Source: lonelyplanet.com via Trena on Pinterest

I drove down to Pensacola, Florida over the long weekend for the wedding of a dear friend of mine. It was such a fun wedding! Every detail of the day infused with true southern hospitality. And it was wonderful to catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. The awesome wedding location meant that there was opportunities to spend time on the beach and lots of fresh seafood (I am pretty sure I ate my weight in shrimp during my stay.)

Another friend’s birthday coincided with the happy occasion, so I packed a gift that would be beach appropriate: floating lanterns! These were so cool! I ordered a packet of ten off Amazon.com, but I wished I had bought twice as many.

We set them off over the Gulf of Mexico, during a wedding after-party, calming my fears of lighting the city on fire. (No worries, they are biodegradable, I checked.) What I found really amazing about these is that although they weigh almost nothing at all it was really hard to hold the lantern when it was ready to fly. Sadly one was let go before it was ready and it fell into the water. It spluttered for a second or two and then burned out, but that was the only fatality.

All the others made it safely up into the starry night. Unlike fireworks they are perfectly silent, which makes them even more surreal. As soon as you let go it drifts straight up, so gracefully, and it keeps going up until it burns out. Of course the picture above shows hundreds of lanterns, and we only lit a couple at a time, but the sense of wonder was not lost.

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