Quote: Sisters

My mom and sister are coming to visit this weekend (tomorrow!!) and I couldn’t be more excited!  I’ve been pretty stressed lately and I know a visit is just what I need!  Sometimes I take having a sister for granted so today I thought I’d share how thankful I truly am to have her in my life.  Can’t wait for tomorrow!!

I really can’t imagine…

I have the most amazing sister (and best friend) in the world. Without a doubt.

 

Travel Tuesday: Las Vegas

Las Vegas (Bachelor Party Style)

So my best guy friend from high school, college, and many years is getting married in September.  When I was in high school I had a lot more guy friends than girl friends and was often just considered “one of the guys.”  (I fully made up for this in college by being in a sorority and living with 100+ girls).  Scott was my best friend for years and we’ve been through break ups, new relationships, move ins, move outs, and now an engagement.

Immediately after Scott got engaged, I received texts about the fact that I had to come to the bachelor party.  For 10 years, we’ve talked about this and the fact I’d likely be the only girl there, but that didn’t really bother me.

The thing is- now that I live so far away from everyone (and all of the guys live in different states), it’s very rare that I get to see everyone.  So when I received the email that began with “Dear Gentleman and Andrea,” and was addressed to 22 people, I knew I would end up in over my head.  But what a great excuse for a trip.

I went to Vegas for the first time in February and it’s quickly become one of my favorite places in the world.  It’s so ridiculous and extreme in all aspects but bound to be a good time.  So a few months later, I found myself booking a flight (which I almost missed), packing up my bags (many of them since I didn’t have any girls to borrow clothes and hair dryers from) and heading out West for Scott’s Bachelor party.  It was such a different experience than being with a group of girls, but these guys did Vegas right.  Here’s a look at the incredible weekend (which I’m still very much recovering from):

The first night we took a limo to 1 OAK at the Mirage, had dinner in the Cosmopolitan and I made Brady and Luke try the off-the-menu “flower drink” at The Cosmopolitan

Scott got us a table at 1 OAK on Friday for the group (it was the best location) and we had such a great time. We were right next to Jenny McCarthey too which was fun! Here is me and some of the group (and Scott having a great time!)

On Saturday, we reserved two daybeds at Cosmo Blvd pool. It was the most beautiful day out and the pool was one of the most fun things I’ve done in Vegas (it was too cold in February).

After the long day at the pool, we went around the Strip and casino hopped. The highlight for me was the Bellagio fountain show (and also being the only one who didn’t lose money gambling that night!) Vegas at night is my favorite!

I didn’t leave until Sunday night (I did a redeye which was brutal after the long weekend) but I spent the day walking around and exploring after brunch with Brady at Bellagio Cafe (and the best Bellini I’ve ever had in my life!) I went by the Palazzo (where I stayed in February), did some shopping (and lusting over Hermes) and walked through the hotels.

 

 

 

 

Quote: Love

Quote

Today I am celebrating 2 years with my job.  It’s hard to believe how fast time has flown and how much I’ve grown.  I have had the chance to do some incredible events and I am so blessed to have learned so much.  I’m going to dinner tonight with a group of friends and I can’t wait to celebrate.  Cheers to the past two years and what’s ahead in the future!

Do what you Love. Love what you do.

 

Travel Tuesday: Summer Trips

New Orleans

I started off my June with my first-ever trip to New Orleans.  It was a pre-birthday celebration with my friend, Linda, and her boyfriend Mani.  I don’t know what my perception beforehand was (probably Mardi Gras-esque) but I was actually overly impressed.  Here’s a look:

Carriage ride through French Quarter, “Psychic Reading”, Peyton ceiling at Mannings, W Hotel and French Quarter

Bourbon Street, Dinner at Arnaud’s French 75, Frenchman Street, Hurricanes at Pat O’Briends and Cafe du Monde

 Charlottesville

To continue my birthday (this was actually the weekend of my birthday), my boyfriend and friends planned a trip to Charlottesville.  Scotty and I had talked about going to Charlottesville for two years and it finally happened!  For those of you who haven’t been, I highly recommend it.  The wineries are amazing, the campus of UVA is gorgeous and it’s such a short ride from DC.

Blenheim Vineyeards (Dave Matthew’s Winery), Trump Winery

Countryside, Out in Charlottesville, Ally’s favorite sign, Reenacting “The Notebook”, Miller’s Pub (Where Dave Matthews got his start…Scotty was in Heaven)

More vineyards, tastings and UVA campus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicago

Some of our friends got married in Chicago the weekend before July 4th.  We got to spend a few days in one of my favorite cities and went to an amazing wedding.

Navy Pier (one of my best memories with my dad), Cubs Rooftop, view from the Hancock building with my best friend Mandy

Nate and Meghan’s Wedding at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago- It was so elegant and in the middle of the city which was incredible!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Lake, Wisconsin

Since we had weddings both wedding before and after the Fourth, we went to Scotty’s family’s lake house in Green Lake, Wisconsin for the week in between and the holiday.   I’ve been to the Fore’s lake house 3 or 4 times but it had been over 2 years since the last time.  It was so nice to have a week of actual relaxation.  It’s incredible how much work they’ve put in to the house and it’s so special to spend time with them.  They are one of the most amazing families I’ve ever known, so our time at the lake is always great.  We even got to celebrate with fireworks on the lake- it is so refreshing to be back in the Midwest and spend time with friends and family.

The Fores backyard view, Scotty and his dad on the boat, Tubing, the group before going to a bonfire, and my and Scotty’s sisters (Meghan and Katie) at the sandbar

Charley watching fireworks on 4th of July, Scotty showing his patriotism (and singing “Man I feel like a Woman” at karaoke at The Goose Blind (Thanks, Kyle for the request) and The Fore family and I on the 4th

Katie, Meghan, me, Scotty and Chris at the sandbar, Boating around the lake, Charley trying to nap on the boat

 

 

 

 

Indianapolis

After the relaxing week at the lake, we crammed about as much as possible in to a 48-hour trip to Indianapolis (and Dayton!)  My sister graduated from college in May so we had her graduation open house.  It was so nice because we got to see our friends, neighbors, and family (some of our family even came from Ohio which was such a treat).  After the party we had TWO weddings to go to.  Then on Sunday, we drove over to Dayton to see my grandparents and flew back to DC from there.  It was a quick trip but so much fun.

My cousins visiting, Natalie’s Vodka-Infused Strawberries (of course), the Billy/Szempruch family, our dog Dusty and our newest addition to the family Buster, Natalie and I at her “fiesta”, Corona Cupcakes, My mom’s beautiful backyard

Some of my childhood friends having drinks after Katie and Scott’s wedding, Scotty and I’s mason jars/table names that we filled with wine and beer (so cute), and Katie and Scott making their entrance (There wedding was a rustic theme and so them- so much fun!)

Lauren and Kevin’s Wedding- the amazing couple, Chi O serenade and our Sorority Sisters at the wedding in Carmel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there’s my recap of trips up until now…and I’m so excited because I have a big trip coming up this weekend!  Stay tuned….

Travel Tuesday: More Spring Trips

My spring trips continued through April and May with some firsts, some repeats, and some big life events.  Here’s a look:

LA and Coachella

Before and after Coachella in LA

Jaime, Ally and I before in LA at Chacha Chicken and after the trip on Hollywood Blvd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been to LA before but this was my first time going to Palm Springs and Coachella.  It was a whirlwind 5-day trip but one that I’ll never forget.  We got to spend some time in LA then drove down to Palm Springs with our friend, Scott.  He’s a Coachella pro so he showed us the ropes.  We were so lucky because we got VIP tickets (thanks Jaime) and were totally spoiled.  We saw some awesome bands, DJs and acts.  Some of them I knew well and others I had never heard of which made it fun!

The night we got our wristbands, Some new Australian friends from the house, The view of Coachella from the Ferris Wheel, Santigold, and David Guetta

The view from our house in Palm Springs (breathtaking), Pool Party in Palm Springs, the ferris wheel, ready for the shows, Dr. Dre and Snoop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boston

The weekend after Coachella, my boyfriend and I went to Boston.  I hadn’t been to Boston since middle school with my dad and brother, so this was really special.  It was nice because we did a lot of touristy things but also got to take some down time to enjoy things, without being too rushed.

Before the Duck Tour, walking around the city, “Cheers” bar, Green Monster Seats at Fenway, and lunch at the Fish Market

Drinks and jazz at Top of the Hub, Boston tour, Mikes Pastrys and Dinner at Mamma Maria’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indianapolis

I went back home to Indianapolis in May for my sister’s graduation.  I lucked out because it just so happened to fall on Memorial Day weekend, which is probably the best weekend of the year to be in Indianapolis.  I have been going to the Indy 500 for years and it’s always an amazing time.  It’s fun to catch up with friends and see everyone, while enjoying the “greatest spectacle in racing” or however they say it.

Natalie’s Graduation from Hanover, Sitting in front of Chi O, our cute Bed and Breakfast in Madison, and my amazing family (minus Derek!)

Ready for race day!

 

Fiesta Friday: Game Night

I am a huge fan of games.  There are so many fun games to play and it’s a great way to get your friends together.

One thing I love the most about hosting a “Game Night” is that you can invite any group of people.  You can have Girls Night, Guys vs. Girls, Couples, or a big group.

My friends and I get together often to play games (and we get pretty competitive).   It’s always fun to make bets and I have to say that I rarely lose those bets.  Some of our betting ideas have involved free rounds of drinks, free dinners, our boyfriends getting pedicures (such great sports), and even “doing anything we want for a day”…although Ally and Andrew, we’re still waiting for that one.

It’s really easy to host a game night because you can order pizza, make it a pitch in, or even go out and do it. Here are some ideas:

Guys vs. Girls

My friend, Andrew recently found this game and it’s pretty awesome.  The guys answer girly questions (ie. What is an empire waist?) and the girls answer manly questions (ie. What does  a hacksaw cut?)  It’s so much fun (and hard).  Here’s a link to buy it.

Battle of The Sexes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Girls Night

It’s always fun to have Girls Night every so often.  My best friend happens to be dating my boyfriends’ roommate so we see each other all the time.  But it’s so different when the guys aren’t around and you can catch up (without filters).  One of our favorite things to play is Dreamphone.  This 90’s game is still just as fun as it was when I was 10.  It’s pretty hard to find but if you search Ebay consistently I promise you won’t regret it.

Dream Phone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Couples Game Nights

As I mentioned earlier, it’s always fun to compete with other couples (for bragging rights, free dinners or whatever else you can think of).  We like to play couple against couple and then girls against guys (that seems to be when we win most).  One of our recent fun dates was to Top Golf in Alexandria.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve never golfed before or you’re an expert but it’s a fun way to learn, practice and even have some Sangria.  I definitely recommend!

Top Golf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group Games

Lastly is hosting group game nights.  You can have any number of people and it’s a great way to get everyone together.  Some of our favorites are Apples to Apples, Catchphrase, Darts, and Sink the Biz.  If you don’t know what Sink the Biz is, you are missing out.  And even if you didn’t go to IU, you’re lucky that they sell it online….(although you probably won’t be as good)….

Sink the Biz, Darts (notice the score), and Apples to Apples