The beach at Carmel was a worthy reward for our last long day of travel.
We needed to unwind and air out after our last hours in the car.
Nothing makes for smiles and relaxation like sand and sand castles.
Little J-Bear took in the ocean sites with her Papa.
It was hard to keep her out of the water, even though it was only 68 degrees!
We had a day to relax in Carmel before the big wedding day. My cousin's wedding, by the way, was the whole reason we had come to California in the first place. Thanks to T's fantastic planning, by the time we reached our wedding destination, we already had a week's worth of family experiences and memories to treasure.
One of the most exciting parts of the wedding was that all eight cousins were invited to walk down the aisle as part of the bridal procession! Months before the event, MoMo took on the task of planning, coordinating and purchasing all the wedding clothes for the wee attendants. Her efforts were gift to our families. Moments like the one below were her reward for the hard work.
Before the ceremony, each cousin received a gift from the bride and groom. Buddy Bear and E-Bear loved their watches. The girls received lovely bracelets.
The wedding was held at a lovely hilltop winery right outside of Carmel by the Sea. The location was stunning.
Finally, it was time to get ready with your escort!
Each of the cousins were given a pendant to carry down the aisle which ready, "Here Comes the Bride!" The commotion of the procession hopefully attracted, rather than detracted, attention to the approaching bride. In truth, the older cousins were a huge help in leading the little ones down the aisle.
After their procession, the wee ones joined us to the side of the guest area, to watch the ceremony.
After the ceremony, of course there were more pictures!
We certainly had plenty of material with which to work. :)
As we enjoyed the reception, I couldn't help but reflect on the spectacular week we had enjoyed together. I was thankful to my cousins for including us all in their big day. I was thankful to T for his dedicated planning of so many wonderful experiences. I was thankful to MoMo and Papa, Nana, Uncle T and Aunt K for making the commitment to travel with us. Family trips are an investment in so many ways. This one was most certainly worth it.