If you’re paying attention, you’ll note that there was no blog post for last week. If you weren’t paying attention, then never mind, I guess. Last week, Karen and I were on vacation with my sister and her family and my daughter and her husband. We all met in Myrtle Beach for an extended Labor Day weekend and MAN did we have a great time. I’ll be back next week with the next episode in the series I mentioned in my last post: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!
Of course, we spent a lot of time on the beach. We managed to rent a penthouse condo right on the beach. We were on the 18th (top) floor of the condo and had an awesome view of the beach and the Myrtle Beach coastline.
Needless to say, from our perch atop the 18 story condo building, us early risers were treated to some spectacular sunrises. And when I say “us” early risers, I mean me. For some reason I can’t understand it is impossible for me to sleep in, even on vacation, so I was up by 5AM every day. It’s a curse, but sometimes it has its perks.
I decided my phone takes pretty good pictures too, I was able to get a picture of my family hanging at the pool over the railing on the 18th floor. I was a little nervous about maybe dropping it, but it worked out well after all. And check out my nephew’s shoes on the beach! He was never very far away from them.
If you’ve ever been to Myrtle Beach, you know there are a plethora of putt putt golf courses. While we didn’t get any pictures we did play several rounds of putt putt with everyone, and of course on Friday morning we played 18 holes of full sized golf at the Barefoot Resort Fazio course. Not for the weak at heart (I wish someone had told me THAT before we went!), this is a challenging course with LOTS of water to allow for maximum ball loss. I think I lost a dozen balls that morning.
As I mentioned, we were in the penthouse condo and had some pretty amazing accommodations, as you can see below. If you are traveling to Myrtle Beach I highly recommend seeing if this place, “Living the High Life” is available. Four bedrooms with PLENTY of room, and it even has a game room complete with a billiard table and arcade games. The owners are fantastic, very responsive, friendly, and helpful. They actually provided a storage unit CHOCK full of things you need for the beach like chairs, umbrellas and a cooler with wheels.
A Plug for the owners
If you are planning a vacation and are considering either Hilton Head or the Gatlinburg area, check out their rentals at those locations. Can’t go wrong with these owners and if the properties are even half as nice as their Myrtle Beach property you will enjoy the accommodations. The pictures look amazing! Hilton head. Pigeon Forge (Near Gatlinburg and Dollywood). Reach out to the owners through these sites and you may be able to rent directly from them and save the VRBO fees.
No vacation is complete without some pretty amazing grub. Our condo had a kitchen, so we could make our own breakfast and lunch, but of course we managed to find some great restaurants for dinner each night. I mean, who wants to cook dinner (and clean up!) while on vacation, right!? Believe it or not, those are foot-long chili dogs with fries and cheese sauce. I think they enjoyed them.
No Myrtle Beach vacation is complete without a day spent riding go karts! There are a couple go kart tracks at the beach, but we chose the one with elevated tracks. Smaller footprint, but great fun with lots of twists and turns and one had a steep(ish) hill near the end. Great fun for the whole family!
The BIG adventure
Saturday morning we had a BIG adventure, visiting the Myrtle Beach Safari. The owner, Doc Antle was featured in the series “Tiger King” (Confession: I did not watch Tiger King at all – so shoot me), but my son in law Ricky tells me he was portrayed as the way TO do things, versus the other guy who was portrayed as the way NOT to do things. I don’t know, since I didn’t watch it, but from my vantage point I note that these animals were well cared for (even loved) and the trainers were professional and well informed in animal husbandry. At least one of the trainers has a PhD in animal husbandry.
So, what is the safari all about?
First, I will recognize that some of you may fell “some kind of way” about roadside zoos and animals in captivity. I get it…these wild animals are not in their natural habitat and that is sad. It IS however a way for people to see and interact with them, and participate, even in a small way, in their preservation IN the wild. At the end of the day, the safari allows people to not only see full grown big cats in action, but to personally interact with tiger cubs, wolves, hyenas, a full grown African Elephant. and several species of Monkeys. And the organization supports preservation of wild life in their natural habitat as well.
On top of that…
You get your picture taken with a full grown, 900-pound Liger (a cross between a male Lion and female Tiger), un-caged and sitting about 8 feet behind you. It’s a little unnerving, but the cat seems pretty chill and is, of course, used to people parading around in front of him. Honestly he didn’t even pay attention to us, but was focused on his trainer instead.
And my next BIG trip
Will likely be a trip to a game preserve in South Africa to view some of these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. Myrtle Beach Safari offers a ten day African Safari with limited participation so you are not crowded in huge busses with 100 of your closest friends. It’s a little pricey, but includes airfare, accommodations, food, and tours into the brush. Check out their website if you’re interested. Maybe I’ll see you there in 2023 after Karen retires!
We all need to unplug sometimes
All work and no play…as they say. We spend a lot of time working and marketing ourselves as voice artists and actors, we work odd hours and even though we are in our own home (for voice over anyway) we spend a lot of time “away” from our families. Just last Friday I had an acting gig that STARTED at 6:30 PM and didn’t wrap till 3:30 AM. It was a fun gig, and I’ll share when I can, but the vacation the week before made it a lot less cumbersome this weekend.
Unplug and recharge
If you are an entrepreneur, it is important to occasionally walk away and take some time for yourself. If you miss a gig, so be it. Leave your computer and travel setup at home at least once a year. Just take some time to spend with family doing something fun. Sure, I had close to 500 emails to sort through when I got back, and I missed 2 or 3 auditions that I may have booked. But you know what? The downtime with my family was WELL worth that.
At the end of the day
This trip was phenomenal and was a great opportunity to unplug and recharge. It was just a week but I came home recharged and ready to go! Remember, your career is your career and it won’t last forever, but your family…well, that’s what is really important (and I have learned THEY don’t last forever either). Take the time while you have them to fully devote yourself to them. You’ll be glad you did (I am!).
Donna Floyd says
Looks like you all had a great vacay.
Gary Mason says
We absolutely did! The only thing that might have been better is if it was longer!
Looks like you all had an amazing time! We love myrtle and have vacationed more than a dozen times there 💕
Gary Mason says
It was definitely amazing, I’d return again over and over. And when we move to SC it’ll just be two hours away and we can do day trips!
Safari 2023 sounds amazing!
Gary Mason says
I am SO looking forward to it. They say you are not allowed to leave your bungalow at night because the animals routinely uise the swimming pool as a watering hole!
Caroline S Tetschner says
Thanks for sharing Gary. Looks like a wonderful vacay!
Gary Mason says
It truly was a fantastic time!
Nancy Mason says
I always love reading about your adventures! How awesome!
Gary Mason says
Thanks Hon…we definitely had some fun!