Last weekend, we all went down to Myrtle Beach SC to help our good friends Scott and Frances celebrate their marriage (which was actually in Georgetown but close enough). It was a beautiful ceremony in a grand old Episcopal church, with a reception in the attached hall and a more casual hang-out at the bride’s parents’ house afterward. The house is worth mentioning because it was built in 1775 and still has many of the details – wide floorboards, fireplace in every room, huge high-ceilinged kitchen with a servants’ staircase up from it – characteristic of that era, plus there were plenty of old books and antiques and so on (including a framed 1754 letter of commission for some ancestor) to spark wonder and conversation. Of course, I thought it would be impolite to go around snapping lot of pictures. Besides, between enjoying the friendly conversation on such a joyous occasion and making sure Amy didn’t knock over any of the priceless items lying around (which includes wedding gifts) I was kind of occupied.

The wedding was on a slightly drizzly Saturday, and we didn’t do much after we got to the hotel. Sunday was supposed to be even drearier but, while it was cloudy, it didn’t actually rain so we enjoyed the beach and the seven swimming pools (including one “lazy river”) at our hotel. Monday was the big surprise. Partly it was a surprise because we hadn’t intended to be there for the whole day. There was a mixup with our flight, so we had some time to kill – but no rental car, and we’d already checked out of the hotel so we had no place to stash our belongings. It turns out that I’m in Enterprise’s “preferred customer” list from my last job (they don’t need to know that the company no longer exists and probably wouldn’t care if they did) so I was able to get a car despite it being a holiday weekend. With that settled, we hit the beach, the aquarium, and a little carnival near the aquarium. The weather was the nicest it had been, too, so my standard line to coworkers and others who asked has been that there are worse things than to find yourself stranded in Myrtle Beach on a beautiful fall day.

Now, on with the pictures.

At the reception. Cindy and I hardly ever dress up this much, and we almost never get pictures of all three of us in any kind of clothes, so we took the opportunity to have someone take this for us. I deliberately took this to show the length of the beach and the hotels in the background, and I think it worked out well. The waves were foamier than most, and Amy seemed fascinated by that; I have a good video of that, which I’ll post later (I love the fact that my compact still camera also takes pretty decent video).
A jellyfish tank at the aquarium. As part of the Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” complex, this was a very different kind of aquarium than the one back in Boston, but it was lots of fun. A ray (southern stingray, I think) in the big tank. They also have one of those plexiglass tunnels where you can see sharks and sawfish and stuff right over your head, but I didn’t get any decent pictures of that. Cindy actually got to touch a ray later.
A sea dragon – one of the coolest marine critters IMO, but less known that its cousin the sea horse. Amy and the giant octopus. I tried really hard to get a better picture, but she just wasn’t cooperating.
A sleeping iguana. The way he was asleep with his tongue out was just too funny to miss. Amy on a boat ride at the carnival. I wish it weren’t so hard to capture carnival rides on “film” because neither stills nor video seem to work very well.

Finally, here’s a video (1.9MB WMV) of Amy playing with foam.