Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Florida Finale--Vacation 2016

Our Disney Days were Wednesday and Thursday, so Friday was the day to drive down to Fort Lauderdale for the wedding weekend of Steven's oldest nephew who is like a brother to him. Mark and Rachel had their wedding and reception at the Marriott Harbor Beach, which was a gorgeous resort. We're so glad all things worked together to get our crew there for Steven to be a groomsman and Tommy the ring bearer!

But before we left our Orlando resort, we needed a couple of hours to enjoy the pools!

After a rainy road trip down to South Florida, we finally made it to the hotel in time for Steven to jump into his dress clothes for the rehearsal dinner. The rest of us enjoyed our evening in the hospitality suite and at the pool where they had a movie night!

On Saturday morning, we woke to a rainy day, but made the most of it as we had an outing to a local mall to pick up Steven's tux and meet my cousin Erin and her family for lunch at PF Changs. Then it was back to the hotel to meet up with my high school friend Nicole who always amazes me with her crazy adventures working a top secret job for the US government. After visiting with her in the lobby for awhile, the rain had cleared and we opted for a quick dip in the ocean and a little swim in the pool before it was time to suit up for the wedding!

And a beautiful wedding it was!

Here are a couple family photos I took of Steven's beautiful sisters Mary and Pam and their families.

With just a bit of Lego bribing, we were able to convince Tommy to walk down the aisle as the ring bearer.  He wore a chalkboard sign that said, "Here she comes!" The flower girl was a toddler and didn't quite want to cooperate. But we were proud that Thomas pulled it together!

Of course, during the ceremony it was another story, as both Katie and Tommy were antsy and loud, so we played off to the side.

Afterwards the boys enjoyed finding (and squishing) caterpillars.

There was a cocktail and appetizer hour,

And then the reception began! My camera didn't handle the lighting well, but at least I captured some fun memories of the family. 

The band was amazing and we had so much fun dancing!

Steven and all his siblings
L-R: Paige, Jill, Steven, Pam, Katie, Mary, Thomas

The next morning we woke early to go to a nearby mass, where we were asked to be the gift bearers during the offertory. We also gave a ride to a kind gentleman who was staying at our hotel. It's nice to have the big van!

We arrived back at the hotel in time for a brunch hosted by the bride's family. It was delicious and just what I was craving (bacon!) after days of breakfast pastries! It was also a nice time to visit with family before we all went our separate ways.

One more swim, this time with Daddy who had been busy with wedding party stuff most of the weekend.

I actually did laundry while the others swam. If we don't do laundry every 2-3 days on vacation, it gets out of control! This was about two days worth of laundry!!!

Then it was time to pack up and hit the road again. We loved singing and dancing to the music of the guitarist in the outdoor lobby area. We had to valet the big van since it didn't fit in the garage!

We made it back to Orlando by evening, in time for a little jaunt over to Disney Springs!

Live statues

Lego store

We ate dinner at the yummy Wolfgang Puck Express, and I found an ornament for our Christmas tree at the nearby Christmas store. I try to get an ornament from each of our trips! Then we waited in a LONG line for cupcakes at the famous Sprinkles bakery.

Monday was a long drive to Louisiana, including a little side trip to dip our toes in the clear water in Pensacola. We ate dinner at Cracker Barrel and then settled for the last night at another Homewood Suites, getting back home early Tuesday afternoon!

Road trips with a big family are no joke. We had a great time, but a busy and full vacation! It took me quite awhile to recover and finally post these photos! I'm so grateful we were able to spend this time together, visiting one of our favorite spots (Disney) and spending time with our family at the wedding. 

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails
site design by designer blogs