Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Skipping off to Spain (back in February)

On our own, I don’t think we would have ever decided to leave the kids for 9 days and jet off for Europe. But when my sister announced that her wedding would be a European destination event, of course we were going. And once you travel so far, shouldn’t you stay a day or two to take in the sights? So that left us with an extended trip to Southern Spain, highlighted by Colleen and Ryan’s beautiful wedding!

Our first day we toured the Alhambra, an enchanting palace unlike any other royal dwelling I’d seen. The Moorish architecture was bright and white-washed, welcoming nature inside with reflecting pools, gardens, and bright inner courtyards resplendent in lacy white and gold tile. Despite their grandeur, when you actually consider living inside them, other European castles tend toward gloomy and confining, but the Alhambra felt dreamily idyllic, albeit on a grand scale. Even the chilly damp day couldn’t make it dreary.

The next day we drove out to Ronda, a darling town stunningly situated on either side of a plunging gorge. Terraced buildings, winding cobbled streets, and glorious views over the peaceful countryside punctuated every turn. We ate lunch at a restaurant looking across the fields, ancient bridge, and waterfall. Never have I dined with such a captivating vista and there was such a surreal magic to the almost-empty, spotless town that I felt as if we were walking from set to set of a Disney fairytale.

Day 3 was spent back at our home base near Otivar in the giddy excitement of wedding preparations! We selected flowers at a local market,

Enjoyed a joyfully anticipatory rehearsal dinner, and prepared the grounds for the big day.

All the guests stayed at the exquisite Palacete de Cazules, and the wedding was held in the private yellow-stuccoed chapel on its grounds. It was the perfect size for the gathering and so authentically Spanish-countryside-destination-wedding inside.

Colleen did a gorgeous job crafting her own bouquet,

And I loved the way she and my parents and brothers displayed local fruits amidst flowers on the table for the reception in the main house of the Palacete.

Then we retired to the regal bedrooms to dress for the occasion.

Finally, we simply walked across the courtyard to the romantic chapel for the lovely ceremony, reverently performed by an Anglican priest.

The tropical grounds were lush even in February with a brilliant overlook of the valley toward the town of Otivar. Perfect for photos and appetizers!

Dinner was delicious, followed by dancing, the requisite Ferry family serenade, a touching slideshow, and other spectacles!

So much gracious glamour and simple elegance, just right for my beautiful sister who epitomizes both! We’re so happy for you Colleen and Ryan and wish you endless joy and blessings in your new marriage!!

{I’ll be back soon with part 2 of our Spain trip, where we visit the Andalucian coast, Sevilla, and say goodbye to the Palacete! Until then you can find all our wedding week pics here.}

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