Thursday, October 29, 2009

Florida on my mind ...

All photos by Ken Flick in this post
Note in a bottle.
In the ten years since I began photographing cats for a living, our only "vacations" have been a couple of days stolen during the return trip from some cat show destination. Most recently, that involved recovering for two days on the beaches of the Florida panhandle after doing the TICA Annual in Orlando, Florida. Just being there in this, our favorite vacation spot before I became a cat photographer, triggered a flood of memories. This is where Ken and I were married -- barefoot on the beach -- in October of 1998.
Although, as weddings go, we spent very little on this one -- by all accounts of those who attended, this was a celebration that was as cherished a time for them as it was for us.

Our wedding invitation came in a box. Inside the box was a square booklet, hole-punched, with ribbon ties. Inside the booklet were images of the beach, the above note-in-a-bottle picture, our wedding rings, our kitties (on the back of the last page -- why cats? Why not? They were and are a large part of our life!), a map of the area, and words Ken wrote. The booklet was seen as soon as you opened the lid of the box. Once you removed the booklet, you could see the box had compartments.
In these compartments were the following:
(1) a glass test tube with a rubber stopper containing turquoise sea water;
(2) a clear plastic rectangular box containing the white sand that this stretch of Florida is famous for along with some shells and sand dollars we bought at a shell store in Florida during our reconnaissance trip;
(3) a one sheet invitation which we created on brown paper, typed, individualized, and stuffed into a small bottle (a miniature of the one in the photo above); and
(4) an RSVP form with self addressed and stamped envelope to return to us, letting us know if the recipient was planning on attending a week long wedding feast and the ceremony itself. The RSVP also asked what at which airport the invitee would be arriving, date/time, and flight number so we could have them scooped up and delivered to the beach house we rented for a week in Dune Allen Beach.

This wedding invitation box was mailed out to a small number of our old and dear friends across the country. The note in the bottle, above, was printed as the first page of our wedding invitation.

Photo by Ken Flick
Looking down the beach.

Photo by Ken Flick
A shot of the dunes dividing the Gulf (which you can't see) from the lagoon in the foreground.

Photo by Ken Flick
Here is another shot of the dunes from almost the same vantage point but at sunset.

Photo by Ken Flick
One of my favorite shots of Florida: the water and waves.

Photo by Ken Flick
Standing out in the Gulf and shooting back at the beach.

The white sand is so reflective that you can get a sunburn from it in no time if you aren't careful. But it is the sand that gives the water that beautiful jewel-like color and crystal clarity. In the summertime, there are little tiny fish who swim close to shore and nibble at your ankles in the surf. I think they are exfoliating your calves and ankles, or else they are getting food from the sand you've whipped up with your feet as you walk in the water. Once you get past the breakers and are swimming, they don't bother you. One of our close friends is freaked out by them, but to me, they tickle!

Ken and I are looking forward to going back down to this area and celebrating our anniversary, albeit a little late. At sometime in the future, I will photograph the invitation and post it. I am very lucky in that I have a very romantic husband who is also a writer!

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