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There is but one cure for wanderlust: to wander.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve figured out ways to scratch that particular itch. Even on a tight budget.

I don’t have the time or the money for long or exotic vacations, but that’s the beauty of just wanting to see different scenery – you don’t often have to go far.

A couple of years ago, my daughter’s father moved out of state. He’s now residing in North Carolina, a good, one-way, 9 hour drive.

Reagan generally spends her spring break with him and her step-family. This year, I decided to go pick her up when it was time for her to come home. And I planned my own little getaway around this decision.

I started to spend a night and day in NC and go the The Biltmore Estate, which is on my bucket list. But since I was sick on my recent beach trip, I felt like I had unfinished business with the waves.

I left home at 7 a.m. Thursday morning, an hour later than I intended. But that’s the beauty of traveling alone: ain’t nobody waiting on ya.

When I turned on my radio, this was one of the first songs I heard:

Seemed appropriate.

I made a couple of pit stops and took a detour for lunch right outside of Birmingham.

I will stop here and say that if you’re looking for information and photos of delicious travel food, you’re going to be disappointed. I do love to explore some local eats when I travel, but that wasn’t a priority this trip. For one, I am on some new meds that have seriously killed my tastebuds. For 2, I was on a budget so I ate on the cheap. So let’s just move along….

I rolled into Atlanta about 1:30 and was a little unnerved by the whole experience…..

For the next several hours, I felt like I was going nowhere. The scenery didn’t look any different than what I see on a day to day basis. I was tired. My head was throbbing. And I just wanted to not be driving anymore.

And that’s when I finally got into Folly Beach, South Carolina.

As it turns out, this beach was closer to Reagan’s Dad than any of the NORTH Carolina beaches. In some ways, I was a bit disappointed in that because I’ve always wanted to see the beaches of NC. The lighthouses, maybe some wild horses. But I just couldn’t justify what would have added another 4 or 5 hours driving time to my already tight schedule.

Even so, I was not disappointed in Folly Beach whatsoever. Not even with the drunks in the next room who were obviously enjoying their spring break with all 12 of their closest friends.

The Tides at Folly Beach reminded me a lot of a casino hotel, but it’s been recently renovated and was very clean and bright. Airy.

The best feature, of course, was the spectacular view of the Atlantic, which was the whole reason I went to SC. I just caught the last bit of sunlight when I arrived to check in.

I ordered a pizza from Woody’s, which was right up the street, but I had it delivered anyway. When I say I was tired, I mean I was TIRED. And the wind was whipping at a brisk 30+ mph. Staying in seemed like the best option.

The food was nothing to write home about. Probably would have been better served straight from the oven because the dough was really tasty and homemade, but it was pretty soggy by the time I got it.

This was my one and only food splurge (not counting Starbucks) of my trip. The rest were chains, and uninteresting.

I slept with my balcony door cracked open and let the waves drown out the noise of the downtown bars which were close enough for me to throw rocks at from my hotel room door. The wind being what it was, I didn’t hear anything but air and waves until the partygoers started rolling in to the adjacent rooms.

But they weren’t hurting anything and I was cozy and content, eventually drifting off into a pretty deep sleep.

I set my alarm for early Friday morning. I only had one sunrise to watch over the ocean and I wasn’t going to miss it for all the sleep in the world.

The beach was all but deserted, and I wrote about my experience here already, so I won’t recap except to say that it was absolutely breathtaking. One of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

More on the rest of my adventures tomorrow….

Here are few more sunrise/beach photos.

(Love the reflection in the sand here)

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