Garrett woke up before me on Thursday morning. He and my dad had a full-day fishing trip planned. However, as Garrett had feared, the guide never showed. His American self had scheduled a trip with the guide while we were still home, as he was eager to secure at least one day of fishing in Belize. It wasn't until when we met Nester and went out with him on Tuesday that Garrett started to doubt the scheduled Thursday trip.
I was surprised when Garrett returned to the room 20 minutes after he should have left to go fishing. Undeterred, he placed his fishing pole in the corner.
"What happened?" I asked.
"The guide stood us up," he said, "I'm going for a bike ride with your dad. Want to come?" he asked, one foot already out the door.
I was half-asleep and still in bed. By the time I answered no, he was already gone.
I fell back asleep and later arose to a peacefully quite room. Annie and Frank (my other sister and brother-in-law) get here soon, I thought to myself. After completing my Belizean morning routine (wash face, brush teeth, put on bathing suit), I ran to Kevin and Lizzie's to eat my breakfast burrito and watch for the water taxi that would bring in the rest of our family for the wedding.
Waiting for family and friends to arrive never got old; we were much like young children waiting for the daily return of an ice cream truck. As adults, though, the delivery of family and friends is much, much sweeter than any Chipwich or Flintstone Push-Up.
Our family greeted Annie and Frank with an overload of happiness. Like the other guests, it was hard to let them go on to check in and get settled. Lizzie and I headed to the back pool, a prime position for seeing our third sister emerge from her room.
Another day of swimming, drinking, and playing in the warm Belize sunshine passed. We all parted ways in the late afternoon to ready ourselves for the start of the wedding weekend events, the beach BBQ.
Before Thursday night, when I heard "beach BBQ", thoughts of of hotdogs and hamburgers on the grill accompanied by beer and coke in a cooler came to mind. Silly me; I should have known my sister better than to expect picnic blankets and sloppy condiments.
If I had to describe the welcome beach barbeque in one word, it would be elegant. White-clothed tables donned with centerpieces of driftwood draped in blue fairylights were set out under an open-aired white tent. The moon, full and high, cast a soft blue light over the crashing waves of the ocean. The “barbeque” food was actually a delicious layout of Central American cuisine—corn tortillas, avocado salad, pulled pork, chicken, and shrimp, pico de gallo, tortilla soup…the fat kid inside of me could go on forever.
Everybody dressed in their tropical best...
...and my sister, my beautiful sister, looked the role of bride-to-be utterly perfectly. Wearing a sway-backed beaded white dress and a long strand of pearls knotted between her shoulder blades, Lizzie looked as if she had just stepped off of a vintage Hollywood movie set.
Isn't she perfect? And Kevin, as always, was dressed all night in the most important thing you could hope for a would-be groom to wear: a smile. We O'Carrolls have become quite fond of that smile.
Kevin’s smile and Lizzie’s laughter were infectious. Not one unhappy face was in sight.
After dinner, the good mood continued as people got up to dance to the live-music duo before heading to the pool bar.
And when I saw glasses of champagne and wine held in the hands of my sisters, two women that rarely drink, my excitement for the evening rose. As the copious amounts of food from dinner were settling in my belly and absorbing my glasses of champagne, I decided to play catch-up and bring a bottle of wine to the pool.
Whoops. Not one of my better ideas. The rest of the night was a blur, but let's just say the women of the wedding party took full advantage of Coco Beach's no-rule policy. We settled in behind the bar, on the bar, and maybe even inside of the bar. God, there are so many good pictures out there. I feel like I'd get in trouble for posting them, though, so I'll spare all of you professionals out there (consider this me asking for permission...).
We drank, we danced, we laughed, we drank. Thank goodness I was carried to bed before the rest of the party was moved to the back pool and waterslide. Tales told the next morning of a bloody nose and ripped dress, both casualties of the waterslide, made me glad my husband put me to sleep before things got extra rowdy; though I'm sure I didn't feel the same as he lifted me into his arms on Thursday night.
I think it's safe to say that we started the wedding weekend off with a bang. Thank you, Kevin and Lizzie, for giving us one of the most magnificent beach barbecues ever to be had. And thank you, Coco Beach, for giving us a spectacularly wild night, details of which many of us may never remember.
Read about Friday here!