Southwest Florida Sun & Fun

I just spent an amazing weekend in Naples, Florida celebrating Liz's upcoming nuptials (the big day is next month at the Gasparilla Inn & Club in Boca Grande) at her wedding shower. Her soon-to-be-mother-in-law Suzanne (whom I've now named the hostess with the mostest) hosted the event at her beautiful retreat of a home one block from the beach in Old Naples. (We all know I've had a bad taste in my mouth about FL since Orlando, but, if you'd have moved me here ... I NEVER would have left.)

I flew into Orlando to make the three hour drive with Liz and Rita. Rita snagged her father-in-law's CLS500 Mercedes and we cruised to Southwest Florida in true South Florida style. :)

Upon arrival, we said our hellos and hit a local bar for one (okay, so we had two!) margaritas before giggly stumbling back to the guest house where we spent the next hour laughing hysterically like a bunch of schoolgirls at the oddest of things (RICK! I reenacted how we first met .... you know, the "cute shoes" story!) before finally settling (ha!) into bed at 2 a.m.

Saturday was full of activities - bridal brunch, opening gifts, shower games and a few glasses of champagne (isn't four or five a few?) ...

Here we are sneaking into the shower (we were a "wee" bit late as we ended up walking on the beach for two hours instead of twenty minutes) ...

The bride-to-be at the brunch ... (that was the tasty gaspacho)...

I love this pic of Liz in a monogrammed Williams - Sonoma apron with her and Brandon's initials and wedding date. (If you didn't know, Brandon is a very talented chef ...)

Afterwards, Liz, Rita, Emily and I decided to take off for a quick nap on the beach. Guess who woke up drooling on her towel? Yep, you guessed it. Moi. And after stepping out the shower before dinner I realized that I might have forgotten one little (extremely important) thing ... S.P.F. (My skin was as pink as my dress! Eeeeek!)

Sidebar: Friends, this is what Swanky likes to call "My Slingshot Karma" (also the title of my book) as I just spent ten minutes Thursday night fussing at Julie because she wanted to go to the tanning bed. (What goes around comes RIGHT back around to Mel here.)

Dinner was this amazing cuban-themed dinner on the beach with a guitar player and fresh mojitos (Mel really likes mojitos!) while watching the sunset. It was so relaxing, so fun ...

Me and Lizzie ... the bride to be!

Sunday we took it easy after breakfast with the parents and the rest of the crew departed. I stayed over to have dinner with my friend Sherri from Northern California who now lives in Bonita Springs. I haven't seen her in three years and we picked up right where we left off. It was really great to see her and the drinks and dinner were yummy!

Today, I drove through Alligator Alley to Ft. Lauderdale (I'm currently kicking it on Pompano Beach) and will scoot over to West Palm for the next two days before returning to the Queen City. :) (Where I'll download and post the rest of the pics for you!)


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