Our Summer Vacation to Myrtle Beach

Yesterday I returned from a nice trip to Myrtle Beach. In our second trip back after our move out west, our schedule wasn’t as packed as our holiday visit last December. This allowed us to both enjoy some more downtime while also connecting with people we had not seen in a year and a half. As I typically do with vacation recaps, I thought it would be best to identify five themes from my* June trip to Myrtle Beach.

We were all smiles as we flew to Myrtle Beach.

Meet the Newest Member of the Family – We were most excited to meet our new nephew/cousin. Sidney’s sister, Court, and her husband welcomed their first child into the world on May 17. FaceTime can only fill the geographic void to a certain extent and we couldn’t wait to hold Jack for the first time. He surely didn’t disappoint! I know Sidney fell in love with Jack the moment she laid her eyes on him and it was a pleasant reminder to me about how little newborns truly are (crazy how you forget so quickly). What joy it brought us to meet Jack!

Meet Baby Jack!

Family – Yes, we were ecstatic to see the newest member of the family but we couldn’t wait to see the non-newborn members as well! The four of us spent majority of our time visiting with Sid’s parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, nephews, and niece. We ate meals, played volleyball, watched baseball, and spent precious time visiting. A couple of my personal highlights included Sidney and I having a sleepover with our niece (Russell, 12) and nephew (Harrison, 8) and also enjoying a birthday celebration for Russell and her youngest brother, Henry (4). I am so blessed to be part of Sid’s family!

Being with Sidney’s family was the reason for the vacation.

Summer Activities – Although we didn’t receive summer-like weather while we were in Myrtle Beach, it didn’t stop us from engaging in summer fun. It may have rained more days than not, but I still wanted Sloan to do things while on vacation. We hit up a Myrtle Beach Pelicans game and despite only getting to see a few innings due to rain, we still ate plenty of ballpark food and were treated to a fireworks show. One day I took Sloan to Myrtle Waves, a huge water park in Myrtle Beach. While it drizzled most of the time we were there and I secretly hoped that the sun would come out, Sloan didn’t know the difference. She loved the lazy river and the kiddie slides. My last full day we were there we headed to the beach. It was Beau’s first time seeing the ocean and Sloan spent the time with her cousin building sandcastles and collecting seashells. Throughout the trip we didn’t let a little rain dampen our fun!

Yes, it rained. However, it couldn’t keep us away from the beach, water park, and ball game.

Nice to See You Again – In addition to spending lots of time with Sid’s family, we also saw some of our closest friends. Sloan played multiple times with her Myrtle best friend, Jacqueline, and I got to visit with her mom, Susannah. We went over to the home of our spiritual mentors, the McCormicks, for pizza and conversation. I also stepped foot on the Coastal Carolina University campus for the first time since February 2020 and had a reunion with my University Marketing and Communication team. It was so nice to catch up with everyone and see how they successfully managed through the pandemic. After I left the offices I went across the street with my CCU bestie, Geoff, to our favorite burrito joint for lunch (Welcome to Moe’s!).

We joined the McCormicks for an evening (top photo), I got to have lunch with Geoff (bottom left), and Sloan and Jacqueline got to see each other a few times and I got to catch up with Susannah (bottom right photo).

Enjoying Our Favorites – Sid and I managed to do some of our favorite Myrtle Beach things. We attended mass at St. Andrew, got dessert at our favorite ice cream spot (Bruster’s), went through the Dunkin Donuts drive-thru countless times, and managed to find Mr. Softee. I also got in several workouts at Iron Legacy, the gym that holds a dedicated spot in my heart. We didn’t take for granted the opportunity to visit and enjoy these places that are so special to us.

From church to ice cream to the gym, we got to enjoy some of our favorite Myrtle Beach things/places.


Myrtle Beach will always be part of who I am. I met my wife, had two kids, and spent some of the best years of my life there. To have the opportunity to go back and visit is something I am incredibly thankful for. I am happy that Sid, Sloan, and Beau still have several days left to enjoy. Don’t Blink.

* – I say “my” because Sid, Sloan, and Beau are still making memories in Myrtle Beach. They will be returning next Tuesday.

Vacation to Myrtle Beach

It is an exciting day! After our summer of adventure started a couple weeks ago with our trip to Walla Walla, we will be traveling again today. However, this time it won’t be by road.

Our family is hours away from flying across the country to South Carolina. We are going to Myrtle Beach to spend time with Sidney’s family. All of us are excited but I don’t think it is possible for anyone to be as stoked as Sid. She is ecstatic to be with her family and who could blame her? This is going to be a lot of fun!

We are headed to Myrtle Beach!

Although our move west worked out better than we could have hoped, we still refer to Myrtle Beach as “home” and miss everyone there. In addition to all the time we will be spending with Sid’s family, we look forward to connecting with friends we have not seen for well over a year. Thank goodness for the dwindling influence of the pandemic.

Just a quick note: the month-long celebration of the 10th anniversary of Don’t Blink will conclude tomorrow with my personal top 10 blog posts. I hope you get a chance to glance it over.

Now it is time to finish packing. Hoping for the best as we travel with Sloan and Beau. It is vacation time! Don’t Blink.

Little White Crosses

This morning, I came across a unique work of journalism in my local newspaper. Hannah Strong of The Sun News wrote a piece titled “Horry’s Crosses to Bear.” The front page feature told the stories of various crosses and memorials that motorists pass by while driving on Horry County roads.

A partial look at today’s front page of The Sun News. The article is titled “Horry’s Crosses to Bear” and it is written by Hannah Strong.

Strong carefully detailed numerous memorials around the Myrtle Beach area, describing what they are constructed of, who they are constructed for, and the relief they give to loved ones who visit them. She also recounted the tragedies that led to existence of each one. Many vibrant photos are also included in the story – but you will have to follow the link to the story because I don’t want to steal the images taken by The Sun News. Overall, it was a very informative piece but also very sad.

When I was younger, I remember driving around with someone in a big city. This certain area had homemade memorials on the side of the road seemingly every couple of miles. When we would pass one, whether it be a white cross or something more elaborate, the driver would say in a more amused than sympathetic tone, “Oh, look, someone must have died.”

All around the country you can find white crosses like these, or other more elaborate displays, on roadsides marking where people have died in automobile accidents.

It didn’t take me long to realize that these memorials deserved much more respect than that. However, what does this respect look like? To be honest, for the last several years, aside from not mocking them, I don’t think I have really given much thought or reverence when speeding by.

In Strong’s article, some insight is given on how to allow ourselves to take roadside memorials to heart. The Horry County coroner challenges motorists when passing one to reflect on why it is there. Further, the coroner advises, remember that we are all mortal and the same tragedy can happen to us or our family members. It is important to always drive carefully.

Perhaps even more powerful was testimony given by a father still stinging from the motorcycle fatality of his son. He told Strong that the roadside memorial he visits is sacred ground to him because it was the last place his loved one was alive.

I think the concept of “sacred ground” is what we need to keep in mind when we drive by a location where someone has perished. Whenever we enter a church or cemetery, even if it is a church we don’t belong to or a cemetery where a loved one is not buried, we still give it respect. We need to keep this attitude when we pass by roadside memorial sites.

If we challenge ourselves to say a quick prayer for the person or make the sign of the cross when driving by, I think this will at least help us to reflect on the life that was lost. How would we want someone to react if the cross on the side of the road was meant to memorialize one of our loved ones? Don’t Blink.

Native Sons Super Warehouse Sale

You know what I like almost as much as cheap food and cheap beer?

Cheap t-shirts.

Yesterday, I sure scored some cheap t-shirts thanks to Native Sons of Myrtle Beach.

Last Thursday, as I finished my workout at Gold’s Gym, I noticed a flyer taped to the main entrance/exit doors. It advertised the Native Sons Super Warehouse Sale. I was intrigued enough that I took out my phone and snapped a photo of the poster.

This is the Native Sons Super Warehouse Sale flyer I saw in the Myrtle Beach Gold’s Gym.

For those who aren’t Myrtle Beach locals, Native Sons is a screen printing business that has been in the area for over 30 years. In any given year, Native Sons produces t-shirts for countless events along the Grand Strand. Sometimes, not all the product is distributed. Likewise, the company will run extra t-shirts for other purposes as well. As you can imagine, over time, a large surplus is created. This was the weekend for Native Sons to make that surplus available to the community.

As the flyer made known, the Native Sons Super Warehouse Sale would run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. T-shirts would be priced as low as $1. When I got back in my car after the workout, I immediately followed Native Sons on Facebook so I could track the sale.

I watched the photos and Facebook Live broadcasts published to the page on Friday and Saturday. From those posts I could tell that the inventory was large and the event was as advertised. So, yesterday, after I went to pick up our grocery order, I swung by Native Sons to scope out the sale.

I arrived at around 3 p.m. as the t-shirt blowout was starting to wind down. I walked into the warehouse to do some browsing. Native Sons offered sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, hats, shorts, and promo items at low prices. However, I was there for the t-shirts. By this time, t-shirts could be purchased at 10 for $10 (earlier in the weekend some shirts were more expensive than others). No arguing with that deal! I made the decision that I was going to purchase 10 shirts.

No doubt about it, I was going to take advantage of the 10 for $10 sale.

With Sidney in mind as well, I started to pick out shirts. I wanted to get an assortment of styles and sizes to allow us to wear some in public, some in the yard, and some as night shirts. I was easily able to cover all my bases.

This was my first glimpse of the sale.

A few events were very well represented at the sale. Merchandise from the Myrtle Beach Marathon, the Carolina Country Music Festival, and the Salt Games were all plentifully available. And, lucky for me, a lot of CCU gear was on hand too.

A look from the back of the sale.

I took my time browsing the tables and racks before selecting the 10 shirts I wanted to bring home with me. Once I did, I took my loot up to the makeshift register and paid the simple, straight up price: $10.

Once at home, I laid out the shirts in Sloan’s playroom. We had a draft of sorts as Sid and I selected which shirts we wanted for ourselves. It all went well as we each got what we wanted along with the satisfaction of feeling like we made out like bandits.

After our draft, Sloan sure enjoyed herself rolling around in our new shirts.

Some sales are better than others, but it is hard to beat the Native Sons Super Warehouse Sale. I would like to thank this area business for letting the community have a shot at its surplus inventory. Don’t Blink.

The Carolina Forest Rotary Doughnut Dash

Picture this: You enter a 5K race. You run your heart out for the first half only to be stopped at the 1.5 mile mark. Someone shoves a box of a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts into your hands and tells you to eat them…as fast as you can…every single one. As you are on the verge of throwing up, you are told to somehow finish the second half of the race.

Talk about a great concept! The Carolina Forest Rotary Club Krispy Kreme Doughnut Dash 5K!

Are you kidding me?

No, I am not. The Rotary Club of Carolina Forest Doughnut Dash took place this past Saturday. On a cool morning, runners reported to the start line at the Myrtle Beach Krispy Kreme store on HWY 501 to accomplish the unique 3.1 mile feat. As the predawn darkness faded and the sunshine started to poke through, I looked down at my two feet laced in running shoes and acknowledged reality…I was moments away from participating in the race myself.

Before you start wondering how I could still be alive after torturing my body through such an assault on my arteries, let me say this: Yes, I did participate in the Carolina Forest Doughnut Dash. Yes, I did finish the course. But no, I did not eat the doughnuts…at least not during the race.

Believe it or not, I actually completed the Carolina Forest Rotary Club Krispy Kreme Doughnut Dash 5K…and I have the photo to prove it.


During the summer at a surprise birthday party, my friend Kim Gomez asked me if I would run in the dash. As someone who rarely runs 5Ks – in fact, the only one I had participated in before was a color run – I had very little enthusiasm to do something that required me to risk having a heart attack. However, Kim, a Carolina Forest Rotary officer, told me I didn’t need to put my life on the line to race.

I could register as a “casual” runner instead of a “competitive” runner. The difference? While the competitive runners must stop midcourse and stuff their faces with 12 doughnuts, the casual runners glide right through the checkpoint and finish the race without stoppage. Then, at the end of the race, while the competitive runners are “recycling” their doughnuts in a trash can, the casual runners are presented with a box of a dozen doughnuts to take home and enjoy on their couch.

Sign me up, Kim!

A look at those of us who participated in the Carolina Forest Rotary Club Krispy Kreme Doughnut Dash 5K. Can you spot me?

As I mentioned, I am not a connoisseur of 5K races. Although I run daily, I don’t subject myself to road courses. However, I needed to get out of my comfort zone, especially since proceeds from the race went to benefit the great community programs organized by the CF Rotary Club. Oh yeah, doughnuts were involved too.

A look at me pst-race. I was a happy camper.

Although it was chilly at the starting line, it only took a couple minutes after the gun went off to feel comfortable. Running on an actual course greatly improved my motivation and stamina from their normal levels when I run on the treadmill or track. Embracing the opportunity to run with fellow humans on a peaceful morning, I found myself completing the course with relative ease. I finished the race in 23:59, earning second place out of the casual runners. According to my co-worker who knows a thing or two about 5Ks, I guess any time under 24 minutes is decent, making me thankful that I was able to shave the one second off my time that took me from “slouch” to “respectable.”

I finished the Carolina Forest Krispy Kreme Doughnut 5K in second place overall for the casual runners.

When I crossed the finish line I watched as the competitive runners battled with their boxes of doughnuts. The fastest eaters could consume the dozen glazed treats in about six minutes – many more needed well over 10. As I watched these warriors eat their recommended amount of calories for the next week, I thought about whether I should enter the competitor division next year. It didn’t take long for me to put that thought to bed. I got my box of doughnuts and headed home.

I just barely made it under 24 minutes.


I want to thank Kim for getting me involved in the Carolina Forest Doughnut Dash. Not only did she encourage me to do something that turned out to be a lot of fun but she sponsored me as well. That’s right, Kim paid for my entry fee and made sure I was taken care of. So nice of her!

The race was a success. It doubled in size from last year, meaning the Rotary Club raised a lot more money. I was pleased to be part of it and I commend all the individuals in our community for organizing events like these and making a real difference. Don’t Blink.

Mid-August Thursday Rundown

Let me tell you something, it definitely feels like mid-August. We have had some brutally hot and humid days here in Myrtle Beach. I hope all my readers are staying cool. For your approval, here is my latest Thursday Rundown…

Happy 37th Anniversary, Mom and Dad – Today my parents celebrate their 37th anniversary. Every year I try to mention the special date in my Thursday Rundown (I actually wrote a whole post once too) so what I am about to write might sound repetitive but it is worth repeating. My mom and dad exemplify what a happy, respectful marriage is. I know I am not alone when I say they have had a major impact on how I conduct myself in my own marriage. Thanks to their selflessness, loyalty, and Catholic faith, they have enjoyed a beautiful life together. Congrats, mom and dad!

My mom and dad in their earlier years. Happy anniversary!

RC Cola and Shasta – Earlier this week, I read that the Cleveland Browns will now exclusively serve RC Cola in their stadium. I got a chuckle out of the deal because who expects to be served RC Cola anywhere? Usually if you go to a restaurant and order a Pepsi and they don’t have it, the server will counter with “Is Coke okay?” Or, if you order a Coke at a restaurant that doesn’t carry it, you expect to hear “Can I get you a Pepsi instead?” Imagine ordering a Coca-Cola or Pepsi and being told, “We don’t have that, but we do have RC Cola.” Hmmmmmm.

I tweeted about the situation. My co-worker and friend, Geoff, saw the tweet and brought me another junior varsity cola to my office just to be funny. Thus, yesterday I found myself drinking Shasta at my desk. Geoff and I both drank Shasta as kids but it had been a long time since I had “enjoyed” one. Believe it or not, it actually quenched my thirst after a long, hot day running around campus.

Geoff gave me this can of Shasta Cola yesterday. He also gave me a can of Shasta Tiki Punch this afternoon.

It Is Starting – Well, it is “back to school” but it isn’t “back to school.” Sid and I are both taking major steps when it comes to walking away from summer. Monday was Sid’s first mandatory work day. She has been in meetings and trainings all week. Although the first day of school with students is not until next Wednesday, it is only a small consolation, as Sid will reply, “It doesn’t matter, I still have to do stuff.” I am just about in full student mode as well. First day of classes at Coastal Carolina is on Monday but Move-In Weekend starts tomorrow. I have used this week to prepare content for the start of the semester and I was actually working with multiple students today. Here we go!

Sid and Sloan before my wife went off to work earlier this week.

Unique Dish – On Saturday after church, we went to one of those fast food restaurants built in the 1980s to resemble a diner in the 1960s. Called Burkey’s, it is a Myrtle Beach favorite for Sid. It was my first time actually eating inside the restaurant and when I looked at the menu I saw something that intrigued me. Three-way chili. It was a combination of chili, cheese, and SPAGHETTI. I couldn’t resist. In addition to my cheeseburger, I got a bowl of the chili/spaghetti mix. I really enjoyed it! However, my belief that it was a Burkey’s original dish was soon dashed. After I took my excitement to Twitter, multiple people told me they too enjoy three-way chili – and they don’t order it from Burkey’s.

Our order from Burkey’s last Saturday. If you can’t see the three-way chili, you must be blind.

Intergender Professional Wrestling – I read a thought-provoking piece of sports journalism today. The story reported on the underground world of male vs. female professional wrestling and raised many good questions. The writer, a female, presented both sides of the issue, detailing the arguments of those who support it and those who oppose it. Believe it or not, guy vs. girl wrestling used to be mainstream in the WWF during the Attitude Era. However, with the transition from the WWF to the WWE and a more PG-13 approach to storylines, the company abandoned these types of matches. Intergender pro wrestling is now reserved for small, shady promotions. I encourage you to read the article and make your own judgment.

Intergender wrestling is very controversial. I encourage you to read the article (image courtesy of ESPN.com).


Stay cool, my friends. If you find yourself dehydrated in this heat, perhaps you should reach for a can of RC Cola. Have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

This Memorial Weekend Has Been…

It has been a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. Because the last thing you want to do on your day off is read my blog, let’s dash through 10 things this weekend has been (so far)…

This weekend has been about the aquarium. We took Sloan to Ripley’s Aquarium here in Myrtle Beach, an experience she really enjoyed.

Sid and Sloan enjoying Ripley’s Aquarium.

This weekend has been about watching movies. Sidney and I watched “A Beautiful Mind” and “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.”

This weekend has been about worship. We attended Holy Trinity mass at St. Andrew and heard Fr. Morgan deliver a powerful homily that had Sidney and I looking at each other at its conclusion mouthing “That was good!”

This weekend has been about Coastal baseball. The Chanticleers won the Sun Belt tournament title and earned the right to host the NCAA Regional round in Conway.

The Coastal baseball team will host Regionals.

This weekend has been about family. On Saturday night we ate pasta with Sidney’s parents at our house.

This weekend has been about the outdoors. Sloan and I went on a long walk together and the next day Sidney, Sloan, and I went to the pool.

This weekend has been about Dave and Buster’s! We had a nice dinner ordering off the eccentric menu and enjoying the atmosphere. Our plans to play any games fell short though when Sloan had a vomiting episode (thanks to our server, Connor, for being so helpful!).

Sloan hanging out at Dave & Buster’s (before she threw up).

This weekend has been about catching up on sleep. Sloan miraculously slept until 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, allowing mommy and daddy a chance to snooze a little longer than usual.

This weekend has been about donuts. Earlier this morning, Sid brought me home Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins.

This weekend has been about remembering those who served. Over 1.3 million men and women have lost their lives in combat and we all need to take several moments to reflect on that.


I hope everyone enjoys the remainder of this holiday weekend. We can’t thank enough those who made this weekend necessary.

Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival

Over the past few years, I feel as if the food truck concept has been romanticized. Social media, movies, and news organizations hail them as quirky mini restaurants on wheels with delicious and creative food. Brightly colored food trucks with social media handles plastered on them have become commonplace on our nation’s streets.

With the success of food trucks, it didn’t take long for event organizers to ask a question: What is better than a food truck? Easy! How about a couple dozen food trucks?! Thus, the birth of food truck festivals.

The second annual Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival was held this past weekend. The backdrop for the fest was the ocean (this is not my photo).

This past weekend, the second annual Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival took place. As someone who has found himself swept up in the hype of food trucks I described above, it didn’t take much convincing when Sidney asked me if I wanted to go. So, on Saturday, our little family, plus my in-laws, ventured to downtown Myrtle Beach. Hearing about large crowds and a food shortage that plagued last year’s event, we made sure to show up right when the festival opened at 11 a.m.

Sid and Sloan at the second annual Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival.

Because we showed up right when it started, we had an unobstructed path to browse the 30 (yes, THIRTY) food trucks that had parked on the site of the old pavilion, right next to the boardwalk. The selection covered all genres from sandwiches to burgers to burritos to pastas to fried foods to noodles to desserts to anything else you could imagine. Alcoholic beverages were available, a band was playing, and kid activities were offered. It was a neat setup.

I enjoyed BBQ chicken macaroni and cheese from the Downtown Curbside Kithcen.

Here is what we ended up deciding on:
Me: BBQ chicken macaroni and cheese from Downtown Curbside Kitchen (based in Charleston)
Sid: Buffalo chicken flatbread pizza from Charleston Flats
Brenda (mother-in-law): Classic grilled cheese sandwich from EZ Cheezy
Mr. Sid (father-in-law): Sausage dog
Sloan: Bucket of Fries
Shareables: Funnel cake and deep fried Oreos

This is the food truck I got my mac and cheese from, Downtown Curbside Kitchen.

As I put together a plan for my food festival experience, I envisioned splurging and purchasing at least two different entrees. However, the mac and cheese dish I got came with homemade chips and a mini Moon Pie, draining my enthusiasm (and stomach space) to buy something else. I still ate half of Sidney’s pizza and a good portion of Sloan’s fries though.

Sidney’s buffalo chicken pizza from Charleston Flats.

Our desserts, fried batter at its finest, also made me think twice about visiting a second food truck. It was for the best. I got to sit comfortably with my girls and in-laws as we chowed down and sipped adult beverages while enjoying the band.

These deep fried Oreos were on point.

For the most part, the food was good. Not exceptional cuisine by any means, but it did hit the spot. As I alluded to above, pop culture attributes food trucks to offering mouth-watering and unique food. I would say that once you take off the rose-colored glasses, the “unique” part of the description is usually more true than the “mouth-watering” part.

This is the E.Z. Cheezey Grilled Cheese food truck that Brenda got her sandwich from.

We had a good time at the Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival and would go back again. I think arriving early was a key to our enjoyment and I can imagine we will be early birds again in 2019. Don’t Blink.

The Highlights of Sloan’s Spokane Grandparents in Myrtle Beach

At the end of last week and through the weekend, my parents visited our little family here in Myrtle Beach. It was great to see them and catch up. Most of all, it was special to watch them bond with Sloan. My parents arrived on Wednesday and left on Monday. I thought the best way to organize this trip recap would be to describe my favorite moment from each day they spent here. If that is okay with you, I will begin.

Wednesday, April 4: The highlight of this initial day was just watching the joy of my parents as they reconnected with Sloan after 100 days apart. We thought Sloan would be a little apprehensive toward my mom and dad since it had been so long, but she picked right back up at the same comfort level from where she left off. My mom was able to give her granddaughter all the kisses she had saved up over the last several months and you could just tell that both of my parents were at total peace in Sloan’s presence.

My parents were so overjoyed to see Sloan again that first day.

Thursday, April 5: The aspect of this day that really stands out to me is the dinner the five of us shared. We went to Rivertown Bistro, a creative and tasty restaurant in downtown Conway that is beloved by the entire Grand Strand community. If you want to treat yourself, it is the place to go. We were given upstairs seating where we sat at a booth that overlooked scenic 3rd Avenue. The food was incredible and Sloan was on her best behavior as she sat at the head of the table in her cute outfit and bow. It was a relaxing and memorable experience.

We had such a lovely dinner at Rivertown Bistro in Conway.

Friday, April 6: For obvious reasons, my parents weren’t able to attend Sloan’s birthday party on March 17. However, we made up for it. After I got off work on Friday afternoon, the five of us gathered around the table for an encore celebration of Sloan’s birthday. We had an extra smash cake stored away that we brought out. I cued up the slideshow I created for her birthday party and Sidney stuck a candle in the cake and we sang “Happy Birthday.” It was an intimate celebration that made my parents feel included in her birthday festivities and that allowed Sloan to stuff her face with more cake!

Sloan enjoying her second birthday celebration, this time with grandma and papa.

Saturday, April 7: My mom and dad kept talking about how much they enjoyed this morning so it was a no-brainer to include it as the Saturday highlight. We went to the Paula Deen Family Kitchen for breakfast, a restaurant that serves meals family style. We all ate way too much but we then walked it off by exploring Broadway at the Beach, an outdoor entertainment area in the heart of Myrtle Beach. With the weather absolutely perfect, we strolled around the premises while my parents shopped for souvenirs. Sloan enjoyed the favorable conditions as we all took turns pushing her in the stroller. It was a very pleasant way to spend the first half of the day.

My parents having some fun at the Paula Deen restaurant at Broadway at the Beach.

Sunday, April 8: The dinner we had this evening was just as memorable and delicious as the dinner we had on Thursday. We met Sidney’s parents at Greg Norman’s Australian Grille for some good food and better conversation. It was important to Sid and I that we got both sets of Sloan’s grandparents together. The fact was not lost on anyone that during those moments, the six people who love Sloan the most were all seated around her at the same table.

Both sets of Sloan’s grandparents outside of Greg Norman’s Australian Grill on April 8.

Monday, April 9: My parents said goodbye to Sloan in the morning, right before I took her to daycare. However, since their flight didn’t leave until 2:30 p.m., I was able to take my lunch break to meet up with them one final time. We convenrd at Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch. As we ate, we talked about how much we enjoyed our time together and how much we appreciated each other. We recapped our trip and my parents never missed an opportunity to tell me how lucky I am to have two wonderful girls in my life. It was the perfect way to cap off the trip.

My parents at Chick-Fil-A on April 9. Great way to conclude the trip.


My parents keep thanking us for letting them come stay at our house but they have it all wrong. Sidney, Sloan and I want to be the ones to say THANK YOU. We were spoiled and catered to the entire duration of their stay. Mom and dad, we already miss you. Sloan can’t wait to see you this summer. Don’t Blink.

The Attraction and Danger of Facebook Quizzes

Given the current state of Facebook, it is safe to say we are subjected to a substantial amount of garbage each time we “go for a little scroll.” Political rants, fake news, multi-level marketing, annoying blog links (haha), and GoFundMe scams are just a few examples of awful content we sift through.

If not for all that I just mentioned above, perhaps online quizzes would be Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to undesirable Facebook content. However, because of the proliferation of partisan venom, untrue headlines, and shameless sales pitches on our newsfeeds, spotting a quiz that promises to identify your spirit animal is almost a welcome relief. However, take it from me, Facebook quizzes are sometimes more trouble than what they are worth.

I recently sat down with WPDE ABC15 anchor Summer Dashe to discuss the dark side of social media quizzes. Summer used our discussion along with other interviews to put together an extremely well-done and creative package. It aired during the station’s big post-Academy Awards Sunday night newscast. Click here to view the story.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Summer Dashe with WPDE ABC15 to discuss Facebook quizzes.

During the interview, the major point I told Summer was that some social media quizzes are absolutely harmless – but others aren’t.

I mean come on, how bad can a quiz be that tells you which season of “Family Matters” opening credits you are?

Most of the time, at the very least, the makers of these Facebook-based personality tests are going to capture your profile information and potentially sell it to third parties so they can target you in ads. It is simply the day and age we live in. The current advertising climate places a very high premium on digital advertising and companies are willing to shell out money for lists of people who fit within their target audience. If you don’t mind the phenomenon of having a digital ad served to you that seems to read your mind, you don’t need to stress too much about this.

However, unfortunately, sometimes these seemingly harmless Facebook quizzes are a little more sinister. Some exist solely to hijack your information and make duplicate social media profiles of yourself. Selling “likes” and “followers” is a big business. Companies who specialize in this trade will provide their clients with a load of FAKE and duplicated profiles, created off of the information you consented to release before taking the quiz. Even more shocking, some quiz makers will take the information you provide entirely off the digital sphere and use it for classic identity theft purposes in the physical world.

Thank you to Summer Dashe of WPDE ABC15 for producing an educational and creative story.

Finally, some sketchy social media quiz makers will practice what is called like-farming. Think of it as a bait-and-switch – a Facebook quiz claiming to tell you what Disney princess you are appears on your newsfeed. All you have to do is click on the link to start the assessment. Much to your horror, instead of taking you to a multiple choice quiz, you are taken to a website that infects your computer with malware. The link originally started out as a legitimate quiz that garnered a lot of likes and shares. After it established credibility, the scoundrels behind the quiz edited the post and changed the link. Watch out for this dirty trick! 

I gave two big recommendations to Summer:

1. Don’t participate in Facebook quizzes that ask to access your Facebook profile or ask you to log in to Facebook. Consenting to these requests, which is usually as easy as clicking on a blue bar, will sell out your information to the entity administering the quiz.

Even though it might look official, don’t click on blue bars that ask you to login to take a quiz.

2. If you have an appetite for knowing what “Saved by the Bell” character you are or what ice cream flavor best describes your personality, take a Buzzfeed quiz. Not only is Buzzfeed the most popular option for online quizzes, it is also the safest. Buzzfeed won’t ask for any of your information before taking the quiz but will give you a safe option to post your results to Facebook at the conclusion of it.

In the most general terms, use common sense. Before clicking on a social media quiz, scrutinize it for a couple seconds. Blue bars, long URLs, misspellings, and obscure graphics are all signs to accept an F on the quiz by just not taking it.

Thanks again to Summer and WPDE for the effort they put forth to produce such a well-researched story. An important message was delivered to the Myrtle Beach area, one that everyone else in the country could benefit from. Don’t Blink.