One of the Best Birthdays Ever!

Last Thursday (May 18) was my birthday! Lizabeth was determined to make it the best one yet. It was a very good day.

She said I could do anything I wanted (within reason) and she would join me. My first decision was to get up at the crack of dawn, or as our kids used to call it, the butt-crack of dawn, to watch the sunrise. We are on the beach after all. Myrtle Beach, at that, where the sun rises over the ocean. Not many things as pretty as that in my book.

Lizabeth is NOT an early bird, but she did well. It’s not that she can’t or won’t get up in the morning, it’s just that not all her cylinders are firing very well that early.

This is the one area where we are total opposites. I am an early bird. My cylinders shut down around 5pm. I do not have trouble falling asleep and sometimes I’m asleep before my head hits the pillow. No joke.

Some would think that this makes for a bad living arrangement in an RV, but it really works well for us.

Not only am I an early bird, but I am an introvert and a thinker. I MUST spend the first couple of hours of my morning in my head, in the quiet (or in the white noise of the ocean, preferably), or I feel ‘off’ all day long.

I do a lot of journaling, planning and spending time with me (because I love me). I don’t need company for that.

So, Lizabeth sleeping in a bit later really works well for me… most mornings.

But, not birthday morning. I do enjoy sharing the sunrise with her occasionally, and special occasions are about the only days I can get her to agree. The sunrise was spectacular!

After the beautiful sunrise and a nice walk on the beach, she made me peanut butter protein pancakes and an egg white omelette. Even birthdays are not exempt from the new weight release plan. (I’ll explain our planned splurge a bit later).

My choice for the day was to play! One of my favorite things to do as a kid was to read the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! books. I think I probably had most, if not all, of those books. I loved the trivia and the oddities in those books!

Then I discovered the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum in Pigeon Forge and went there every chance I got as a kid. But, as many birthdays have rolled around since then, that was a very long time ago. And we were in a different state with a different Ripleys.

So, my choice was to see the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! museum here in Myrtle Beach. Of course Ripley’s now owns half the town and has packages for all their tourist attractions.

I’ve had fun in them all before as a child and with my children, but Lizabeth hadn’t yet had the Ripley’s experience, so I decided to do them all!

Except the Haunted Adventure. We do not do terror. We’ve had enough of that in our lives, so we bypass all haunted movies, events, houses, or anything else with the word haunted or terror associated. We want to spend the rest of our lives laughing and having fun, not being scared. We’ve been there, done that and don’t want no more.

We first experienced the Ripley’s Mirror Maze. That was crazy. We didn’t get lost, but we did run into a couple of mirrors. We did it twice and laughed a lot.

Then we went to the 5D theater where we watched 2 movies. The first was the Roadrunner cartoon, which was one of my favorite’s as a kid. It wasn’t as good at Ripley’s. I think they had the timing off or it just wasn’t that great as a 5D movie. It was still fun though.

The second movie was an Angry Birds movie. It was really cool! We had the whole place to ourselves! We experienced flashing lights, moving chairs, 3D stuff coming at us, water spraying us in the face, and lots of laughter. It was a lot of fun and we left wet and happy. The second movie was MUCH better than the first.

We went to the Ripley’s odditorium next. We both had lots of fun learning and re-learning all the little known facts. We saw lots of things that were very interesting, some things that were good to know, and others that we can’t unsee! We saw lots of really creative artwork, science, music and trivia.

Next on the agenda was the Ripley’s Aquarium! We had both been before, but it had been a while. And it wasn’t THIS aquarium. We were excited.

We looked at our tourist map that came in a coupon book from the visitor center and saw that the aquarium was just around the block. All three of the other events had been right next to each basically, so we assumed the aquarium would be close by too.

We decided to walk since we had paid an all-day ticket to park. We walked. And we walked. And we walked some more. Forty-five minutes and two miles later we arrived at Ripley’s aquarium. I really didn’t care anything about any damn fish by that time, but I was too hot, tired and sore to give up now. I was going to see every single one of them.

We truly enjoyed the aquarium. They had a nice snack area where we could get lots of really cold water and the shark tunnel had a moving walkway so we didn’t have to walk anymore. We found plenty of benches to rest and enjoy the beautiful fish. Lizabeth got to pet a stingray, jellyfish, horseshoe crab and other slimy things. I chose to take pictures instead of touch.

We stayed a couple of hours and then decided whether we would take the 2 mile trek back to our truck or take a cab or uber. We decided to hoof it again. Two miles and forty-five minutes later, our truck never looked so good… and cool. We were exhausted. We were hungry. We were hot. The only solution? Crab legs in a cool restaurant. And LOTS of them.

There are a lot of places in Mrytle Beach where you can get unlimited crab legs. We chose Captain George’s Buffet. There were over 150 items on their buffet including crab legs, clams, shrimp, fried stuff, broiled stuff, steamed stuff… you name it, it was probably there. We decided to not go off our eating plan EXCEPT to allow ourselves more than the 8oz portion of protein. We ate crab legs. And more crab legs. And more. And more. We decided it was a safe bet since it seems that you are eating so much more when you have to crack them open.

We were stuffed for the first time in a very long time and we still felt pretty good about our food choices. We passed up the dessert. We passed up the fried stuff. We passed up the breads. We passed up the high carb salads, pastas, and sauces. We just ate steamed vegetables, steak and broiled or baked seafood. But, we ate our $34 worth each. It was a very good meal. We were now satisfied and cool, but still exhausted.

We wobbled to the truck and headed home to hot showers and a nice cool bed to finish binge watching Survivor season 3.

Thank you Myrtle Beach, and Lizabeth, for one of the best birthday’s ever. Getting calls and texts from all my kids, sister, brother and a bazillion Facebook posts from my extended family made it even better! Thank you all! I felt the love <3 !

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