When I was a little kid growing up at the Jersey Shore, I loved rainy days at the beach. I still do. The crowds magically disappear, and the ocean and sky look moody, mellow, and dramatic. So when Myrtle Beach presented us with a rainy day on our RV trip last week Stephanie and I did what we always do. We packed up our raincoats– and our children– and headed up to the boardwalk for coffee and a stroll. Lucky for us it only rained intermittently, and the boardwalk was quiet and beautiful.
As we walked north, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel seemed to pull us in magnetically. Stephanie was particularly intrigued, and before I knew it she was investigating times and prices.
Initially, I put a damper on Stephanie’s high flying enthusiasm and suggested we do it later in the week. I was enjoying our completely free stroll on the boardwalk and the boys were visibly nervous to take the187 foot tall ride to the top. But Stephanie insisted that we would all love it and that it was the perfect time to buy tickets because there was no line. So buy tickets we did. When we boarded our gondola the boys became even more agitated. My mind flashed back to a memory of my grandfather holding me out over an observation deck on the Statue of Liberty when I was a little guy. Suddenly, I felt shaky too.
When we reached the top and Wesley decided to toddle over to the full-length glass windows, my stomach filled up with butterflies!
But he was more than fine, and the views of the South Carolina coast were gorgeous. My butterflies quickly disappeared. A sense of childlike joy and wonder took their place.
After our first rotation the boys also lost their nervous looks and realized that they were doing something really cool. Something that they could tell their classmates and teacher about back in New Jersey! They even posed for a picture together for only the second or third time in their lives.
The SkyWheel promises its customers three rotations and an 8-10 minute ride. However, because of the light crowds due to the aforementioned rainy day, we were given several extra rotations and our “flight” (as they call it) lasted for almost 20 minutes. We had a blast and I was glad that we decided to head out despite the weather that kept so many people home. As we walked further north up the boardwalk and looked back at the SkyWalk all memories of our anxiety were gone. We felt like intrepid explorers, conquering heroes, and fearless RV adventurers.
The moral of this story? When it comes to planning family fun–Mommy is always right!
The nitty-gritty: Riders ages 12 and up cost 13 dollars. Children ages 3-11 cost 9 dollars. Baby Wes and anyone else under 2 is free. If the weather was warm and sunny, we could have walked there right from our campsite at the Myrtle Beach KOA. But we recommend going on a cloudy day, missing the lines, and hopefully, getting a longer ride!