Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 3, Ashley and Arlo Wedding Weekend.

Great white heron, Sunday morning.  I had to go kayaking before the departing brunch.   The forecast got worse as the day went on.  So, I disappointed my Mom my not joining her at 10:30 Mass.  Could have told her I was there, she is blind after all.  But, it  was very cloudy, and I did not want to be hit by lightning.  My plan  was to drive up the Keys, no further then the Sugarloaf Lodge.   I passed a launch site at Mile Marker 11, Sugarloaf is at  MM 15, and after driving about half a mile, turned back.
A light rain, I put on a poncho and got in the kayak.
Underway at 9:35

The 1912 railroad bridge is much more artistic then the early 1980's span.  Which brother Andy helped build.

Under water view.

I was thinking these were coral.
Thanks to "The Florida Keys Paddling Guide" which Monica gave me, I know they are sponges.  I should have known, browsing Arlo's copy of the same guide on past visits.
Landed at 11:20
Laughing gull.
Back to Key West for a bagel brunch at Bill Rowan's.
The young lady was one of Arlo's housemates at Bard. I asked if they picked by hair color.
Brother Pete, sister Clare.
Mom and Aunt Carol.  The latter drove Derek back to Atlanta, on her way back to Milwaukee.  So Derek did not have to do the bus ride from Orlando after driving with me, the original plan.

Ashley's Dad, Eileen, and nephew, Jack.
Part of Evan's toast was saying he is looking forward to a nephew that looks like him.  Brown haired Evan's boy, Phineas has red hair, like his Uncle Arlo.
Having another niece that looks like Elena would be just as nice.
The mothers can't keep from smiling.

Sadly, I had to say my goodbyes.

Old Bahia Honda Bridge
Seven Mile Bridge

It rained on and off in the Upper Keys.  It must have poured on the mainland, standing water in the medians, later on, flood warnings on the radio.  Back in Central Florida, no rain.

Arlo and Ashley, Day 2

I should say, Day One, for the couple.
View from the balcony, 8:20 am.
As mentioned in the last Tale, the wifi was lowfi.  Fortunately, sister Clare has a fancy phone, so she got the email that the cruise aboard the Dream Catcher was a go.  Larry and nephew Aidan went on a different adventure, niece Anna went with the Charlie Cannons, and her new friend, second cousin Kiernan.  Passing the California Cannons sliding glass door on the lower level, I did not knock.  Knowing they were on California time.  Except for Derek, who is on Derek time.  As in coffee at 3 am. Oh, to be young.
Evan, ready to welcome us aboard.  Introduced as part of the crew, but he does not have the crew t-shirt.  He has something better.  Captain John's daughter and grandson.
Ashley's Mom, foreground.
Niece, Anna, pink glasses, helps hoist the sail.  
Ashley's cousin, Jake, mans a line.
Brother Pete takes Monica's picture.
Little Liza was looking at me, and looking at me, until I raised the camera, and it as time to bury her head in Daddy.
Magnificent frigate bird.
Aunt Carol tries to land the big one.
The couple happily charts their course.
While Anna enjoys herself.  Or, plots mischief with Kiernan.

We sailed to the Gulf Stream before coming about.  Had a champagne toast.
Furling the sail. If that is the correct term.
The Key West Oceanside  Marina is on Stock Island.
The sail was a pleasant two hours.  Ashley's Uncle Lenny commented how nice it was to be on such a large vessel and not have any engine noise.  To combat stomach noise, Clare, Jackie, Pete, and I stopped at Sandy's.
I'd never been there before.  For a place next to a laundry mat, its darn good.  Thank you, Pete.  We dropped off Pete and Jackie at the Author's Guest House, and returned to the Santa Maria.  With a Cuban mix for Larry.
Arlo worked at the Haitian Art Co,for a couple years.
  The California Cannon's, and Derek were mounting their bikes from Evan's Shop  to head to Fort Zach.  Larry and Aidan followed, after Cuban Mix on the balcony.   Clare waited for Anna.   I went kayaking.
Put in at the wide spot of the Salt Run Channel, on Fogarty Street.

Paddled in the narrow channel, ducking under the Flagler Ave. Bridge, to the Rivera Canal.
First iguana of the weekend
A strong wind blew in my face as I  paddled east under threatening skies.  A gap in the mangroves offered relief from both the wind and the seawall and homes on the other side of the canal.
Into the Salt Ponds

Good thing is was windy, with dark skies, or I may have done some exploring.  But, I had a wedding to attend.

Red bellied woodpecker. Yes, even though like Arlo, Phineas, and I, it head is red, the name is red belly.
Green heron.
Flagler Ave.

Pedestrian bridge.  Easier to paddle under than Flagler Ave. Its higher.

Landed at 4:40, a nice 90 minute paddle.  Got the kayak on the car, went to my sister's.  To find out my duties, transport wise.  Monica said she would drive our Mom to the ceremony, and I could pick up brother Andy.   So, I went back to the Santa Maria to shower and change.
The two families were asked to meet at the West Martello Tower for pictures at 6:30.
Aidan, my nephew, with his Mom, cousin Arlo, and Uncle Chris.
My sister's offspring, spouses, spouse to be, and grandchildren.

Time to walk across the street and head to the end of the White Street Pier.
The stage is set.
There were no attendants, bridesmaids, groomsmen.  My niece, Anna, did not find this acceptable.  So she and Kiernan, my cousin Charlie's daughter, asked Ashley if the could be flower girls.  Of course they could.  That meant finding flowers a few hours before the wedding.  It was suggested by some uncles they just snatch some here and there.  We were in a tropical oasis.  But motherly heads prevailed, and found a flower shop.  Clare asked for flowers for the wedding.  When asked who was the couple, the answer, "Ashley and Arlo" provided 14 roses, compliments of the shop.  It's good to be well liked in a small town.
I miswrote above.  There was one attendant. The ring bearer.

Kenji did a fine job.

Just as vows and rings were exchanged, the grey clouds parted, and the sun shone on the couple. It was spectacular.

The celebrant, longtime family friend Simi, suggested we stand and turn around.
Ashley and Arlo walked through friends and family tossing flower petals into the sunset.

The wind had to blow the petals somewhere.
Near a fishing pole, that will work.
"Once around the pier, please"

The rest of us had to walk
18 days to the next family wedding. Becky and Aaron in Tiburon.  Wonder how the sea kayaking is on San Francisco Bay?
Another beautiful sister-in-law with eyes covered.
Eileen, with the Bennetts. And Derek, with a coconut.  Available after the ceremony, a guy with a machete chopping them open.  Recommended by an expert

Brother Andy proves you are never to old to rest on Mom's lap.
I rousted him, we drove to the reception.  Much of the party traveled to the corner of Fleming and Duval in a tour trolley. Other's biked, including the California Cannons.  Who caught the wedding party just in time, as Arlo realized he had no money to tip the driver. 
 A spectacular, rooftop, location. Live band, great food. Jambalaya, lots of oysters and stone crab.  The champagne was not just champagne, but mixed with bourbon, had a nice kick.  I took it easy, didn't want to get hammered and drive my Mom to Monica's, in a city with narrow streets, on a Saturday night, with two kayaks on the roof.  I took only one photo.
I learned Sunday that the party continued to 4:30 am.  And, for Ashley and Arlo, I wish it to continue for a lifetime.