We arrived back in Seattle last night from our extended weekend in Myrtle Beach/Pawley’s Island, but not without a dose of drama. Sorry for the posting hiatus during the trip. I had the time, of course, and even a broadband connection in our unit, but I just didn’t have the requisite focus. Perhaps it was the sun. Perhaps it was the salt air. Perhaps it was the redeye flight on Tuesday night. Or perhaps it was the batch of beer brewed by my youngest brother and his wife under their Cryin’ Onion Brewery label. I had to increase my shutter speed to the maximum in order to capture these before they disappeared as quickly as the ghost crabs below.
(Click any photo to enlarge)
The cast of characters for this family saga was comprised of my two brothers (one 4 years younger, one 10) and their wives, my mom and her sister. Over the last 15 years or so, we’ve evolved this habit of gathering several times a year. It’s kind of remarkable, really, since we weren’t that close growing up, due to our age differences. I suppose it’s happening now because that age difference is less significant now that we’re middle-aged. We also now have the means to travel more than we did in early adulthood. Most importantly, in spite of the fact that they are frickin’ idiots, I love ‘em.
The weather was often coolish, even Seattle-like, but when the sun broke out, which it often did, it was very pleasant. An added bonus - the moon was full on the first or second night there. We love our Pacific sunsets, but an Atlantic moonrise is a lovely thing as well.
Several times as we strolled on the beach, we’d catch suspicious movements out of the corners of our eyes, but nothing would be there when we looked full-on. The culprits weren’t mini-strokes from sun and hops, they were ghost crabs:
We had several delicious meals, mostly centered around seafood (for those of us of that persuasion) both in restaurants and self-prepared. In the Myrtle Beach area, there seems to be an unusual level of creative kitsch, as I’ve photographed on previous trips. One has to suspend a healthy amount of disbelief in order to accept that a restaurant that has this:
erupting from its roof, and this:
parked in front of it can actually lay a nice meal in front of him.
Our trip home was an ungainly 3-legged itinerary from Myrtle Beach to Detroit to Minneapolis to Seattle. I noted the 3+-hour layover in Minneapolis, but cheap fares/mileage-award tickets put you through some strange calisthenics. When we got to Minneapolis, I noticed an earlier Seattle flight was available on the departure board, and briefly considered heading to that gate to see if we could stand-by for it, but decided not to, since we already had pretty good seats on our later flight, and standby almost always lands you in a middle seat in the last row, to be regaled by rhythmic toilet-flushing.
We had a nice bite of dinner, spent a little time in the Worldclub and headed to our gate to see if we could scam a first-class seat for Mrs. Perils, as we did last Tuesday. That was definitely not in the cards, and we were presented with some worse news: I either knew at one time and forgot, or more likely never noticed, that Mrs. Perils’ boarding pass was for the earlier Minneapolis-Seattle flight, while mine was for the later.
We had to put her on a standby list and sweat out the countdown to the door closing on the flight. There was one later Seattle flight if she didn’t make that one, but it was already oversold, and we (she) faced the likely prospect of spending the night in Minneapolis. She was quite beside herself, so much so that I was leaning towards staying on with her, even though it would have cost me a healthy fee to re-ticket.
Luckily, her name was called and we were just about the last people to board. I pressed my first-class seat on her and trudged to her middle seat in the back as penance for the blown arrangements. It turned out, however, to be an exit-row with a bulkhead and pretty good legroom, and some interesting companions, including a veteran flight attendant who sat facing us for take-off and landing.
So, we’re home and in good shape, except for a little bit of Atlantic Ocean still swishing around in my right ear, from an afternoon of boogie-boarding and body-surfing. If you’re volunteering for a marine-mammal rescue organization (I know a couple of you are), and you encounter this:
dragging itself onto the strand, guard it until its mother returns from the Davey Jones BaitMart with a six-pack. And watch out for those teeth.