2,554". There's a similar one in Barstow, CA that says "Wilmington, NC" and has a number of about the same. I'm proud to have seen them both - both ends of Interstate 40, that is.
Remember when I said Saturday we stopped at this one gas station, which had great coffee outta their machine? I had told Jen that on the way back I wanted to stop there. She pointed it out but didn't slow down. I told her a couple times to stop, but she ignored me, and then for the next half hour or so wouldn't even look at me. She later claimed she didn't hear me and denied ignoring me, so I guess it was just a misunderstanding. But damn, that was some good coffee.
This guy's lost! As you can see in the insert, he's from California, and the tag is current. I blanked out the number to protect our fellow motorist's privacy.
END OF THE LINE
Anyway, we stopped at a rest stop and got some good pictures. Jen's sister called and wanted us to pick up some beer and cigarettes. We got to her place (with the drugs, lol) just in time to watch Monday Night RAW, which was pretty unimpressive. But then, they're still reeling from the Benoit tragedy and can't use their "McMahon Murdered" storyline, so they're scrambling to come up with something.
And, that's the end of our vacation! It was over much sooner than I'd thought, but we both enjoyed it for the good parts.
Although that is the end of the story, I do intend to post more pictures, so stay tuned for that.