Last night, the husband and I went to the Newseum for a tourism board-sponsored tribute to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We don't normally attend vacation-spot events, but we actually have a family vacation planned to Myrtle Beach this summer and figured it was a good way to kick-start our trip planning. Here's three things about the area that we never knew:
1. Vanna White is a Myrtle Beach native. The letter-turning beauty (she's teeny tiny!) was born and raised in the area and spends part of every summer there every year. I haven't watched "Wheel of Fortune" since my grandmother was alive -- so some time in 1989 -- but it was still slightly surreal to see her in person, because to me she only exists when she's in front of next too a series of lit tiles or bantering with Pat Sajak.
2. South Carolina has a state dance, called The Shag (British friends, please don't laugh). I didn't know there was such a thing. There were two pairs demonstrating, and I have to say, it's one of those dances that heavily favors the men, who get -- in my opinion -- all the cool moves. Check it out:
I wonder if Florida's is the Conga, but of course, that's because I grew up in Miami. "C'mon-everybody-do-the-conga!"
3. Gullah culture is alive. My husband knows way more about politics and current events than I do (because I'm usually watching movies, writing about pop culture, or ogling sexy actors, all for work!), and he informed me that Geechee is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' first language! My only connection to Gullah culture was Mel Gibson's movie "The Patriot," in which his children and sister-in-law are taken to a Gullah settlement by a kind employee (his workers were somehow freed blacks). Anyhow, clearly you see which one of us knows more about the real world, and which one of us can remember movie trivia. The point is, Gullah culture and cuisine is still present in South Carolina (and Georgia).
So, I'm excited about our trip, even though I don't golf, and I'm not obsessed about going to the beach. There are some cool family attractions, like the Wonder Works amusement park, a children's museum, and a historical living history farm in Horry County. We may not see Vanna while we're down there in July, but that's all right, we'll be busy learning The Shag.