Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Florida Trip

This past week our family went to Florida to visit Grandma and Grandpa, as well as attend a wedding for some dear friends. We had a wonderful time.

No, our family doesn't take good pictures. It also doesn't help that we had no idea when the camera was snapping the pictures...and the sun was glaring. Oh well. We will look back on this picture and remember the fun we had.

The Dollar Store had sunglasses, so I bought a bunch since we keep wearing them out...and Allen inadvertantly leaned over and let his glasses slide off his head into the Gulf. I call these sunglasses "Alien Glasses"...for obvious reasons. Lizzie and Allen caught catfish, so Mike filleted them and we ate them for dinner. Does Lizzie look proud or what?!
My children enjoyed fishing off Grandpa's bulkhead. Just like our last FL vacation, hotdogs work better than shrimp for bait.
My children also went on many boatrides. (I went on two.) The weather was perfect, low humidity and low temps.
Grandma had the yard looking wonderful, as usual.
I like her palm trees.
My children found lots of sharks' teeth...I think 300+ in all. Maggie found some huge teeth, larger than a quarter. I will try to find a picture of them on her camera...but her camera has 700 pictures on it.
Grandma's pool was beautiful but cold...75 degrees. The gulf was 80 degrees. Guess where we chose to swim?!
I like the lanai to keep the bugs out.
This is Grandpa working on his daily puzzle. Some of the clues were hard! But he always finished it by the end of the day...just as my own grandmother used to do.
I still can't get used to the idea that our children can take hundreds of pictures...and immediately see the results. I kept thinking of how pictures and cameras were so expensive when I was growing up.
Two nights in a row we ate dinner, then hurried out the door to ride the boat over to Don Pedro Island so my children could take pictures of the sunset on the beach.
Allen got to steer the boat most of the time. He enjoyed learning to park it next to the piers.
The views are beautiful. On one of the rides when our boat made a wake, the dolphins kept jumping up in the waves. There are many manatees here.
My children enjoy Don Pedro Island the most. It's only a 5-minute ride from Grandma's home. These are my sunset pictures taken with my $40 camera:

The island has many seashells. Maggie found some unique shells as well as a starfish.
Everyone looked funny with their cameras trying to zero in on shells.

Even as we were riding away, the sunset was breath-taking.
By the time we got back it was completely dark.

On Friday morning, we packed up and headed north to Clearwater, Florida, to attend the wedding of our friends from San Diego. Larry was our Pastor in San Diego where we lived from 1985-1989. Bonnie, his wife, was 2-year-old Sarah's favorite person at church. She called her Mrs. Bon Bon. Six years ago we went to Florida for their son Iain's wedding. Now it's Alicia's turn.

We stayed at McDill Air Force Base. The Air Force always has the nicest accommodations for families. Our suite had two bedrooms, a living room...
...and a kitchen. You can tell everything looks nice and new. Definitely clean. It cost us $41 a night. Can't beat that!
All our wedding clothes were wrinkled and had to be ironed. We were proud that Allen can iron his own clothes!
Here's the happy couple. Alicia and John met on eHarmony...something that is becoming common in our circles. Alicia said that when she typed "full-time Christian service" into the qualifications, John was the first person to appear. They both seem very happy. John will continue teaching math courses at the same local Christian school where Alicia will be the Librarian.

Alicia and John are a rare couple who see the playful side of life. It is nice to see that Alicia has finally met her match when it comes to humor!

Larry had the honor of marrying them. This wedding was very unique. Only Alicia could pull off such a wedding. For a half hour before the wedding, the accomplished pianist played songs such as When You Wish Upon A Star, Someday My Prince Will Come, and other Disney favorites. That prepared us for the tone of the wedding.

In this picture, Larry was singing Sunrise, Sunset. It was very well done. Here are the poignant words:

Sunrise, Sunset (from Fiddler on the Roof)

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember getting older,
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

What words of wisdom can I give them?
How can I help to ease their way?
Now they must learn from one another
Day by day.

They look so natural together
Just like two newlyweds should be.
Is there a canopy in store for me?

Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset.
Swiftly fly the years.
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.
The groomsmen walked/ran down the aisle to a tune from Star Wars. Then the bride walked down the aisle to the tune, "Zippadee doo dah, zippadee ay, My oh my what a wonderful day!" It was so typically Alicia! At the end when the couple was married, John grabbed his brown hat and off they went down the aisle. Everyone laughed.

Even though there were many light-hearted moments, there were also some very emotional moments as well. Just a delightful mix of humor and traditional.

While the wedding party was busy getting pictures taken, everyone else ate slices of cake. The cake was already sliced and waiting on the tables. These three cakes were for decoration. Alicia went out of her way to make her guests comfortable. No one had to wait for anything. Very thoughtful. My children were delighted to find bowls of colorful skittles (since the cake had dairy and eggs). I enjoyed the delicious tea.
Instead of flowers, Alicia opted for pinwheels. There were pinwheels everywhere at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding. Definitely a children's kind of wedding! I am so glad our family was able to be at the wedding. Now that Iain's family is living in nearby VA, we hope to keep in touch more often. Thanks for a wonderful week, everyone!

We came home to a busy week. Tonight I had green beans and butternut squash in the oven, and fingerling potatoes in the wok (with fresh basil and mustard greens!) before I discovered a huge roast in my refrigerator! Evidently my Dad dropped it off this afternoon. So we ended up eating a huge dinner. Thanks, Dad.

Fortunately our music lessons were all canceled this week, since no one practiced while we were in FL, so I am slowly getting laundry washed, pegged, and put away. Slowly is the operative word!

Hope you had a good week as well. I am looking forward to catching up on my favorite blogs and answering emails. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Added later: Sometimes I get so caught up in posting pictures that I forget to write some important notes. About the wedding...the rehearsal dinner the night before was a semi-formal affair of probably 150 people or so. The most wonderful thing about the wedding was that both Alicia and John are from Christian families. John's parents had been praying for his future wife since before he was born. What a way to welcome Alicia into their family!! Do you think she feels loved?!

Both Dads took turns with the microphone, introducing their families. We then did the fun game of Who's the oldest, Who came the furthest for the wedding, Who had the largest family (us!), Who was married the longest, etc.

During the wedding ceremony, Larry (bride's father), asked all the married couples to hold each other's hands. Then he reminded us of the institution of marriage and all that it's meant to be. It was a perfect message.

My final observation was this: As with funerals, marriages are just so wonderful when it's a Christian wedding. Especially when both families have a long history of loving the Lord. It made such an impression on me that I've started praying for my children's future mates and families. Yes, families. You really do marry the whole family.

Thank you, Larry, for giving us much to think about. We have broadened our vision for our family. PTL


Anonymous said...

Looks like you all had a wonderful trip. What beautiful pictures!!
Welcome home.



Lindie said...

Have you ever tried the Shades of Green Resort right in the Walt Disney World? My favorite of all the armed services hotels.