And then we got to the island, and it rained for the entire first day. Oops.
Although we were super bummed to not be able to ride our bikes everywhere (we learned the hard way that riding without fenders makes your backside look like you've been mud wrestling), we had so much fun meeting the insanely friendly locals and fellow tourists.
On Friday, we rode our bikes in the rain, showered and went out to Zillie's Island Pantry, the ultimate wine/beer/gourmet goods store where everybody knows your name. You can purchase a glass of wine to sip while you shop, grab a beer on tap or even get a beer from the fridge and pop the cap. From there, the "small world" weekend began...the man who poured my wine lived in the same tiny community as me as a principal for my high school years!
Ocracoke Pizza Co. to pick up a pepperoni pizza and go back home to settle in for a rainy, rainy night.
The Flying Melon, where I couldn't help but get the same delicious honey lime chicken sandwich I had last year. Then Arthur, Holly and I browsed in some shops before heading back to Zillie's to do some day-drinking and visiting. It was the most FUN afternoon. By the time we left, we felt like we'd made new best friends...
Smacnally's, where we could sip cocktails while watching the spectacular sunset. The boys enjoyed 2-Hearted beers and Holly and I enjoyed matching pineapple-peach mimosas.
Dajio, an incredibly inventive restaurant with an ever-changing seasonal menu. Holly and I both ordered the Lime Chile Pesto linguine with chicken and it was like a delicious fusion of Thai and Italian. So good.
Not Pictured: The hours we spent sitting on the upstairs balcony literally watching shooting stars. Before Sunday night, I had seen one in my life. I've now seen about eight! It was incredible to see the stars so clearly, listening to the ocean and just talking about life.
Ocracoke Coffee. I thoroughly enjoyed my Asiago bagel with — wait for it — bacon, onion and jalapeno cream cheese. Oh man, I'll be dreaming about that for a long time.
Tortuga's Lie (that's a jerk chicken salad with pineapple wrap and "island fries").
And the final treat to help us rip off the Band Aid and return to real life: a half-dozen Duck Donuts, hot and fresh with delicious glaze. I have yet to have a donut with a better consistency, with a subtle crunch from the fried exterior giving way to soft, pillowy cake inside. Cue the angels singing.
We're already fantasizing about a longer trip in 2015, hopefully with better weather and smarter packing skills! (I seriously packed two white sweaters...for a rainy weekend.)