I had looked forward to a long weekend at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my boyfriend, Brad, my teenage son, Jonathan and his good friend, Bailey. As a native Miamian, smelling the salt in the air, seeing the waves push back and forth on the shore, and feeling the sand between my toes is part of my annual zin. But we did not realize we had decided to visit the beach at the same time as a school of jelly fish. A local resident told me that the very end of July and beginning of August is the normal 2-week period when they swim by every year. Great.
I was going to enjoy the beach and ocean no matter what! After all, they are just little jelly fish that are coming all the way up to ankle-deep water. No biggie! We rented our beach-provided umbrella and lounge chairs, and prepared to enjoy some sun and sand at last! Unbeknownst to us at first, Brad and I waded into the water, preparing to dance with the waves pushing and knocking us down. It was a wonderful dance – the waves and I! Jump up a little for this wave, dive under water for that wave. Then step out tired and dripping wet to settle for a spell in the lounge chair under the umbrella. Feeling the warm wind again my wet skin. Watching the seagulls fly by, hearing the sound of the waves rushing up to the shore until they run out of power. The most refreshing feeling in the world!
This time, however, as I was wandering around in the water talking to Brad about the waves, I felt a “bite” on the back of my left calf. “Ouch!” I said. It felt like the bite of those pesky black flies that we sometimes get in the Carolinas in the heat of the summer. We kept talking and laughing, and I found myself rubbing that same spot several times. It was still smarting – longer, I realized, than those fly bites last. Soon after, I felt a much stronger bite on the top of my right leg near the side of my knee. “What the heck is that?” I thought to myself. As I walked closer to Brad, I spotted a little jelly fish floating closer and closer to him. “Look out, Babe! There is a jelly fish!” We pondered the jelly fish conundrum for a few moments longer, then decided to get out of the water and sit in our chairs.
The back of my leg didn’t show any problems, so that was good. The second sting, however, looked like a pink rash of sorts. It felt like when a person gets ever-so-slightly burned, and the little twang of burning doesn’t subside. I decided to ask the life guard for his suggestion on jelly fish sting soothers. Besides vinegar, the idea which sounded best to me was standing just at the edge of the water, picking up the wet sand and rubbing the spot for a few seconds. I tried that, and the pain went away is just minutes!
Looking around, we noticed the warning flags were out and people were in small groups talking just at the edge of the water, but no one was going in. Hmm. As far as we were concerned, that was not an option. Once we knew we had a great antidote to those pesky little jelly fish stings, were weren’t cowering on shore, no siree! We headed right back into the ocean and had a great time! Others saw us and finally started going back in the water, too. After all, it was a beautiful day at Myrtle Beach. Little jelly fish were not going to stop us! Sharks maybe, but not jelly fish.
After getting our fill of sun, sand, surf, and jelly fish, we ate at the nearby Land Shark restaurant. I didn’t realize it was a sister company to Margaritaville. The fish sandwich was fabulous! And, of course, we had to ride on the famous Sky Wheel and looked at all of the beach scenery from way up above. We also ate lunch before heading home at a little hole-in-the-wall place called Peaches Corner, whose building is settled, ironically, on a corner of South Ocean Boulevard. Decent food, great people, enjoyable experience!
I’m searching for a picture frame with a jelly fish on it to place our family photo in from our vacation weekend. It’s those odd-ball things that happen on vacations that make the memory so special. Don’t you think?