Over an extended Labor Day weekend we headed down to the Florida panhandle for Brad's cousin Ben's wedding to the lovely Nicole (see happy couple above). We had an awesome time celebrating with them and Charlie did so well on the trip. He's such an easy baby to travel with. We are really lucky.
I have always loved the Florida panhandle and think it has some of the most beautiful beaches in the continental U.S. I haven't checked every single beach out yet, but I'm working on it. Anyways, I was so excited when Ben and Nicole decided to get married there. I've gone to the area with my family several times and have a lot of happy memories there. And what a wonderful excuse to go to the beach when we really have too young a child to be responsibly considering cross-country beach trips. Now that we have been there again, I'm already itching to return.
Both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding were absolutely beautiful and so much fun. Charlie was darling in a couple of adorable smocked outfits we received as gifts when he was born (thank you Baughmans and Olivers!). I was happily able to squeeze myself into a couple of dresses even though the battle of Kara vs. the baby weight has now entered month 7. I danced the night away to the DJ at the wedding reception - 'til like 9:30 ya'll! That's huge these days! Brad was sweet enough to take Charlie up to the condo to bed so I could keep on dancing. It's just really hard for me to leave a wedding reception when Baby Got Back comes on. That's a reception you know is going places.
I have to give special shout outs for the food (when do I not?) because the caterer, who did both events, was fantastic. I just wrote them to get the recipe for these shrimp and grits they served that had bacon, corn and parmesan in them. I wanted to cry when I ate them I was so happy. I may want to cry again when I learn how much butter is in them. *Update* They sent back the "recipe" with no cooking times or measurements. I'm not even sure I can call that a recipe. It's more like... guidelines. It's a puzzle that I must solve so I can once again shed tears of joy into my grits.
The families were all staying in and around this one community called Carillon for the long weekend. It was so nice to be able to walk from our condo to the different houses people were staying in and hang out or meet up at the beachfront pool. It was fun getting to catch up with everyone in such a relaxed setting. You just don't get that kind of down time around the holidays.
Charlie had a few meaningful 'seconds' on this trip. His second dip in the pool, which he visibly enjoyed this time and second trip to the beach which he was kind enough to acknowledge this time (he was so tiny last time). We tried a couple of times to dip his toes in the surf - both failures. It was too loud, too unpredictable, too... all the things babies hate. Brad and I didn't see this little wave coming and it startled Charlie and got him wet. So here is today's Bad Parent Confessional:
All in all, Charlie was so great at the wedding and we were excited he got to spend time with so much family. He napped and ate like a champ the whole time. Two multi-hour naps each day and enough solids in a single sitting to impress my in-laws and make one of them (*cough* Whitt) say Charlie would definitely throw up at any second if he ate another bite. Which he didn't! Our little eater. We're so proud.
I only have pics from the first half of the trip because I didn't know my new camera battery would die quite so quickly. That is why there are none (yet) of the wedding. Here are a few we did get. I promise Charlie does smile in pictures - I think he was just really tired for a lot of the trip.
While getting to Florida was a piece of cake (minus the 4:30am wake up time) getting home proved to be rather challenging. I'd like to think Florida got too attached to us and didn't want to let us go!! Though admittedly I felt more like something chewed up and spit out then loved and adored by the time I finally made it home. I will save that story and it's gory details for a separate posting, though.
All in all, it was a great trip and we were so excited to celebrate Ben and Nicole's big day with them! Congrats guys! I am super jealous of their fabulous upcoming honeymoon on Peter Island, BVI. Check out the link and you will be jealous too.
If you're reading this and are in need of a zen moment, as I often am, please watch this very relaxing video of the ocean on the day we left. If you are a member of Massage Envy, you will probably feel like you're in the waiting room. Love you Florida. MWAH!