Michele with Just Marry!

Weddings and everything surrounding them!

Mini Vaca with the Family to Anna Maria Island

Ah! You know how much I love to travel. I really do live for it and am always looking forward to my next vacation.

Jeff, Griffon and I returned late last week from our quick jaunt over to the beach. We went to Anna Maria Island. Our good friend Stephanie from nu visions loaned us her parents condo and it was just perfect for us. It is so beautiful over there and relaxing and laid back. I love that. We even ventured to the beach once in awhile. Definitely every evening for the sunset. I’m afraid it just wasn’t enough beach time for Griffon. But, Jeff and I tend to be a bit sun shy. So, we did the best that we could. We did lots of fun family things and really, really relaxed. We napped, did some reading and even played some games as a family. It would seem that I’m really good at Scattegories. Love that game! I even beat Jeff, which I consider quite the accomplishment because I really do think he’s brilliant.

A few of my favorites from the vacation:

A trip to the Alpine Steakhouse in Sarasota. The Food Network show, “Diners, Drive In’s and Dive’s” filmed there last year. Jeff and I love that show because we love diners! So, I had to go to the Alpine Steakhouse. They have the Turducken. Very weird, but you might be able to tell that it has turkey, duck and chicken in it. Still can’t believe I didn’t try it. I was a bit scared. Shame on me! The food was very good and the place is certainly unique. I definitely recommend checking it out, but for goodness sake, have the Turducken!

Another trip up Sarasota way to St. Armand’s Circle. It’s located on Lido Key. My parents used to have a condo over on Lido Key, until I insisted they move closer to me. Now, I really miss being over there. Jeff, Griffon and I walked the circle like old times. Had lunch at the Crab & Fin where I had a few of my favorite foods, the Martha’s Vineyard Salad, Fresh oysters and Gazpacho. And of course a Bloody Mary! Yum! After that lunch, we were pretty full, but walked along the circle and went into one of our favorite stores, Garden Argosy. We love this place! It has so many neat things. Jewelry, wall plates, bath items, towels, dishes, just anything cool that you possibly imagine. Before we could leave the area, I had to drive the way that I used to drive when I came into Lido Key. I would always call my Dad as we crossed the bridge. It really does feel as though you check your stress on the other side of the bridge. No stress allowed once you cross over. My parents lived in St. Armand’s Towers and my Dad would always be on the balcony waving at me as I drove into the parking lot. We would hurry upstairs and he would have wine, snacks and plenty of humor waiting for us when we arrived. Being over there, really made me miss my Dad. He was one of my favorite people and we had so much fun while they lived over in Sarasota.

Here’s a picture of the condo,

Here are a few pictures of me and my Dad from the last few years. I must say, for as close as I was to my Dad, we sure didn’t have many pictures. Makes me so sad!

Here we are at the Melting Pot a few years ago. From the left, Jeff, my Dad, Me & Griffon. My mom is in the wheelchair.

Here we are at the Walt Disney World Dolphin, just after an amazing meal at Shula’s. One of the best steakhouses in Orlando.

Sorry, I spun off on a remembering the good ole days and my awesome Daddy.  Back to the trip details.

Loved spending quality time with the family. Really such a rarity in the fast pace of life these days. I loved hanging out with Griffon and watching Forrest Gump and eating freshly made ice cream from this wonderful ice cream place on the island.

Finally, what would a blog entry be without me telling you a few of my favorite places for a wedding over in the Sarasota area.

The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Just beautiful, with a location just by Sarasota Bay and a beach side location as well.

Lido Beach Resort. This was formerly a lovely little Radisson and now it’s an impressive beach side resort. Wow!

Longboat Key Club. A gorgeous club located in one of the prettiest areas on the west coast of Florida.

The Beach House. This is located right on Anna Maria Island and they have the best food and love weddings as well. One of my recent visits to the restaurant yielded a wedding in progress. It was fun to see one happening that we weren’t responsible for. For once!

I hope you enjoyed my trip to Anna Maria Island and Sarasota as much as I did. You must, must go and visit very soon. So relaxing!

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August 4, 2008 Posted by | Alpine Steakhouse, Anna Maria Island, beach, beach wedding, blog, condo, condos, country clubs, Crab & Fin, Dad, Diners, Drive in's and Dives, event venue, FL, Food and Beverage, Food Network, Garden Argosy, Griffon, Jeffrey Stoner, Jeffrey Stoner Video, Just Marry!, kids, Lido Beach Resort, Lido Key, Long Boat Key Club, lunchtime reception venue, Melting Pot, Michele Butler, Mom, nu visions in photography, professional planners, rehearsal dinner location, Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Sarasota, Shula's Steakhouse, St. Armand's Towers, St. Armands Circle, Stephanie Rounds, The Beach House Restaurant, Turducken, vacation, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding day, wedding location, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment

Just Marry! Vendor Spotlight on Scott Watt Photography

Greetings blog readers. This begins a new feature on my blog. Spotlighting some of the wonderful vendors that I know and love.

I wanted to feature Scott Watt. I had been trying to refer him for weddings for quite sometime and finally succeeded with the Pugh wedding. He was great to work with and I was so impressed by his talent. So, come along with me as we get to know the man behind the camera a bit better.

Scott Watt Photography

Scott Watt

Where are you located?

I split my time between Canton, Oh and Orlando, FL spending the majority of the year in the sunshine state.

Do you travel?

Yes, I love to travel.

Where have you traveled for weddings?

Some of the locations where I have traveled to shoot weddings include California, Colorado, Michigan, Kentucky and Puerto Rico.

How did you get started?

My artistic path began at an early age with drawing and painting. I then went on to study photography at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I get most of my inspiration from seeing newspaper photojournalist’s work in various national newspapers and magazine. The ability to capture a mere split second of time on film (or digital) which tells the story of that moment is amazing.

What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?

My favorite part of the wedding day would have to be when the proud father walks his beautiful daughter down the aisle.

What’s your favorite movie?

I’m a huge fan of war movies, so two of my favorites are Braveheart and The Patriot. The bravery of those men especially during that time period, where the style of fighting is unimaginable in today’s time is simply heroic.

If you could give brides one piece of advice, what would it be?

Save all the money you will spend on tylenol and mistakes and hire a wedding planner. I’ve worked with and without planners and I can say that the ones that have invested in a planner, the wedding was 100 times better and ran a 100 times smoother.

What is one thing that you want everybody to know about you?

My faith in God is what defines me. Oh and I’m still single 🙂

Do you have any pets?

Cat named Smokey.

What is the best color combo for weddings?

Well, as a guy I’m not sure I’m the best one to answer this question. Although I can say as a photography standpoint, neutral or earth tones photograph better.

What are your favorite blogs/websites?

I find I spend a lot of time on photography sites including dpreview.com digitalweddingforum.com and apple.com.

What does the future hold for you?

I pray a family at some point.

What do you do in your spare time?

Spend time with friends and family. Head to the movies. Work out. Swim, sports, jet ski and seriously, I love going to the pet store almost every week.

Here are just a few of Scott’s photos to share. You can also find more information about him at his website www.scottwatt.com.

July 2, 2008 Posted by | blog, Canton, father of the bride, FL, Just Marry!, Michele Butler, OH, Orlando, Orlando wedding planner, photograph, photographer, photography, photos, professional planners, Pugh & Pounds Wedding, Scott Watt Photography, vendor, wedding, wedding consultant, wedding coordinator, wedding planner, wedding planning | Leave a comment