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As I sit here starting this column, I will not lie. It’s hard to remove myself from the thoughts of last week, when I, my family and our friends, the Lomonico family, enjoyed another week-long vacation together in beautiful Surfside Beach, S.C.

I know everybody has stories to tell after a vacation, but our week was a bit crazy, more than the previous year we vacationed together. Our trip has been labeled the McMonico Vacation by the ever witty Tori Lomonico.

We arrive at our destination on Saturday afternoon, check out the place and enjoy some pizza.

On Sunday evening we were treated to three life-changing events, right there on the windy beach, right in front of our eyes.

At almost the same time, two weddings were performed and a matter of minutes later, a successful proposal was on display directly in front of us.

We gave a few hoots, whistles and claps to the happy couple, who acknowledged with a wave.

This was my fifth or sixth trip to the Myrtle Beach area in July and the water, folks, if there’s warmer water on the east coast, I haven’t been in it or heard about it.

As seems to be an annual trip, we found our way to Barefoot Landing, a shopping and eating spot in North Myrtle Beach.

There’s a pond/lake that runs through the property and that brought us to our next interesting moment.

Just a few moments after getting there, we started across one of the foot bridges that connects the two sides.

The water is filled with ducks, turtles, carp and yes, an occasional alligator.

As we started across, there was a bird of some type (please forgive me Spike Updegrove) that was clearly not a water bird.

The poor bird was trying to find a way out of the water, but with metal fencing alongside the bridge and wings soaked with water, there was no luck.

While the alligator clearly had focus, lucky for the bird, the predator was some 90 to 100 feet away.

I am happy to say, we made the rescue. Bob Lomonico, the tallest of us, coupled with my extended and open umbrella, was able to scoop the bird from the water and onto the bridge, where it quickly walked away.

We were then able to enjoy our dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack with a little peace of mind.

I mentioned the umbrella because we had our share of showers -storms but none of them interfered with anything we wanted and needed to do.

One of the storms allowed our resident photogs, my wife Rayma and Bob, to get a couple of neat lightning pictures.

Eventually, the end of the week comes, but before we had to get out of there, we had to have our battle of bocce ball.

I, the Bocce Ball King, was paired with Sherry Lomonico, the lone left hander of the bunch.

Our game was cut short by darkness, but before it was over, Sherry, who stepped up like a champion, and I racked up seven points to claim victory. Therefore giving us rights as Bocce Ball King and Queen for 2010.


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