what happens in vegas…

As soon as my brother and his fiance got engaged last April, their bachelor and bachelorette trips were one of the first things to be planned. Andrew decided on Charleston and Lauren decided on Las Vegas. Both were set for the last weekend in March. We had 11 girls attending Lauren’s trip from all over the country, and most of them had never been to Vegas — so needless to say, there was a lot of excitement going into the weekend. This would be my 4th bachelorette trip there, so I happily took the reigns in planning. Well, that and also because I have an obsession affinity for planning things. And of course “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”…. but I had to share some highlights.

I made goody bags for all the girls (thanks to Sarah M. for the great idea on her sister Meg’s bachelorette trip last summer!)… and again, since I love to plan, I had the best time putting these together. I then realized that because we’d be there over Easter weekend, I was essentially giving out miniature Easter baskets… which Craig thought was hilarious and very “mom” of me. I guess that’s fitting since I was one of the old ladies on the trip. The goody bags included: personalized koozies (found them on Pinterest),  glow stick bracelets (because who does Vegas without glow sticks?), pedialite packets (for rehydration…because it’s so hot out there…), Cheez-its, and candy. I think they were a success!

vegas1

The lovely bride, all decked out in her white boa at the airport!

vegas2

vegas4

We started off with a late night dinner at Javier’s, a Mexican restaurant at the Aria Hotel, where we were staying. We lucked into this ah-mazing private room, complete with the largest table I have ever seen. We had 11 girls and barely filled half of it. There were gorgeous fresh flowers and candles everywhere. And really beautiful sparkly walls. The salsa was really spicy and good, ritas were delicious, and my food was fine… but I wanted to stay just for the room.

vegas6

First stop: Moon at the Palms. Every time I’ve been to Vegas in the past 10+ years, we’ve stayed there, so it only felt right to pay a visit. Moon has always been a busy, fun club on top of one of the towers at the Palms, but it was sort of dead while we were there. It does have a retractable roof and a fantastic view of the entire Strip from their balconies, though. And this is a pretty fun sign for a photo op.

vegas7

This was my first stay at the Aria, and omg, I loved it. The hotel is so technologically advanced — as soon as you swipe your room key, the curtains open to reveal a massive wall of windows, the tv and lights turn on, and your name pops up to welcome you on a little directory on the nightstand. They also had a large assortment of restaurants, bars, and the most yummy French bakery. We had brunch at Cafe Vettro the first morning — I got the chicken and waffles… they were so good, I almost ate my plate.

vegas8

Pool party #1 @ the Liquid Pool at Aria. Hands down favorite thing we did all weekend.
I love a good pool day, and it can’t get much better than 2 poolside beds with dedicated waitstaff.

vegas9

vegas10

Dancing at XS @ Encore. Prettiest indoor/outdoor club I’ve ever seen. It was like an enchanted garden outside. Didn’t want to leave here either.

vegas11

2 visits to Todd English Pub. Make your own Bloody Mary menu, giant soft pretzel sticks & cheese sauce, mini corn dogs…. what’s not to like?

vegas12
After pool party #2 on the last day, we had our most favorite meal — pizza delivered to the hotel!
We celebrated our last night with a pizza dance party in our bathing suits and bathrobes, and it was so.much.fun.

vegas13
Vegas is such a funny place. There is hands down the BEST people watching in the world. Nobody sleeps and nothing ever closes.
There’s bright lights, dancing, amazing restaurants, over the top clubs and hotels, casinos so big you literally need GPS to find your way out,
and more sparkly clothes than should be allowed in any one place. It’s like adult Disney World.
I could never in a million years live there, but it is so fun to visit — for a max of 3 days. Till next time!

a beachelorette weekend in VA Beach

I spent last weekend celebrating one of my dear college friends, Meg, and her upcoming wedding. I met Meg on Bid Day for our sorority, Tri Delta, and we became fast friends. I didn’t know anyone going to UGA other than my older cousin Stuart, so it was really comforting to make those first few friends right away. Meg is from New Orleans and after moving around the country for work, she’s been in Washington, DC for several years with her fiance, Jason.

To celebrate Meg’s last big outing as a single girl, she invited all of her bridesmaids on a “beachelorette” weekend in VA Beach. Since I grew up in FL, we didn’t really go on vacations to beaches like VA Beach, Panama City and Destin… so the touristy/crowded factor of this beach was shocking! I have never seen so many…. interesting people on a beach in my life. But it made for GREAT people watching!

A couple of us arrived several hours before anyone else on Friday, so we entertained ourselves with lunch and mimosas, wandering the strip of Atlantic Ave, buying salt water taffy, and people watching on the boardwalk by the beach. 

The “beachelorette” doing a victory dance — finally at the beach after a way-too-long car ride from DC, thanks to so much weekend traffic::

Our hotel was right on the beach and we had this view from our balconies::

Champagne toast to kick off the weekend! We ran out of glasses, so I used Meg’s boot glass, which I brought back for her when I studied abroad in Austria… in 2004. I’m impressed that the boot has made it safely around the country with all of Meg’s moves.

I’m not sure what VA Beach likes so much about Poseidon, but there is a GIANT statue of him outside the hotel on the beach, and we got a teeny version of him made out of chocolate in our rooms.


Salty Chihuahuas::

This weekend was the first time I’ve seen the bride-to-be in 2 years::

Meg with all of her bridesmaids (minus 1) at Catch 31 for dinner — such yummy seafood, a funny waiter with a big dream, and the largest lazy susan I’ve ever seen::


Beach day — we loved the giant, cushy chairs::

Sarah’s homemade champagne cupcakes::

Meggy and her sweet sisters, Kay and Sarah, at Fire & Vine for dinner on our last night::


Luna Sea, complete with volleyball and bocce ball courts::


Farewell send-off with Poseidon, in honor of our Tri Delta roots::

I love a good excuse to get together with some of my favorite girls and to make some new friends, too. It’s hard to believe that the 4 of us (in the pic above) have been friends for over a decade now. And even though some have moved back home or to another state and we may not see each other as often as we like (but 2 years is FAR too long!!), we always manage to pick up just where we left off. I wouldn’t have missed this weekend for the world, and I can not wait to spend the weekend in New Orleans celebrating Meg and Jason in October!