Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Beach Bachelorette Weekend

This past weekend was my bachelorette party. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend with a better group of friends.  It was great to have a weekend off from work and even better to get the chance to spend some time with my favorite ladies at one of my favorite places... the beach!

I headed down to the beach on Friday with one of my bridesmaids/favorites/adopted little sister, Sara for what promised to be an awesome weekend.  We had a fairly uneventful ride... minus the rain cloud that I swear was following us for the first portion of our trip.  We made a stop in Ocean Grove to visit Gram & Pop and I think we successfully surprised them!  It was so nice to start the weekend off with a few hours of catching up with them... I was definitely sad to go at the end of the visit when we got the phone call that the rest of our group had arrived at the hotel.

Friday night was just a small group of us... me, Sara, Amanda (another bridesmaid), Anna (my MOH), and Becky (my glittle in Chi Omega).  We had decided to go to dinner at Avenue in Long Branch to start off the weekend right.  Avenue is a Parisian themed seafood restaurant right on the ocean.  We were seated right away and immediately started to have a good time.

Starting off my beach bachelorette weekend
Welcome Bags
Lovely ladies at dinner
After an amazing seafood dinner we all headed upstairs to Le Club for some more bonding, dancing, people watching and enjoying the gorgeous view of the beach and the Atlantic from the outside rooftop.  While at Le Club we saw many "Situation" look alikes... people pretending to be Snookie and JWoww... as well as met people who hated Philly for no apparent reason and even a guy who graduated from the same elementary, middle and high school as Anna & I did (only he graduated 20 years before us).  We ended up closing the club down before heading back to the hotel to get some sleep.

View from the Club
Hanging out in Le Club
Our friend who went to Roberge, Holdrum, & PV... just 20 years before us
Saturday morning we all got up pretty early so that we could head to the beach for the day.  After talking to my dad before the weekend I had decided that I wanted to go to Belmar for the day as he said he thought the beaches were nicer there than some of the other local beaches.  The beach was a pretty relaxing day where we all enjoyed ourselves.  One of my friends lost her bathing suit bottom to the Atlantic at one point, but no worries we were able to get it back together so that she wasn't stranded in the ocean for the rest of the afternoon.  We had lots of laughs all throughout the day.  While at the beach the original crew was joined by some of my other friends... Karla, Lisa, Sam, Kelly, and Jeannine.  It was great to have such a large group enjoying some fun and sun.  After spending most of the day at the beach we headed back to the hotel to meet up with Meghan, Sarah & Angela who had just arrived and to get ready for dinner and a night out.

Beautiful Beach Day in Belmar
We went to dinner at Vic's in Bradley Beach which is a family favorite of mine.  Every since I was a little kid we have been eating pizza from Vic's just about every trip down to my grandparents.  It was awesome to get to go with such a great group of girls and we enjoyed some delicious Italian food before heading back to the hotel to go out for the night.  Back at the hotel we enjoyed a nice champagne toast before heading to The Draft House in Long Branch for the night.  Of course before we went out I couldn't resist putting on all my bachelorette gear that the girls had gotten for me...

Rocking all my awesome bachelorette gear
Favorite Pizza Down the Shore
Standard "sorority squat" pose with my Chi Omega ladies
Photo Shoot before heading out for the night
We all piled into cabs to head to The Draft House for what promised to be an awesome night out.  We danced and drank the night away... once again closing the place down!!   Who knew we all still had it in ourselves to stay out until 3am!

Fireball Shots
All of my fabulous friends out for my bachelorette
By the end of the night we had even made new friends!
Sunday morning we all "slept in" and by that I mean we stayed in bed until about 9am.  Once everyone was moving we headed into Asbury Park to go to Toast for brunch.  Our experience at Toast was interesting to say the least.  We were quoted a 45 minute wait and then after that had passed they kept telling us 10 more minutes every time someone would ask what was going on.  Once we finally got seated it took a while before anyone even acknowledged that we had been sat.  By this point we were all hungry and cranky, but the wait was definitely worth it because the food was DELICIOUS.  We had a great time together and I was sad to see brunch end because it meant that I would be saying good bye to most of my friends.  I know I make this seem like a dramatic goodbye, but we are all so busy that who knows the next time we will all be together (I am guessing my bridal shower or if not then the wedding)... but the times we can all get together are definitely few and far between.

After saying goodbye to most of the crew I headed to the Ocean Grove beach with Meghan, Sarah and Ang for one more day of fun in the sun.  Unfortunately our fun in the sun didn't last as late as I had hoped it would as it started to rain, but we still got some good rays in for the day and had a great time.  After the beach we all headed back to the hotel for dinner and then to toast to the end of the bachelorette weekend with some champagne.
Ocean Grove Beach
Another Gorgeous Day
End of the Weekend Champagne
All in all it was an AMAZING weekend with some of the best friends that a girl could as for.  I am so lucky to have these ladies in my life and I can't wait to have them all there in October as Mark and I begin the journey that will be the rest of our lives together!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Less Than 100 Days to go and Our 1st Major Wedding SNAFU

This past Wednesday (July 10th... a.k.a. Mom & Dad's 31st wedding anniversary) my friend Meghan & I set off for Shamokin, PA to meet with our wedding florist... or so we thought.  After a fairly painless drive (we didn't even need to make any bathroom or coffee stops), 2.5 hours later we arrived in Shamokin about 15 minutes early for my appointment with the florist.  When we got up to the door it was locked and there was a sign saying that they were closed on Wednesdays during the summer.  I had an appointment, so I wasn't too worried about the fact that they were closed.  I did however give the florist a call and left her a message saying that we were early but that we would probably head for some coffee and be back by 1 for our appointment.  I also made sure to leave my number and asked her to call me back when she got the message.  

Meghan and I find the nearest Dunkin' Donuts where we grab some coffee and wait until 1pm before heading back towards the shop.  We get back and still there is no one there.  Of course I call again and leave another message saying that it is 1pm, we are there, that we will hang out for 20 minutes or so, but to please give me a call and let me know what was going on.  At this point I am starting to get a bit worried, but the voicemail message says that they are open by appointment only on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday during the summer, so I am just thinking that she is running a bit late. Well needless to say we hung out there until almost 1:30 and no florist ever showed up.  
Fast forward to today, Sunday, July 14th, I still have not heard anything from the florist. Not even a phone call back to explain what had happened.  I understand that things come up and that perhaps there was an emergency which caused her to miss the appointment, but I left her messages with my cell phone number and the fact that I haven't gotten a phone call back really gets on my nerves.  I spoke with our day of wedding coordinator the other day and she said she would help me look for a new florist so I think that is what I am going to do, but it just stinks that this late in the game I have to start over at square one with a florist.

As annoyed as I was that the florist never showed up, the day was not a total waste as since we were in the area I decided to take Meghan out to Bucknell and to Lewisburg so she could see why I am so obsessed with my alma matter.  We did a drive through campus where I was able to show her where I lived, went to class, etc.  Then we headed downtown to have lunch at our favorite college hangout, Bull Run.  Bull Run has changed a lot since we went to school there, but it doesn't stop it from being one of our favorite places and one place that we ALWAYS make a stop for a beer whenever we are in town.  We had a nice relaxing lunch and then went out for a walk around town so that Meg could see what downtown Lewisburg is like and why I love it there.  During our walk we stopped at the Bookstore where I was able to get Mark his orange and blue bow tie that he wants to wear for the wedding (we are still negotiating whether or not he can wear it... I think he is going to win this battle), so that was nice.  I also picked up a new magnet for my car and a few other miscellaneous items.  

Just as we got back to my car to begin the drive home we happened to see Mike Purcell, the man who owns Bull Run and who also happens to own the place where we had wanted to have our rehearsal dinner.  We had been having trouble getting in contact with them, so when he said hello to me on the street I jumped at the opportunity to talk to him about our rehearsal dinner.  The Parkview Room ended up being available on the 18th, so I was able to put down a deposit and reserve that for the wedding.  Other than picking out our wedding bands, the rehearsal dinner space was the only other major thing left on the list, so I am glad that I was able to get that taken care of.

All in all it wasn't a total waste of a trip, although I am still a bit stressed and frustrated that I have to look for a new florist.  Hopefully it all works itself out though and the rest of planning goes off without a hitch!

Has anyone else ever had something like this happen to them while wedding planning?

Monday, July 1, 2013

One of my Jersey BFF's is Getting Married!

Yesterday morning I set off for NJ for what I knew was going to be a short trip... less than 36 hours to be exact... to celebrate the fact that one of my Jersey bff's is getting married in a a couple of months... on August 17th to be exact.  AP & I have been friends since right before freshman year of high school and I am so excited to say that I will be her "Honor Attendant" at her wedding (her mom is her matron of honor)!  She lives all the way up in Buffalo and I don't get to see her very often, so you can bet your butts that when I knew she was having a bridal shower in NJ I would do whatever it took to be there... even if it meant working on Saturday night instead of Sunday, only getting 4.5 hours of sleep before making the 2.5 hour drive up to Northern NJ... I was doing it come hell or high water.

It ended up being a very tiring day for me, but it was totally worth it to see AP and to get to once again celebrate her upcoming marriage!

PVHS ladies at the shower... JA, AP, me, and KD
Cutie of a flower girl 
The Lovely Bride to Be

Best Wishes and Happiness!
After the shower I was able to spend some quality time with my parents... just us and them.  It was AWESOME!  I mean I love spending time with them when the fiance or little bro are there too, but sometimes it is just nice to have some Mom-Dad-Daughter time without everyone else there.  Unfortunately we spent probably 90% of the time talking about my little brother, but these days almost all conversations unfortunately end up about him.

This morning before heading back Mom & I took lunch over to my grandma and it was AMAZING to see her.  She was really excited to see me because she didn't even remember that I was going to be in NJ.  You see, not only has my Gram been diagnosed with Alzheimer's (you can read about that here) but doctors now think that my Grammy also has Alzheimer's and my grandfather died of Alzheimer's when I was in 6th grade, so I have quite a history with the disease (you can read a little about my thoughts on it here).  It breaks my heart when they can't remember things like the fact that I am going to be in town visiting, but it also always makes me so happy when I see how thrilled they are to see me because to them it is like a surprise visit that they weren't expecting.  We spent a bunch of time with Grammy and although it was exhausting... we pretty much repeat the same conversations over and over again... it was still rewarding because I know I made her day for the time that I was there... even if she doesn't remember it later.

I also headed to visit my Aunt at work before coming back home as I can't even remember the last time I had seen her.  We had a nice little visit in her office before she had to head out to do some stuff but it was great to catch up with her for a little bit!

Trips home to see my family and friends always make me feel so much better.  What about you?