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Soaking in tourist life on the beach
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I actually took a vacation, a pack-your-bags-and-go trip. 

That information wouldn’t be at all newsworthy except for the fact that I rarely take one. Anyone acquainted with me knows it. While I was gone, my niece sent me a message and I replied that I’d get to it as soon as I could but that I’m in South Carolina at that moment and on my way to the beach.

She replied, “What? Who are you and what have you done with my aunt? LOL.” 

My best friend, Terry, asked me to accompany her to her mother’s house in Florence. We’d leave on Tuesday, March 19, and return on Saturday. I didn’t think it would happen – somewhat difficult for me to take time off work, but I wrote extra articles and as luck would have it, county government only had one meeting during that time. Lacy covered that one for me. 

The drive took several hours. Terry drives like a woman on a mission and I’m relatively sure we made good time. We would have made better time but I have a tendency to drink between 80 and 90 ounces of water a day. My desire for hydration overcame my common sense. I purchased two, 1-liter bottles on our first stop. I’m sure you can image the end result. We had to make a couple extra stops. 

On Wednesday, we went to Myrtle Beach. Excluding a ninth-grade trip, this was my first actual visit to the beach. I turned into a tourist, minus the fanny pack. It was awesome. I dumped out a makeup bag from my purse and began filling it with shells. Terry could have warned me. I would have come better prepared with a plastic container.

I spent more time looking down for shells than I did looking at the ocean. The sea was impressive, but I had decided that I would not leave the beach without filling that bag. My mission was set. 

Terry commented about it being cold. 

I held up the bag and said, “I’m not leaving here without filling this up. If you want to leave, help me.” 

Afterwards, I purchased what was my first iced coffee with caramel. I drank it quickly, asking Terry to take me back to the beach so I could fill the cup with sand. I had to have some beach soil. We added some fun to the situation. It was a snatch and grab: She pulled up, and I jumped out and ran. I quickly filled the cup and darted back to the car. It was hilarious. 

Later that day, we stopped at a store and purchased a plastic container with a locking lid for my shells and sand. We went back one more time – a second plastic container in hand. I brought home approximately 50 unbroken shells.

That trip ended with me addicted to the beach – ready to return anytime – and hooked on caramel iced coffee. 

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.