Saturday, September 05, 2009


In 2001, my husband and I ventured to Myrtle Beach for vacation around the end of August. We opted that year to try a new place for us, and so chose the Pan American.

The year before we had driven around and looked at various motels from the outside, though we did not go in any of them. We liked the Pan American at the time because it sat with only three or four other motels in the midst of a residential area. It didn't look like it would be too crowded.

So when the time came for vacation the following year, we booked there.

For those who may not know, there are three "cities" along the beach that stretches from the North Carolina line down to the middle of the South Carolina coast. North Myrtle Beach is one, and it is where we usually stay. It has fewer hotels, less people, and not as many things to do. Myrtle Beach is about 8 miles down the road from North Myrtle Beach. It is full of motels, night clubs, shopping centers, golf courses, etc., and we just drive down there to experience all there is to see and do. And then there is Atlantic Beach, which is in between North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach. It's kind of a no-man's land, although it is being spruced up in some quarters. I have been told that during segregation this was the black beach, though I do not know that for certain.

Anyway, the Pan American was in northern Myrtle Beach (as opposed to North Myrtle Beach) so it was a different location for us.

Unfortunately, the timing of the trip coincided with the first anniversary of my mother's death. I was an emotional wreck, and quite stressed. The hotel, which didn't look too bad on the outside, turned out to be terrible. I have a nose for molds and mildew and some places simply take my breath away as soon as I walk into them, thanks to my allergies and asthma. This motel was one. From the lobby to the room, it stank.

We bought air freshener and bleach but it wasn't enough. There were also cockroaches in the room. My sinuses erupted and by Tuesday night I was having chest pains from the stress of trying to be in such a hostile environment at the place where I have strong memories of my mother (my family has always vacationed at Myrtle Beach). I sobbed into my husband's shoulder and begged him to take me home. Our week-long stay ended very early that year.

We count that as one of our worst vacations.

Cut now to Sunday, August 30, 2009. Yep, last Sunday we left good ol' Botetourt and headed for Myrtle Beach.

We hadn't planned on a vacation but in July my poor husband, hard working and tired, told me he really needed some time away. So I hunted up an email I'd received about great rates at Myrtle Beach. One of the places advertised was in northern Myrtle Beach, not North Myrtle Beach, but the rates were great. Less than $100 for an ocean-front efficiency room with a king-sized bed. The place also rated well at

After the usual 7-hour drive down (we stop a lot), we pulled into our motel. The area looked familiar but we've been to Myrtle Beach so many times it all kind of runs together.

We went to check in. My husband forgot his glasses so he left it to me to hand over the credit card and sign for the room.

I looked at the receipt I was signing. On the name of the motel, it also said dba PAN AMERICAN.

My heart lept up into my chest. What had we done?


  1. WHAT?

    You have definitely left me hanging! What is the end of this horror story? I hope it is a happy one!

    At least you are home and well enough to blog about it. I take that as a good sign. Welcome back home. Home you and your hubby are rested.

  2. Oh no! Well, you've definitely got us in suspense here, Anita---I do hope that there's going to be a happy ending here. I'll be checking back to see it.

  3. Yes, indeed, what DID you do?? You're still writing, so that is a good sign .... Is this the textual version of the TV soaps? Tune in tomorrow for the continuing saga?

  4. They might owe you for making you sick. I'd be sleeping on the beach. I can't stand mold and mildew either. It gives me vertigo and sets me way back


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