Alabama Bound

Armed with mother-of-the-bride dress, hat, shoes, handbag, rehearsal dinner dress, shoes, handbag, make-up and Betsy, we started off on the way to Alabama. First stop along the way was Gainesville where we had a coffee and chat with Claire and Matthew, before we continued our journey.

The journey took us up through south and central Georgia, crossing into Alabama near Columbus, so something of a different route for a change. We got to Pursell Farms in good time, and got a bit to eat before heading back to our room.

Next day, we took a trip up to Birmingham, going to see Betsy’s mother as well as some important sights.

We got to see Betsy’s mother through the window again, but I suppose you can only do what you can do during these times. Considering our home is 4,000 miles away, it’s something to ‘bank’ at least.

Next stop was the Cheesecake Factory, where we met Claire and her bridesmaids for dinner, which was fun (albeit slightly strange for me as the only guy there ! But I still enjoyed chatting to them all).

March – lots going on.

The month of March kicked off with us buying another car. Bit of trade in later, and off we drove…….car buying takes much longer and is much more bureaucratic in the US than you would probably hope for. It’s all to do with legal disclaimers, salesmen’s commissions etc., but finally it works which I suppose is the main thing.

A day or two later, and we were off to Captiva, the island attached to Sanibel. We had never stayed on Captiva before, so it was a nice change to go to the South Seas resort there. Weren’t thrilled with our initial room there, but after speaking to them about it, they moved us without hesitation into a great room. The resort itself isn’t cheap, but to be fair, not a lot on Sanibel and Captiva could be described as cheap I’m thinking. It’s a nice resort, but you certainly need a golf cart or your own car to cover some of the distances, as the resort covers a significant amount of the island.

We ate at some of the resort restaurants, and of course did a little light shopping whilst we were there. Weather was great, so we got a bit of beach and pool time in there which was nice. We did arrange one further purchase whilst we were there though –

We headed back to Palm Harbor to celebrate my birthday.

Claire came down to stay, and we sort of celebrated my birthday, and her forthcoming change of status from single to married ! We laid on a little celebration for her. Covid had severely curtailed ability to hold too many special events for her wedding, so we enjoyed our little mini event !

February – we assumed the weather would get warmer !

But of course, it snowed again. But February brought some new aspects to our lives. We had to prepare for THE wedding (Claire and Matthew of course). It was coming up in March, and we had to prepare for it. Which, due to lockdown, meant we had to order Mother of the Bride dresses on line. That was a fun time ! 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️

The weather did finally improve, and the first signs of spring started to emerge, including a visit from our resident woodpecker !

And finally, the business trip to the US came through, and off we flew, all prepared of course with our wedding outfits too! We also prepared by getting Covid tests before we left (you sort of know you don’t have it, but it’s a really good feeling when you get the “Negative” certificate). Our little trip down to Boots the Chemist at Gatwick airport saw us get our tests one afternoon. It was my first time being tested – wasn’t as bad as I feared to be honest, but those things never usually are.

A couple of days later, and off we went to Farnborough to pick up our flight to St.Petersburg.

Straight into quarantine on arrival of course, but we knew that and were totally ready. It gave us time to adjust to the time difference, get the house in order, get the plants in order, go through the post, and all that exciting stuff. We ordered Publix online food deliveries too. There are worse places to have to sit and quarantine that’s for sure:

Before we knew it, we had completed the quarantine and off we went about our business. A visit from Claire, a visit from Linda, and we had done some good catching up. Next up – My Birthday (was it really a year since my party at Amberley Castle ? A lot has happened in that year !)