May 9th, 2019

Getting to Know the McNiece Family

McNeices-Key WestThis month, we got to know Maria and Scott McNiece and explored their background and what they love about living in Grande Dunes!

Q: Where are you originally from and what schools did you attend?

A: Scott and I both grew up in Parsippany, NJ. We were married in 1982 and remained in Parsippany for another 17 years. We then moved to the Jersey Shore and lived in that area until we moved to Myrtle Beach in 2017.

Q: What brought you to Myrtle Beach?

A: When we decided it was time to retire, we knew we wanted to live where the weather was almost always nice and where there was a lot to do. We were done with shoveling snow!  Scott zeroed in on Myrtle Beach and we found the house that was perfect for us.

Q: Do you have any other family members such as children, pets, grandkids, etc.?

A: We have one beautiful daughter, Heathyr. She lives in Philadelphia with her little dog Zoie.  We came to Myrtle Beach with our two dogs, Chopper – a Scottish Terrier, and Scooter – a West Highland Terrier.  Unfortunately, we lost Chopper last July. Now that Scooter lost his buddy, he follows Scott around everywhere!

Q: What did you both do in your previous life, prior to retirement?

A: Scott worked in the auto body industry for almost 40 years. I worked in the investment industry for 22 years and then the insurance industry as an Account Executive for 13 years.

Q: What is the most spontaneous thing or craziest thing you’ve ever done together?

A: In 2000 we purchased an Inn in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ that was over 100 years old. We totally renovated the inn and renamed it the Carousel Inn. It was originally used as a summer retreat for the Sisters of Notre Dame in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. The 94-year-old Irish woman that we purchased the inn from told us that one of the sisters still roamed the halls.  We, of course, were skeptical of this until we ourselves experienced some very unusual activity!

Q: What’s on your bucket list of things you’ve always wanted to do?

A: Our bucket list is still quite extensive, but high on the list is touring Scotland’s castles, shopping at the European Christmas markets and attending the Grand Prix race in Monaco.  I would also love to be in Hawaii during surfing season to see those huge towering waves that they encounter.

Q: What is one thing that most people don’t know about each of you?

A: One thing most people don’t know about Scott is that he competed in the NHRA Drag Racing series in a 3000-horse power Alcohol Funny Car racing at speeds in excess of 250 mph. He competed in races up and down the east coast. I love horses and had one of my own for a few years. My horse, Toby, and I competed in one competition and won a yellow ribbon for third place. Truth be told however, there were only 4 of us competing! I cherish my ribbon anyway.

Q: What are your favorite things about living in Grande Dunes and in Golf Village?

A: We love the beauty of the Grande Dunes. Many times during the first year we lived here we would look at each other as we were going over the bridge into Golf Village and say ‘We live here!’  But mostly we cherish the new friendships we’ve made.  We enjoy going to the Ocean Club on Friday nights and socializing with our new friends and neighbors. Game night each month is also something we love to do.

Q: What would you recommend to a newcomer in Grande Dunes who would like to meet new people?

A: The best way to meet new people is to take part in some of the great new clubs that have been formed over the last year or so.  There is a club to meet almost every interest.  My favorite happens to be the Travel Club.  Of course, attending Happy Hour at the Ocean Club is another great way to meet new friends.