Sometime last year, my cousin, Jeremy, announced his upcoming wedding in Fort Lauderdale, FL, on March 12, 2011. I decided at that moment that I was going. Not only because I love Jeremy and Lauren and want to support them but because I’ve never been to Florida! (Let’s be serious, if they got married somewhere lame like Nebraska, I probably wouldn’t have gone. I love him but not that much!) My California aunt, Tami, planned to go with me (without husband and kids).
We took the red-eye from Los Angeles (thanks, Wendy, for taking us to the airport!) to Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday night. I usually pride myself on being able to sleep anywhere, anytime, but this time I unpleasantly surprised myself. After a 4 1/2 hour flight, we landed in Fort Lauderdale at 5:55am local time (we lost 3 hours with the time difference). We walked outside where it was warm and kind of humid. We were shuttled to Sunshine Car Rental where we picked up our tiny little Toyota Yaris. We headed straight to the beach! I navigated the whole trip while Tami drove (scary for those of you who know my tendency to get lost even with a map and my iPhone!). At that time of day, the beach was pretty quiet and quite beautiful. There were tons of walkers on the boardwalk but the beach was empty. I took a few pictures and couldn’t resist stepping in the water. The huge difference between the beach in Southern California and the beach in Florida is the water temperature and waves. The water wasn’t exactly warm in Florida but much warmer than California! And they have very few waves, which was a big difference that I wasn’t expecting.
As a result of our nearly sleepless night, we were exhausted and knew we had a long day ahead of us. We couldn’t check into our hotel until 3:00pm so we found a parking lot and took a nap! We didn’t sleep long before we got hot and uncomfortable but every little bit helps. We ate breakfast at The Deck, which is a cool beachfront restaurant. After breakfast, we headed to Coral Springs for our manis and pedis with the girls. On our way to the salon, we ran into a big storm with lots of wind and buckets of rain. The sky was crazy! We made it safely and then got to enjoy a few relaxing hours getting pampered with Lauren (bride), Elizabeth (her sister), Linda (her mom), Megan (Jeremy’s sister), Lynda (Jeremy’s mom), and Amy (Brandon’s fiance).
Tami and I checked into our hotel, Holiday Inn Express, and did a quick shower and get ready, then headed out again. We did a little shopping (Tami didn’t bring a swimsuit but I insisted that she needed one!). Next up was the rehearsal dinner at Bimini Bar & Grill. Beautiful place with a nautical theme. Family, friends, & fun.
We went to bed early that night after a long, fun-filled day!