The Trials and Tribulations of Going to the Beach

Although I have now lived in Myrtle Beach for two years now, I still haven’t tired of the city’s main attraction…the beach! As more time goes by, I am sure the novelty will start to wear off. However, at this point, I am still on fire for having the Atlantic Ocean within minutes of me.

I took this panorama at the beach this afternoon here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,

I took this panorama at the beach this afternoon here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,

With that said, it is understandable that someone who has lived most of her life in this area might not be as exuberant about the beach as I am. On this gorgeous Sunday, Sidney and I had a delicious Mother’s Day brunch with her family. After that, we shifted our focus to an afternoon on the beach. We meant to go last weekend but didn’t get around to it so today was payback so to speak. We had a nice time and Sidney was a great sport. As we drove back home, I asked Sid to open up about her reservations regarding the beach.

Sidney was a great sport and went with me to the beach today.

Sidney was a great sport and went with me to the beach today.

After patiently sitting next to me for a couple hours as I basked in the sun as her weekend came to a close, Sidney wasn’t holding back anymore. She told me several reasons why hanging out on the coast isn’t exactly “a day at the beach” for her.

* Sand – What happens at the beach doesn’t stay at the beach. No matter how hard you try, you will always bring plenty of sand back with you. It gets in your car, your house, and your accessories. Tourists rent cars and stay in hotels so they don’t have to worry about the lingering of sand. We do.

* Tourists – Speaking of the devil, these well-meaning folks can raise the boiling point of any seasoned local come the summer months. Don’t get me wrong, most citizens of Myrtle Beach realize that tourists shape and drive our economy but sometimes there are frustrations. As you might expect, tourists flock to the beach. This sometimes leads to overcrowding and a lack of beach etiquette. Don’t get Sidney started.

* Packing – While the beach is just minutes away from us, there is preparation that goes into making sure the┬átrip is a success. You have to make sure to pack the essentials such as beach chairs, drinks, snacks, towels, sun screen, electronics, etc. Usually by the time you leave the driveway, the back of your car might very well be full. If you happen to forget an item just mentioned, you are forced to turn around and pick it up or just suffer through a diminished experience.

* Parking – The beach isn’t like an arena or a casino. When you arrive, there aren’t large parking lots waiting for you. Rather, there are alley ways with limited options to leave your vehicle. So while the parking spots are less than at an arena, some might argue that the amount of people is the same. You do the math. Sometimes parking is rough.

* Music – Everyone thinks they are a DJ. Go to the beach here in Myrtle and you will the people in front of you, in back of you, and on either side of you spinning their tunes. If Sidney had it her way, she would opt for peace and quiet so she could relax and read her book. Instead, she has to channel her best reading comprehension skills and overcome the five different genres of music hitting her from all directions.

* Dogs – Okay, this isn’t Sidney’s gripe but rather it is mine. Sometimes I feel dogs outnumber people at the beach. Some are very well behaved and some are not. I would do just fine sharing the beach with my fellow humans.

* Lack of Bathrooms – Okay, back to Sidney’s critiques. When you are at the beach, it isn’t like you are lounging at the pool or at your lake house. Instead, you are at a very public area with no public facilities in sight. When you make a trip to the beach, forget about having access to a bathroom. If you have a small bladder or if you plan to enjoy some cold ones while watching the waves, this could be a problem.

* The Ordeal – For locals, going to the beach will drain your day for the reasons I mentioned above. You have to pack, you have to park, you have to spend a decent amount of time at the beach to make the sacrifices worth it, and then you have to come home and shower. While the ocean is just a stone’s throw away, the minutes turn into hours pretty quickly. Even the shortest of beach excursions will run you at least three hours.

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But despite these trials and tribulations, I know both Sidney and I still admit the beach is pretty dang awesome. No matter how many tourists flock to it, we wouldn’t trade it for mountains or plains. Don’t Blink.