Monday, July 9, 2012

The Sweet Life ~ A Beautiful Wedding & A Family Vacation

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bishop!
Just having returned from the beautiful wedding of my nephew Jack Bishop and Kristin Grimsgaard, memories of each little facet of the wedding, and those precious days before and after, continue to play over and over in my head.  Wanting to remember every single detail of what was a joyous and poignant moment in the lives of this young couple, as well as all  who were there as witness, has me focusing on the highlights of the evening (and the entire six days we were there).  The setting was The Addison in Boca Raton, Florida.  Here's a synopsis of how we experienced this past week and the memories of this time that many will take with us as Jack and Kristin move forward in their married life together.


July 4th:  After the exciting first-ever flight for Henry and Peter, we (being me, son Jeff, daughter Katie, son-in-law Bill, and Hank and Pete) arrived at our hotel and later joined Jack and Kristin and their families for a cook-out at the marina where Kristin's parents, Curt and Sherry, live in their house boat (beautiful!). I was especially happy to see my brother Danny and his wife Suzette there, in from California.  It's been too long since we've seen each other.  It was a great time with an all-American barbecue and all the fixings, and later we watched fireworks over the ocean from lawn chairs in the marina parking lot.  Henry and Peter loved it!


July 5th:
Early Thursday morning Henry agreed to go with me to the hotel pool (Embassy Suites, Deerfield Beach) where he met 5-year old twins Archer and Brody.  The ice breaker was when Brody approached Henry saying, "We have the same swim trunks" - all three boys were wearing identical Star Wars bathing suits. They became fast friends and played in the pool together each day until the twins and their parents checked out a few days later.  We also ventured to the beach that day, a gorgeous strip across the drive from the back of the hotel.  Henry loved (Pete didn't) the beach and the sand.  He especially loved jumping over the waves.  Our hotel hosted a happy hour every night, where we met family and relaxed for a while.  After happy hour that night, we drove to the Mai Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale where we feasted on tropical drinks and dishes.  Henry and Peter especially enjoyed the walk through the gardens with waterfalls and lighted Tiki torches!  It was getting late, and Henry fell asleep before he could finish his dinner.  Little brother Pete powered through.

Deerfield Beach, F-L-A!

Henry in the surf!

July 6th:
After morning pool and beach time, we ventured out to a local sea-turtle exhibit (which was lacking sea turtles because their expired permit had not yet been renewed) but it was fun nonetheless.  We saw other aquatic life, and took a walk on a boardwalk that wound around and through a wooded, marshy area.  Katie was horrified by the spiders and their huge webs.  It was a good afternoon, but we were happy to return to the air-conditioned car and  head back to the hotel.   Dinner that night was at the Whale's Rib, a really funky, 70s-ish era seafood restaurant/bar where I ordered a Caesar salad with crab cakes.  The kids were great, though Henry again fell asleep half way through dinner.  Something tells me we wore that kid out!

July 7th, THE BIG DAY:
The Wedding!!!  7 p.m. at The Addison in Boca Raton.  A visually beautiful setting.  Add to that a beautiful bride, her so-handsome groom, proud fathers, and the two best-looking and happy mothers of the bride and groom, and it was magical.  These are two special families, and I'm not just saying that.  Kristin is the eldest of four daughters.  Jack is the eldest of four sons.  The love and respect the siblings have for one another, their parents, and for their families-by-marriage, is evident.  It's as if these families had lived somewhat parallel lives and their joining is meant to be, and so easily understood.  This new expanded family will have many years of happy life to experience together, and I am excited to see what unfolds in their combined future. (and once again, Henry fell asleep and Pete partied on!)...

Here are just a few memories of that amazing evening:

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

July 8th.  Wind-down day.
It's a little anti-climactic, the day after a wedding.  People are still in a post-wedding happy stupor of sorts.  There may be a little sentiment of a bittersweet nature, realizing (for mothers,especially) that your child has moved on and things won't ever be the same again.  Yet,  you've done all you can to prepare them for the life ahead, trust them to make good decisions, and hold back a little when your opinion could help, because you want them to figure it out for themselves.  The day after the wedding has one thinking, "OK, that was great! What happens next?" after so many months of planning and anticipation.  My sister and her husband have much ahead this year, with their youngest son headed to college in August, a move from their current home pending, as well as all the details of everyday life we all manage.  After an afternoon excursion with our contingent to the Palm Beach Zoo, I finally caught up with Anne later in the afternoon.  She joined us at happy hour, and soon most of the family was gathered together. It was fun to relive happy moments of the wedding -- how beautiful it was, how gorgeous Kristin looked, Ben's terrific Best Man toast to his brother and new wife, how great the food was at The Addison, and THE DANCING:  Our brother Danny (O'Farrell) had everyone laughing with his entertaining dance moves, and it was a lively party all night long.

On this post-wedding evening, we went separate ways for dinner, with my group walking about a mile up the beach to JB's on the Beach, where we enjoyed a great meal and live music.  Our return trip to the hotel, on the walkway along the beach as dusk fell, was so nice.  The sky was in that just-before-dark glow of late day, lamp posts were lit, and there was a refreshing breeze coming off the ocean.  Beach-goers were packing up their cars, saying good-bye to a beautiful day.  I leisurely pushed the stroller through it all, and walked behind Katie, Bill, and Jeff.  Henry hummed all the way back, and Pete said "hi" to everyone we passed.  Back at the hotel, Henry and Pete enjoyed a cool bath, and were soon sound asleep.  We packed our bags for our trip home (reluctantly!), though Bill and I kept our swimsuits out in the hopes of an early morning dip in the ocean before heading to the airport.

This morning, July 9th:
7:15 a.m.:  I hear, "Jeannie, are you awake?" It was Bill, ready to go to the beach with his new snorkel gear. We were out the door in 5 minutes.  The water was calm as could be.  We were the only ones out there.  Bill went out into the water first, and saw a bunch of little fish.  Then he handed the equipment to me, and I gave it a shot, though I don't have the breathe/blow/water/don't suck in water thing down very well!  I opted for just the mask and stayed in shallow water where there were schools of small fish darting back and forth.  I gave Bill his equipment back and after a few minutes, he asked me to check out the fish that were tickling his ankles!  These were about 6-inches long and had a neon yellow spine along their back.  They were playful, and not at all afraid of Bill's hand attempting to swat them away.  Then they started on me!  I swear they did nip at me, and it feels like a misquito bit me!  After that I was a little freaked out because they followed my feet so we got out and got ready for our journey home, thus ending a beautiful six-day break from reality all centered around the wedding of Jack and Kristin.

I am so grateful I was able to spend this time with precious family and friends, and that Henry and Peter's first flight is attached to such a wonderful memory.  I don't know that they will be able to recall this week when they are older, but I will tell them about it often, and continue to share the joy of this wonderful occasion.

And before I part, just a few more extra memories, and then on to anticipating the joyful celebration of my own daughter Tricia's wedding to her fiance Jeff in October!  And you KNOW I'll be writing about that!

Let the happiness continue!




HAPPY MARRIAGE, JACK AND KRISTIN!

I love you both, so much.

Aunt Jeannie

17 comments:

  1. It was a beautiful wedding and so much fun to be with all the Bishops, O'Farrells and Grimsgaards! Henry and Pete were so adorable and so good! Beautiful description of the wedding Jeannie- it was perfect!

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    1. Thanks Sue - so happy you and Jack were there to share this time with Jack and Kristin, Anne and John, and all of us! It was a great time, wasn't it?!!!

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  2. What a lovely post! I loved reading about your time with family and your nephew's beautiful wedding. And I loved that you blogged about everything - such a wonderful way to preserve the memories!!!

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    1. Hi Colleen! Just think, in less than 4 months, you'll be getting married in a very beautiful setting, and you might find a few seconds to share some of that wonderful day with those of us who follow your blog! You'll be making wonderful memories and I can't wait to hear about them!

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  3. Sounds like you guys had a great time!!

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    1. Tina, it was SO great to be there for the wedding, time with family, and little vacation with Katie, Bill, the boys, and Jeff. Can't believe it was almost a week ago. Good times just go by so quickly! (too quickly)

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  4. What a great description of your vaca! I felt like I was there.
    Boca is a beautiful area, been there many times. You are very lucky to have such a wonderful family.

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    1. Joanne, someday I want to go to Boca with you and visit your Dad and spend time at beautiful Deerfield Beach. Let's save our pennies and make it happen!

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  5. What a great time for all of you...Congratulations! The boys looked so adorable and it sounds like the beach life wears them out a bit. :-)

    Weddings are wonderful and then the next couple of days afterwards you feel like you should be doing, planning, picking up something...but then you realize it is all done and there is a chance to breathe. Jess has been married almost a month already and it is hard to believe it has been that long. But you are right as a mom it is bittersweet...we have done our best to prepare them and now it is time to let them start their own new life. The keeping quiet part is difficult! :-)

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    1. Kim, you can appreciate the post-wedding phenomenon, I'm sure! I bet you loved being M-O-B. I am really looking forward to being that again in October when Tricia gets married,and I hope to take it all in, slowly, and savor every second!

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  6. Super post! It was exciting to see some of the pics from the wedding! Where have the years gone? Enjoyed it immensely. Congrats to all the families! Lynn

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    1. Happy to share! Yes, time has flown - just have to figure out how to make these precious years with our kids and grandchildren slow down! My father always used to say, "The older you get, the faster it goes." How completely true...

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  7. There's nothing like a wedding to bring family and friends together for fun, laughter and memories (both new and old). I'm so glad that you had a chance to go and share this wonderful time with your family. Much love & happiness to Jack & his Kristin!

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    1. Thanks Di, and as Jack's first "teacher" at Wise Owl, you can appreciate how time has flown! It was a great time with everyone, and now that most of us are so busy with work and technology and time together seems to be less and less, a wedding like this, where everyone comes together not for just a day but for a number of days, is such a gift. I'm very grateful...

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  8. The whole post was amazing! I"m so glad to get to see your blog! I've missed seeing it and I'm not sure how that's happened! Anyway…it's beautiful and you've always been one of my most favorite bloggers! I still want to know how you do these photo collages!!! One day…in your spare time! LOL! Give us a lesson! They are wonderful! Thanks for sharing these special pictures! And memories!

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    1. Hi Carolyn - I'm back! Yes, work and obligations have kept me away from my blog and I am so happy to be once again back in the writing saddle. There are a number of recipes I'm anxious to try and to post about. I so appreciate your comments and your loyalty to this blog - you're a terrific friend and hopefully we'll get to meet one day!

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  9. Jeannie, I could swear I was there....in a magical, mystical & whimsical kind of way, thanks to you! Once again, you have reminded me that there is nothing more amazing than the power & wonder of Family & Love! The joy I feel right now having shared in the wedded bliss of Jack & Kristen is palpable, and truly a wonderful gift because of you!

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