This was an Abbreviated SNOWBIRD trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA

30 Jan to 3 Apr 2016

All right, you are most likely wondering why this is an "abbreviated" snowbird trip...well, we just had to wait around and welcome our 7th grandchild to the family. Kathryn & Rodney gave birth to Jonah Pierre Russell Etienne on 13 January 2016.

Seen here are Rodney, Jonah and my lovely daughter Kathryn.

Once the birth was successful and the family was settled, Sharon and I started to prepare for our trip down to North Myrtle Beach.

Car loaded and GPS set, we departed on the 30th. First night was scheduled for the Hampton Inn just outside of Washington, DC. On the 31st, we stopped in to see Marigene and Sean Little (note: Tom was still in Saudi at the time).

Just something Marigene threw together ....

Sean and Marigene Little. They received us so well.

I talked a bit with Sean, what a polite and intelligent young man.

Saying goodbye after a few hours ...

We arrived and found our condo --just perfect. A 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom with ocean front and a large balcony on the 7th floor.

First thing to do is to enjoy the view with my lovely wife...lunch on the balcony

And always time to read as the waves lap on the shore..the soothing sound that lulls the reader into a sense of ease and security...

We needed to get things organized as we were expecting some friends for an overnight visit as they headed to their final destination of Florida... Introducing Lucas and Anita Hellemans.

Where would they be if Anita and Sharon were not feeding animals?

Yes, Anita is there somewhere hidden behind the birds.

Well, Feb went like a blur. Most likely because Sharon and I both came down with a cold. First her, then me then it was recoup time.

What, did I forget to mention that for the 14th of Feb we were both feeling just fine ;)

In case you were wondering what was in the box....Canadian Diamond...Yes, I know! I am patriotic.

In March came the arrival of our friends from Maine. They were staying on the 2nd floor and in the same building so it was easy and it was fun. We took them out to Ryans as part of their birthday celebration (Both birthdays are the beginning of March).

A few days later came Lynn and Russell Etienne. One thing that my daughter complained about was that both sets of grandparents were out of the country at the same time. hahaha

Milli and Frank had us over for supper at their place. A great Italian meal...

Together we all celebrated the birthdays with a cake by Sharon. A birthday cake non-the-less for the pair of March birthday celebrations ;) Happy birthday Milli and Frank.

I use this photo since I figure it is Frank pretending he has just discovered "fire" and is doing his manly walk around to show people his new discovery

We brought a few gifts for them

On their actual birthday, knowing they have a sweet tooth...

Now, enjoying the view and the weather

I must have learned this from Lucas :)

Russell and I went out for a walk every day. Thank you for being my walking (workout) partner Russell.

As did Lynn and Sharon

They walked and fed the birds...woman, they can multi-task.

We had a get together supper in our condo - no more birthday celebrations. They had enough ;)

And we had them over for another meal...to enjoy everyone's company even though Frank looks menacing with his threatening holding of his knife and fork...must be a left over from his caveman exhibition.

I know what you are thinking. Is this all party? Is there nothing that is happening on the beach?

What a good segue to Russell and I going for another walk along the beach. Our walks went for many miles and the most we accomplished in one outing was 9 miles. Well done to both of us.

On St Paddy's Day, Russell, Lynn, Sharon and I decided to partake in the Parade in North Myrtle Beach

This one is hard to see but they were having a sword fight on horseback. Also pictured are the spectators and of course those more familiar to us ;)

But it wasn't all fun...there was some strenuous golfing also. A picture of Frank and I at some par 3...

In the background is a gator

A beautiful par 4. Over water, calling for a slight right to left shot...all looks good from the tee ;)

Regardless of where the ball went...wasn't that a nice hole, a nice swing?

Frank taking a picture of the gator...from the golf cart!!

He's small Frank...get out of the cart!!!

Now I am sure I know a few people at my golf course that would buy this...

Hurry up and take the picture already ;)

With Russell, we decided to venture into the wilderness and try our luck at Kayaking. We went to Gator Bait Adventure Tours.

Here is Russell talking with Jane (one of the owners). In the picture next to Russell is a memorial of a teenager that went missing a few years ago and people are still holding out hope that someone will recognize her and she will show up alive somewhere.

Jane was majical. Not only because of her purple streaks in her hair that matched her Kayak, but her knowledge of the area and animals. She made the adventure truly enjoyable.

Do you see the snake coiled up in the tree?

As with all things though, there is always the good bye, until we meet again. Russell and Lynn left for their Road Trip.

So after Lynn and Russell left, Frank, Milli, Sharon and I went out for supper. NO!!!! We were not celebrating your departure, it was like --an Irish wake, we were in mourning that you guys left...

The owner came over and sat with us for this picture.

Milli gave Sharon a gift....celebrating Sharon's love for the USA...

Milli made me a toque

Another Snow bird season gone by. Another time to say farewell to good Maine friends and hope to see you again next year.

But (I hear you asking) what about sunrises or sunsets? Did you have any nice ones? Well, here are a few of what I thought were the most impressive. To go to the location to get these pictures, I got up early in the morning to drive the 30 mins or so to the Cherry Grove Pier and then get set up. Looking for where the sun would rise and try and get the pier and the sun to match up...It was an adventure.

I love getting the birds in all sunrises

Now aren't you happy you asked for some sun rises?

Now you have enough sunrises. I know...you're saying..."what about a few of the sunset" All right, if you asked...

The Skywheel of Myrtle Beach comes out very nice in night pictures

Again, to go here to get these pictures (23rd ave in Myrtle itself) took nearly 45 mins travelling plus over 1 hour wait for the right lighting. My lovely wife was so patient.

And in the sky...

I figure if I place this at the end of the website, Lynn won't see it and neither will Sharon. Russell, care to try Parasailing?

Please don't tell me to fly a kite...this guy is so good he has three hooked up in tandem.

Until next year

Well, now we headed back to Canada. This time we stop for Lunch in Prince George and Tom was there.

As I mentioned, I enjoy talking with Sean. Smart person, maybe some of it will rub off on me;)

Sharon and Marigene always hit it off

The colors, the lake, the setting...no wonder they never want to move from here.

See how happy Tom is right now. He lives in paradise and has a wonderful family. Always a pleasure to meet up with any of them

My good friend Tom...Thanks for the memories

Before leaving we had to show Milli's gift to Sharon...I wonder if it was to show her lovely gift or to say that Sharon loves being connected to the USA?

A visit to Hershey

Now that I have your attention:

Can you find these in any of the stores at home?

After much buying, I am in a long lineup for people who spend $$$ here to buy all sorts of things

But it does go very quick

Too quick, could not beleive how much we spent in this place....I wonder if the KISS chocolate is really "kiss your money goodbye" ;)

All joking aside, I am sure our grandchildren will love this

I was wondering why Sharon wanted this picture, then I realized...the USA flag on top of the building ;)

Hershey trolley that tours the place...yes, it is that big

How big? Well, this shuttle bus can take you to your car. We chose to walk.

How innovative to even have their street lights with the KISS symbol

And that was the end of our tour and we started to head home...into the snow and cold ;(

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