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Old 07-05-2012, 01:36 PM   #241
2dogmom
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The drive continues…

The plan was to leave as early as possible. Continental breakfast was available starting at 6am. We were up early and were loading up the car just after 6, eating just after that (bagels, eggs, and sausage) and on the road by 6:45. Driving through Georgia we saw a number of speed traps, that’s why Carl drove. We were happy to see the Florida sign. That meant we were getting close!


Partway in the drive we stopped for a quick sandwich. We just wanted to get back on the road and get to Disney. We encountered the tolls heading into Orlando. The biggest problem with the tolls was we didn’t see any signage telling us how much we had to pay so we went up to the toll both fumbling for money. (I hate when people do that!)

Then we saw it…



… and knew we were almost at our home for the next 8 nights. Next stop… Disney’s Beach Club Resort.



We checked in with the guard at the gate and drove in.




Someone from the concierge level greeted us by name. We unloaded the car then Carl parked it while we waited for him to return so we could check in. When he came back, we were walked up to the 5th floor (needs a key card to access it) and we sat down to check in. After we finished check in, we checked out the lounge. The lounge is great. Depending on the time of the day, there are different food and drink options available for is.

Breakfast -7-10:30am – bagels, oatmeal with toppings, sweet rolls, muffins, fruit (cantaloupe, honeydew, pineapple), cereal, and juices, coffee and milk.

Snack – 11:30-4pm – homemade potato chips, chocolate chip and sugar (with Mickey sprinkle) cookies, swedish fish, trail mix, yogurt pretzels, and soft drinks.

Appetizers – 5-7pm – varies daily, some things were pot stickers, hummus, cheese and crackers, apple slices and caramel sauce, PB&J, bread, veggies, and cocktails and beer.

Desserts – 8-10pm – a few different desserts such as raspberry mousse, brownies, cupcakes, and cordials.

It was snack time when we arrived so the girls were happy to get cookies.





Here is a picture of the afternoon spread.



Obviously Carl was hungry!


Our room wasn’t ready so we decided to go walk over to Epcot to exchange the vouchers I have for tickets. The walk to Epcot is about 5 minutes, which was SO nice. We got our tickets then decided to walk around a little bit while we waited for our room. As soon as we went through the International Gateway, I received a text that the room was ready. The girls wanted to walk around a bit anyway. We headed over to Norway to go on the boat ride but the line was really long and it started to rain on the way. (The Dollar Store ponchos were still in the car.) The girls wanted to go on something so we went on the boat ride in Mexico then we headed back to the hotel. Of course it started to POUR on the walk out of Epcot. Huge puddles were everywhere!!! Fortunately I remembered reading about a side entrance as soon as you get to Beach Club so it was the perfect time to investigate it. We found it quickly and it wound us through the first floor to the elevators. It was a great shortcut to know.

The text I received had our room number.



By the end of our stay most of the shell was broken off of the room number sign. The rooms were nice. There were two queen beds, with a little table in between, a desk, pullout couch, dresser with TV mounted over it, mini fridge, and bathroom with a separate double sink. I think I liked that there was a little shelf under the sinks for storage. I didn’t feel so cluttered.



Almost every night we had a new towel animal when we came back! Here is a Mickey head!




I thought this lamp on the desk was SO cute.



Since we had a standard view, it was ok. At least we had a full balcony. Here is a view looking out to the side.



Here is the view looking straight out.



We then had our luggage delivered to the room and we headed to Magic Kingdom.
(More to come soon!)
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Old 07-05-2012, 04:19 PM   #242
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What gorgeous shots!!

I love being greeted by name when we check in! Yay!!

Looks like the trip started off really well! Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:07 PM   #243
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Thanks. It was really cool to feel like you are important.

Sorry, I have been slow with updating. I have the luau this coming weekend and it has kept me hopping.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:16 PM   #244
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Day 2 (cont) – MK

Now that we have our luggage delivered to the room and my dress is hanging and hopefully getting wrinkle free (One can wish, right?!) we are ready to head to Magic Kingdom.



But first, we headed to the MarketPlace (right by the elevator) to get some heavy duty ponchos. I knew if we got more rain like we were having, there was no way a dollar store poncho was going to held up. By the way, disney really makes a killing on those things, but they are heavier and they will exchange them for a new one if it tears. After buying them, we headed to the bus stop to make our way to the Magic Kingdom. We had a short wait for the bus and we were on our way.





There was no wait to get into the Magic Kingdom.



We had a few minutes before we had to check in for our dinner reservations. Most of the big rides had long lines, we started with the People Mover I love that ride to take in the sights of the park.



We Then headed over to Crystal Palace to check in. About 5 minutes after checking in we were seated. Everyone was excited to carry on tradition of dinner with Pooh and friends. Before we even had a chance to get food, characters were visiting.









Peyton was mad that I caught her finishing up a bite of food and was mad for a while. In between a couple of the characters, as I was getting food, I bumped into Tigger. Well, actually, Tigger kept bumping into me. He must have done it about 4-5 times. lol



I love all of the topiaries in the center of the restaurant.











After dinner we went on Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion. It was the first time we were able to see the new queue for the mansion. It was pretty cool.







It was then time to call it an early night. All 3 girls were going to be picked up by Dave for their day at Universal the next day. It was an uneventful bus ride home.



Next up: our only kid free day!
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:24 PM   #245
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Yay for starting a TR! Your driving pictures are beautiful, I love the mountain shots. That Disney sign gets me every time, I swear that we must have at least 10 pictures of it because we take a pic every single time.

The beach club looks beautiful, we've never stayed there. How did you like it?

We have the Mickey ponchos too, I had no idea they'd give you new ones if they rip. I hope the rain at least made the wait times shorter for you! Did it rain the whole time?

We love the crystal palace, it is our only must do restaurant every trip. It looks like your girls had fun with the characters. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!
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Old 07-30-2012, 11:55 AM   #246
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
Yay for starting a TR! Your driving pictures are beautiful, I love the mountain shots. That Disney sign gets me every time, I swear that we must have at least 10 pictures of it because we take a pic every single time.

The beach club looks beautiful, we've never stayed there. How did you like it?

We have the Mickey ponchos too, I had no idea they'd give you new ones if they rip. I hope the rain at least made the wait times shorter for you! Did it rain the whole time?

We love the crystal palace, it is our only must do restaurant every trip. It looks like your girls had fun with the characters. Can't wait to hear more about your trip!
This is the first time I have driven since 1995 so it was like seeing the sign for the first time again.

We really loved the Beach Club. We did stay club level so that helped us like it even more. I loved how close it was to Epcot. I wish we had more time (drier weather) to use the pool though.

It rained every day but the last 2. Sunday was the worst. We were so water logged.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:04 AM   #247
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Day 3 - Alone time

Today is the only alone day we would have for the entire trip. We decided to make the most of it by sleeping in until 7am We took our time getting ready and ate breakfast in the lounge. We left around 9:30am to take the boat over to Hollywood Studios. The boat ride took about 10 minutes. It was a really busy day at the Studios. Look at the crowds behind Mickey just waiting to get in.


Just before we left for the trip, Carl got back in touch with one of his good friends from high school and they said they would be down at Disney at the same time we were. It so happened that they would be at the Studios the same day we were and we met up with them shortly after going through the gate. We chatted for a bit and then went in different directions. They had two little kids and we were kid free so we were avoiding the kid shows. We did try to get fast passes for Toy Story Mania but the return time was already late in the afternoon and we had dinner plans. We were going to have our last supper as single people

I decided to start using the Disney Mobile Magic app on my phone to check wait times. This app was great because it listed wait times and fast pass return times and it seemed to be pretty accurate to what was posted when we would get by a ride. We picked up a fast pass for Tower of Terror then head to Start Tours because it wasn’t open with we went back in 2010. In case you didn’t know, Carl is a HUGE Star Wars fan and this was the ride he wanted to go on the most. The standby time wasn’t bad, only about 20 minutes. I grabbed a Mickey ice cream sandwich and hopped in line. Here is Carl in the ride queue.



The revamped ride was great. We both really liked it. After the ride, I couldn’t drag Carl out of the store. He decided to buy gifts for his family (also Star Wars fans). He bought himself one of those real life sabers. (Every so often I still here the “woosh” sound around my house because he is playing with it). I think Carl bought out the whole store, which we had shipped back to our room. (I love that benefit of staying onsite!)

We walked past Indiana Jones but couldn’t work that into our scheduled. As you can see, we have trouble “listening” to signs.



We had a 12:30 fast pass for Tower of Terror. We went on it. With the fast pass we walked right in. Carl really couldn’t wait to get on the ride… he is knocking on the elevator door.



We were in the back corner on the ride. It was fun, as usual. During the drop sequence, there is one part where they made it seem like the ride was done, showing something on a TV screen, but them we catapulted up again. I think Carl was about ready to jump off the 13th floor at this point This isn’t a great picture, but if you look in the upper left corner, I have my hands up and Carl is in the orange hat looking quite scared (but not as scared as the woman in our row).



Good thing we didn’t eat lunch right before. When we got off the ride, it started raining, which will be a common theme of this trip. We decided to head back to our resort and get a nap in before dinner. On the way out, Carl had to get an R2D2 cop he saw being carried around the park by some other guests.



The boat ride back was uneventful. My sister and I talked on the way back and she had arrived so she asked what we were doing that evening. I said going to dinner. She asked if we wanted company. Since I haven’t seen her much in the past few months since she moved to Texas I told her I would see if I could change our plans. I was able to have the concierge desk change our reservations to 6pm (instead of 5:30) and make it for a party of 4.

We arrived back at our room and Mousekeeping already came through and left us some swans on our bed. I love what they can do with a couple of towels.



We took our nap and changed for dinner. I also put the goodie bags together for our guests and found my lost “Just Married” buttons. I knew I packed them in a safe place. Cindy texted around 5 to say that she arrived and would meet us by the bar. I asked which bar and she said “by the steal house by cruise cup”. Of course this made absolutely no sense to me. We went downstairs to look around a bit for a bar, but couldn’t find her. I eventually asked someone to translate my message and they said to try the “Steak” house. We headed over there and found her and Jeff by the steak house bar by the “crew” cup. You just have to love autocorrect on these fangled new phone.





We sat in the bar and had a drink until it was time for us to dine at Yachtsman’s Steakhouse. They led us back to a great table in the middle of the restaurant. The waiter congratulated us on our just married buttons and we said we are getting married tomorrow. We looked at the menu and everything looked so good. Cindy and I decided to split a steak, but I think we ordered almost every side and a couple of appetizers to go with it.

First, the server brought out some delicious rolls. I loved the onion rolls!



Carl order an appetizer, I want to say some sort of stuffed ravioli (but I can’t remember and can’t tell from the pictures. I ordered a caesar salad. It look a bit different than I expected.



After, our main meals came out. I think Cindy and I split the New York strip. I think Carl ordered one for himself, and I can’t remember what Jeff ordered (ok, at this point I had a couple of drinks!) We had four sides — sauteed mushroom caps, sauteed green beans, caramelized onions and creamed spinach. We were so stuffed after eating.

As the server was clearing off the table, we were talking to a couple sitting next to us from South Carolina. (When we came back I started talking on DISBoards, a disney message board and I found the woman we were talking to. Too funny!) The server then brought us out a special treat!



The letters were painted on in chocolate. Carl and I were able to eat the chocolate caramels (yum) but had no room for the other sugared gummy thing. Here we are feeding each other – How romantic!



We finished up and headed out to walk my sister and Jeff back to the lobby.



We said our goodbyes and we headed back to our resort. On the way up, we stopped in the lounge to see what the dessert offerings were — raspberry mousse, peanut butter mousse and brownies. We grabbed some for the girls and headed to the room. I think I feel asleep waiting for the girls to be dropped off. I know I went right to sleep after they came back, after making sure they enjoyed their day at Universal/Island of Adventure.

Next up… The wedding day!
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:14 AM   #248
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Gina,

Awesome start! We love Beach Club. Our favorite resort at Disney. And Yachtsman is our favorite restaurant. Glad that you enjoyed both.

Can't wait to read all about the wedding!!
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #249
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I love the tower of terror picture, there is always at least one person scared to death! That is one of my favorite rides.

How great that they were able to change your reservation and add your sister in. I've never done yachtsman but the food looks great. You and your sister are so pretty, I love the last picture of you two together. Can't wait to hear about the wedding day!
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:12 AM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethieTink View Post
Gina,

Awesome start! We love Beach Club. Our favorite resort at Disney. And Yachtsman is our favorite restaurant. Glad that you enjoyed both.

Can't wait to read all about the wedding!!
Beach Club is definitely now one of my favorites (with Poly!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jilian View Post
I love the tower of terror picture, there is always at least one person scared to death! That is one of my favorite rides.

How great that they were able to change your reservation and add your sister in. I've never done yachtsman but the food looks great. You and your sister are so pretty, I love the last picture of you two together. Can't wait to hear about the wedding day!
Thanks, I thought that last picture came out good. I love seeing the scared people on ToT too! It is too funny.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:22 AM   #251
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Day 4 - wedding day!

I’m glad I planned the wedding for early in the trip so I could be less stressed Wedding day… At times, it seemed to take forever, at other times, if time flew by.

I decided to get up early,before 8, before everyone else. I grabbed a bite to eat in the lounge then headed downstairs to the Marketplace to buy some jewelry for the girls to wear. I decided to get them each some earrings and a necklace with Mickey on them, of course. I found some similar ones, but not all the same color. After buying the jewelry, I walked out to the car to clean it out. I figured Carl left it in disarray when he parked it and I was right. I didn’t want to have to deal with bags and blankets and everything else when we had to drive over to the Polynesian for later that evening for dinner. I then headed back upstairs. I stopped at the concierge desk to talk about a room for Carl to use for getting ready and they were able to obtain one for me, well him.

When I got back to the room I showered. The girls grabbed some breakfast then showered too. Carl left the room before 11, probably to get away from the chaos of the morning with 4 ladies getting ready and with lots of people to come. His room was a bit different than ours, probably because the balcony is on a different wall. (He only took one picture).


Donna and her boys was the first to arrive around 11:15 (after they had breakfast at Cape May in the Beach Club — which she said they enjoyed!). It was so nice to see her since it has been a few years since we last saw each other. She get right on steaming my dress for me, along with my girls’ dresses. I gave her boys, and my girls, the activity packet (crossword, mazes, word search) to keep them busy. Of course they found the candy in the boxes too Carl did offer for them to come to his room to watch tv or hang out but they didn’t want to.

My friend Anna arrived around 11:30. She lives out by me but flew in from Texas after spending the week on her husband’s business trip. Before my stylist was to arrive, I ran down to the lounge to grab some chocolate chip and sugar cookies and chips to hold us over for a while.

Next to arrive around noon was Rosie from Beaute Speciale to do my hair and makeup. At this point I still wasn’t too certain on how I wanted to style my hair, but I did know I wanted a partial up and down ‘do and I had a tiara to go with it. She decided to just start curling and we would decide from there. Rosie was really nice. We were chit chatting about different shows we watch and had a lot of ones to talk about.



My sister, Cindy, arrived around 12:30. She sent her boyfriend off to Carl’s room so he didn’t have to hang out with the girls. My niece, Brittany, arrived around 1:00. She has a cosmetology degree and is now a Fairy Godmother at the Downtown Disney Bippity Boppity Boutique so I asked her to help out with all of the girls hair She started as soon as she arrived. Since my girls didn’t want all the same hair styles, and each wanted braids of some sort, Rosie was night enough to come up with some ideas of different braids for the girls and even showed Brittany how to do one of them.

Peyton went with a fishtail braid.



Morgan went for a sideways french braid with a bun type of thing going on at the bottom.



Maryssa went with a waterfall braid. We had a big discussion on the earrings that Maryssa would wear. She brought some big feathers in a darker blue than her dress. There were many differing opinions in the room but I finally said I wanted her to wear the small ones I bought for her and she can switch to the other ones after the ceremony when we came back to the room. I don't think she was happy, but as I have been telling my girls, the bride wins!



After Rosie was done with my hair, I went outside for a bit to do a humidity test. It was looking very overcast and the humidity levels were very high. I wanted to make sure it stayed before she left.



Then it was makeup time.



Look at my dress hanging in the background (I didn’t realize how much of a disaster the room was until we got back from the festivities!)



After Rosie was done with my makeup, my sister asked her to touch up her makeup. Huh?! She made sure to tell Rosie I would tip her well. WTH! I wasn't happy with that. All in all, I was done before 2:00. While I was having my hair done, a delivery came to the door. It was a great gift from my agency. The girls were excited to have mouse ears with their names on them… and spelled correctly.



It was torture because I wouldn’t let them open it. lol

It was now time to get dressed. I wanted to have it on before Randy Chapman, our photographer, arrived. As soon as Randy came, he was snapping pictures of me, my girls, my guests, the gifts, the buttons, the goody bags, you name it.

Here I am putting on my finishing touches of jewelry.



I like this next picture because you can see the different angles of my dress and hair.



Here, Peyton is trying to see who is at the door (She is wearing a pair of my shoes in hopes of being able to reach the peep hole easier! These were my original flip flops I planned on wearing but I changed last minute.)



The person at the door was my day of planner, Jayne, from Just Marry. Of course she was like the grimm reaper coming with bad news. There was a storm threatening and she needed a decision asap on moving the ceremony inside instead of on the beach. She said they would need about 45 minutes to set up the arch inside. Ugh! Not what I wanted. She said she would call me in about 30 minutes so I had some time to think it over. She left shortly after carrying my sand ceremony vases, aisle flower balls, fans, wands, and shell garland. I spent the next 30 minutes looking over the radar and talking to Carl to see what he thought. Randy thought we should just go ahead with outside and just pick a location to run to if it started raining. The way the radar was looking, and the speed, or lack of, that is was moving, really concerned me. Around 3 I decided to move it inside We took a couple of last pictures before we left to catch the boat to the Swan.



And away we go (down the Beach Club elevator)!



More to come....
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:09 AM   #252
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Up to this point I have been surprisingly calm, but definitely not happy about moving my wedding indoors. the number one thing I wanted was a ceremony on the sand Anyway, on with the show!

We were now on our way to the boat dock. We walked out the back of Beach Club and no sooner did we walk a couple of steps and one of the girls was saying she felt rain drops. Oh no!



Look at the sky in this next picture. Rain was coming and I could smell it in the air.



The walk to the dock was about 5 minutes, tops. We turned the corner and we were almost to the dock when we saw the boat pull out. We figured the next one would be arriving shortly. As soon as we got to the start of the dock, it started to pour. Randy said my choices were to go to the lighthouse or to go to the Yacht Club. I chose lighthouse. As soon as we turned, the kids took off running for cover (I had Randy’s umbrella!)



Did you know that boats won’t operate when there is lightning and thunder??? Well, in case you didn’t, I can assure you that they don’t. The lighthouse would become our home for the next hour or so. A few other guests walked to the lighthouse, realized the boats were running and leave. Carl and I talked a couple of times because he was worried about us getting there.



Here is a picture of the storm from Carl’s viewpoint.



What a gloomy picture. And to think we were standing in the middle of it. (It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I noticed a phone with a number for room service and such on the lighthouse. I would have ordered up some drinks!) Speaking of drinks, here is how Carl passed the time.



He doesn’t look happy but at least he had a drink in his hand and he was DRY!

Here are some random pictures from the dock. It was so rainy and windy. We couldn’t wait for the storm to pass and for the boat transportation to resume. At one point wind and rain seemed to be coming in from all sides of the lighthouse.



Here is the whole lighthouse crew!



Here I am playing some music to entertain us.



I love the sisterly love











After many calls between Carl and me, Randy and the planner, the planner and me, and Carl and the planner and front desk, I think they came up with a plan. Their plan had to be better than mine because mine was wait it out About an hour after waiting in the lighthouse, my ride arrive. My version of Cinderella’s carriage. (Please don’t be jealous!)









On my coach with me were my girls, Donna (with her steamer), and Randy. The cart was going to make a return trip for everyone else but the decided to grab some of the extra umbrellas that the came over with the cart.

When we arrived at the Swan, they made sure Carl was no where to be found. The ceremony had been moved to the Peacock room so he must have been in there. This was the start of my feeling rushed. I wanted to use the restroom and I was rushed there. Then I wanted to have my girls and my dress touched up with the steamer and they huffed about that. I kept feeling like they were asking are you ready yet, are you ready yet. And then it was showtime!
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:52 PM   #253
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The Ceremony

As my girls and I were standing behind the back doors of the conference room, I started hearing the harp play Imperial March (yes, Star Wars) ~ that was Carl’s entrance song for the ceremony.

He looks a bit nervous.


The next song to be played was Once Upon a Dream. I started crying as I heard it. That song has special meaning to me because I used to sing it to my girls when they were little (and they were in the phase of watching Sleeping Beauty 100x a day). Here is Maryssa, then Morgan, and finally Peyton.







I tried to pull myself together but I’m not sure I did a good job of it. Then my entrance song came on. Someday My Prince Will Come. Here is Carl seeing me for the first time and Rev. Tim telling him to walk down and meet me halfway.



I had trouble smiling because I was holding back tears.









Rev. Tim had me hand my flowers over to Maryssa so we could face each other. As we were holding hands, Carl kept lifting mine up, so I kept pulling mine down. He was also holding on so tight, I’m surprised I have fingers still.



I have to say that this was really the ugliest conference room I have ever seen and it totally clashes with the “beach” themed wedding. I think I am going to learn photoshop just so I can bear to look at these pictures.



We repeated our vows to each other (we just went with Rev. Tim’s standard vows). I was trying so hard not to laugh. As Carl was repeating them, he kept on changing the words and saying them out of order. He was most definitely nervous.

Next we had a sand ceremony that is a symbol of us joining our family together. Rev. Tim usually wants to do it with only the couple, but I insisted on wanting to have my kids involved in it. I had the harpist play A Whole New World for this. Of course this is a song that I cry to during the movie so I really had to hold it together again.







After the sand ceremony, Rev. Tim, had all of us come together and hold hands in a circle. He said a prayer for the family. My eyes were watering again, especially when Peyton kept staring into my eyes, probably wondering if I would cry.



Then it was time for Carl to kiss his bride.



Carl gave me a quick kiss and Rev. Tim said it wasn’t good enough and he needed to do better



We finished off with a family group hug.



The processional song, Under the Sea started and we all exited the room.





Next up, cake cutting, pictures and Ohana reception dinner.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:40 PM   #254
celerystalker
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Great PJ! I love the Mickey flower balls.
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