Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Keys to Adventure

So we were slated to leave at 6AM on a Thursday but, with an impending storm, we decided that we did not want to get lost in a snowball of canceled flight if the weather got bad, so we made the call to push things up to mid-day Wednesday and fly down to Orlando to stay at a friend's house for 1 night and beat the storm. So on Tuesday night while we were prepping for the next day, Steven sneezes and slams his nose into his arm so hard he actually blows an artery in his nose (unknown to us at the time). Not knowing it to be anything out of the norm as far as nose bleeds go, we stopped the bleeding and continued our prep to leave the next day. 6:30 AM Wednesday morning our friend, a frequent traveler, decided they would check our flight and realized that the flight we had moved to was in fact canceled! He started texting us immediately. We got the text and Gail leaped out of bed to get to the computer figuring that this was the beginning of a long day that could result in us driving down to Key West!. Well, Gail did a great job and got us on a flight that left 1 hour earlier and off we went!  The flight was rough as you could imagine as we were dodging a storm system that was bearing down on New England.
The landing in Baltimore was sketchy and Gail was in rough shape. I know now that the past two times we had taken trips with the kids she was being brave just for them. That landing in Baltimore …. snow, rain, snow, rain crosswinds…I was going to have to tranq her! Catching our breath in Baltimore, we start getting the calls from Steven’s school because his nose started to bleed yet again and Grammy had to take him home. The flight from Baltimore to Orlando was far better however Gail already had a dent in her armor and she was on edge the rest of the way down. Another sideways landing in windy Orlando and I thought she was gonna cash out!

" is your keys and your car is parked in B13 sir."

So with our feet safely on the ground we arrive only to find that our rental car was missing from the lot! “Wow” I thought to myself…“I just signed for the thing not 5 minutes ago and it had been stolen already! Lawrence ain’t got a thing on this place!”  I went back to the booth and this time the car they gave us was there! We finally got to our friend's house and stayed over in Orlando that night. The next morning we were on our way again for a 7 hour drive down to the Keys.

 Steven went back into school the next day as he had seemed to be fine since Grammy picked him up. Somewhere in the midst of our drive down to the Keys, we received another call from Grammy.  Steven had to be taken out of school again. Apparently they have a thing against kids with perfuse bleeding. Having first hand experience in the matter Grammy took him to the ENT and while on the phone with us they cauterized the rupture in his nose. We pulled over in an Orange grove (plenty of those around) and Gail had a conference call with he doctor. Feeling like this had finally come to an end, we continued our drive down to the keys. Steven spent yet another night at Grammy’s. At this point we were starting to get pressed for time. We made it all the way all the way down to Marathon Key when everything came to a COMPLETE stop.

The one really bad thing about Key commuting is that when there is an accident…the world stops. With only one road in and one road out…and without a boat… you’re screwed. So all that coupled with a schedule change in the dinner cruise, we were destined to miss it. Luckily, we arrived 10 minutes before the rehearsal dinner cruise returned and we met our Bride and Groom at the dock for a quick picture.

So we went back to the Inn finally to unpack. The storm back home seemed to defy logic and intensify to the point that school looked as if it was going to be canceled. With that we found ourselves looking for emergency kid coverage as someone was going to have to stay home with them. The next morning was the first time we really got a chance to take a breath since we left. Over breakfast the next morning, I was walking my father through how to start up the snowblower as school had in fact been canceled due to the snow. At this point that I turned to Gail and said “we better enjoy ourselves…our families will never let us leave again!”.

Where Rt 1ends!

...and where it starts!

Casa Marina

 After we stopped in and touched bases with our clients, we went on a walk-about on Duval street and started capturing some images to us in the wedding album. We spent that afternoon at the Casa Marina following the timeline of the wedding day as there were just SOOOO many great locations to photograph at the Marina we wanted to know where to be and when. The lighting is just so different down there. All the structures and ground finishes are lightly colored and light just fills in from all around. We were out of our minds with options. It was then we realized our biggest hurdle was going to be picking just two or three of these spots as the options were just endless!

Two thumbs up for "The Smallest Bar"

With the snow thrown and the Steven’s nose bleeding seemingly stopped, we took a little side trip to...of all places... the Home Depot!  Who would have thought they had one on Key West! We picked up some additional hardware to help us set-up our flash units for what we knew were gonna be fromal group pictures taken in high sun.

After that we went to dinner on Duval street and close the night out with a couple of cocktails.

Saturday morning, the BIG day, and we were on task! Everything went off smoothly which was amazing given all the craziness that happened up to that point. It was a bit foreboding to say the least.

The next day we said goodbye to our Bride an groom and their families spent the morning packing up and began our drive up to fort Myers. First stop was Biaha Honda Key where we spent a beautiful day some 14 years ago when we drove down to Key West as girlfriend and boyfreind = ).


Once off the keys we hung a left onto rt. 41 though the Everglades and literally traversed Florida from East to West.  
Quite literally miles and miles of gators...

...and highway signs that you just don't see up in our neck of the woods.

We stopped at the Big Cypress Gallery which, as photographers with our roots in film, was an awesome stop.

We finally made it to Fort Myers just in time for sunset and had dinner on the water right next to our hotel.

We were so ready to see our boys again and this time we had a direct flight home in much better weather. Steven, being Steven, played it up for Nonno and swindled his way out of yet, another day of School and surprised Gail at the airport.

We spent our ride home sifting through some 4000 images from the trip!
It was most definitely an adventure and a trial by fire as destination weddings go. Somehow through all this may lay we had a blast. Definitely the most complicated destination assignment we have had yet and it was, by all accounts, a blast!

Oh!! and a big congratulations to our Bride and Groom Courtney and Nick!