After London and Iceland (photos to come), we spent a relaxing week in Florida with close friends and family from around the world. A million miles travelled by all of us to be at my sister-in-law’s wedding to a kind American man. A whole resort to ourselves so only loved ones and friendly staff to bump into. Morning breakfast gatherings under a thatched hut by the water, joining friends from both families and relishing the time of friendships long ago cemented. Hugs and chats with family as we sat around with not a glance at the time. Tears welling up when a beloved and rarely seen family member arrived from a long solo trip to be there. Laughter flowing around the darkness on the fishing pier. My mistaken anxiety of an alligator!! floating past my feet (i.e. a log)! All excitedly learning over the pier to see the manatee who comes for fresh water each day. Quiet moments curled up on a comfortable chair on the ginormous verandah overlooking the sea. Dinner by the pool with lights hanging in the trees. Celebrating 9 years since our first date and remembering our own wedding. My in-laws pulling off another great event. Dancing for the first time in a very long time because of the cocoon of loved ones who know me. My husband’s smile and declarations of love and pride in my ear. The feeling of being surrounded by so many people looking out for my safety and comfort, hands taking mine or arms around my shoulders before I even know who it is, followed by the sound of their caring voices. Feeling pretty in my wedding day dress and the beautiful photos of faces that will soon adorn our bookshelf. The kind words of others that get written down in the holiday journal. Sunrise with my husband and his smile. Those moments throughout the day where people wander in to our bridal family villa, the biggest of them all, to pull up a chair to chat and open the fridge for snacks. My stunningly beautiful sister-in-law smiling up at her new husband. The shade of the trees. The blue hour as we all took our seats at the reception. The spontaneous pool party after the reception where young and old floated around together. The mother of the groom who jumped in wearing her dress, the laughter, the feeling that it was all ours and no-one to disturb. The intimate, precious family experience for that week in our own little world of the resort. The gaining of new family into our life.
*photo of my legs by my husband!