This weekend was wonderful. I took the day off Friday to head to Naples for a wedding at the Ritz-Carlton. And while taking a day off alone could have made for a spectacular weekend, the rest of the events made it even better.
When driving south to Naples from Tampa, you have to drive over the sunshine skyway bridge that connects the opening of Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico, and I have a very strange fascination/fear of that bridge. It is gigantic. Cruise ships have to be able to get under it, and they close it when it's too windy. It's a suspension bridge, and I honestly took more pictures of it than I did anything else the whole weekend. I'll just share one...
Can you see how massively gigantic it is in the distance? Okay, I digress.
When we arrived, we started acting like celebrities from the moment we dropped our car off at the valet. The hotel was beautiful and amazing, and because we had been monetarily planning for this weekend for a few months we were able to really enjoy the lavishness.
PS All of these pictures were taken with my new iphone. The camera quality is pretty impressive.
Tim was a groomsman in the wedding and headed off the rehearsal while I squeezed in a run, then I showered and we were off to the rehearsal dinner at Shula's Steakhouse. It was delicious. I enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine with my steak, creamed spinach, steak fries, and cheesecake.
I needed a picture of myself with the giant mint-filled martini glass.
We headed back to a bar at the hotel for a little while before calling it an early night. I had plans to get up and run 11 miles the next morning.
And run 11 miles I did. By myself. On the treadmill. It was pretty terrible, but I did it and got it out of the way so that I could enjoy my time at what I knew would be a beautiful wedding. Then I went to breakfast with a girlfriend and met up with a few of the other girls for manicures and pedicures.
We did this while the boys got ready while being photographed by the photographer and videographer. No pressure.
Before heading out to the beach for the wedding, we all met in the lobby for a drink.
And while it had rained throughout the day and rained later in the day, the rain held our perfectly for the duration of the wedding. You can even see the clouds waiting in the background.
I'm not going to post any of the pictures I got of the bride or groom, because she has a blog and I want her to be able to unveil the first pictures of herself, but I had to include one of my Timmy waiting for the bride to come down the aisle.
Afterwards was a beautiful and insanely fun reception. Each of the bridesmaids and groomsmen walked in to their own song, the cake was made of cheesecake, and the liquor was top shelf. We had an amazing time.
Along with the amazing valet, it was wonderful to have a housekeeper that organized your makeup on the counter for you, chocolates with your turndown service, and a bellman help carry your bags to your afore mentioned awaiting car.
So we returned Sunday to the reality of our lives only a little worn down from our amazing weekend. It's back to work tomorrow with a long week ahead, but I can say one thing for sure: there is nothing that lights the wedding planning fire under you like attending such an amazing and immaculate wedding. I'm in planning mode. Now someone tell me what to do first...
How was your weekend?