Sunday, September 20, 2009

Surf's Up!

It's been a rather long drive to Myrtle Beach. After leaving home Saturday morning, we arrived here at our hotel only about two hours ago. We spent Saturday night at the Comfort Inn in Winchester, VA, just off I-81 South. We were glad to finally find a place that allowed pets. We had stopped several times. We tried the more popular Best Western and Mariott as well as your no-name side road motel. None allowed pets. When Comfort Inn said yes we were happy to finally be off the road. The room was clean, quiet, offered complimentary wireless as well as complimentary cold breakfast. The wireless thrilled me more than the breakfast, to be honest with you, although the thimble of orange juice I tried there was good.

As for Myrtle Beach, again we had limited options as far as lodging goes because only some places allow pets. We are at Ocean Park Hotel, a place I had actually booked in advance. The ocean view room is clean and nice. It, in fact, exceeds my expectations. I know that doesn't say much, I kept the expectations low given the price and some of the reviews on trip advisor. The guy at the front desk was pleasant and polite. The building is indeed on the beach and the exciting part is that Charlie is allowed on the beach as well so I won't have to leave him in the room alone.

Food wise... I don't know just yet. So far I had four meals since leaving home. The first meal was in Pennsylvania, at a place called Sheetz, a gas station/sandwich bar serving made to order food. At Sheetz I went for the advertised hot dogs, 2 for $0.99, toppings were extra. Instead, I walked out with two hot sandwiches: steak on a ciabatta bun, both with mozzarella, mushrooms and sauteed peppers and onions. The neat part about Sheetz is that they have touch screens to order your food so you don't place your order talking to a person, you select from the touch screen. You can choose Hot dog, or cold sandwiches, or subs, or hot sandwiches, or paninis. Once you've selected one, there are several options within each. It really was neat-o. We ate the sandwiches sitting on the curb (there were no benches or anything to sit on outside, rather disappointing) beside our car, greasy sandwich paper in our laps. The sandwiches were good. Jen said it was the best sandwich she's had in a while. I think she must have been starved. The thing was tasty but not the best sandwich by far.

Our second meal was a small Papa John's pizza, "The Works", delivered to our hotel in Winchester. No comment.

Today's lunch was a Wendy's sandwich for me, salad for jen, eaten picnic style, on a blanket on someone's private property no doubt. There was no sign against tresspassing so we quicly eat our food and bailed.

Finally, dinner in Myrtle Beach was had at the Seafood World buffet. Again, Charlie was the problem. We didn't want to leave him alone in the hotel room so soon after we'd gotten here so we went in search of a take-out place. Seafood World has a brochure in our hotel's lobby so we went for it. The buffet was something like $21.99 and one was allowed to take out two boxes. It was, as the name suggests, mostly sea food. Tilapia, grouper and atlantic salmon, broiled, fried or poached. There was also shrimp, clams, mussels, calamari and other buffet fare (chicken, rice, potato, and so on). The rice was a slightly undercooked and some of the fish was overcooked. They were tasty. I can't believe that I went to a buffet, especially since as a cook I know all about buffets. What they are, what food they serve, what to stay away from while there... everything. Aah, the things we do when we're hungry, tired and with dog in tow. Hopefully we'll survive.

Maybe tomorrow I can go to Jimmy Buffet's "Margaritaville". What can I say, I am such a tourist!

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