Monday, June 17, 2013

Myrtle Beach: Day Trips & Adventures

Tuesday morning of our vacation we decided to head to Wonderworks. On the boardwalk outside of the entrance they have places where you can feed the fish and when you throw the food in, the fish go crazy!!! They were flopping all over each other and putting their entire bodies out of the water just to grab the pellets!
James didn't really care for the entire experience. It was really loud and crowded in there and I think it was all just too much for him. He did seem to like this motorcycle ride though!
They had a cool bubble station where you could make all sorts of different sizes of bubbles. We tried really hard to make a bubble big enough to go around an entire person, but we weren't able to. I've seen pictures on pinterest of people who use a baby pool with bubbles and a hoola hoop to create bubbles around people and it makes me really want to try it!
After Wonderworks, we headed over to the carousel and kids rides to see if James would crack a smile. He acted really scared of being up on the horse, but he warmed up pretty quickly. He loved it, but he kept a death grip around my neck the entire time so I ended up doing squats next to the horse the entire ride so that he could keep his arm around me.
We had an extra ticket so Anthony rode with James on the train ride. I expected a more enthusiastic reaction from James, but he really loves trains so I assume he had a good time :)
We really wanted to go back to Wonderworks in a few hours when the kids from a school trip would be clearing out, so we attempted to keep James entertained enough that he wouldn't notice he was missing naptime...ummm, that was a no go! We took him over to this inflatable playground full of bouncy houses and slides, paid $10 for him to get an armband that allows him to play on all of them, and he proceeded to cry and refuse to bounce on a single one! This was the only one we could convince him to get on and he stood there for less than a minute and then crawled off. 

The worst part of it was that he would cry and act like he wanted to go on the bouncy houses, but as soon as we would bring him over to one and suggest that he get on he would cry harder and scream, "NO!". Finally we decided to cut our losses and just go home and give him a nap. Best. Decision. Ever. He fell asleep in the car on the way home and we put him to bed as soon as we got to the house. Then Anthony and I had a nice few hours to ourselves to relax and decompress from the stress of the previous few hours with such a cranky kid.

Anthony really wanted to make a trip to Bass Pro Shops since it was so close to our vacation house, so we all tagged along to explore. They had a big aquarium like the one in Orlando, but James barely glanced at it. We spent all of our time at the ATV show room. He was in heaven! (Oh and you notice that nice mark on his face next to his eye? Yeah, he got that from accidentally hitting his face on Anthony's knee. Anthony's got some bony legs!!)
He kept jumping down from the driver's seat so that he could work the gear shift and press the pedals. Then he would jump back up into the driver's seat. Repeat x100.
I thought he would like any ATV that I put him on, but once he was on this one all he would say was "Red one, red one!"
So we got on the red one :)
After Bass Pro we decided to explore the mall. One of the first stores was a model train club's display so we got to go in and look at all of the trains. Again, no smiles but I am pretty sure he liked it.

Poor Anthony had a difficult time at the mall :( He is just not used to having to deal with James' tantrums/crankiness. He has seen it occasionally at home, but usually James reserves the big meltdowns and tantrums for me. Daddy is usually all fun and games for him :) Anthony was holding James and decided to go into Radio Shack to ask the salesperson about something. James wanted to get down and run around so Anthony put him down for a second, thinking that he would go towards a train display near the back of the store. Instead, James decided to run in the opposite direction out of the store. I was just walking in so I saw him come out. I went up to him and asked him, "Does your Daddy know where you are?" as I picked him up. Some stranger came out of the store a few seconds later and told me in this unbelieving voice, "He was in  the store by himself!!". What do you say to people like that? I mean, they are strangers so I don't feel like I need to defend myself or anything, but Anthony was right there literally the whole time. She just didn't realize that Anthony was James' dad I guess.

Then later I wanted to shop around in Books A Million, so Anthony took James since I had him while he shopped in Bass Pro. Literally the entire time I was in the store I could hear James screaming his head off from all the way across the store and in the mall. I picked up a few books and made my way to the register, where the cashier took forever (he had to call his manager at one point to come fix something he rang up wrong), and by the time I got out of the store Anthony was done. He handed James to me and told me he needed a break and started walking towards the car. I felt bad for him, but at the same time I felt a little vindicated. See what I have to deal with?? It's not so easy is it? :)

Here are some of the crabs Anthony caught from our dock. He cooked them as he caught them and saved them in the refrigerator all week and at the end of the week we had a crab feast!
One of the times he checked the traps, he found that he had caught a turtle!
Isn't he cute?? I've never seen a turtle with such facial expression!
Of course, we couldn't go on vacation without geocaching! There were a few in our neighborhood, so we took a walk over to this one first. It was Savino's first time geocaching and he was excited to go "find treasure".
Taking it apart so we can sign the log:
The next one was a little farther of a walk so we did it another morning when James was itching to get out of the house. He really didn't like being cooped up. He would go around saying "walk, walk, walk" because he just wanted to go! I found this one this time!
On our walk we saw a mouse run across the road (!) and we found quite a few roly polies. James loved having them crawl on him!
Another morning it looked too rainy for any outside activities so we headed to the children's museum. It was only sprinkling when we got in the car, but then it turned into this:
Luckily it cleared up before we got there so we didn't get soaked getting out of the car. The museum was really cool! It wasn't the newest of buildings, but it certainly had a huge amount of exhibits! This was a sand table/pendulum where you could fill the funnel with sand and then watch it swing back and forth, making sand designs.
They had a train table set up and one of the decorations had a loudspeaker microphone. James would hold it up and say "aboard!" (like all aboard)
They had tons of pretend play stations. They had an actual VW bug that you could crawl in and move the steering wheel and pedals (3 guesses where we spent most of our time), a pizza delivery car where you could make pretend pizzas in the back, a bubble station, half of a pirate ship with pretend treasure and pirate dress up clothes, a dentist chair and sink:
And a pretend ambulance. You could sit up front with the steering wheel and buttons, but you could also get in the back and pretend to be sick or to be a paramedic. They had so much stuff to do and see, but James couldn't stay still long enough to really explore each thing, so we just basically ran around to all the different cars
That evening after nap time we met up with the rest of our family to go see the tigers at the boardwalk! For a few hours every night this local tiger preserve brings some tigers to a small enclosure at the boardwalk as an advertisement for their hugely expensive (but very cool sounding!) preserve tours. For $80 you can also get your picture taken holding a baby tiger or a baby chimp in your lap!! How cool would that be! We watched a few people do it and looked like a lot of fun.

This was one of their adult white tigers. It looked really bored, unless it saw a child. Then it started really tracking them with his eyes. It was a little creepy...
Here were the baby tigers that were waiting for pictures. I guess they are more adolescents than babies, but they were still really cute!
This was a baby chimp that they were playing with. It was being so playful and cuddly, it is amazing how human like they are.
A fun, weirdly inappropriate boardwalk picture:
We stopped to watch this street performer. He juggled a few chainsaws and then juggled fire while on a unicycle. He was pretty good, but Anthony was kind of put off by his "please give me money" spiel.

Anthony's turn to take James on the carousel! There was progress, James actually let go of Anthony and held onto the pole the entire time!

On our last day we decided to go to Ripley's aquarium while everyone else went to Ripley's believe it or not. It was the one touristy thing that Anthony requested we do, so we definitely had to fit it in. It was great! This was one of the first tanks you see when you go in. Look at all of the fish!
The coolest part of the entire aquarium is this long conveyor belt that takes you underneath these huge aquariums full of fish and sharks:
The sharks and the fish swim right over you!
James tried to "get" the sharks:

Then he wanted to "get" the eels:
The conveyor belt ends in the middle of the aquarium where they have a touch tank full of horseshoe crabs and baby sharks. James loved touching the sharks as they swam by! Right next to that was this large angler fish slide:
There is also a spot where you can crawl under this aquarium and stand up in the middle of it! James was not a fan:

There was another large tank where they had mermaid shows. It sounded pretty cool, but it wasn't that exciting. Imagine watching someone in a costume dive to the bottom of a pool and then come up for air over and over and over again for 10 minutes. There you go, now you've been to the mermaid show :)
We did get to see some awesome leafy dragons!
The aquarium had a large playroom for kids that was full of things you can touch. James was so happy to be able to get into something!! He really liked this lightboard wall:

And of course, the slide! This one was a sea turtle slide:
We had so much fun sight seeing and exploring, even with a cranky James :) We can't wait to do it again next year!


{leah} said...

Looks like you had a good time!! I went to the Aquarium so long ago... {like 10 years ago!}

And I totally can relate to what you feel when James has a fit and Anthony doesn't see it... We have that with Benji right now.

Just know that he will grow out of it. Be consistent. And he may be a kid that will nap for a long time. My James napped until he was almost 4 so don't feel like you have to phase them out just because he is a certain age {an it will be heaven for you if you can get naps to over lap a little bit for the boys}

{miss you!!}

Happy said...

Wow, sounds like you guys did a ton of stuff!! We never seem to do much when we go on any sort of vacation, I think I'm just not a good planner (well, and Jared's family reunions they like to just hang out at the house). I SO hear ya about the temper-tantrum thing. I love when Jared gets to see and deal with what I do on a regular basis! He has finally started saying, "I don't know how you do it all the time!! They were driving me nuts and I was only with them for a few hours by myself!" Yep! You are such a good supportive wife with Anthony's aquarium/fish passion, I've always been so impressed with you for that (and other reasons)!
So funny about James not wanting to sit still for long, I literally have to push and prod my kids to get up and do stuff sometimes b/c they love to just sit and people watch for so long. So funny how different people are! Oh, and I laughed at his lack of expression about the trains, that is SO my kids!! We were at some friends house last year and their teenage son dressed up as Iron Man b/c I told them Dallin would freak out with excitement to see Iron Man in the flesh, and then when Iron Man walked out, Dallin had ZERO expression. Same thing at his birthday party when he saw 4 real live superheroes standing in his living room- didn't even crack a smile. I was like, "I promise he's going nuts inside!!"