Myrtle Beach Vacation – April 2010

Flight to Myrtle Beach - 040210 - 04


Flight to Myrtle Beach – 040210 – 0402-Apr-2010 07:59, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 5.6, 5.8mm, 0.004 sec


Early in the year we were planning a family vacation for Spring Break.  The plan was to fly the airplane to wherever we decided to go.  When we first started making the plans we thought that Disney in Orlando, FL might be the destination.  At the time I was still working on my instrument rating and the goal was to complete it before April so that I could use it and weather wouldn’t be as big of a factor.  After looking into Disney it was obvious that over Spring Break it would be very busy and the prices would be very high because there were no discount specials.  I also wasn’t sure if I would complete the rating in time so we started looking at other destinations up the east coast.  Someplace that was far enough away but not too far in case we ended up having to drive.  After looking at a few destinations and getting recommendations we settled on Myrtle Beach.  My parents (Jeff & Peggy) own a house in Myrtle Beach that they rent out and they stay at a place called Compass Cove when they go to Myrtle Beach to check on the house a couple of times per year.  We looked into it and found out that it has numerous water attractions including pools, hot tubs, lazy rivers, kids pools and even water slides.  The prices were also very reasonable and the rooms were well setup with efficiencies that included a microwave and a refrigerator so that you could eat breakfast and lunch in the room.

On Friday, April 2nd we loaded up early in the morning into N2893Z and departed for Myrtle Beach.  I filed IFR even though the weather was perfect which I plan to do most of the time.  Total flight time was planned to be around 3 hours and 30 minutes due to the headwinds.  This is just a bit too far without a stop for the kids so we decided to find somewhere in North Carolina to stop for fuel and to eat lunch.  We ended up planning a stop in Goldsboro, NC (KGWW) as this was not far off the airway and also had reasonable fuel prices that I found on  Goldsboro is also where Grandpa Anthony now lives.  We had a very nice flight down and as we got closer the haze started to increase a bit but it was still a beautiful VFR day.  It actually was forecasted to be the hottest day of the year with temperatures in the mid-80s in Goldsboro.  When we landed in Goldsboro Grandpa Anthony was waiting for us.  He had a great picnic lunch all setup for us with lunch meats, peanut butter and jelly, chips, drinks and even ice cream!  It was a great lunch and great to see Grandpa for a short time.  We took on fuel, paid the bill and all hopped back into the plane for the short hop to Myrtle Beach.  It was very warm and I quickly got the engine running to cool us down.

We departed Goldsboro and climbed up back onto the airway down to Myrtle Beach.  The haze had increased significantly and I was glad to be IFR.  This leg of the flight was a little less than an hour and it went by very quickly.  I requested the ILS 18 approach into Myrtle Beach (KMYR).  I’m glad I did because it was very hazy and even at the final approach fix I could barely see the airport.  I flew the approach down to below 1000′ and had a nice landing while 2 commercial jets waited for us.  The line man at Myrtle Beach Aviation was very helpful and helped me tie-down and load everything into a van.  We all piled into the van and the family stayed in the van while I checked in and got the rental car keys.  Then we were driven to the rental car lot and again helped with the bags into the car.  Great service!

Compass Cove - Myrtle Beach - 01


Compass Cove – Myrtle Beach – 0103-Apr-2010 17:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 2.8, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec


Compass Cove was only a few minute drive from the airport.  We checked in and checked out the facilities.  Everyone was excited to be at the beach and the weather couldn’t have been better!  For the next few days we had a great vacation in Myrtle Beach!  We spent a few hours each day in the pools or on the beach.  Most days we ate breakfast and lunch in the room and then went out on the town in the afternoon.  One afternoon we visited Broadway at the Beach and another day we went to Barefoot Landing.  We also visited a park and a new shopping center called The Market Common.  On our last day we went out for breakfast at a pancake house and then walked on the new boardwalk in downtown Myrtle Beach that is currently being built.   We had a great time as a family and enjoyed many of the sites of Myrtle Beach including a round of miniature golf.  On Monday evening we went back to Barefoot Landing and the family got our picture taken with a white tiger cub at Preservation Station.  Each evening we went to someplace different for dinner including Liberty Taproom, Cici’s Pizza, Outback Steakhouse, Gordon Bierch Brewery, El Cerro Grande.  By the end of the day we were all very worn out from the pools and running around.  We got to sleep in later than normal each day as well.

Pools at Compass Cove in Myrtle Beach - 040410 - 04


Pools at Compass Cove in Myrtle Beach – 040410 – 0404-Apr-2010 15:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 5.5, 23.2mm, 0.005 sec

Broadway at the Beach - Myrtle Beach - 040310 - 08


Broadway at the Beach – Myrtle Beach – 040310 – 0803-Apr-2010 13:29, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 2.8, 5.8mm, 0.002 sec

Worn out in Myrtle Beach - 040410


Worn out in Myrtle Beach – 04041004-Apr-2010 20:07, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 2.8, 5.8mm, 0.017 sec

Flight - 040810 - KMYR to KILM - 05


Flight – 040810 – KMYR to KILM – 0508-Apr-2010 07:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 5.6, 5.8mm, 0.001 sec


On Thursday morning we woke up early as we were planning to check out and go up to Wilmington, NC on our way home.  The weather forecast was calling for a very windy day so we got rolling early to beat the weather and wind.  Not long after dawn we got to the airport and loaded up the plane.  I filed IFR to Wilmington the night before and it would only be about a 45 minute flight.  We departed and climbed out to about 5000′.  There was a layer of clouds at about 5500′ so I asked ATC if I could climb to 6000′ which was granted.  This was one of the highlights of the trip for me as it was the first time that I was using my instrument rating.  I took some unbelievable pictures right above the clouds.  We quickly approached Wilmington and I flew the ILS 24 into KILM.  It was already starting to get a little windy and bumpy and I had to fly through some small clouds on the approach which was really fun!  Lori was a bit nervous but I had a nice landing and we taxied to ISO Aero Services on the north ramp.  Interestingly enough I completed my primary flight training at KILM and took my checkride right out of the same ramp where we parked.  I hadn’t been back to KILM since 2004.

We stayed at the Jameson Inn in Wilmington on Thursday and Friday nights.  We spent time driving around Wilmington on Thursday and saw the old neighborhood and house that we built and lived in from 2001 through 2004.  We also drove out to Wrightsville Beach.  We stopped at a vet clinic where a couple of Lori’s friends and past co-workers work (Tammy McCloud and Dr. Audrey Mizrahi).  On Thursday evening we went to Buffalo Wild Wings where we met up with a group of friends that I used to work with at Corning.  It was great to see all of them and catch up.  On Friday we met up with another friend of Jeff’s (Dr. Doug Dixon), saw his office and had lunch together in downtown Wilmington.  We then went downtown by the waterfront for a couple of hours.  The Azalea Festival was getting kicked off and vendors were setting up and a lot of people were around.  There was a tall ship that was docked that we also got to tour.  Grandpa Anthony drove down and met us for dinner that evening and we had a nice dinner and visit at Carrabas.

Lori, Audrey Mizrahi and Tammy McCloud in Wilmington - 040810 - 02


Lori, Audrey Mizrahi and Tammy McCloud in Wilmington – 040810 – 0208-Apr-2010 12:31, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 2.8, 6.63mm, 0.017 sec

Grandpa Anthony and Bryan in Wilmington - 040910 - 02


Grandpa Anthony and Bryan in Wilmington – 040910 – 0209-Apr-2010 17:26, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 2.8, 5.8mm, 0.017 sec

Grandpa Anthony and Hannah in Wilmington - 040910 - 02


Grandpa Anthony and Hannah in Wilmington – 040910 – 0209-Apr-2010 18:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 2.8, 5.8mm, 0.017 sec


Unbelievably the vacation was almost over.  Saturday morning we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel.  We drove to the airport and got everything loaded into the plane.  Surprisingly the FBO hadn’t filled us up with fuel as I had requested and there was an issue with the truck.  I think the kid working the line could tell I was a bit upset and he went to try to get the truck running.  Within a few minutes the truck was going and he was filling us up.  It was frustrating because the plane had been sitting for two days and could have been serviced much earlier.  I had filed IFR for KILM to 33N.  Unfortunately we were again going to be fighting a headwind back.  It was slow going at 7000′ and only getting about 100-110 knots of ground speed.  About 90 minutes into the flight Bryan had to use the bathroom so I looked at the Garmin 496 for a place to divert to.  I decided on Suffolk, VA (KSFQ).   After a quick pit stop we jumped back into the plane and I departed VFR as there was a lot of traffic and I wanted to get on my way.  Once I got in the air I called up Norfolk Approach and requested a pop-up IFR clearance to 33N and was cleared direct.  This would take us pretty much straight up the Chesapeake Bay which was a very beautiful flight.  Originally I requested 5000′ to try to get a little more ground speed but it was a bit bumpy so I requested 7000′ which smoothed everything out.  I flew the VOR27 Approach into 33N.  It was a bit gusty and turbulent on the approach and I could hear Lori in the back gasping.  She was glad to be back on the ground after a not so good landing in which I bounced a bit due to the winds.

Back home in Delaware - 041010


Back home in Delaware – 04101010-Apr-2010 13:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SD700 IS, 5.6, 5.8mm, 0.004 sec


We had a great trip!  The week went by fast but it was nice to come home.  It gave me great satisfaction to be able to load up my whole family with luggage and take a week long vacation with the airplane.  I was well prepared and we had great weather!  I look forward to many more opportunities to use the airplane and take the family places.  Please check out all of our pictures of the trip by following this link:  Myrtle Beach Vacation Pictures – April 2010

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