Sunday, May 27, 2012

Everybody loves a wedding!!

 The big day has finally arrived for my nephew Aaron and his lovely fiance Ashlee! We drove over to Charlotte Saturday afternoon - to the beautiful Ballentyne Hotel for their wedding.  A little "social time" before the ceremony.

Trudi and Eddie looking good!

Someone snapped this photo of Duane and I using my camera....not our best (and if someone will send me a better photo, I'll replace this dorky one!!)

The adorable flower girl - she was not shy at all and demonstrated her "twirl" on request!!

The ballroom was draped in beautiful white cloth - the over head ring is of red roses and other fresh flowers - stunning!

During the vows - sorry, my camera is not very good with low light/long distance shots!  Their vows were unique and interesting.

The sweet bridesmaids got to stay seated during the ceremony - a neat way to do it.

After the ceremony we were ushered downstairs to an alcove with refreshments - lots of really neat foods and drinks.

After the "cocktail hour" we were escorted back upstairs to the transformed ballroom - to be served dinner and to spend the evening dancing.

The fabulous wedding cake - it's sitting on glass pillars filled with fresh white rose petals!

Miranda taking notes for her upcoming nuptials!

The tables were decorated elaborately.

The first dance as a married couple!!  Beautiful!

Bridget and Tyler were at our table - such a sweet pair!

Oh, had to snap a photo of Miranda's vegitarian plate - then my camera battery died.  Bummer - but everyone else was relieved since I couldn't snap any more photos!! 

After a bit of dancing and visiting, we buzzed back home - arrived tired but happy at about 1AM!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weekend in West Virginia

So, we're just back from the Bahamas and it's time to run up to West Virginia to my nephew's confirmation. Lovely flight over some beautiful terrain.

This was our first visit to my sis's new hometown.  Both sets of Grandparents were in attendance also!
Here are all the pretty ladies!

Mom and Frank outside Teresa and Rafe's house.

The hilly drive up to their new church.

We got a little "mini-tour" on Saturday when Rafe stopped by to do some last minute prep for Sunday's service.  Lovely church inside and out.

Then it was off to dinner at a family favorite restaurant.  I had a wonderful eggplant concoction!

The town of Charleston is much prettier than I expected....I don't really know why I expected otherwise.  I guess I thought it would be a dirty coal-town.   It's actually a neat, clean modern small city.

Off to the church Sunday - here is my nephew entering the church for the ceremony.

A very nice service for the young folk.

And afterwards, we had cake!!  Yum - the congregation appears to get together after the service every Sunday - and this Sunday was even more special than normal.   We were warmly welcomed by many of the members of the church.

But, it was time to scoot on home - saw the capital building on the way back to the airport.

The airport was also bigger and nicer than I was expecting... also a pleasant surprise.

It was a lovely flight home until we got close to home where we ran into a bit of rain.   

The first of many trips, I expect!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Last days in paradise! Stella Maris, Long Island, Bahamas

Cecil and Carolyn planning the day!

There was a dog aptly named "Stella" that roamed freely around the resort.  She was a favorite at the airport where she had her own bed and food bowl.  She was a favorite up the hill at the resort also.  We saw her many times at the various places around the resort....

We had met "Bruno", the chef at the resort, the previous night at the restaurant.  He was chatting with us after we had eaten and we mentioned that we were heading over to Hawks Nest on Cat Island the following day.....He said he'd love to join us - so I volunteered our back seat.  Hmmm - most people don't take you up on those offers.....but Bruno gladly did!  I guess 30 years on the island makes you want to leave it if you get a chance!!  He was a nice temporary traveling companion.

Cat Island - less than 20 miles from Stella Maris...

The small resort, Hawk's Nest, is just a short stroll from the runway.

We had a very nice lunch at the restaurant...even chef Bruno approved!

Absolutely stunning -

For the return trip to Stella Maris - Bruno rode in the back of Dick and Lindy's plane - he took this neat closeup of our plane!  After our nice lunch at Hawks Nest we returned Bruno safely back to Stella Maris!

The following day, Duane, Dick and I were up early to head out on our only SCUBA diving of the trip.

The dive boat ran into some steering problems a few miles out - so they radioed shore and were sent another boat.  Within a half-hour, we were back on our way.  Here our Divemaster and assistant were arranging the boat changeout.

Here is Robert the divemaster leading us on the start of our first dive.

Duane looking around.

Nice coral, lots of fish...

A pretty angel fish - probably a foot long.  I noticed that the fish here were not as "skittish" as the fish in BVI.  A nice SCUBA trip.

Time was catching up with us - about time to end our spectacular trip!  Here we were at the Stella Maris Beach Bar for our last "cocktails".

A last view of the rocky shore.

Up early the next morning for final packing, clearing out with customs and heading back to the good ole' USA!

A bit cloudy while flying up the Exuma chain - this is  about where we crossed over to Highbourne Cay on the sailboat.

And back to Ft. Pierce!  After un-eventfully clearing customs back into the U.S., we were in for a cloudy/rainy flight back home.  This is the first of many such trips, I believe!!!