I'm so bad at updating this blog, so in the spirit of keeping it fairly simple I'll just skip straight to the more interesting parts of the previous week or so. My parents, Alister, and I (and the Brownings) went down to Key West for the week for Alex and Kris' wedding. I have to admit, it was a great ceremony; 75 degree weather on an almost empty beach (thanks in part to the cops who removed the leftover partiers from the night before), palm trees, clear blue water, and a minister that got everything said and done in under 10 minutes. Very nice.
Alex looks gorgeous and Kris was very handsome (and yay I finally have that brother I always wanted!). Alister also did a very good job videotaping everything for family and friends to watch in July- too bad the wind was blowing into the microphone for most of the ceremony! Afterwards everyone returned to the hotel restaurant and had some great omelets, Mimosa's, and buffet food.
Aside from the wedding, the rest of the week was incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. Key West is gorgeous, although insanely crowded. The mile itself is only 8 miles wide so several in the group spent a day biking around the island looking at all of the sites. Supposedly Key West has a mile marker 0; the most southernmost point of the United States, complete with a large buoy to mark it. I actually didn't make it that far; I was lazy and stayed on the beach, but I heard it was neat.
For New Year's Eve the Browning family treated everyone to a "rehearsal dinner" at Benihana's, a Japanese restaurant just like Kanki here in Raleigh. It was great food (of course I munched down on some lobster, shrimp, and scallops) but I felt like I smelled like garlic and onion for several days afterwards!
The food down there was definitely one of my favorite things; I absolutely love seafood and being able to eat it everyday was heaven for me. Alister and I got to enjoy a seafood tower one night at one of the restaurants on the water; it was literally a tower of food (think the stacked trays used for displaying cookies or cupcakes). It included clams, oysters, boiled shrimp, calamari, snow crab leg, some kind of salmon pate, and HUGE sea scallops. Talk about mouth watering.
As for outdoor activities, we were able to go out on a catamaran both Thursday and Friday. The one Thursday was a larger party catamaran holding around 35 people and including snorkeling and drinks (and I definitely drank my share of rum). The one Friday was a private catamaran that my parents, Alex & Kris, and Alister & I went out on and we were able to snorkel and kayak (kayaking was was more appealing to me than snorkeling due to a water temp of 75 or so).
We finally left the tropics on Saturday while Alex and Kris remained behind to actually have a small honeymoon. I won't lie; it was really depressing leaving and even more so knowing I have to return to school...tomorrow!