Earlier this week my husband suggested we go to the North Carolina Seafood Festival in Morehead City over the weekend. My reply? “Yes, of course! That sounds exactly like a date in a Nicholas Sparks book!” I mean, after all, it is where Travis and Gabby fell in love in The Choice. The perfectly romantic and quaint North Carolina coastal town, walking on the boardwalks with the sun setting over the water, holding hands, tasting fresh seafoods from picturesque booths run by old fisherman and their wives… I knew it would be the perfect date!
Okay, so maybe it didn’t quite turn out like that. Just maybe I spilled some food on my shirt and my new scarf. Maybe Mitchell had a few meltdowns and I ended up carrying him most of the night. Maybe parking was crazy and we had to walk a mile to get there. Besides – who wants to actually live a Nicholas Sparks story? Everybody knows what happens to the guy – Steve would have ended up drowning in a river, being attacked by a jealous ex-husband, narrowly escaping death trying to defend my honor, or some other tragically romantic alternative. Being a male character in one of his books is pain waiting to happen – either in the form of heartbreak or physical trauma. Not to say I haven’t read every one of them 😉
But all-in-all, it was a perfect family outing. There was beautiful weather, a beautiful sunset, and I had my boys. We ate some great food, listened to live music, took in the salty breeze, and wandered through little booths all along the waterfront. I absolutely love dating my husband, even after being married for three years!
Not our best family pic… This is Steve’s “I can’t believe you made me put down my scallops for a picture!” face. I promise you he really had fun 😉
Any sort of reason in me knows my deep Kansas roots shine through anytime we venture into the seafood world. Just knowing how far the food had to travel to Kansas from the nearest ocean negated the appeal of eating seafood growing up. And by the time I moved to a place that had fresh seafood, I was so set in my ways I was “that guy” that ordered the cheeseburger at the fish restaurant. I’ve never cooked it. And when we go out, I either order shrimp, or any variety of seafood fried enough to taste like French fries. Despite my embarrassingly poor appreciation for true seafood, I still found a few options to satisfy my sheltered palate. Steve, however, tried something from a whole bunch of different booths!
Mitchell eventually gave into his bottle, let me put him down, and was content hanging out with Morton the Moose.
Although our life may not always be the “picture-perfect” romantic novel I have now publicly admitted to enjoying, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We’re writing our own story of imperfectly beautiful moments strung together without any rhyme or reason, and I love every second of it!