Touring with Family and Friends

Starting three days before the wedding and continuing for eleven days after, we had family and/or friends staying with us. And we had a long list of fun things to do with them. The first three days looked something like this...

The day after the wedding, we toured beautiful mid-coast Maine, one of my favorite places in all of New England. I adore the endless shades of blue, the sun glinting off the water, the rolling hills, the lighthouses, and more! We marveled at the views, explored two lighthouses, enjoyed a ploughman's lunch, shopped at L.L. Bean's flagship store, and had a relaxing dinner out.

The next day, some of us went to the Brimfield Antique Show, which was dreadfully hot and humid! We were grateful for some of Del's watermelon lemonade by the end of the day. We each bought at least one thing, and some of us...ahem...more than one.

And on the third day after the wedding, we headed back up to Maine to sail for 2 hours aboard the Schooner Surprise. I had never sailed before, so it was a completely new experience for me. Loved it! Absolutely my favorite day of the two weeks!

Sharing a healthy and delicious lunch we ate aboard in my next posting!

The Wedding!

I'm so thrilled to share with you some pictures from Max and Rose's wedding! It was a beautiful day, and I think it was just exactly what they hoped it would be! Praises be to God for their union!

The weather leading up to the wedding had been oppressively hot and humid, but that all disappeared the day before the wedding. And the day of the wedding was a lovely day of blue skies with puffy white clouds, about 77 degrees, and a whooshing wind blowing off the lake and refreshing us all. Just PERFECT!

The ceremony and reception were held at a camp in Maine on the edge of a lake. A winding, woodland path led to the ceremony site.

I snapped just a few photos with my phone throughout the day, but left the ceremony pictures entirely to the professional, so I'm thankful for this one shared by a friend. All the grandkids were part of the wedding party...the girls as trainbearers. Rose was radiant! They repeated vows that they had written themselves.

Then it was on to the celebration!

Prior to the events of the day, I had time to photograph the reception site thoroughly. It was held in the camp lodge (c. 1887)...a fabulously historic building made of thick beams and dominated by a stone fireplace. If you look closely, you can see the massive, old canoe tucked up into the beams. The building had a porch which wrapped around two sides of it, with a view to the dock and lake.

The newlyweds, both dog lovers, were thrilled to greet a friends' dog who came for the wedding!

The dog, the dock, the lovely breeze...all helped to give this wedding such a relaxing feeling that made the day one that all enjoyed and will long remember.

And a mischievous aunt that teaches you tricks helps to keep things fun too!

Our dear friends from California, who were such a help to us in hosting the rehearsal dinner. Couldn't have done it without them!

Rose's can-do attitude is always coupled with skill, and she impresses me so with her ability to do anything she sets her hand to, including making the naked wedding cake!

First dance! So proud of and delighted in these two! "He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord." - Proverbs 18:22.

And in a sparkler send-off, they were off on their honeymoon!

No sooner had the newlyweds departed, then that lake water became just too enticing for Colette and friends, and the dog joined in the fun too!

Tying the Knot Rehearsal Dinner

As parents of the groom, we were delighted to host the rehearsal dinner! Due to a change in the wedding date, all sorts of logistical difficulties, and multiple complications, it just became easier to host it at the same location as the rehearsal/wedding, which was a summer camp in Maine. We ordered Italian food catered to-go from a restaurant, and threw ourselves into all the decorating details.

My vision for the decorating was centered around the theme of "tying the knot", which was not only suitable for a wedding, but also coordinated nicely with our son being in the Coast Guard. Couldn't be easier! Lots of thick cotton roping, lanterns, candles, and Japanese fishing floats helped to create a summery and nautical vibe for the tables.

The wedding party, family, and out-of-town relatives all gathered for a relaxing evening. So many happy faces! It was a joy to see people go from the stress of wedding preparations to the calm of enjoying each other's company.

- Menu -

Caesar Salad
Garden Salad with Italian Dressing

Garlic Knots

Penne Pasta with Marinara Sauce, Italian Sausage, Bell Peppers,
Mushrooms, Red Onion, Garlic, and Greek Olives

Jumbo Cheese Ravioli with Chicken, Shallots, and Basil in Sherry Wine Sauce

Artisan Sodas and Iced Teas

Homemade Brownies with Ice Cream, Hot Fudge, and Blueberries

So many emotions on the eve of his wedding...all those years of prayers to the Lord for a godly spouse and a God-glorifying marriage...all those years of proud of who he has become!

Celebrating & Seeing the Sights in Charleston

Max had been in Charleston since April attending Coast Guard Maritime Enforcement School at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. And just five days before the wedding, he graduated! We hopped a plane for a quick trip to Charleston to: watch him graduate, celebrate, and see the sights. We had never been there before, so everything was new to us. We had about 36 hours there, and the heat and humidity were brutal, but we were determined to pack as much in as possible.

The view from our hotel window, which overlooked Marion Square.

Whenever possible, we like to support those hotels that are part of Historic Hotels of America, because we want to help preserve the beauty and legacy of these grand dames of old. This time we chose the Francis Marion Hotel right in the heart of the historic district. Lovely! Beautiful rooms and excellent service!

After stowing our luggage, we set off on foot to explore the shops along King Street (on which the hotel is conveniently located).

After bopping in and out of numerous shops, stopping for iced coffees at Skinny Dip (for those among us who must have their caffeine), we discovered "We Took to the Coast". We joked that we spent the longest time in the shop that reminded us most of New England. It's a pop of shop of a South Carolina based shop called "We Took to the Woods", where I bought a t-shirt that says "We Took to the Coast - Nantucket", because they once had a pop-up shop on Nantucket. Are you confused? We sure were! All that to say, if you're visiting Charleston before the summer's out, be sure to check out "We Took to the Coast" on King Street, which is a carefully curated mix of vintage and new and a sheer delight to explore.

Then we wandered, in the heat and humidity of a Charleston summer, at the hottest part of the day...for miles. Now, I have never felt like I belong in the south, and this certainly confirmed that it is NOT my natural habitat! Did you know that restaurants, where lines are likely to form outside of people waiting for a table, have little tables with pitchers of ice water and glasses sitting right out on the sidewalk? I wondered if that was a sign of the famous southern hospitality, or if it was to keep people from literally dropping dead on their doorstep. Maybe both? Shade. Must find shade!

We stopped in a the famous bakery, Sugar, for some cupcakes...coconut and pistachio, to be exact. Yum!

The next morning was the graduation! So proud of him! He not only graduated, but earned an award for marksmanship, a special honor for "outstanding leadership, honor, discipline...devotion to duty", and became the first class leader in Maritime Enforcement School history to maintain his position as class leader from the first day through graduation! Can you tell my mom heart is just bursting? He will now be catching bad guys on the high seas and keeping our shores safe!

Off to celebrate! We chose a southern barbecue place with lots of MEAT on the menu, Poogan's Smokehouse, because it seemed like the thing to do. Delicious! We went all out with: skillet cornbread, boiled peanuts (never even knew they existed and had to get a tutorial in how to eat them from the waiter), brisket, ribs, slaw, potato salad, lemonade, and more. A true southern feast! And when the waiter came around the table collecting the orders of all the ladies first, I thought...hmm...I could get used to this southern thing! ;-)

We explored Rainbow Row, a colorful row of houses just oozing southern charm with their gas lamps, topiaries, and window boxes.

And I must confess to indulging one of my favorite hobbies...Golden Retriever stalking. Yes, you may not know this about me, but I stalk other people Golden Retrievers, hoping...just hoping that I can pet them! Be still my heart! I spotted this one and followed it for at least a block. Just look at how fluffy! And then it's owner walked it into a sort of long tunnel/pass-through into a courtyard, which I guess was the entrance to his house. And, yes, I actually stood at one end and peered through the dark tunnel and called, "Can I pet your Golden, please?" He probably thought I was crazy. But Homer (that was the dog's name) was SO sweet! 

And then our time was up and it was homeward bound to get ready for the first wedding houseguests to about 36 more hours! Goodbye Charleston!

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