Myrtle Beach State Park travel blog

Matching beards on our sons (Ken on left, Bryan on right)

Now they match their dad

Holiday decoration on the pier at MBSP

Santa and Mrs Claus with their Elf, Mikayla

Santa and Mrs Claus - a little wind blown

Hey, Y’all!

Guess the last journal was from before Thanksgiving, so I’ll start there. We had a double-header! Dinner on Thursday with Betsy’s nephew Michael’s family here in Myrtle Beach followed by a (4 hour) trip to Raleigh on Friday to have dinner at son Bryan’s home. His family and we and were joined by son Ken and his family. Now that’s a loud crowd! We were especially thrilled to see grandson Isaac who flew in from Salem, Missouri, where he has been on an Americorp assignment buildimg a campground in one of the national parks. Let me tell you, he is one excited and enthusiastic young man – he loves what he is doing. From Missouri, he will go back to his home base in Colorado to receive training for a 7 month deployment to the west coast area as a forest firefighter. Please keep him in your prayers for his safety.

Here at our RV, you can detect the beginnings of Christmas by the smell of Cranberry Nut Bread. Right now, as I am writing, there is no smell because the first loaf just evaporated somehow. But I heard rumors that some Snickerdoodle Cookies might make an appearance. I hope Betsy is not planning to send all of them to Isaac.

I have been painting in our Nature Center as well as assisting with putting landscape timbers around the horseshoe pit and with power washing the Activity Center. It’s easy work when the temperature has been moderate – 60-72 for highs, lows of 45-50. We had only 2 days where the temp dipped below 40. Sweet! Makes for perfect days to go fishing. I have been 3-4 days each week. Lots of small whiting, pompano, croakers, blue fish, sharks (20-24 inches), skates. I am going to try steaming some of the borderline keepers – not real good to just eat, but should make a great fish salad. Steam them whole, peel off the skin, and pull off the meat – should work. I’ll let you know.

Betsy has been busy at the Nature Center as well. She has made some pillows for the Santa Chair, made some curtains for the NC, and is currently making materials to be used in a kids NC project.

Speaking of Santa, Mr. and Mrs. Claus made an appearance on December 5th at the beach and on the pier. Mrs. Claus was at both sessions first in the morning with look-alike Mike – a workamper friend – and then with the real one for the afternoon. In all, we had over 900 pictures taken with kids, pets, parents, and some new I’ve-been-very-good-this-year friends. The I’ve-been-very-good crowd were all women. Hummmmm!

A special treat for Santa and Mrs was great-niece Mikayla, cousin Mike’s daughter. She was splendid in her red and green outfit and was a big help in making the long line a bit smaller. At 9 years old, she was just what was needed.

We had a second Santa session today (12/11) for the park rangers but we had surprise pictures for anyone who was on the beach as well. Made some kids smile as well as some older believers as well.

We took an afternoon this week to visit sister state park Huntington Beach. It also has a campground but not as many trees. It has a totally different ecological environment as it is very marshy and has a different animal population like alligators. This late in the season the gators have begun to go into winter mode and are hidden. Their Nature Center is hugh and reflects what having private backing and assistance can do. The Huntington family has been very generous. The park also has a volunteer “friends group” as well as a workamper program that does a lot of work in the park.

Just got back from a get-together with some of the volunteers. Of course, it included food. Shrimp. They were delicious along with some salads and desserts.

That brings us up to date. We are looking forward to having Betsy’s brother and sister-in-law here as well as both of our son’s and their families, and Mike, Liz, and Mikayla for a Low Country Boil on the 26th. Please think about good weather for that day since we would like to have the meal outdoors.

Also, keep my Mom in your thoughts as she will be “alone” for Christmas, that is without family, but she has lots of folks around her. If you would like to call her, the number is 860-646-4644, or write to her at: Connie Hubbell, 403 W Center St Apt 418, Manchester CT, 06040. Thanks.

Love to all and a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Rick (and Betsy, of course!)

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