We are back from St. Simons Island, Georgia! We had a blast! I must admit...I was a little worried thinking we were traveling extremely far for just a wedding. I probably wouldn't think much of it if 1.) gas wasn't $4 a gallon and if 2.) we were going somewhere we had been before. This was a new adventure for all of us (aka..required mapquest) and I wanted to make as much of a vacaiton out of it as I could. We left Friday morning..and returned Sunday evening. When we arrived, Brylee was extremely excited because her Nenne and Poppa were there to greet her. All of my worries had vanished when we pulled up to the apartment. I say apartment, b/c it kinda was. We stayed at a Christian conference and retreat center. Epworth by the Sea was an awesome place and I totally recommend it to any of you that may be looking for a place to take a youth group or for you to "get away from it all!" While we were there, several groups were there as well. It was a great place and very neat! There was a nice little fishing bridge..and I just had to take a picture of the woman fishing. She didn't say a word the whole time we watched her..but she was thouroughly enjoying herself. Another couple were crab fishing..this was a pretty disgusting idea to me...1.) they put raw chicken gizzards in a basket and throw it in the water to the bottom of the ocean/lake (we are still debating on this one..if it was an ocean or lake) and scrape it until crabs come to the basket. Which totally disgusted me, but glad to see they were enjoying it so!
We had the rehearsal dinner on Friday night..Mrs. Anna(as Bry calls her) and Mr. George cooked the whole dinner from an apt. size stove and did a fantastic job! Country boil was the theme..with gumbo, potatoes, rice, corn, and several different cakes. It was fantastic! Everyone was bragging on the job they did under the circumstances they were given! Here are a few shots from that evening.
Later that night..Mom, Dad, Kenny and myself decided to take Brylee to the ocean to see what all it offered...they had a fantastic playground, we walked on the pier, and along the coastline to the lighthouse where the wedding would take place the next morning. Here are a few shots from that night.
I would not recommend going to this island or Jekyll Island for a "beach vacation". Earlier I mentioned "ocean/river" for a reason. The beach was almost muddy with a mixture of freshwater and ocean...the sand was hard...there were waves..but only for a small amount of the day. When the tide comes in, it completely takes away the beach! All the way to the rocks. We forgot our camera when we went to the beach...so I found these pictures of the island online for you...
Yes! Dogs were allowed on the beaches! Which was most disgusting to me! The water was like river water and the sand was just dirty! Kenny explained to me that it was mainly an estuary. Which is where saltwater and freshwater mix...so basically we were in a glorified lake! I should have known it wasn't a "real" beach when this sign was posted....
Okay, I shall complain no more!!!!Here are 2 beautiful shots of the beach at night the day...I took these myself... the right one is messed up b/c of the lights...I have to get a better flash!
It is absolutely beautiful and breath taking at night! People just walk along the sidewalk and watch/listen to the water crash into the rocks! There was a guy sitting out playing his guitar and people would stop to listen, families with kiddos on shoulders, sweet young and sweet older couples walking, and just the beauty of God's creation all around. It was amazing the peace and presence I felt while walking..I would actually slow down and take a picture of something...just to smile and walk with Him. The lighthouse is one of a few working lighthouses. It still shines out across the ocean and leads wayward ships to the shore. I couldn't get the old song that says.." I thank God for the lighthouse..I owe my life to Him, for Jesus is the lighthouse...from the rocks of sin...He has shown his love around me, so that I can clearly see...if it wasn't for the lighthouse..where would this ship be"....He is our lighthouse and He is the way..and it was amazing to see it and know that it represents something bigger to me. Here's a few shots from it.
On Saturday morning..the big day came EARLY!!! 6:30 EARLY WHICH WAS 5:30 OUR TIME. We had to be at the site by 7:30 for pictures. Brylee was such a trooper all day! She woke up good..got ready good..and was the epitome of a flower girl! Becca gave Brylee her very own REAL pearl necklace and bracelet. She wore it with pride and knew what her job was and accomplished it like a big girl! She was with the bridesmaids and the bride and was hot stuff! She smiled and posed for pictures all day long...The walk for Brylee was a long walk by the rocks leading into the ocean (which she loves), so we thought it would be best if she walked with the maid of honor. She held her hand and her head up and was fantastic! During the wedding..she even stood still...a few times she would bend down and pick something up..we had no clue what she was doing. During the ceremony...the preacher Josh did an awesome job! He and his beautiful wife were such lovely people...Becca and Chad took a moment and prayed with and for eachother..That was very neat! They are both strong Christians..and I can't wait to see how He uses them as a couple in ministry! Afterwards, the father of the bride came to us and told us to check Brylee's basket...we grabbed it..lifted the flowers..and wouldn't you know it..she had rocks, unidentified bugs, and roly polies she had captured before and during the wedding! Paaaahaaaa...pearls and a dress...but that didn't stop her collecting! Here are a few pics from the wedding.
Afterwards, they had a beautiful wedding reception brunch..(remember the wedding was at 9:10 a.m.) We left and took Brylee to the beach. After we decided it wasn't worth the $3 we paid to get on the island..we returned to the retreat so she could swim. They had a very large pool...and she had a blast! Mom had the bright idea that we should go rent bikes and go ride around the retreat (it was a huge private property with lots of accommodations/meeting rooms). We rented 4 bikes...one with a child seat..which Kenny and Daddy rotated....depending on who Brylee wanted at the moment...we rode for an hour...and I have to admit..that was so much fun! Mom and I almost got lost in the wooded trail area...and we both ran off the road several times. No major accidents..other than my booty is sore today! Looking at nature was another time I was reflecting on the beauty of God's hand at work! The trees grew together and branched out all over the place..Here are a few photos from our ride.
Mom and Dad got up this morning to head to Chattanooga. My Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Jim celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary today! 50 years..and they are still happily married and loving eachother. We hated that we couldn't go, but it would have been a 12 hour round trip for us if we would have and Kenny has to work on Monday. So..Happy Anniversary to Carolyn and Jim! We love yall! We got up and left by 11 am. Brylee told every tree, stop sign, bike, office, and pool goodbye as we pulled out. She had a fun filled weekend..and that makes me so happy! Nothing makes me happier than to see her laugh and have a wonderful time! The only part I hate is when her Poppa and Nenne leaves. She cries and gets pretty emotional..but we assure her she will see them later..and she is okay with that. The drive home was just as pleasant as the whole weekend. We didn't have a lot of traffic and got to see some citys and towns we might not have ever seen. So all in all, it was a WONDERFUL TIME! She was an amazingly beautiful bride!
We thank the Tatum family for allowing us to be apart of their special day. We love them like family..and thank God for friends like that!