This trip was originally to take place in 2020 to celebrate our 50th year as a club. Then COVID-19 hit and delayed us by two years. A year of planning turned into three years of planning, replanning, and more replanning. After two years of COVID, gas prices going up, and other issues remaining, we finally made it happen! As we said in 2020… We are going to celebrate our 50th no matter how long it takes. So let’s take a look at the events of the week…
The week started as six intrepid road warriors made it to Surfside Beach. The Ripperts, Suffredinis, and Cawthornes arrived on Saturday, not Sunday as planned. Well, that was the start of the end of the tour schedule. Change was in the wind.
The first thing to do was make a beer run, then we settled back and waited for Dick and Sandy to show up. That happened about 7:30 PM as someone always has to be late. The next order of business was food. Right next to the Quality Inn is a BBQ joint but we were too late as the kitchen was shut down. Next, we tried Dagwoods. This is an excellent Beer and Sandwich Pub but they were full and there were two large groups ahead of us. I called Casa Calamari and they were able to seat us. As expected the food was great! We’ll let the others tell about the size of their meals.
We’re off and running to the first stop at Brookgreen Gardens. Brookgreen is one of the largest sculptor gardens in America. After a long stroll, the group headed over to River City for lunch. Tom and Jaimee had been there before, so they knew what to expect. River City is famous for its burgers and cold beer. As always, they did not disappoint.
After lunch, we took another stroll on the Marsh Walk. This is a boardwalk that runs behind the restaurants at the marsh. In the evenings, all of the restaurants have live music. You also have a lovely view of the Inlet at Garden City Point. This is where the inlet meets the sea. We took a short break, then later went to The Inlet Crab House for dinner. Old friends, Keith & Sharon joined us for dinner. After dinner, we wandered off while they went their own way.
We headed back to Brookgreen Gardens to visit the Zoo. This is a self-guided tour with many animals to see. Unfortunately, part of the path was closed due to repairs. We then took a pontoon boat ride and got to see several gators, turtles, and birds. Afterward, we left the gardens and headed to Grams Landing. It is a very nice place for lunch and your favorite beverage. We sat out on the covered patio and enjoyed a leisurely lunch. We then took another short break to just relax. Later, we crossed the highway to get to Dagwoods Sports Bar & Deli. This is Earl’s favorite sandwich and beer bar in the area. We called it a day after that and got ready for the next adventure.
The day started with a short drive to the Veterans Café & Grill. The owner, Lew, has a large collection of military memorabilia on display. Several Veteran Associations use this place for meetings and fundraisers. There are a large number of Vets living in the Carolinas. Recently, Vets who were exposed to agent orange have been receiving a new decoration, an Orange Heart. It’s similar to the Purple Heart but the heart is orange.
Back on the tour, and we are off to Conway, the capital of Horry County. A visit to the Conway Museum was the next stop. The museum offers two floors of local history. It was suggested that we visit the L. W. Paul Living History Farm, a working farm that has been preserved from the 1800s. Once the guys found the tractors the tour slowed down. Our next stop was the Confederate Tree. This tree has been dated to 1596 AD and is the oldest tree in South Carolina. Last up for the day was a ride through Conway and a stop at the Rivertown Bistro. We then called it a day and did the 30-minute drive back to the Quality Inn to rest up for more adventures.
Breakfast today was at Benjamin’s Bakery & Café. This stop is just minutes from the Quality Inn and offers a wide variety of breakfast sandwiches and drinks. Today, we are off to Broadway at the Beach. This place has a walkway around a very large pond which is filled with Chines Cat Fish. If you have $5.00 to spare you can buy a bag of food and watch them go nuts when you feed them. When you get tired of the fish there are many shops to go through.
We met up with Keith & Sharon again along with a few members of The Grand Strand British Car Club for lunch at Sweet Carolinas. It was now time for some wine tasting at Duplin Vinery at Bare Foot Landing. For dinner, we went to the Gracious Pig at the beach in Surfside. With full stomachs, we headed back to rest up and get ready for tomorrow.
Everyone wanted to go back to the Veterans Café & Grill for breakfast. Any Vets visiting Myrtle Beach should make this a “Must Stop”. To our surprise, two ladies who were sitting at the counter paid for our meal! We never got a chance to thank them, but we told Lew to pass it on. Now it was time to head south to visit Georgetown. The town was founded in 1724 and is one of the oldest in South Carolina. It is a bit of a tourist trap with lots of shops and restaurants. We ended up in the River Room for lunch. The service was a bit slow but the meal was good.
With lunch under our belts (literally), it was back on the road to Surfside Beach and the Quality Inn for a leisurely afternoon. It was still early when we decided to go next door and try the pulled pork. As the marquee says, “Every Butt Deserves a Good Rub” but for some reason, no one would rub Tom’s! Guess it didn’t meet the standards. We enjoyed a quiet evening sitting poolside.
Our last day. We decided that this should be an easy day since driving was the order of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Earl led everyone south on Rt 17 to Gershon’s New York Deli for lunch. While he doesn’t go there too often, the food is always worth the trip. The last stop was for dinner and Earl saved the best for last. The Hot Fish Club at the marsh is always the best stop for dinner. The quality of the meal was excellent and the portions were large. We said our “Goodbyes” in the parking lot. With a great week behind us, Earl headed for home, and the three MGs headed back to the Quality Inn. Earl didn’t have a chance to see them off in the morning as they had an early start and he was expected at a local car show.
It would have been nice if a few more MGs had been able to make the trip but we aren’t going to give up on the Myrtle Beach Experience. If anyone would like to vacation in the area the Welcome Mat is always out at Earl’s. He would be pleased to show you around and fatten you up a little bit.
Since we plan to keep celebrating the 50th, why not another 50-plus event down south?
-- Your host and tour guide, Earl W Wanklin III