When we first moved to the beach my husband, Chad, warned me not to be disappointed if people did not come to visit us. He lived in Ocean Isle Beach/Wilmington years ago and he said only a handful of people actually came down for a beach weekend. Well that did not deter me from inviting everyone we know. And to Chad’s surprise and anxiety, we have had quiet a busy summer with many visits from family and good friends.
Our first visitors were our good friends Buddy and Kelly and their little boy, Brayden. I was a little nervous because this is the first time we’ve ever had a little one at our house (he’s a little over a year) and the first time I’ve been around baby/toddler for consecutive days in a row. My maternal instincts haven’t quite kicked in and I worry I’ll be one of those moms who puts leashes on their kids and sneaks hard liquor in a flask to PTA meetings because I won’t be able to handle the stress of motherhood. Well, Kelly put me at ease because this girl is super mom and we had so much fun with Brayden. This little boy loves being outside. Everything we did that weekend was under the sun and the weekend weather was perfect. We went to one of our favorite restaurants, Sharky’s and played at the playground near the beach. Brayden had so fun going up and down the slide. We also took him for a morning walk and spent the day at the beach.I think his favorite part though was walking up and down our street. He is at the age where he wants to show his independence and he was so cute toddling up and down the street. Brayden also loved when Uncle Chad fed him lots of Sour Cream and Onion chips (sorry Kelly.) Brayden’s face was priceless after all the chips.
Our next visitors were Chad’s sister, brother-in-law and their three kids. I was about to be in panic attack mode again but the kids were well-behaved and we had great in-law bonding time. An added bonus of having kids in the house is access to all the snacks that I normally wouldn’t keep in our pantry. We had Capri Sun, goldfish galore and Eggo Waffles. Chad was in heaven. We took the kids to the beach, arcade, did boat rides and had a cookout at the house. All three are water babies and they loved the ocean. Seeing the three kids together reminded me of summer memories with my brother and sister at Virginia Beach. Those beach days with my siblings are some of my favorite childhood memories and I loved seeing the kids make the same memories together.
My highlight of the weekend though was watching The Walking Dead with my nephews and niece. Uncle Chad is usually much cooler than me in all things but The Walking Dead is the one thing I have over him. Apparently, all three kids love watching the show before bedtime and myself being a zombie enthusiast was thrilled to watch it with them every night. I knew all the characters and their story-lines so the kids and I chatted about the show the nonstop. Chad has never watched the show and thinks its strange so he was out of the loop. Aunt Danielle: 1 Uncle Chad: 0.
Next up was my Florida bridal sister, Chelcie and her husband Justin. Justin is one of Chad’s childhood friends and he ended up marrying a Florida transplant like myself. We took them on an OIB tour extravaganza including stops at Pelican’s Perch, The Isles, Sharky’s and Ocean Isle Fishing Company. After a day of drinking at the beach and crashing dinner at our friend’s parent’s beach condo, the boys decided that we should go to Chubby Buddha’s…the local airport bar. The place is full of character but a perk of Chubby Buddha’s is they fill up large glasses of wine in plastic cups. Give me a large plastic glass of wine and I’m as happy as a clam at high tide. Well after a few hours of hanging with the locals, it was time for an extra-large pizza and straight home to hang out on the front porch rocking chairs. Chelcie, I promise your next trip to OIB, will be more classy… well maybe not.
Fourth of July weekend was our biggest weekend yet with visitors. We had THREE couples visit us that weekend including two of my sorority sisters, Ali and Brittany, and their husbands, Dave and Danny, and Chad’s college roommate, Jason, and his wife, Amanda. Being the hostess with the mostess, I had a full agenda planned.
The first night we celebrated Dave’s birthday at The Isles. The next morning the boys went golfing and I took the girls to Wilmington for a shopping trip. It’s been a long time since I’ve done a shopping trip and lunch with girlfriends and I really enjoyed it. We met up with the boys for a trip to Silver Coast Winery. The winery is one of my top three favorite spots in OIB. They have fantastic tastings, cheese plates and live music. Chad says if we had gotten married in North Carolina, the wedding would be at the winery because he loves the venue and atmosphere.
That evening our friends Meredith and Ryan came down from Wilmington for dinner at Pogie’s. Meredith is another Florida transplant for a North Carolina boy. It must be something about that Southern Charm that does it for us Florida girls. The restaurant has one of the best views on the island and you can watch the sunset on the deck. We also watched the fireworks from the restaurant. Day three was spent at the beach and thankfully we had no encounters with Jaws. We finished off the day with a big cookout and sparklers.
While it’s been a busy month, we’ve loved having friends and family visit. Visitors make Chad and I appreciate where we live and it gets us of out of the house to try new activities and restaurants.We don’t know when in life we will ever have a little beach cottage by the water so we want to make the most of it with all the people we love. So who is coming to visit us next?