A Stroller, A Squirrel and More Fire & Smoke
As mentioned in our previous post, walking along the beach is one of our favorite things to do, so during our stay at Myrtle we spent quite a bit of time doing just that. We would then return to our coach, only to listen to our “boys”, meowing at us constantly. “Take us out, take us out” they seemed to be crying. When we had our house we used to take them out in the yard and of course they had lots of room inside to run around and play like maniacs. Now we can’t help but feel bad for them cooped up in only 42 feet of space. We often bring them outside to sit in our laps just so they can get some fresh air and have a change of scenery. And sometimes Rob takes Sparky for bike rides much to my chagrin. Holding a cat while riding a bike doesn’t seem like the safest thing to do. What if he gets spooked or Rob falls off? Hate to even think about either scenario.
So prior to our departure from RI, after considerable research, Rob ordered a combo pet stroller and trailer from a company called Booyah. What we won’t do for our pets! Might sound like a silly purchase especially to non-pet owners but look at it this way – we have contributed to the $58 billion pet industry and have helped the economy while giving our kids some enjoyment!
So now Sparky and Gizmo can either be pedaled around or pushed in the stroller, either together or one at a time. Well, let me clarify, Rob is perfectly happy to drive them around with the bike but he won’t be caught dead pushing our kids in the stroller so that has been delegated to me. Must be one of those male, macho things like asking for directions (or not)!
So anyway on our last day at the State Park after the park had emptied out and there was less traffic, Sparky hitched a ride with his bike chauffeur, Rob, and got to see the ocean, up close and personal while the more hyper and nervous Gizmo rode around getting a
birds kitties eye view of the campground. Not quite sure which Sparky enjoyed more – the crashing of the waves on the beach or watching the seagulls high in the sky. Surprisingly both of them seemed to enjoy their outing! At least that’s what we think, maybe if they could talk, they would voice a different opinion but since they can’t, we’ll just have to project our opinions on them.
Speaking of our furry friends, during one of our walks (without the kitties), we heard the loud rustle of leaves close by to the path followed by a big thud! This is one of those times when you wish you had a video camera ready! Apparently a squirrel had been jumping from one branch of a tree to another and oops, he missed! Must have fallen at least 20 feet if not more. Not to worry though, he quickly scurried off into the brush so he didn’t appear to be injured. Maybe someone should have him read the “Steady Like A Squirrel” sign posted along one of the paths.
Saturday was a miserable day especially in the afternoon. Windy with lots of rain! Yuck! After spending the day cooped up in the motor home, the good eats at Fire & Smoke beckoned to us. So around 4:30 p.m. we donned our rain gear and headed back to 79th ave. Once again Trey greeted us at the door and seated us. Decisions, decisions – what delectable morsels did we want to eat this time?
Just as a note we had been told by our friendly neighbors, Joanie and Nick, that most all restaurants in Myrtle Beach (and maybe all of SC) have happy hour between 4 and 7 p.m. on weekends. Fire and Smoke was no exception offering beers (not their specialty draft beers) for $2, mixed drinks for $5 and quality wine offerings for $6.
During our many trips in the Northeast (prior to RV’ing) particularly in NH, Vermont and Canada, we have seen a Canadian dish called Poutine which Rob had always wanted to try. Well, as luck would have it, Poutine was listed as an appetizer. I didn’t have a strong urge to try it but we ordered it anyway. My choice would have been the house made chips with spicy curry sea salt and served with whipped herb goat cheese and roasted pepper jam but we went with the Poutine. As described on the Fire & Smole menu, it is “hand cut fries, fried in beef tallow topped with cheddar cheese curd and house made beef gravy”. Quick, call the cardiologist! When the dish arrived, it smelled and looked good and tasted good (how can french fries not taste good?) but I was a little disappointed – it seemed a little bland. I don’t think we would order this dish again.
Once we finished that, from the “small plates” choices, we ordered the Grilled Oysters, a half dozen wood grilled fresh Virginia oysters topped with smoked bacon, chipotle, mignonette (minced shallots, cracked pepper, and vinegar). Yes, they were cooked – no raw oysters for us! Very light and tasty!
In the online reviews, everyone raved about the 411 Burger from their “Comfort Food Revisited” menu selection so we decided to split one of those. It’s a wood grilled 6oz. USDA PRIME custom ground burger with applewood smoked bacon jam and topped with Tillamook cheddar, porcini sea salt, lettuce, tomato on an artisan roll served with hand cut fries. Oh, oh, more fries – that was poor planning on our part. Since we were sharing it, they split it in the kitchen and served it on two plates which was nice. Cooked perfectly with a nice blend of flavors – it lived up to our expectations and the reviews!
And how could we leave without trying another of their desserts! I know this sounds like a lot of food but it really wasn’t, especially since we shared everything. This time we opted for the Chocolate Stout Cake. Now I’m not a big chocolate fan (Rob is) but this was probably one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had. It wasn’t too sweet or heavy, topped with a layer of mousse (I think) and drizzled with a bourbon caramel sauce. Better make a second call to the cardiologist! The bill turned out to be even less than last time and very reasonable considering the gourmet quality cuisine.
One of the benefits of the unique dining style at Fire & Smoke, particularly the “small plates”, is you get to sample a lot of unique flavors without filling up or spending a ton of green. Also, unlike many American restaurants that try to get you in and out quickly, here the style is more European as they encourage you to take your time, order what you feel like as you go along and just enjoy the entire experience without feeling rushed.
Guess on Sunday we need to take a reeeaaallllyyyyy long walk on the beach to burn off all the calories!
So that pretty much wraps up our stay at Myrtle Beach. We left on Monday headed for our next destination. Stay tuned!
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