What am I looking forward to the most? And least??

Since our beach vacation is rapidly approaching - yes, school will be out in 30 days and we'll be on our way- I've FINALLY started planning and getting ready.

These days, my thoughts are drifting to the ocean breeze and sand between my toes. AHHHH! I can feel my muscles relax just thinking about Ocracoke. And, of course, then my thoughts turn to: Food. Yup, that's right - that's the thing I'm looking forward to the most. A week of dining on an island without a single franchise food establishment. Not a McDonalds, Olive Garden or Red Lobster in sight... or within 50 miles and a ferry ride!

We'll be back to our island favorite: SMacNally's (Facebook or via their website) aka SMX. The best burgers in the world... a Cowboy Burger will make my husband smile every time. Cold beer chilling on ice. Fresh seafood brought in by the boats docked not 10 ft from your table... If that's not culinary heaven, then I don't know what is!

Thanks to my son for this great photo of the day's catch!

BUT... unfortunately... that's a double-edged sword - dining may just be the least favorite thing I'm looking forward to on the island. You see, its not Disney World - I can't just go into any restaurant and expect to eat... Since I've become a vegetarian, dining has gotten just a bit more complicated in these tiny destinations.

Last year's adventure at Howard's Pub still can make the kids cringe... Mom tried to be her vegetarian self and order a Taco Salad without meat. Yup, that didn't go over well - it started nicely.. but ended up with an argument with the waitress, me eating a plain ole Caesar salad, and having a salad with sour cream and salsa shoved at me after paying the bill.

To say that dining options may be limited, and restaurants not quite accommodating might be an understatement... But I'm going into it with an open mind... and an empty stomach. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised this time!