Memoirs: Charleston Pt. 2 (Myrtle Beach)

04/29/2014

2014-05-20 21.35.53

Today I woke up around 9:00 A.M to get ready for our trip from Charleston to Myrtle Beach. I remember eating sausage, eggs, and rice for breakfast. It was good and got me full for a while. Then we left the house around 10:00 A.M. The trip to Myrtle Beach was interesting because of the places on the way to Myrtle Beach. I remember going through Mount Pleasant and it had very sleepy and interesting communities near the bay of the island. I remember driving through this dense forest with foliage growing on the trees to the side and on the branches overhanging the highway. I also remember passing through other quiet beach towns such as McClellanville. We also stopped to get gas near McClellanville. To be honest, getting gas there was an event on its own. The cashier lady called me “honey” which is something that caught me off guard. Coming from Colorado, Hawaii, Guam, etc. I was never called that before. I also witnessed her talking incredibly nice to the regulars. It was the kind of nice that made me realize that life still exists in these small communities as opposed to the lifeless anonymity of big cities. Anyways, while I was at this gas station I got to try their coffee and doughnuts. Both of them were exceptionally good.

From here, it was a hop and a skip to Myrtle Beach. On the way I could also point out two oddities in the area. Nothing negative, but, something interesting. I noticed that there were a lot of tourist traps trying to sell random beach accessories and memorabilia. They ranged from tie dye shirts to beach posters to beach towels to who knows what. I remember at one stretch there were three of these stores in a row! The funny thing about it was the stores were getting bigger in succession with the last store being the biggest. These stores were oddly colorful with lots on display on the front including items they sell and different “for sale” signs. Secondly, I also noticed there were quite a bit of mini-golf places. The thing that stuck out the most was the blue water. I’m sure its to make it look more unique and interesting, however, why blue? Why not keep it clear like normal water? Are they trying to hide something? Something about the blue artificial water in all of these mini-golf places bothered me. I must digress and add that I remember one golf place having normal water.

While we were approaching Myrtle Beach I saw one of the prettiest girls in my life. We were at a stop light and she was jogging in the area and waited for the pedestrian sign to turn. She had her blonde hair tied up and she was dressed in a jogging outfit. In terms of looks she has this normal yet cute and innocent flair to her. It was this sort of all-american beauty that is hard to describe. For some reason, she really stuck out, and sometimes I wonder who she is, what does she like to do, what music she listens to, if she prefers cafes over clubs, etc. Too bad I’ll never find out.

When we finally arrived in Myrtle Beach we went straight to our hotel the Coral Beach Hotel. The parking area inside the actual hotel compound was a bit cramped since it was to be used for loading, unloading, registering, etc. We unloaded our luggages and headed to the room. In the lobby area near the elevator there was the lady who greeted guests and asked them if they wanted coupons for the different attractions in the area. I didn’t really think about it but I kept her deals in my mind. Later, when we went to our room I wanted to swim as soon as I can. I got ready to swim and went to check out the pools. The pools themselves were a bit small and shallow (4-5 ft deepest). But I did get to try out the water slide, which, was fairly fun. Afterwards, I wanted to head to the bigger pool, the beach. This was the first time I went to the beach for nearly a year. It was very surreal and nostalgic to see the shoreline and the waves hitting the sand. The only difference is that the ocean is the Atlantic ocean. I’ve never seen the Atlantic ocean until today and it was an enlightening experience. The difference between the Atlantic and Pacific is that the Atlantic ocean has a sense of dread and danger I haven’t felt while being in the Pacific. I think its due to the ocean water being a bit aggressive with the high waves hitting at random intervals. But I think the dread came mostly from the fact that the water was murky and no one would go further than the shoreline where the waves break. I ventured out further for a while and wrestled with the waves but the feeling of dread and fear eventually told me to go back to shore. At shore, I left my belongings with my siblings and made a short run through the beach. I’m not too sure how far exactly I went but I know that it was pretty far. The whole time even turning back I never slowed down. When I got back to where I think the hotel was I went to the ocean for one last swim before heading back. While heading back I asked the lifeguard where the hotel was and he pointed in a direction that I think wasn’t the right way. So I went anyways so he wouldn’t feel bad. Then, I asked a homeless person. And surprisingly he gave me better advice to get street side so I can find the hotel. I did what he said and I quickly found the hotel. But, it was a bit odd that local people can’t locate a specific hotel. When I got to the hotel I actually rinsed off in the pool and then headed to the room. When I got to the room I found that my parents ordered pizza and I ate some and took a nap.

When I woke up from the nap I got ready to go to a boardwalk called Broadway at the Beach. When we left the hotel I remembered that my family wanted to go to the Wonder Works museum. I also remembered that the lady near the elevator was giving coupons for that museum. I asked her how to get the coupons but she pitched me an offer I had to accept. The offer was to find a couple to take a tour of a new hotel in the area. The couple would get the coupons and a stay at the new hotel. It was an interesting offer but I declined since we just didn’t have enough time to squeeze in an extra tour.

The drive to the Broadway was interesting since it went through the heart of Myrtle Beach. It was interesting, Myrtle Beach reminded me more of Tumon in Guam than Waikiki in Hawaii. I think its because there wasn’t a lot of tourists and the hotels were pretty spaced apart from each other like in Guam, as opposed to, the hustle and bustle in the crowded Waikiki area. When we got to the Broadway it too wasn’t really crowded. However, the boardwalk itself was beautiful. The shops in the boardwalk have a very beachy exterior that gave them a lot of character. All the small food stands such as popcorn, lemonade, slush, etc. were operated by the younger kids in the area. To be honest, they all looked like they could have been my friends if conditions allowed it. One girl in particular caught my eye, she was working in a slush stand called Eskimo Slush or something. She looked asian and reserved. Like the other girl from before, I quickly realized, that a relationship was impossible with her due to distance, time, etc.

While walking through the Broadway we got to stop by the Wonder Works. Which, is essentially a museum with an upside down house as its exterior. Also, near the Wonder Works there was an unusual amount of koi fish and ducks in the water. I remember being able to take a picture of a duck on the boardwalk. Afterwards, we walked around the Broadway and check out a few stores. I remember there being two candy stores. One was a IT’SUGAR which is actually a franchise candy store. Inside was a bunch of random candies and a very small oriental candy section with pocky, hello panda, etc. An interesting candy was a lollipop with a scorpion in it. Other than that. IT’SUGAR was about as normal as normal can be. The other candy store was a more traditional candy store that sold chocolate covered fruits and I think caramel apples too. What stuck out to me was the salt water taffy and the machine that was pulling taffy. Although it all looked interesting, for some reason I didn’t get any taffy.

Afterwards we were looking for somewhere to eat dinner. At first we asked some of the locals for a good seafood place. However, they unfortunately only recommended places in the Broadway which didn’t look too appealing or unique. So my sister recommended Captain Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood, which, is supposed to be a real good seafood buffet. Subsequently, we left the Broadway and headed to to Captain Benjamin’s. The drive there wasn’t too exciting. When we did arrive I noticed that there was different boat parts such as rudders, wheels, etc. almost littered near the entrance. I’m sure it was added for a nautical decor and character. The store itself looked like a beach house/light house in the exterior. As we entered, a pirate even greeted us and gave colorful necklaces to my mom and sisters. It was interesting, to say the least. Our host at the door to the table was the most interesting host I’ve seen so far. It was this nerdy kid who was enthusiastic about his job. He was quite amusing and made the walk to the table funny. When we got to the table we were greeted by the waitresses. They gave us the rundown and let us get our food. When it came to the food selection, all I have to say, is that it was multitudinous. It was mostly southern food and seafood. There were also various american classics throughout the buffett. Sparing detail, I remember I ate a lot that night. I could comment that the hushpuppies they served was the most unique hushpuppies I ever ate. It wasn’t like the normal salty hushpuppies, but, it was sweet. The change in palate taste made it unique and easier to eat. Overall, Captain Benjamin’s was a lot of fun with tons of great food. If you are looking for seafood or a unique experience in Myrtle Beach, you can’t go wrong, with Captain Benjamin’s.

We eventually left Captain Benjamin’s and went back to the hotel room. The night was about to be over but I remembered that I still had to do research on my Sherman’s March. Because of this I decided to look for a open cafe or anything nearby to do some research. To do so, I decided to walk around the neighborhood. The walk was interesting and hardened my belief that Myrtle Beach was similar to Tumon in Guam. The walk itself reminded me of a walk through Tumon at night. Which is quiet with very little people walking with you. While I was walking I only saw one general store open and the rest closed. The only thing else open is the various hotel lobbies around the area. Unfortunately, I didn’t find an open cafe to study in, but I did get to see a nice portion of the city. I remember passing by the other boardwalk. I don’t remember if it had a name, but it did look more like a fairground with a giant carousel. At this time, everything in that boardwalk was closed. Afterwards I remember walking through the beach to the hotel. It was dark but in the distance towards the hotel I saw other people walking the beach. In the far distant I saw kids throwing bottle rocket fireworks across the beach. It was interesting, and at this time I was back at the hotel. When I got back to the room I did my studying there and subsequently went to sleep.

Memoirs: Charleston Pt. 1

04/28/2014

2014-05-20 21.12.56

We arrived here in Charleston, SC, early in the morning. When we got to our grandparents house we took a short nap. I remember waking up around 11:00 AM. When I woke up I put on a new shirt and we went to my sister’s school Charleston Southern University (CSU). CSU was a very nice campus, the buildings had a very colonial feel to them. I remember going to the student store in CSU and it resembled for some reason the student store in Honolulu Community College. At the student store, my sister picked up her cap and gown. Afterwards we went to the library so I could look inside. It was an interesting library, a lot of old material and it was packed full of students. For some reason it looked a bit dated as compared to the rest of the campus. Afterwards, my sister showed me the science building and it was very spacious and blue inside. We looked around the second floor where my sister said her classes were. Then afterwards we left the campus and went to the H & L oriental store across town. It was nice and fairly sized. It was almost comparable to the Asia Pacific Market in Colorado Springs but with the shelves spaced further apart. Inside this oriental store was a Pho place where we ate lunch. The Pho itself was ok but they didn’t give enough. That particular pho place only had one size! Afterwards we looked around H & L and for some reason I do not remember what we got. I think ingredients for Tinola or something. Afterwards, we went back to my grandparents house. Once back there, we looked around the back yard and it was nice. It connected to a small ravine that led to who knows where. Around this time my mom cooked the Tinola and subsequently we ate it. Afterwards, we took a stroll downtown. We first went to see the Cooper River Bridge, which, is the world’s longest suspension bridge. It was very nice and I remember that it smelled amazing in the area. To me, it seemed as if there was a hint of tuberose and mint in the air. We parked at the base of the bridge on the side of Mt. Pleasant in the Shell gas station. We walked towards the bridge and went somewhere towards the middle before my little sister started crying and we had to go back. I had to use the bathroom anyways. Me, Aramaine, and Levieson went on ahead of our parents and sister so we stayed at the base of the bridge in a small resting spot. At that spot I heard loud noises of crickets and frogs. It was ridiculous and added to the already surreal atmosphere. But it was short lived, since we left the area soon after. Before we left I remember using the bathroom at Shell. When we left went to downtown to get a quick tour of the area. We parked in front of the customs house which had a roman architecture. Then we proceeded to walk towards the Praline store my sister always goes to. On the way I was just blown away by the very colonial architecture and atmosphere of the neighborhood. I remember reading in one of my books that General Sherman was assigned to Charleston at one point of his life. He really enjoyed his stay here and I could see why. Passing through the streets, there was already a sense of history in the air and the area. Even the coffee shop Kamisky’s was ridiculous in how it looked. While walking we passed by a long row of buildings longer in length than width. In these buildings were a multitude of tables and my sister said that they always hold a sort of market everyday. Then we got to the Praline store where the workers were ridiculously welcoming. I got this amazing caramel apple with butterfinger on it. The part that stuck out was the caramel on the apple. The caramel was soft yet thick. And it wasn’t saccharinely sweet even with the butterfinger! We also got the world famous pralines which are actually really good and well recommended over the other pralines in the area. Afterwards, we headed to the car and drove to Harris Teeters. The home of organic foods and weird sales. Apparently here in Harris Teeters they’re sales would be something like buy one get four free. At Harris Teeters I remember meeting this cute girl with a pixie cut. I think her name was Ashe, Ashley, or something like that. She told me she came from Columbia and was in Charleston to go to the Art school near by. I sorta wished I got her number, but, oh well. Afterwards, we went home and subsequently went to sleep soon after being tired from the whole day.

Travel Log: Entry 04/26-27

Today I woke up around 11:00 AM and started to do research on my Sherman’s March paper. We ate lunch around 12:30 PM. I then got my things ready for our trip to South Carolina. We left the house around 2:00 P.M and headed first to Denver to attend the worship service. When we got to Denver we stopped by Parkridge Mall to look around. Once there, my sister wanted to check out Forever 21. Afterwards, we looked around the mall. I wanted to look inside Gap to see if there was anything interesting. I saw the jacket I was looking for at a good price! Afterwards, we headed towards the chapel. We arrived at the chapel around 5:00 P.M since the service started at 6:30 P.M. When I went inside the chapel I met Julia who was working as a secretary. She was very pretty and said she saw me the night before. I wanted to talk to her more but couldn’t. After the service, we began our trip East. When driving, our first stop was actually at a McDonald’s to get a quick dinner. Then we headed towards Kansas. We made one rest stop before getting inside Kansas. It was around this time when I drove. My dad started driving when we needed to get gas. At that gas station in Kansas, we got coffee and the lady inside started mopping as soon as we stepped in. It was interesting, but afterwards we headed out East again. In Kansas I saw these red beacon towers all over the place. I’m not too sure what they were but, but they were probably for weather or something. Afterwards, we made to Kansas City and it was very nice. I think half of Kansas City was in Kansas and the other half was in Missouri. While at the Missouri part of Kansas City, we made a stop at the McDonald’s. Afterwards, we headed towards St. Louis. On the way to St. Louis we made a stop for gas. But, when we got to St. Louis it was awesome. I really enjoyed the city and the people. The weather there was similar to Hawaii and the humidity was close to Guam. The people were very friendly too. Near a BBQ place the locals were pretty open to talk and I got to talk to this Asian girl who was pretty. While at St. Louis we ate at Pappy’s BBQ. It was actually very good and crowdy. Because of this, we decided to ask for takeout and eat at the car. Afterwards, we had to leave St. Louise and headed toward Illinois. The Illinois part of the trip was a bit unexciting since we didn’t really see any major cities. Then we made it into Kentucky where we made a stop at a McDonald’s. Then we headed towards Tennessee. At Tennessee, we got to go through Nashville which was a huge and bright city. Afterwards, we made a stop at a really nice rest area where they sold Zero bars for $1.25! A steal of a price in my view. Then, we headed towards North Carolina which was uneventful also. Then we finally hit South Carolina and got to Charleston! It was a long drive that took more than twenty-four hours. I didn’t get much sleep during the trip and I actually still feel tired today and its the 29th! The drive itself was really interesting and well worth seeing all of the different cities. The city I still remember was St. Louis. I’m not too sure, but there was something in the air and the people that made it very memorable. St. Louis is a city I plan on visiting again in the future.

Travel Log/Blog Entry 04/10/2014

Today I woke up early around 4:45 AM to get ready for church. Church went by pretty normal. It ended and when I got home, I got ready to head out to New Mexico right away. I packed my stuff and made some coffee. I believe we left the house before 8:00 AM. On the drive to New Mexico, it wasn’t too eventful. However, we made a few rest stops along the way to Albuquerque. The first stop we made was about, 20 miles or so, south of Raton. It was at a rest stop with a good view of the great plains and rolling hills of New Mexico. We ate lunch at that rest stop. For lunch my mom made meatballs and garlic shrimp. After we ate, we continued on our drive. The next stop we made was for gas at some Conoco at a dead town. It was interesting, the inside of the gas station looked like a very old school general store with regular shelves holding all the random supplies they had. After, we drove a bit more south, and at this point I took over driving duties. I remember driving through Las Vegas, NM and Santa Fe, NM and a few small towns between. The Las Vegas area was very nice. I wanted to get my phone and take pictures while I was driving. Basically, the area was full of rolling hills, mountains, and dense foliage of trees and bushes. Afterwards, my mom took over driving duties for a while until we made a stop at an Albertson’s in Santa Fe. The people were interesting, and inside Albertson’s, was a small starbucks stand with one worker. Afterwards, we drove from there straight to Albuquerque. Albuquerque, itself, is a very nice city and possibly the biggest city I’ve seen here. The people are oddly friendly. I noticed it when we talked to the people at the hotel and McDonald’s. However, too bad our stay here is pretty short. We should be returning back to Colorado Springs on the morrow.

Travel Log/Blog Entry: 01/14/2014

Today I woke up around 6:00 A.M. I got dressed to go to the gym right away. When I went down to the gym there were already two guys on the treadmills and a girl on the elliptical. So I started lifting some of the dumbbells right away. Then, I went on the bicycle machine and used it for about thirty minutes and I got over six miles on it. After that I lifted some more dumbbells and used the elliptical for a mile. After this, I went outside to the pool area and tried it out. It was about 30 degrees outside and I jumped into the pool. It was super cold and much colder than I thought it would be. It was exciting and fun to try jumping in it though. I then went up to the room, took a shower, and got ready to eat breakfast. When I got ready around 7:15 A.M I went straight down to the breakfast area and sat on one of the high chairs and got a cup of coffee. Starbucks provided the coffee, which, was cool. But I think the roast was dark. I didn’t really mind. For breakfast, I ate these crepe egg roll stuff that was filled with sour crème or yogurt topped with a fruit puree. I also got a couple of breakfast sausages, bacon, and scrambled eggs. I also had some potatoes and two pieces of toasted bread. While I was eating my mom came down and I waited for her to eat too. During this time, I got a banana and a donut. After this, my mom got some food for my dad and then we went back upstairs. When we got upstairs my sister just woke up so we went down again so she could eat too. She ate almost the same things I did but with the addition of oatmeal. Afterwards, she got some fruit loops for aramaine and levieson. When we got back upstairs I went and took a short nap. When I woke up, my sister and me went downstairs to get the cart for the lug gages. We went back upstairs and got ready to go. We left the hotel around 10:30 A.M. The drive back was interesting and pretty fast. Our first stop was for gas and I got a mountain dew energy drink there. A little after, it was funny cause I had to use the bathroom on the side of the road and it was super windy. On our way back home, we got to stop at the Big Texan to eat dinner. It was nice and not as busy as last time we went. This time I actually finished all my food. Afterwards, we went on the long drive back home. Not too eventful so far but its been pretty fun the whole trip. Right now, I am actually writing this on the way back and there is about an hour or so more of driving left but its ok. When I get home, I think I’m just going to go straight to sleep.

Travel Log/Entry: 01/13/2014

In the past day we drove from Colorado Springs to Garland, Texas. It was an interesting and long trip but it was awesome. We started actually around 01:00 P.M. We made a few stops at different rest stops in Colorado but one that stuck out was a rest stop where there were no sinks and according to my sister the toilets were basically connected to holes in the ground lol. After Colorado, we had to drive through New Mexico before we got to Texas. New Mexico was interesting, I don’t think we made a stop there but we did get to see a lot of interesting dying cities in New Mexico. The town that always stuck out was Clayton, NM for their Dairy Queen that had a lot of flies. Also I forgot to mention but somewhere in Southern Colorado we had to drive through dust storms. But, after New Mexico we got to Texas and it was dark by the time we got there. The drive was a quiet one but an interesting one at that. We saw a lot of interesting places. I didn’t get to drive this time since we are using a big van to transport of lot of sound equipment. In the end, we got to Garland around 3:00 AM.

Later on the day, we had to go to a minister’s worship service in the Dallas locale. It was a big chapel and there were a lot of interesting people. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet any sister I was interested in. Afterwards, we drove to Japan House for lunch. It was a pretty good buffet but I think it was actually over priced. It was like a smaller Todai. Our waitress Jenny was really pretty though. After this, we went to Plato Bowling Center, which, was nice. Afterwards, we went to the gym to do the basketball and volleyball. Over here, we unloaded the sound equipment onto the various brethren’s cars. The gym was huge and had an indoor soccer place! After this, we went back to the hotel to get ready to go and eat. We went out to go to In-N-Out which was awesome! I got the double protein animal style! After we were done eating, I liked it so much we got a cheeseburger to go! After this we went to Walmart for snacks. Then we went back to the hotel room to chill for the rest of the night. Now its, 11:35 P.M Texas time and tomorrow we drive again!

Entry: 01/09/2014

Today I woke up around 10:00 A.M and quickly took a shower. I then woke up my sister so we can all go to the store. The first store we went to was Big Lots to get a shade for the car. It was interesting inside. It reminded me of Don Quixote a little bit and also a grocery outlet too. Afterwards, we drove to Citadel Mall. It was interesting inside but we found out that the coffee shop was closed. So we decided to eat lunch at the mall. I ordered a spicy chicken sandwich and my sister got the deluxe original. It was kinda funny cause while we were eating the Chick-Fill-A girl who was my cashier came by to get me a refill. I don’t know if they did that normally so i will just count that moment as she liked me lol. Afterwards, we went to Sam’s Club, over here my sister bought a cinnamon pretzel and frozen yogurt with berries. The frozen yogurt was alright but I really liked the pretzel. After Sam’s club we went home. When we got home I took a nap from 4:00 P.M to 6:00 P.M. I wasn’t supposed to sleep that long but that’s what happens man. When I woke, I went to jog for a bit and then ate dinner. For dinner I ate the rest of the spaghetti from Loveland and a can of baked beans. I then made a cup of coffee and ate some roasted nuts. Afterwards, I went to my room and made a song on the guitar. I don’t know when I’ll upload it on soundcloud cause I just made it and i’m not sure if i’m satisfied with it yet. Other than that, it’s about 10:30 P.M and hopefully I go to sleep early.