Last weekend Katie and I went to St. Petersburg, Florida for my brother’s wedding. It was hot and humid but somehow we didn’t mind at all. Katie set us up in a B&B near all the action. It was cute, quaint, and very energy- and water-efficient, which we obviously appreciated. If anyone else is traveling to St. Petersburg, we would recommend La Veranda as a nice alternative to staying in a big hotel. The proprietor was extremely adaptable to Katie’s and my nutritional requests for breakfast.
Friday we met my mom, brother, and another groomsman for lunch at The Moon Under Water. Although it offered mostly Britsh pub food (Yuck!), it also offered superb Indian cuisine (Yum!) – combined with a British pub beer list (Yumyumyum!)! Such a great pairing enjoyed al fresco on a sunny afternoon was just the way to kick off the weekend’s festivities.
After the rehearsal, we had rehearsal dinner at Bella Brava, an Italian restaurant that Nick has been raving about for years. They kind of screwed up our reservation so I was less impressed with them than I had hoped to be – but it still turned out to be a fine venue for eating, drinking, and roasting on the eve of the wedding.
Saturday Katie and my mom spent the day bouncing around between St. P’s surprising number of good museums (surprising given the town’s small size). Meanwhile I joined the other groomsmen at Nick’s house for a day of outdoor workouts and great food. Once we felt that Nick had been sent off from bachelorhood in appropriate style, we changed and got ready for the big event.
The wedding itself was Hawaiian themed and very informal. With the sun beating down on us, we all appreciated the informality! It was also very meaningful, from the written vows to the sentimental rings to the participation of the flower dog.
As we transitioned to the reception we also added a Top Gun theme. We groomsmen donned aviators as we entered the reception to the Top Gun theme song and later on there was a You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling homage. The Hawaiian theme continued as well as we were treated to a show by dancers from the Pacific Islands. It was an interactive show so attendees were treated (?) to more than they could ever want of me hula dancing!
We danced into the night and then continued the party in downtown St. P. It was a lot of fun: sweaty, sweaty fun!
The next day Katie, Mom, and I spent the morning in the Salvador Dali Museum – what a trip! And then we wrapped up with tapas at Ceviche before heading home. All in all it was a fun weekend and a great way to send Nick and Jess off on their new adventure. I won’t try to recount my toasts here as they are private, intended just for the bride, groom, and other wedding attendees. I did quote one poem by Rumi, though, in honor of Nick’s and Jess’s strong attachment to the sea:
The religion of Love
is a sea without
a shore,where the
without a sigh,
without a cry.
To Nick and Jess, bon voyage on your new life together!