…and we’re going to FLOR-I-DA.
Our friends, N&T, invited us to join their family and friends to celebrate one of the biggest days of their lives – their wedding day. Festivities were planned to take place December 28 – 30 in Palm Beach, Florida. So, we decided to leave the cold of the Northeast, add a leg to our Christmas journey and hop a direct flight from PHL to PBI (West Palm Beach aka WPB).
We left NJ in a sea of hugs, kisses and tears (Great Fairy Godmother, our family crier), with Mercer saying, “Bye Bye Airport”.
|Snacking with Daddy|
And we thought, “Oh, it’s no big deal, because we can just drop him in the tub when we get to the hotel, right”? Sure. If the hotel had bathtubs. The Hyatt Place in WPB is awesome. The staff is super attentive & friendly. The breakfast buffet hits the spot. The rooms are modern and clean. The location allows you to walk everywhere. But unfortunately, our bathroom only had a shower. And this shower was refreshing…for adults, with its great temperature and excellent water pressure. But for a kid who really never really takes showers, Mercer must have felt like he was being hosed down with a fire hose. We made the clean up quick and then it was time for bed, for all of us.
Now, we haven’t shared a room with Mercer since he was 9 months old and we were visiting his Florida Grands. So, this whole "roomie" experience was new to Mercer. To make more space in the hotel room, we put the crib right next to the bed. Hilarity ensued when we were awoke from a sound sleep by our son staring at us and repeating, “HI. Hi. Hi.” And “Up?” in the middle of the night. He was definitely excited that we were that accessible to him in the middle of the night. We scooped him up and plopped him in bed between us and after 45 minutes of him trying to get comfortable (and me getting kicked over and over, just as I was dozing off), I put him back in his crib and was met with no fuss from him. Apparently, the kid like his own sleeping hole.
The first day in Palm Beach was just what we needed – relaxing. In the rush of December, with work being crazy, multiple parties, shopping obligations and traveling, we really never got a chance to celebrate together…just the three of us. So, we got up, put on our shorts and sunscreen and just walked. All day. In flip flops. And while our feet hated us for it, our hearts and our souls really needed that walk. Palm Beach is beautiful. The houses are spectacular, the weather is perfect, the beaches are clean, the water is blue and all the people that we ran into (because they like to tell us how cute our son is, as he flirts with all the ladies running) were so nice. Special thanks to two local ladies that tag-teamed the taking of our family photograph below. One took the picture while the other one stood behind her doing every funny thing she could think of to get Mercer to smile (We were laughing outloud at her antics). I want to go back and hug these ladies. I feel like they knew what it was like to never have a family photo with EVERYONE in it, because someone is always taking the picture. And while I look like hell – we’re all present and smiling…and I love it.
|Us - in front of a Poinciana Tree at the Royal Poinciana Chapel|
The tree was gigantic - like prehistoric gigantic...and stunning!
Enter the FLORDIA Grands (Bubby and Grandpa) aka – the Super "Bubby"sitters. We asked them to meet us in WPB to look after Mercer while we attened the wedding events. Mercer was welcome to attend along with us, but, we thought it was a good opportunity for him to have some bonding time with his grandparents (and we loved the idea of having 3 date nights in a row). We met back at our hotel, after our day-long walk and caught them up on all of Mercer’s Holiday Happenings. Then for the next 3 days, Mercer and his Florida Grands were BFFs (best friends forever)! When we went to a welcome dinner, the ordered-in pizza and watched nature shows. When we had a lunch and boat ride, they went to Burger King and the park. And finally when we got all dolled up for the wedding, Bubby and Mermie napped and Grandpa chauffeured us to our bus. The three of them spent that evening eating, reading and playing while Mark and I danced the night away (literally). Every night, after we returned from our function, Bubby gave us a full report of Mercer’s “what-doings”, with color commentary added from Grandpa. And I loved it. It warmed my heart seeing just how much they enjoyed their grandson and just how much their grandson enjoyed them.
|Mermie & Grandpa|
|We clean up nicely - Photo credit - SC|
On a side note…
Our friends’ wedding was majestic. And it was made so because in the midst of every beautiful detail at every event that was hosted, from the flowers (that I wanted to take up residence in) to the food (that was delish), the love of the Villages that support these two crazy kids, was palpable. The bride and groom were smiley. Their parents were so welcoming. The wedding toasts were warm and heartfelt. Over the three days that we spent celebrating, a community of people from all over the world became friends because these two met, fell in love and got married.
|The newly minted Mr & Mrs|
I always say that a testament to a great wedding is how packed the dance floor is. At one point, I looked out upon it, filled with a sea of people and it appeared as though it was breathing to the music. It was packed with guests; some high on life, some tipsy on champagne (like me). And in the middle were the two brightest smiles I had ever seen, just radiating - creating their own spotlight. One was dressed in a black James Bond-eque tux and the other dressed in gorgeous white lace gown…two big smiles, two big hearts, just high on love.
N&T – May you never come down off the cloud you were on that day.
And now – back to reality…Resolution posts coming next and hopefully more weekly updates.