Thursday, August 23, 2007

AT the Beach, Not ON the Beach

Apparently the major attraction area at Myrtle Beach is Broadway at the Beach. My husband noted that it isn't anywhere near the beach. I pointed out they don't say Broadway ON the Beach. In fact, in a commercial town like that, if you're not standing on the sand a few feet from the waves, you can hardly tell you're anywhere near the ocean.


BATB is pretty much a big black hole that you just toss money into. Hundred-dollar bills, if you please. But they do manage to give you a little bit of fun while you're doing it.

Within BATB we went to the movies, spent a day in the water park, did MagiQuest, and explored Ripley's Aquarium.

The cinema was the nicest one I've been to since Showcase in West Springfield, MA (that one had a full dinner menu in the food court!). The Carmike has really soft velour seats and uses Christie projectors, which are amazingly clear. We don't have those here in Where The Hell Is That, Pennsylvania.

The water park was okay. The few cool rides were overwhelmed by the hour-long lines. The wave pool is always good, but the lazy river was booorrrring and the whole place needed updating. There's another, better-sounding water park in MB, but we got free tickets to this one for listening to a pitch from the South Beach Resort. And since we bought a unit there, we get free tickets every year.

Ripley's Aquarium was cool, your typical aquarium. I liked the dangerous reef, which we toured on a moving walkway that wound around through tunnels in the tank. The sharks and rays swam over us, which was cool. But my favorite thing was this:

There was only one in the tank, with a bunch of weedy seadragons (not as leafy), but I could have watched it all day.

Probably the most fun thing we did at BATB was MagiQuest. Our ownership got us a 40% discount there (it pays to buy time share from the company that owns 71% of the town!). You buy a wand that is computerized. When you point it at stuff, it communicates with it. Opens chests and gives you gold. Collects items virtually. You go on quests to collect certain runes that enable you to have adventures (which are like expanded quests). There's a castle with a dungeon and a crypt, a treehouse, and various magical beings to visit (on screens). We ended up going twice, and I think if it didn't make our feet so tired, the kids and I could have gone again. The wants will retain their info for the next time, so we can finish the last quest we didn't quite make in time.

Outside BATB, we did mini golf twice. MB is considered the (or at least A) mini-golf capital of the world. These places are elaborate! We did one that had two courses, one around a lake, one in caves (we chose the caves on that 95+-degree day!) and one that was a pirate theme, with special effects making it seem like pirates were firing on us, cannon fire hitting the water near us.

The best thing we did on the whole trip though was a boat trip with Hurricane Fleet. It starts and ends with a leisurely cruise through part of the intracoastal waterway. When we got out to open ocean, it was very windy and the swells were five to six feet, which meant lots of up and down as we went out. We loved it! Usually the boat follows a working shrimp boat and explains what they are doing, but the only one nearby had its nets raised. We spent our ocean time chasing a pod of seven dolphins, which were moving around quite a big in the choppy surf. That was very cool. Then the guide dumped a pail of stuff that gets caught in the shrimp nets out to show the kids. We saw sand dollars, squid, jellyfish, and more (I started to feel sick from the exhaust since we were facing leeward at that point so I didn't see everything he had).

We spent twice as much on dining as we did on attractions. I'll talk about how much was worth it next time. :)

1 comment:

Victoria said...

Sounds like vacation was a blast!