on the beach you’ll find them there

Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly take any more vacations this year, I hopped a plane to Myrtle Beach with my girlfriends! One of our friends lives in Greenville, SC and drove down to meet the rest of us who flew from Chicago. There were six of us total. We’ve all been friends for at least 15 years. A couple of the girls I have known since the 1st grade.

We rented a big condo right on the beach. Once we got there and stocked the fridge, we really didn’t need any plans or entertainment. We just wanted to spend some relaxation time together and catch up. There’s nothing like a little girl time.

The first night we settled in and went out to a Japanese restaurant for dinner. The next morning, it was time to hit the beach!

Here was our condo, right on the beach!

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

You can’t relax on vacation without wine, right? I brought some with me including this Pinot labeled with same name as our hometown! Go Byron!

Myrtle Beach

The next evening I decided we had to do a “photoshoot” on the beach. I said “Girls, let’s do a photoshoot on the beach!” I called it a photoshoot to be funny – I really just wanted to get a few fun pictures of all of us girls on the beach.

By the time we got out there, it was dark, so all I could capture with my flash was some sand at our feet. I balanced my tripod on some stairs and set the timer. The girls were good sports about hanging out in the slight chill of the evening while I got some good shots.

But I had no idea the direction this photoshoot would take after we got to laughing and acting silly. The “photoshoot” is now infamous – known only as “The Photoshoot.”

Here are a few of the winners. And a few of the outtakes.

Lovely Group Shot: Starting the “photoshoot” out normal

Myrtle Beach

Outtake: OMG Look there’s a crab! And I almost stepped on it!

Myrtle Beach

Best Jumpity Shot: Hey at least we all made it off the ground at the same time.

Myrtle Beach

Outtake: Slow reaction. Except for Stefanie – great timing!

Myrtle Beach

Serious Faces: Need a little practice on this one

Myrtle Beach

Sentimental Shot: Love this picture almost as much as I love the girls in it

Myrtle Beach

Outtake: We were suppose to strike a sexy pose? I don’t think we quite got it. And Tiffany – you DID make it in the picture! HA!

Myrtle Beach

Outtake: Not sure what we were doing here, as shown by my face

Myrtle Beach

Pyramid: We did it! Despite my major laugh attack

Myrtle Beach

Lovely Group Shot: Another winner!

Myrtle Beach

Action Shot Take 1: Stef, you’re running the wrong way!

Myrtle Beach

Action Shot Take 2: Yoga poses! Well, some of them. Tiffany’s showing off her well-formed downward facing dog. And I’m showing off my…um…yeah.

Myrtle Beach

Outtake: Again, I have no idea what’s going on here

Myrtle Beach

Outtake: We are practicing our deep thinking

Myrtle Beach

Chorus Line: Nice extension ladies!

Myrtle Beach

Finale!

Myrtle Beach

After all that madness, we still needed to eat dinner! So we headed to Broadway on the Beach and grabbed some grub at Joe’s Crab Shack! Let’s get crackin’!

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

After dinner, we walked around outside and found a photobooth. Clearly it was meant for less than 6 people, but we crammed into it anyway.

Myrtle Beach

As we walked by Señor Frogs, the music blasting outside beckoned us in. I’m kidding. It was obnoxious, but it sounded like a party, so we went in for ONE dance.

But wait, a punching game! Sara totally dominated.

Myrtle Beach

Ok, a drink and a few songs later, we were still hanging with the frogs.

Myrtle Beach

And by frogs, I mean the weirdo DJ’s that suckered Sara and Michelle into a cha-cha. The rest of us ran for safety.

Myrtle Beach

But they lived to tell about it! And they’re still having a good time!

Myrtle Beach

What a night. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life.

Myrtle Beach

The next morning, we planted ourselves out by the pool and enjoyed a little more time with Tiffany before she had to drive back to Greenville. Then we took a nice, relaxing walk along the beach.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Late afternoon silliness in the sun…

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Two friends walking on the beach…

Myrtle Beach

Two (different) friends walking on the beach…

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Hi Tiffany! We missed her already, so we left her a greeting in the sand.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

Our last night in Myrtle Beach was pretty low-key. We soaked in every last bit of the sun and our time with each other before we had to head back to the real world.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach

I’m so glad we were able to take this trip and we vowed to do it again in a few years!

See all my pictures from the trip on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Girls on the Beach” by the Beach Boys

adventures in cat-sitting

While Kari and Brett were on their honeymoon, we got to watch Nanaa for two weeks. It was an adventure that can only be summed up in a series of LOLcats.

Nanaa thoroughly enjoyed her time with us. She lounged on every flat surface including every window sill. But I think she was happy to go home and see Kari and Brett.

well i’m shameless when it comes to loving you

Wedding day!!! It was a gorgeous September day for Kari and Brett to tie the knot.

The bridesmaids started the day by gathering in the bridal apartment to get all dolled up.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

The bridal apartment was pretty sweet. It had every amenity imaginable. We had a great time hanging out and getting ready together.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

It wouldn’t be a wedding day without a tiny hiccup. And Kari’s came in the form of an unraveled hem at the bottom of her dress. No worries! The Mother of the Bride quickly hemmed it up and it was smooth sailing from then on.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

We walked up to the main Bed & Breakfast and took some pictures and waited for the Father of the Bride to greet his daughter. It was a very sweet moment.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

After a few more pictures and some anxious waiting, we made our way up to the hill for the ceremony. This is where I had to set my camera down and get in place to walk up the aisle and witness the lovely ceremony!

After the ceremony, the bridal party stayed up on the hill for more pictures, including a few around the hay bales and in the orchard while the wedding guests enjoyed the cocktail hour. When we first arrived at the reception I quickly snapped some shots of some of the details.

The table number cards were labeled with different seasons and years that were significant in Kari and Brett’s relationship. I made them!

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

The bride hand-stamped each and every placecard.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

The centerpieces were made up of wildflowers that we picked the day before.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Kari gave each of the bridesmaids beautiful pearl earrings and necklaces to wear and cute little clutch purses. For her wedding favors, she had many friends and family make homemade candies and chocolates and gave each guest a bag to fill.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Then it was time for introductions! Drew and I did the Carlton dance. It was a last minute decision, but we didn’t look awkward at all… It just, you know, didn’t get photographed. But the bride and groom entered to a boisterous applause!

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Then Steve gave a touching speech to kick off the evening.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

The bride and groom cut the cake and were very polite about it.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

I was lucky enough to sit at the head table with the Bride and Groom, Best Man, Matron of Honor, and these two serious gentlemen.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

The Best Man gave a pretty hilarious speech. Although it seemed to embarrass the bride just a bit.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

And Annie’s (the Matron of Honor) speech was heartfelt and showed how close she and Kari are as cousins and how many memories they have together.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

The Bride and Groom danced their first dance to “Shameless” by Garth Brooks – a song the two have enjoyed together since they were teenagers.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Steve danced with his daugther to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. And yes, I did have to look up the proper spelling his name.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

The groom danced with his mom to Rascal Flatt’s “My Wish”.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Later in the evening, we felt it was appropriate to take a few “sexy face” shots. It only took a few tries, but I think we nailed it.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Lots of dancing followed. And Drew got a chance to dance with his sister.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

We ended the night by circling around the newlyweds and belting out “Friends in Low Places” as they danced and high-fived everyone.

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

Bridgeland Wedding - 9/5/10

To cap off a perfect evening, the groom ran and slid across the dance floor on his knees. But not to be outdone by her new husband, Kari kicked off her shoes and did a knee-slide of her own. In her dress. On a dance floor of spilled beer. It was awesome. Unfortunately, I didn’t react fast enough to get it on camera. So it will just have to live on in our minds along with the other great memories we made that night.

Bright and early the next morning, the newlyweds were off to Peru to hike the Inca Trail!

See the rest of my pictures from the wedding on Flickr.

*Blog post title is a lyric from the song “Shameless” by Garth Brooks