Early in the week, Wade (the neighbor across the street) took us out on the Atlantic to wrangle in some fish. Wade and his son were seasoned veterans of the deep sea fishing craft, so as we got "bites" we alternated who would reel them in. The official count for the day was 13 king mackeral, 2 spanish mackeral, 2 sand sharks, and a barracuda. I had the pleasure of bringing in the 'cuda, and let me tell you, he fought me every inch of the line. Allie said I had it coming since I waited for everyone else to bring one in before I took my turn. This little venture actually perked an interest in fishing. Its way more fun and physically demanding than Jeff Foxworthy makes it out to be.
For all of the sappy people out there, the proposal went like this. Two weeks before heading to OIB, I was in San Marcos, TX for the wedding of Allie's long-time BFF, Erin. I asked Erin to dance and after complimenting her on how gorgeous she was and what a good time her wedding had been, I asked her for some insight. I told her I was planning on asking Allie to marry me, but wasn't sure when the best time would be. It was a toss up between the OIB trip and her birthday. Erin did not hesitate and said "the beach, for sure!" Now that I knew when, I needed some paternal permission. You guessed it, I had "the talk" with Allie's dad at Erin's reception. Classy move, right? (Did I mention this was only the second time I'd ever seen her parents?) Anyway, Pat gave me green light, and now all I had to do was get a ring and figure out what I would say.
All week at the beach I tried to convince Allie we should just go to the courthouse and get hitched, but she wanted a ring and engagement. I responded that maybe when she was older she could have all of that, clearly hinting at her birthday. When I decided on what to say, I asked Allie if we could go for a walk on the beach. She obliged and after a few short delays, off we went. We walked along the moon-lit beach talking about our potential futures together. I quickly switched conversation to how special OIB was to us, and how seeing as it was the first place I told her I loved her, it was only fitting that be the place to propose to her. Dropped to one knee, asked her what needed to be asked and I think its pretty obvious what her response was. Needless to say, that trip helped me get where I am today, happily married. This is also why Ocean Isle Beach will always have a special place in my heart. :)