Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Myrtle Beach: Memory Lane

Broadway at the Beach at Myrtle Beach is, first and foremost, a shopping center, but it has a carnival atmosphere.

Hawkers line the walking paths, selling light sabres, cotton candy, popcorn and other portable goodies. Music, generally oldies, blasts from speakers hidden in strategic corners.

A big dragon bursts out of a volcano and has a word with you every hour or so.

In one corner, the remnants of the Myrtle Beach Pavilion, destroyed a couple of years ago, offer a glimpse of what used to be. A few of the rides have been moved to a Nostalgic Park there.

I have always loved the organ (German Baden Band Organ). It was built in 1900. I have watched it play for as many years as we've visited the beach. It wasn't playing when we were there.

Here's what it looked like when we were there:

The other treasure preserved at the nostalgic park is the carousel. I vaguely remember riding on this when I was young.

This is a Herschell-Spillman Carousel and it dates back to 1912. It has lots of animals on it, not just horses. It is one of only 15 of these kinds of carousels in the United States.

The area also offers up some old and new arcade games, and we ventured in there. I am a great lover of arcade games. I played pinball and I won two free games on the machine.

I have been playing pinball since I was infant. My parents told me that my father used to put me in a car seat and take me to the bars, where he would set me on the pinball machine. I chased the balls around while he played. It's a wonder I didn't fall off on my head.

Here we saw evidence of more changes. At Broadway, we loved the old clock shop; it's no longer there. The Christmas store is gone, too. They used to have a laser light show; it's been replaced with fireworks one night a week only. Fudge is now $15 a pound. When did that happen? We thought $6 a pound was high. We usually bring fudge home; this year we decided I could make a pound if we were desperate for the treat.

Taffy is also expensive; it's a family staple and we take boxes of the stuff back with us. What used to cost $1.25 is now $7.95. Same taffy, but it sure has risen in price.

The higher prices caught us off guard; we had to revise our spending to keep up with it. Dinners that we thought would be $50 are now $70; it eats into the budget quickly.

Our trip to Myrtle Beach ended quietly and was not long enough; six days is not enough for traveling and unwinding. As soon as I start to catch my breath it's time to pack the bags and head home again. We have never in our lives taken a solid two weeks of vacation; I would dearly love to do so. But with the farm I doubt that ever happens.

Aside from the chilly weather and the screaming child, we had a nice relaxing time. Vacations are highly recommended.


  1. That makes me miss the Jersey Shore. Keansburg, Seaside, Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, Sandy Hook. I grew up on the boardwalk. One of my first jobs was working the kiddie rides and the record stand (when they were still records.) I thought I had all of that out of my system but the longer I'm down here, the more I miss it.

    As far as vacations, we very rarely have been able to take even a week because we've always been self-employed and when we weren't, hubby was dedicated and couldn't leave the store because they were dependent on him. And wait'll you hear about what happend with that. Coming soon to the blog...

  2. I'm so glad your vacation turned out well, despite the little banshee. :-) The carousel and organ are amazing. Thank goodness they at least preserved them. I've never been to Myrtle Beach, even though I grew up in eastern North Carolina. We always went to either the Outer Banks or to a wonderful little beach called Topsail Beach north of Wilmington.

  3. So, a reason for me to go to Myrtle Beach. I don't think I've ever been. To see the carousel. I saw three this summer! Such music box fun.

  4. You are oh, so right. Two weeks is the right amount of time for a vacation and impossible for farmers! At least it seems like it for us, so far!

    I am glad you and your hubby got to spend some time together away from home and work distractions. Wonderful.


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