There were, however, a whole bunch of horseshoe crabs out on the beach outside of our hotel on Hilton Head ... I don't think I'd ever seen horseshoe crabs "in the wild" (as opposed to on on TV or at an aquarium), so that was pretty cool. I took a whole bunch of shots of these, which was MUCH easier since they were either dead or nearly so, and didn't move while I tried to get them framed up!
Anyhoo ... we got up before dawn on Friday and took a cab out to O'Hare. It has been a long time since I took a cab out to O'Hare (I'm willing to drag an awful lot of luggage on an off the El to get to the airport for $1.75), so was pretty shocked to find that the fare & tip came to about $45! OUCH! However, with four of us traveling, with "fancy clothes" and stuff, we really had to skip the El (and The Wife will use any excuse to not take public transportation). We ended up getting there early, having been "burned" the last time by the new rules that you can only check baggage if you're there more than an hour in advance of your flight time, so hung out a bit before taking the 2-mile trek out to the end of the American Eagle terminal. They're sneaky like that anymore ... you think you're on American but then find you're on a regional commuter. While the plane was not the smallest I've flown on, it was pretty tiny, and I could not fully stand up in it! The flight, thankfully, was under 2 hours, so we didn't have to deal with that too long with The Girls (who, obviously, had limited amusement opportunities).
As I noted previously, due to our using frequent flier miles, the best we could do towards getting to Hilton Head, SC was flying into Charlotte, NC and driving. And driving. And driving. Of course, The Wife had managed to convince herself that it was "only 3 hours or so", and got mad at me when I pointed out that Google Maps was saying 6 hours. As it was, I drove from Charlotte till we got to the other side of Columbia, and then "Leadfoot" took over the rest of the way (which was pretty much dead-straight interstates), and we got to our hotel in a total of about 5.5 hours. This, unfortunately, made us already late for the Rehearsal Dinner, which was going to be a "low country boil" out on a beach somewhere. We rather miraculously found the place (Hilton Head Island's roads were obviously laid out by throwing a bowl of spaghetti up in the air, and they don't believe in visible street names) only an hour into the festivities.
Saturday started early with breakfast at the hotel with my Father-in-law and folks from his generation who'd come in for the wedding (which was, I guess I haven't mentioned, of The Wife's middle nephew, who's around 30). Next on the schedule was a boat ride around the Island on a big honking catamaran, including a box lunch. My experience of this was curtailed a bit by having taken Dramamine to ensure that I wasn't going to be tossing cookies overboard, which had the side-effect of putting me to sleep about halfway into the cruise. However, judging from the first half, I don't think I missed much (except, of course, for the sneaky dolphins who wouldn't cooperate with my camera). The wedding was at sundown outside of a clubhouse just down the road from my Sister-in-law's place, and was lovely ... except that we just barely made it, The Wife having run off on a shopping expedition with The Girls which did not get them back to the hotel in what I would have considered "enough time".
Sunday morning featured a very nice brunch hosted by friends of the groom's family (they seem to have had a reciprocal deal where the other families did a big party for which ever kid was getting married), and then some more beach time and hanging around the hotel (it was chilly enough that we opted for the indoor pool. Monday was sort of re-winding Friday, we had breakfast early with my Sister-in-law, and then took off to the long drive to the small plane, to the pricey cab ride. The Girls were quite put off that they were missing trick-or-treating (as we got in just after our building's trick-or-treating ended), but got quite a haul of "sympathy" candy over the next couple of days.
As is evidenced by my past 3 posts, I've been largely getting caught up with stuff since I've been back. So, there you have it. If I feel real inspired I might dig up a seagull or sundown picture to post, but those seemed awfully "generic" to bother with, and I'm sure nobody here has a deep need to see any shots from the various wedding events!