Bear N Mom - Travel - Myrtle Beach Trip Review
Where do I begin. I guess I should go back a few months and start at the beginning. As I've stated before, I am the proud owner of a timeshare in sunny Orlando, Florida. Every once in awhile the timeshare folks open up a new timeshare and make individual offers to their owners. I just happen to be in the enviable category of not only an owner but an owner with a paid off contract. The Myrtle Beach property was to open in January of this year and I was offered ownership privileges, site unseen by a telemarketer which I turned down. I expressed an interest in trading my time with HGVC for a week in Myrtle Beach. Oops, my platinum status did not qualify me for using my points in Myrtle Beach this year. I needed to either be an owner in that property or have elite status, which is a whole other ballgame from what I thought was a pretty high status in timeshare ownership.
Okay so what happens, I'm offered a come on down deal by another telemarketer for HGVC. Now I'm interested since I can't go using my points and I accept, upgrade my offer to a one bedroom instead of a studio and book my dates. All is well with the world you would think.
Let's look at my four days, three nights in sequence.
Travel to Myrtle Beach
Let me just say one thing. GPS may be the up and coming thing for travel but my observation is you almost need to be a rocket scientist to get where you are going on the first try.
Our travel time from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina should have taken us just over 9-1/2 hours. I was told this by someone who had just been there. Wrong! Not because of the driving abilities of our driver for this trip but because of the GPS instructions given.
We were about an hour short of our destination when for no unknown reason we were sent on an around about way which amounted to going down one country road to the next, making a right and traveling on that to a point and then making another right turn. This brought us back to the same highway we had been traveling on only about five miles down the road and a round about tour of the North Carolina countryside.
Needless to say, our nerves were a bit on edge when we arrived 12 hours into our vacation.
Pool Area Shots while WaitingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Checking Into Our Suite
Our check in and room entrance had a few speed bumps to say the least. We arrived around 3:30 pm and found the check in drive through a zoo. To be expected with that much activity in the little drive through, our room was not ready. This is unusual for a HGVC but even with how tired we were we got back into the car and went to dinner.
After we had eaten at Fuddruckers, that's an entirely different story. I called the front desk to be told that at 4:15 pm our room was still not ready. I got a little rude and said, "So we can expect to get into our room sometime between now and 4 pm." The poor man stuttered a little bit and said they were very busy at the moment but they would do their best. It was time for me to take a chill so as we climbed back into the car we decided to take a motor tour of Myrtle Beach. We found the Boardwalk and then started back in the direction of our hotel.
Suite FixturesClick thumbnail to view full-size
I made another call from the far end of town and we were told our room would be ready when we got back. So, back we went. Check in was a breeze since I've done it what seems like a thousand times. Throw the credit card down for security and receive the keys to the kingdom.
We got our bags out of the car and up the elevators we whisked to the 17th. Floor. Higher floors mean better views. Ratsafras, my key didn't work and neither did any of the other three keys. I was about to send my granddaughter down to the desk to get them reprogrammed when the head maid, room inspector, came up and let us in. She had heard my sarcasm and decided to be helpful. I was disappointed because I expected a hideaway bed in the closet. The maid said the sofa opened into a bed. GRRRRRR! It's been my experience that those beds are soft and full of springs that hurt every part of your back. She offered to bring me a foldaway bed but I regained my patience and declined. Let's just chalk my bad attitude up to being cooped up in the car for so long without being able move. I made that decision and pulled out the bed and went to sleep at about 5:30 pm.
Night Shots of ExteriorClick thumbnail to view full-size
I was so tired from our drive down that I was asleep at 5:30 pm but all good things have to come to an end and I was awake again at midnight.
I couldn't watch tv because my granddaughter was sound asleep in the bed. So I got dressed and went outside for a bit. The above pictures show how nicely the building lights up at night. It's really got style and the gold lights it all up. The architecture appears to be Mediterranean.
There was a party going on at the far end of the fountains out front and I decided to go back in where I spent at least an hour talking with the night manager and the security guard. This was when I found out that The Anderson was only built 5 years ago and that it is strong enough to withstand a category 4 hurricane should it come up the Atlantic Coast.
The Anderson is a part of Oceana Resorts and when it was built they sold the units much like HGVC does. They sold about half but out of those units they sold 65 to year round residents. When the sale of the units started to wain off HGVC made an offer and they are now the predominant management of this condominium.
Through conversation, I learned that some of my concerns about the presentation of the suite I was occupying was never communicated to the Anderson personnel and they are working on coming up to the Hilton brand expectation.
Sun Bathing, Board Walking, AdventuringClick thumbnail to view full-size
Vacation At Last
Even though I spent most of the night down by the pool or in the lobby talking with the night manager, I was able to go back to sleep and get up in time for my appointment with the Timeshare people on Sunday morning. My daughter went with me and we spent over an hour talking with Maggie. I really wanted to buy in but wasn't able to at this time so we bid Maggie goodbye and we went on our way to fun in the sun.
The next two days were spent lazing in the sun or walking the beach. My granddaughter got in her favorite pastime and went shopping for souvenirs. We ate breakfast at Mangolias which is a restaurant owned by Anderson across the street. It serves from a menu but they have a very nice affordable buffet that they serve from 6:30 in the morning until 11 at night.
There was an Art's Festival at the park in the middle of the ocean front area and we spent about an hour winding our way around the different artists and their crafts. There were painters, pottery makers and jewelers not to mention the seamstresses and glass workers. One vendor had some really interesting lawn ornaments made from re-bar and shaped metal.
That night we ate at a bar and grill on the boardwalk. We were sitting right under the giant ferris wheel. It was funny to watch the same woman's expressions as she came around for the 5th time without it stopping to let her off. She was like "alright already, let me out of here."
My daughter and son-in-law spent a good part of their time on the seashore walking up and down. They did go all the way to the boardwalk one afternoon which is a mile from where we were staying.
Across the street from the timeshare they owned a miniature golf coarse and we played a round one evening. It was hilarious watching the old lady, ME, putting the balls into the water hazards. I did manage to stay out of the sand traps. hehehe!
The last night we went to Applebee's for dinner and on the way home the clouds opened up and the rains came. It had been threatening to rain the whole time we were down there but it held off until our last night there.
I wont go into our ride home but the 9-1/2 hour trip turned into 16 hours. The less said the better. All in all, I would recommend the trip. It is worth the long drive getting there for sure. I hope you enjoyed my trip as much as I did. Thanks for coming along.
One recommendation I have for the Chamber of Commerce in the resort area is that their places of business such as the Boardwalk and and entertainment areas have wheelchairs, motorized or manual, available. There were none available at the places I visited and my children left me behind at the resort when they went to most because I couldn't walk the long stretches. I'm not totally handicapped but I have Peripheral Artery Disease which make walking long distances (over 300 feet) very difficult for me. So if you are a business owner on the boardwalk or some of the other entertainment areas consider pooling resources for access for the handicapped who do not own their own vehicle.
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