Bachelorette Party: Recap

Good morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Ours was great: Jeveli’s date night on Friday night, Flywheel class on Saturday morning for me and then a weekend on the cape consisting of lots of sun, sand, vino & seafood.

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Back to the grind this week, though, but I figured starting the week with a recap of my amazing bachelorette weekend was a great way to kick it off! Consider this your warning- it’s a long, picture filled post!

When my sister and I were discussing possible bachelorette options, I really only had a few preferences/requests: not too far away because I didn’t want people to have to spend a ton of money for traveling or have to take time off, I wanted to workout and I wanted to drink vino & wear a tutu 🙂 I can easily say that she- and with the help of my friend, Jessi- not only nailed it in the fact all of those things were included, they far surpassed it with everything else they also included.

Midday on Friday, I packed up my car, picked up my sister and we hit the road to go to Portland, Maine. Everyone else was working full days, but we figured it would be smart to take half days to get up there early to get everything ready. Originally I wanted to rent a house, but they had trouble finding one big enough, close enough to town and affordable enough so we opted to just stay at the Residence Inn in downtown Portland. This was the PERFECT place to stay for my (or any) bachelorette party for a number of reasons:

  • Walking distance to all the good bars/restaurants
  • All rooms have mini kitchenettes so we can store stuff in the fridges
  • All rooms have little living rooms, so people don’t have to hang out on the beds
  • They have suite options- we did a 2 bedroom suite which had 2 separate bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a full kitchen with a table and a full living room, so we had plenty of space to hang out and relax. We also rented another standard room for 1 night since we had more girls staying on the second night.
  • You don’t have to bring your own sheets/towels
  • Housekeeping
  • Free breakfast, which was awesome- they had a waffle maker, eggs, sausage, cereal, bagels, oatmeal, yogurt, etc. This was a huge cost saver because a few of us would go down and stock up and then we could all enjoy it in the room.
  • Cocktail hour

Basically, it worked out way better than renting a house- I highly suggest it!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, back to day 1. We stopped at the Market Basket in Biddeford on the way up to get beer/wine/snacks to stock the rooms and fridges. This was another good way to save money! Once we checked in and unpacked, we walked over to Flatbread Pizza which was right on the water- perfect for a sunny afternoon!

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Not long after lunch, a few more friends arrived and we popped some bubbly and hung out until we got dressed to head to dinner at Vignola Cinque Terre, which was an amazing little Italian restaurant. We ended up having the whole upstairs to ourselves, which was good considering the vino was flowing and friends kept arriving. The best surprise of the night/weekend was when my friend Amy showed up- I thought she wasn’t coming because she was going to be in Nashville, but her plans changed and everyone just kept me thinking she couldn’t come to make it a surprise- it was the best! We shared a bunch of different things and everything that came out was absolutely delicious- I highly recommend this restaurant if you’re in Portland.

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We asked our waitress where we should go after and when she mentioned a country bar called Bonfire, it was an obvious choice to go there. We got a beer tower and had fun dancing and singing before calling it a night around midnight. I didn’t want to stay out too late because I knew we had a spin class followed by a day of drinking the next days.

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Saturday morning we headed to Reve Cycling on Forest Ave. Some of my friends who couldn’t stay for 2 nights met us there so it was fun to have the majority of the crowd together! The best part was that Jessi organized to have matching pants made with out initials (my new ones!!) on the leg and then mine said “bride” on the butt. It was such a fun surprise! The class was awesome & challenging, but it flew by. Everyone was so happy that we did it, too. Nothing like starting the day with a good sweat (even if it probably wreaked of wine, lol).

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After the class, we went back to the hotel and started the shower process, which, considering we had 12 girls showering between 3 showers, didn’t take too long!

My mom and her friend Chris came to spend the afternoon with us, so once everyone was there, we walked to Portland Lobster Company for drinks, eats and live music. It was the perfect place to kickoff the afternoon because the food and drinks were great and affordable, there was plenty of outdoor space and it was right on the water.

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The next stop was The Porthole, which was another great outdoor spot on the water. They also had a live band, but we all joked how terrible they were! It didn’t matter, though, the drinks and company most definitely made up for it 🙂

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After a round we decided to make our way back to the hotel to regroup and get ready for the night. The girls also brought me lingerie which was a fun surprise! For dinner, my mom and dad had prepped all of the fixings to make tacos so we didn’t have to worry about dealing with going out to eat for a big group of girls. This was such a good idea, not to mention the food was delicious.

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BTW, if you’re looking for a tutu, my girl Amy is the best at making them- we said her Etsy line should be called “Babies and Brides” because she makes tutu’s for the brides and babies in her life. It was such a fun addition to my outfit for the day!!

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My other friend, Amy, is doing my makeup for the wedding so we did a trial run before we went out. I don’t wear a lot of makeup and she did a great job of making me not look or feel like I had loads on, but still put enough on to look good in pictures.

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Once we were all dolled up, we headed out to Bull Feeney’s, which is a fun bar for live band dancing. We stayed there for a while before heading BACK to the country bar (Bonfire)… what can I say? We love country music! It was livelier on Saturday night and I was even able to have (and win) a dance off- my idea of a solid night 😉

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Late night shenanigans at the hotel most certainly ensued, which was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, these girls made me feel SO special and loved all weekend. Between friends from home & college (and family), I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to hang out with.  I couldn’t believe all that they did for me, especially my sister and Jessi- you girls are the absolute best and I am SO LUCKY to have you in my life! Can we do this again soon?! Love to you all!!!

Questions for you: Did you have a bachelorette party? Where did you have it? What types of bars do you like to go to? Have you been to Portland before? What are your favorite stops when you’re there? What’s a must-have on a girls weekend?
 

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Family Road Trip: Recap {Day 1- Boston to Buffalo}

Hi, friends! Phew, does anyone else feel like after a long, indulgent weekend, it’s harder to get up and get going on Tuesday than it is on Monday? My 1/2 mile walk to the T in crisp, morning air definitely helps to wake me up, though 🙂

As most of you know, last week/weekend I went on a mini road trip with my parents to Michigan for my cousin, Mary’s, wedding. I took Thursday and Friday off from work since we planned to do the trip in 2 days (so happy we did- 16 hours in the car in one day would have literally caused me to go even more crazy than I already am!).  Mom and dad picked me up around 8:30 on Thursday and we wasted no time hitting the road!

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I drove the first and last legs of the trip, dad drove in the middle and mom didn’t drive. No shocker there! The trip actually went incredibly smooth, except I quickly realized that I forgot my freshly charged iPad at my apartment. I was so mad because I had just downloaded Gone Girl the night before. Womp, womp.

Traveling with my parents is great because we take lots of bathroom stops and there is never a shortage of treats 😉

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Day 1 went incredibly well and fast! We stopped for a picnic lunch around 1 and made it to the hotel around 4:30. I had been waiting for lunch ever since my dad told me all the things he bought. I was absolutely blown away with how thoughtful his food shopping was! Seriously, when he saw the snacks that I packed for myself, he said I didn’t need any of them because he had already gotten them all… and more! Trail mix, granola bars (4 different boxes), crackers, deli meat, chopped veggies, dips, sandwich thins and every type of fruit you could imagine. What an amazing dad, right?!

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In typical Monique fashion, I think I had a bit of everything 😉 The weather was gorgeous, wine tasted delicious and it was a great little break from driving!

The second big leg of the trip wasn’t bad at all, and before we knew it, we were at the hotel! Since my sister travels so much, she has lots of points at various hotel chains. She set us up at an awesome Residence Inn in Buffalo, NY. I asked if there were any upgrades available and lucky for us, they did! This place was seriously like an apartment (what I would do to live in an apartment like this hotel suite!).

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Downstairs there was a mini kitchen, living room (with a real fire place), dining room area, bathroom and a Murphy Bed (which was surprisingly SO comfortable). Upstairs was a loft-ish bedroom and another bathroom, so this was a perfect suite to share with my parents since we had entirely separate sleeping areas.

Not long after we arrived, mom gave me my “special” bottle of wine (Estancia Chardonnay- right up there with J. Lohr for me!) and we headed out to the pool to relax and soak up the last of the sun for the day.

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As I mentioned yesterday, I instructed my mom through a water aerobics workout which was a blast!

Once the sun went down, it started to get a little chilly so we meandered over to the hotel’s complimentary cocktail hour.

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Boy do we have fun together! After the happy hour ended, we decided to order in since no one felt like getting back in the car. We went with Greek, but unfortunately, it took forever for the food to get there and by the time it eventually got to us, it wasn’t very warm or fresh. Womp, womp. Overall, though, it was a solid first day and we had lots of laughs and good conversations.

Since this post is already quite lengthy, I’ll share the rest of the trip in another post.

Questions for you: What’s the longest road trip you’ve ever been on? Nicest hotel you’ve ever stayed at? For us, it is Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City- Ahhhh mazing hotel!