It was our two year anniversary and I thought I’d planned the perfect weekend romantic getaway. Two nights at a Cape Cod beach chalet, flower petals paving the way to our bedroom, champagne on ice- even her name in the sky at the local beachfront fireworks display. I spent days planning the vacation and a month’s salary paying for it. I wanted everything to be perfect, and as the universe often dictates, nothing was.
On the way down to the Cape we got stuck in horrible traffic. The flower petals were wilted and strewn about the room. The champagne ice bucket had soaked the bed. The fireworks spelled out ‘Sars’ instead of Sara. Needless to say, our relationship didn’t make it past Monday morning.
My mantra for planning that romantic vacation had been: “make it perfect.” I found out that perfect means there is nowhere to go but down. You try too hard, things are too scripted, your expectations are too high- whatever the reason – the trip doesn’t end well.
Let’s fast forward to last month, when I planned a getaway with my beautiful wife for our third wedding anniversary. I decided to take a more impromptu approach this time around. My new mantra: “find the right boat, and let the river take you.”
This time around my planning consisted of only an hour of light internet research. I narrowed my destination down to Myrtle Beach South Carolina, and found a site that had some great deals on romantic getaways. Other than that, we packed our bags into the car and drove south with little planning and even fewer expectations.
We arrived in the quaint seaside town of Murrell’s Inlet, tucked away just several miles from the glitz and glamor of Myrtle Beach. We were greeted at our hotel by a lovely and polite staff, and were pleasantly surprised to see some great accommodations for the bargain price. The staff recommended a local restaurant called Divine Fish House, which had out-of-this-world lobster bisque and a waterfront view to match. We fell asleep full-bellied and satisfied to the crickets and the ocean.
The next morning our hotel staff recommended a local fishing tour by the name of ‘Captain Dicks’ that would take us onto the Atlantic and show us views of the Myrtle Beach shoreline. I know what you’re thinking: trawling around on a dirty boat with a bunch of squid entrails and a guy named Captain Dick is possibly the least romantic thing you could do. I was thinking the same thing but, under oath to my new mantra, decided to give it a try.
It turns out it was one of the most romantic parts of our getaway. My wife reeled in a ‘crimson snapper’, and was as proud as I’d ever seen her. Dolphins trailed our boat, leaping out of the water to catch the bait we threw at them.
We returned to shore just as the sun set a deep orange on the Atlantic. That night we went down to Broadway at the Beach, which has a great nightlife and is full of restaurants and entertaining venues. We ended up eating corn dogs and playing carnival games like two kids in love.
All in all, I didn’t spend much time (or money) trying to make this a romantic getaway, but it turned out to be a vacation that my wife and I will remember for a lifetime. My suggestion is don’t sweat the details, find yourself a sturdy boat, and let the river take you.