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“Welcome to the world of the plastic beach!” June 28, 2010

Posted by osyrn in My life, Vacation.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Ten points if you got the reference from the title of this post.  If you didn’t, no worries, I’ll tell you what it is at the bottom.  Anywho, on to the matter at hand.  I just got back from a wonderful vacation with my family.  Every year I go down to Myrtle Beach for three or four days with my family (Mom, Dad, brothers, and nieces).  For those three/four days I play in a golf tournament with my dad and middle brother (Bobby).  While we’re playing golf, mom and my oldest brother (David) hang out at the condo, swim in the pool and/or ocean, and shop.  Once we’re done playing golf we come back to relieve them of “babysitting” duties with the girls and take our turn at the pool/beach.

This year’s trip was basically no different than the other trips, with one exception (which I’ll detail shortly).  Golf has always been a very solitary sport for me.  It has always been just the ball and me and I typically don’t worry about or compare myself to my playing partners or “winning” the tournament, etc.  I’m on the course to challenge myself, play the best golf I can, and have a good time.  The first round this year (played on Wednesday) was…how shall I say…horrendous, haha.  I played possibly the worst round of golf in my life.  I couldn’t do anything right and my score reflected that.

The second day I played so much better, struck the ball well, recovered well when I got into trouble, and putted much better.  Again, my score reflected my better play.  Imagine my surprise Friday morning when I got to the course and saw I was only one stroke behind the leader of my flight for the final round (they average your first two rounds and flight you based on your score for the final round on Friday).  As is typical for me before the start of the Friday round I told my dad and brother I was “going low” today, hahaha.  This inevitably leads to me shooting around my average and having no chance at winning my flight.  Well, I shot…how shall I say…”lights out” on Friday.  I actually went low and won my flight by two and half strokes.  Of course, this elicited comments of “you sandbagging S.O.B.” from my dad and brother (which is ironic, because my dad is the biggest sandbagger I know, haha, ask him what his handicap is and he’ll reply “what do you want it to be”.  Hey, apple doesn’t fall far from the tree).  Needless to say, I was pretty happy with my play on Friday, and got a nice trophy to boot!

Other than the golf, playing, swimming, and relaxing, we went Thursday night to visit some extended family (my dad’s cousin and her partner, Sandy) who recently moved to Sunset Beach.  This was a real treat, not only because Judy and Sandy are very nice people (they used to live in Seattle so I don’t know them well) and we had a great visit, but also because we were back in Sunset Beach which brought back a flood of old memories.  Growing up, we were the typical middle class family who did not have a lot of extra money.  Mom and Dad always provided well for us and I’m eternally grateful for everything they have done for me.  So our yearly family vacation was a week spent at my Dad’s Aunt’s cottage at Sunset Beach.  Sunset has always been, and still sort of is, a very sleepy, family oriented beach.  It has this beautiful one lane swing bridge that sadly is being replaced by a much larger, more modern bridge.  The local residents fought the new bridge for years, fearful of the impending commercial boom that will take over the quiet beach town once the new bridge is in, and sadly that battle has been lost.  All in the name of progress huh?  “Hmph” I say.  But, again, being back in Sunset was very nostalgic for me.  Some of my best memories come from the summers we spent there.  Stopping at Paul’s Place in Castle Hayne on the way to/from the beach to get the best hot dogs in the world.  My dad and brothers teaching me to swim in the ocean and body surf the waves.  Playing on the beach and building sand castles.  Feeding the ducks that used to come up to the cottage late in the day.  Sitting at the kitchen table with Grandmother Hughes (my dad’s mom) and having her teach me different kinds of Solitare and how to shuffle a deck of cards.  Putting together puzzles with my other grandmother, Grandmother Clements (my mom’s mom) and the great big, red, heavy, metal Coca-Cola cooler she used to bring packed full of homemade goodies.  Going to Calabash to play putt-putt or across the state line into South Carolina to get fire crackers (which were illegal in NC at the time).  Even now I get a little choked up thinking about those days.  Life was so much more simple and easy back then, where the hardest decisions while on vacation were what kind of homemade ice cream we were going to make for dessert or what I should buy with my hard earned chore money at the Nautical Gift Shop in Calabash.  And while going to Sunset every year wasn’t as glamorous or exotic as the summer vacations a lot of my friends took, looking back, I wouldn’t trade my childhood vacations with theirs for all the money in the world.  Thanks mom and dad, those were some of the best days of my life.

So other than the extremely hot weather (mid to upper 90’s everyday, with a heat index upwards of 110), it was a great trip.  I had fun playing golf, which I always do, and it was great spending time with my family.  It was also fun playing with my nieces in the pool and the ocean.  Those two are a handful and quickly wear their Uncle Chucky out, but, they’re worth it.  I only wish David’s girlfriend Denise and Bobby’s wife Amy and their baby girl Wilkie could have joined us.  Maybe next year!

Did you get my reference from above?  No?  I’m not surprised, it’s kind of obscure.  It’s the title of a song from Gorillaz latest album.  Again, ten points and good on ya if you got it.

Until next time…I hope you’re having a great summer so far, and hit em straight!