April 22, 2008

Our TEN YEAR Anniversary!!!

Posted by meli on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 in , , , , | No comments
Yes, 10 years, can you believe it?

We decided to celebrate our huge milestone by renewing our vows. We made plans to have my Mom fly in from out of state to stay with the kids, and Nick and I made arrangements to head down to Orlando, FL. It was wonderful. We got into Orlando on the 3rd, and went to check out the park for our ceremony. We booked this quaint little "unknown" park off the beaten path in Winter Park, FL - Kraft Azalea Gardens. It was even MORE gorgeous then we were expecting. So serene and peaceful. I was completely in my element. It wasn't one of those "manicured" parks - it was nature in all it's magnificence. Big huge weeping trees, palms, birds, lizards, the lake ... PERFECT!

After actually being IN the park, I realized the dress I had bought months ago just wasn't going work for me anymore. It no longer "fit" the mood I wanted to set. So, that night we were on a quest to find something else. Nothing like last minute shopping, eh,? lol. I found exactly the type of dress I was picturing after seeing the park - perfect!!! Then we had to find Nick a new shirt to better match me. The "new look" was MUCH more suiting to our setting! I think the pictures (the ones we have so far anyway, our photographer is still working on the rest of them) say it all.

We had a wonderful Anniversary. The weather was absolutely wonderful for our vow renewal. It was a perfect day, the sun was shining, the wind was slightly blowing, the park was quiet & peaceful. The ceremony was beautiful. We wrote our own vows for each other - and those were perfect, too! Just as we started saying our vows, nature erupted, and rain started to slowly fall, a nice mist. Most people would think that a bad sign ("rain on your wedding day, tears in your marriage"), or feel flustered, or run for cover so as not to mess up the hair/dress/makeup. But Nick and I just smiled. It was as though Mother Nature was right there with us, sharing in our day, experiencing emotion, and shedding a few tears WITH us. It was a GREAT day!!!

We finished up at the park, and drove back to the condo. My wonderful friend made us a raw anniversary cake, so we recreated the "cutting of the cake" portion of our wedding. All set with our cameras self timer, we got shots of us cutting the cake and feeding each other a piece. Ahhh, good memories. Later in the evening we went out to City Walk, universals studios night life scene. Lots of fun music, restaurants, and clubs. Not really our scene, but it was a really pretty area. The lights, the water, the deco ... all very nice!

The next day was a bit rainy, so we stayed at the resort. Walked around in the rain, hung out in the hammocks, fed the ducks. It was very peaceful. Most people were locked-up inside their rooms, not wanting to get wet, so it was like we had the place to ourselves! Lovely.

The day after we went to Busch Gardens. Started out as a beautiful sunny day, but after only about 10 minutes in the park, we were met with a serious down pour ALL throughout the rest of the day. Needless to say the rides were inoperable (no roller coasters for us ), so again we just walked around in the rain. There were areas in the park where we were in ankle deep water - it was raining SOO hard! We had a fabulous time. We both love being out in the rain, so it worked for us! It was fun see all of the animals, too! We fit right in - we looked like drowned rats! lol

The day after that we swam with the manatees! Holy Man, one of THE BEST experiences of my life!!! It was absolutely amazing. We started the day with an early morning tour with a tour group. Much bigger group then we were expecting, but they did manage to find us 2 manatee. We didn't get much time with them as the HUGE group of people scared them away. But we had fun snorkeling. It's absolutely AMAZING down there!! It was a nice start to the day.
After the tour ended, Nick and I drove down the shore about 30 minutes to another springs area, rented a boat, and went out ourselves. We happened upon a group (school, herd, flock ... what are they called?? lol) of 7 of them!!!!!!!!!!! Just Nick and I in the water swimming around with SEVEN MANATEE! They are SOO cute. You can hear them munching of the grass (they are loving called sea cows, and that's the perfect name for them. They sound every bit like a cow when they are munching on their sea grass). They "squeak", much like dolphin, to communicate with each other. They are so curious and playful, rolling over to have their bellies rubbed. The cutest little whiskers. I just LOVE them!!! We were out there for several hours before they decided to swim away. Great Great GREAT memories! I wish more people could experience them the way we did. Maybe that would bring about the kind of care and awareness needed to keep these "gentle giants" from extinction!

The next night we went to Cocoa beach and swam in the ocean at sunset. I love, love, love the ocean!!! Salt water makes me happy!!! We collected sea shells in the moonlight, and then we just snuggled on the beach watching the stars for a bit.

Many more pics available at my myspace page. You can access it using the link to the right. Still don't have the pictures of the actual ceremony back yet, but I'll share them as soon as we do :-D


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