You may remember that Wilson’s brother got engaged (in an uber romantic way you can read about here) last summer, and we’re all looking forward to the nuptials in March.
The whole family will play a part: Wilson is serving as best man (his speech is going to kill) I’m a bridesmaid, Jacob and Aden are groomsmen, and Eli is a ring bearer. I had almost forgotten all the hoopla surrounding a wedding, and in the zillion years since we got married, customs have become more high brow.
Apparently dinner at Sparks and a lap dance on 42nd Street is no longer sufficient to celebrate the end of bachelorhood. Wilson had to travel to Puerto Rico for the bachelor party. I didn’t get all the details (probably best,) but it sounded like a lot of standing around the swim up hotel bar drinking Medalia beers.
At my bachelorette party, we got drunk at Coyote Ugly in the East Village, flashed our bras and danced on the bar before falling asleep in the cab home. Nowadays all the hip gals hop on a plane for fine dining and shopping in a funky city like Austin.
I’d never been to Austin, and we all loved the vibe in the Lone Star state’s capital city. My only complaint is that we were there for too short a time.
We arrived Friday night and dug into some famous BBQ at Ironworks.
It’s not the place to keep good habits from your nutritional cleanse.
Wiping sauce from our chins, we took an Uber (no ride was more than $5!) to an area downtown with lots of bars and restaurants and walked around.
Live music is everywhere– the city feels young and hums with great energy.
I ordered an amazing cowboy hat for our bachelorette, decorated with sequins around the brim and light up letters spelling”BRIDE.” (Shout out to the peops at Red Sky Trader who got me the hat on time!)
As I walked into each bar I was slapped with nostalgia. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a place with that familiar stale humidity, coupled with the smell of beer, whiskey, and sweat. It’s the smell of possibility and abandon. I had missed it.
We stopped into a few places before finding our way to the famous 6th Street. It’s party-central in kind of the worst way. Lots of drunken frat boys, tourists, and crowd wranglers making deals better than Monty Hall to get you into their place to spend cash.
But we are New York City girls, too smart for such traps. We surveyed the scene and settled in at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar which was just our speed.
A bunch of talented musicians took turns on two pianos and a drum set singing oldies and popular songs by request.
We chugged our cocktails, did a couple jello shots, and belted out the words to favorite songs.
The next day we walked around the South Congress area, an artsy, retro neighborhood with cool cafes and antique and used clothing stores. Iconic neon signs, bright southwestern colors and the occasional bearded guitar player on the corner felt authentic and cozy.
We ate at the South Congress Cafe where the carrot cake french toast with cream cheese-pecan syrup is out of this world, especially washed down with their award-winning Bloody Marys. Great way to start a Saturday.
We stayed at the minimalistic, chic boutique Hotel San Jose. Saturday night we gathered in a hotel suite to sip chardonnay from penis straws while the bachelorette opened gifts of lingerie and answered relationship quiz questions that made us giggle.
Next we headed out to La Condessa for some upscale Tex-Mex fare and buckets of margaritas.
After dinner we hailed a couple pedi cabs to take us to Rainey Street.
Maybe it was the tequila, maybe it was the freedom of the girls weekend, maybe it was the open air, or the 80’s hip hop music blasting from a boom box– I’m not quite sure. All I know is I haven’t laughed that hard in a long while.
Deep, rolling belly laughs that couldn’t be stifled. All of us were like a pack of hyenas howling at the moon as the pedi cabs rolled on. It was hilarious.
We danced and laughed at a few bars on Rainey and then headed back to the hotel to squeeze out the last moments of a super fun weekend.
I’ll admit I thought traveling to Austin for a bachelorette party seemed excessive at first, but all the girls were great and it was really a bonding experience that will make celebrating the wedding together even more sweet.
When I travel with my crew, I’m always trying to find things to do to satisfy everyone. If we had gone to Austin as a family we would have visited the zoo, walked around UT to check out the football stadium, and probably tried to catch a game. We would have stayed in a conventional hotel with an indoor pool for the kids.
It was so refreshing to spend the weekend with people who wanted to do what I wanted to do: walk around, eat, shop, and stay up late talking. I didn’t realize how much I needed it!
Warning to you Wilson: I’m going to make sure I take girl weekends more often.