Sunday, August 15, 2010

Laughing over Spilled Salt… because it’s my BACHELORETTE PARTY!

I have to say… bad luck was the theme of my bachelorette party. I am telling you , a black cat must have crossed the road without us seeing or one of the girls must have knocked over the biggest salt shaker obtainable before we left because we have stories that you would not even believe me if I told you. I thought for a minute someone was playing a sick joke on us and at any point was going to whip out a Candid Camera and start laughing, but not even the worst of luck could ruin a girl’s trip to Chicago!

I know, I totally started this post off on the negative side, but to redeem myself I refuse to speak of any of the negatives. It indeed all happened, but since more good happened than bad, I am only going to speak of the good. I plan to leave everything horrible out (although most of you would get good laughs over it all). I will ONLY speak of the positive from this trip. Those bad things… I will leave as memories between me and my girls – no need to spread negativity around. Haha!

So, here it all is… The GOOD, the MAGNIFICENT, and the FABULOUS of Andrea’s 2010 Bachelorette Trip: Chicago, IL!

Day #1
Since I am leaving the negative out, I will avoid the traffic topic and start with walking into our AMAZING suite. Ok, words (only pictures) cannot describe this place. We stayed at the Marriott Magnificent Mile, and I have to say, as an avid Marriott visitor, they really outdid themselves on this one. The theme of the hotel is very retro, chic, and fun – perfect for a bachelorette party. Our suite was the Governor’s Suite on the 46th floor. Stepping inside it was like stepping into the modern-day 70’s. It can be best compared to gangster Ace and crazy Ginger’s house from the movie Casino – a mobster could have walked in at any minute and I would have felt it appropriate! What set it apart though was the view – we could see half of Chicago AND Lake Michigan… amazing!

Living Room Area
Our View!!!! No Joke!

King Room - My room!
So after we got settled in, we headed to lunch at 4:00. Yes, 4:00 lunch… I don’t want to talk about it. At this point, all a girl could ever want was a big ole drink. I chose champagne and the festivities began! Our lunch ended up being perfectly yummy, and it gave a few of the girls who didn’t know each other yet a chance to get to know each other.

Let me talk for a minute about the ladies that were there…
I will start with my college friends who you will most often hear me refer to as “the girls” – Ginger, Sara, Tracy, and Amy Claire. We all went to college together, all were Phi Mus together, and although we don’t live in the same cities, we have a tight, inseparable bond that brings us back together on at least one girl’s trip a year. We really make it a big point to all get together as much as possible each year – I really consider these girls my best friends, the ones that I will still be going on girls trips with when I’m 80.
Then you have my most recent best friend who I like to call my “later in life friend,” Lori. Tres brought me to Lori, and I tell her all the time she is just one of the many blessings Tres brought to me. See, Tres and Trevor are best friends, and Lori is Trevor’s wife. They have become the couple we love to hang out with, love to travel with, and just love to be with any chance we get! And did I mention Tres and I are Godparents… to their little one Saxon Rex (I will have to do a whole separate post on him one day… his 1st birthday is coming up, so that may be the perfect time to post about him).
And finally, there is Cristen, who I call my “work BFF.” I remember leaving college and telling my mom, “I will never, ever have friends as great as the ones from college.” She said, “Yes you will. You will make them at work.” I didn’t believe her, but then I met Cristen – she is the best friend at work for me, and we have loads of fun together! By the end of the trip, you could not have been able to tell who had been friends longer. A lot of times, bachelorette parties can be awkward because girls don’t always mesh well together, but in this case, Cristen and Lori were asking when our next “girls’ trip” was so they could join us!

The bonding all started after lunch when we got back to the suite to find a special note, chocolate covered strawberries, and three bottles of champagne delivered from Tres and Trevor. We also got a call to the suite, telling us that we were only supposed to have one of the connecting extra bedrooms to the suite, as we only paid for one (the concierge had let us in both rooms). With some convincing from Lori and her Marriott perks, they agreed to let us have BOTH rooms – this meant we each had our own bed! Ok, so maybe there WAS some good luck on the trip!
Thanks Tres and Trevor - We have such thoughtful men :)
After our treat from Tres and Trevor and being granted a THIRD room to the suite, we were all screaming in delight, and with that, the first cork got popped and the party got started! While drinking the delicious champagne, we cranked up the Madonna music and got ready for our themed “Madonna Night.” We were Madonna’s Hit List on this night. We had Lori as “Borderline” Madonna, Cristen as “Material Girl” Madonna, Amy Claire as “Into the Groove” Madonna, Sara as “Papa Don’t Preach” Madonna, Ginger as “Lucky Star” Madonna, Tracy as “Open Your Heart to Me” Madonna, and me as the infamous “Vogue” Madonna! See if you can tell who is who in the pictures… most of us looked IDENTICAL to the music video or concert!
Cristen (Material Girl) and Lori (Borderline)
Amy Claire (Into the Groove) and Sara (Papa Don't Preach)
Tracy (Open Your Heart to Me) and Me (Vogue)
Cristen, Me, and Ginger (Lucky Star)
After the sunset, we headed to Navy Pier to see the 80’s band, Sixteen Candles. As soon as we stepped foot out of our cab, what was as close to the paparazzi that any of us will ever get to began. I have never seen anything like it… seven simple gals dressed as Madonnas, and 80’s freaks were coming out of the woodworks! As if we weren’t late enough to the concert, it took nearly 30 minutes to walk 10 feet because someone wanted to take our picture or get a picture with us – I was ready for someone to ask me to sign something. Ginger had some guy hiding behind the bushes taking pictures of her as she went into the bathroom - it was crazy! The concert was a blast! We got at the very front of the stage, and the band and hosts recognized us as the “group of Madonnas.” That lead to more people recognizing us, hence more picture snapping. Once our heads had grown as big as the pier, we finally had to get out of there and go eat! The late-night pizza spot we chose, Lou Malnati’s, stayed open for us even though they were closing when we rolled up… I’m convinced it was our Southern accents that kept the doors open. Whatever it was, we got to experience the one of a kind Chicago Pizza, and it was magnifico!

At the 80's Concert after being mobbed by fans... haha!
Pouty-butt... the end of the night put me in a pouty, pouty mood!
They were having a great time though :)
Day #2
We managed to roll out of bed just in time for our 11:00 brunch reservations at Bin 36. Ginger discovered this place from a friend she has from Chicago, and after the experience, I was so grateful for the suggestion! This may have been my favorite part of the trip. First, because anyone who knows me knows I am a wine-tasting fanatic, and this place is centered around their wine, champagne, and mimosa flights. Second, the décor of this place was so beautiful and winery-like. I felt like I was back at one of my favorite Napa wineries. And third, this was a point in the trip when I felt like all seven of us had been friends for a lifetime. We had great conversation, and it was just one of those fun girl-times that you have with a group of women who are all busy with marriage, kids, and jobs, but deep down, you know they all stopped their busy lives for just a minute to get together with girlfriends. That’s what true friendship is all about, and here at Bin 36, I was grateful!

Us and all our "flights" at Bin 36
One mimosa/champagne flight in, and we were all border-line intoxicated again, so we headed to Starbucks after our amazing brunch. We were complete Chicago tourists the rest of the day stopping at Millennium Park, “the bean,” the magnificent malls and stores on the Magnificent Mile, and even the movie set of Transformers 3! Believe me, I am no Transformers fan (could have totally done without seeing the first one), but I have never, not even in LA or NYC, seen the set of an actual movie set up right in the middle of a street! It was seriously one of the coolest things we saw all weekend, and we didn’t even expect to see it! We were just walking along, until some guy started yelling at people to “clear the way,” “stop taking pictures,” “move along…,” until we realized we were right in front of the movie set. There were turned over cars, wrecked taxis, burned up buses, and even a huge piece of brick that had supposedly fallen from the top of one of the buildings. It was quite a sight!

Set of Transformers 3... awesome!
Back at the hotel, we lounged on our fabulous furniture and chit-chatted for awhile. Leave it up to me and Lori, and soon another bottle of bubbly was cracked open, and then we were on our way to getting ready for another fun night! The girls threw me a lingerie shower in the suite that was of course lots of fun! More champagne down, and we started our night out on the town. We started the night on the rooftop of Zed 451 where we had drinks and appetizers. We ended up with our own private section indoors, so this was another fun girl-time bonding experience. After Zed, some of the girls had to run back to the hotel, so I insisted on ordering the famous “honey beer” in the Marriott lobby. Apparently, they brew their own beer, so I had to have a taste.

Across the street, we walked to where our dinner reservations were at Joes Stonecrab. We were so excited about this place, as it’s supposed to be one of the best fine dining experiences in the country. Hummm… since I am leaving negativity out of this post, I will just say this… thank God all wine is good because that was the only good thing that touched my lips at Joe’s. Sorry, but I have been to countless better restaurants than that. On a good note, me and the girls had a blast while we were there, bad food and all.
Our next and supposed last stop was the upscale, lavish hotspot, Enclave. We knew nothing about this bar aside from being out-of-towners reading reviews, but it turned into the highlight of the night. Let me explain… first of all, Sara found out her good friend’s roommate worked at this place, so she made a phone call before we went. Next thing we knew, the doorman was lifting up closed off ropes and leading us through the back door of this place. There was a line out front wrapped around this place with people dying to get in, and we were getting snuck through the back door (like I said… there WAS some good luck on this trip). Secondly, the doorman says to us, “I have you guys seated to the richest guys in the bar… they plan to take care of your drinks all night.” WHAT?!?! I mean, we had reserved a table for ourselves… we had planned to get bottle service all along, but now all of a sudden, we were getting bottle after bottle of $500 Grey Goose. Like I told the girls… I’m not gonna talk to these guys or have anything to do with them, but if they want to show us special treatment, I am A-Ok with that (Plus, I told Tres all about it anyway... I don't think he minded that we didn't have to pay for anything!) This is where the single gal of the group came in… thank you Amy Claire for entertaining these people enough that we didn’t spend a dime all night. That’s what single friends are for, right?! To still get the married gals hooked up with free drinks… haha! We still have no idea why this bar gave us such special treatment, but we think Sara's friend had something to do with it, so thank you to Sara too! The party went from Enclave, to a limo, to a random, creepy bar that we got the heck out of, to us being home and laughing our butts off at how our “crappy, bad luck” turned into jewels in the end! It was quite the wrap-up to a heck of a bachelorette party!
At our table!
The spread!
Day #3 consisted of packing up, leaving our incredible suite, eating lunch at Cosi, and everyone going their separate ways. When all was said and done, we learned that spilled salt, broken mirrors, and black cats don’t always mean bad luck – heck, I don’t recall any of us running into those superstitions … we just ran into a few problems. At the beginning of the trip, the troubles seemed never-ending, but in the end, our luck went from a High Card to a Straight Flush, resulting in one of the best trips ever! Thank you so much to my best girls – the ones who came to Chicago with me and celebrated the very best time of my life, me becoming a wife! Even through the Bridezilla moments I had on the trip (and the ones they had back to me… Tracy at Lou Malnati’s. Haha. Oh so typical.), they smiled, stuck through, and had a great time! I am so grateful for each of you and look forward to you standing beside me on the big day! I love you all very much!


  1. Sounds like an absolutely amazing weekend spent with some great girls!! Love the Madonna pictures as well:)

  2. Thats sounds like such an awesome weekend!!!

  3. Those are some great pictures!! What a great Bachelorette party!

  4. LOVE the Madonna theme! So cute!!! I'm sorry to hear about all the bad luck...Bad Luck follows me so I completely understand. Looks like your weekend was amazing regardless! Love your green dress & I would have loved to have seen a movie set! How awesome! :)

  5. Your room was fabulous! And it sounds like despite any bad luck, you had a great time with wonderful friends!

  6. It looks like a blast! I love the first purple outfit--too cute! So glad you had a wonderful time!

  7. I love the 80's night photos!!! How fun! Glad you girls had a good trip!

  8. I love all the Madonnas! You are so cool, Andrea! Soooo happy you enjoyed your trip, those memories will last a lifetime! So impressed by all the effort you put into it, you deserve it! XX!

  9. Oh, and p.s. wallpaper is in! But even if isn't I think everyone should just have what they love in their home! XX!

  10. Love the madonna theme... so creative and cute! I would love to do something similar with my girls! How fun!

    Your room and the hook-up at the club with the VIP treatment.. awesome! I loved what you said about the single girls getting us married girls free drinks.. haha couldn't agree with you more! Also, I have no clue what bad luck you were talking about because it seemed like you girls had a great time! Cute pics!

  11. You are a lucky girl!! Sounds like an amazing weekend with great girls!! Your room was absolutey stunning and I loved all the pictures!

  12. ok I am cracking up hearing the song from The Wedding Singer on your playlist...I LOVE that movie and cannot count the number of times I've seen it!
    your bachelorette trip sounds so can't ever beat free drinks and good 80s music!