A flock of females waltzed into a bumping, colorful club and were immediately offered champagne, VIP seating and a few winks from the attractive cocktail servers. We had arrived.
It was bachelorette time.
As one of the first to take the plunge, I really had no clue how one of these events worked. I knew there was debauchery, drinks and dancing…right? So with all that, why not have it in a new city where we could really let loose?
I often take trips solo or with my husband. Unless there’s the one-off random adventure with my Mom. So when I suggested to my crew of bridesmaids that I wanted to get on a plane with them and travel, many raised an eyebrow. In retrospect I had no idea how nuts of an idea this was – let’s all uproot our lives in Boston and spend days down in Florida, soaking up the sun and going wherever the wind takes us.
After a raucous flight with some of my closest friends (sharing a few nips and mixers), we touched town in Fort Lauderdale late in the evening, ready to get it on. Luckily, the W Fort Lauderdale, our first destination, was nearby.
Humidity made lugging our bags through the valet area and up to the lobby a challenge, but we finally made it to the front desk and were greeted by cute guy number one. With a twinkle in his eye he surveyed the scene and swiftly suggested we opt for a big suite instead of the two rooms we had reserved. “Trust me,” he said, “you’ll love it.”
Up the six of ventured to our plush accommodations. Our front desk savior was right – this pad was wild. It felt like we had stepped into a reality show, as I’d ever stayed in such a big and sleek looking room. We immediately scoured the kitchen for wine openers and stocked the fridge with snacks, then divvied up the two huge bedrooms. In a few minutes a couple very cozy roll away beds were brought to us so we could spread out even more, then we clinked glasses out on the balcony to toast to our good fortune.
Now I almost always have a game plan – or I’m simply led around and told what to check out in a new place. In hindsight maybe we should have planned better, but Florida’s a playground! We figured it would all work itself out.
It did. After bugging out about our amazing suite a little more we took to the streets in search of grub. Unfortunately not much was happening, but we did score a fun lounger outside of the Rock Bar. Open late with a massive menu, we ordered a little bit of everything, including a few rounds of dangerous, giant $10 margaritas. Tame, but perfect after a long day traveling.
A forecast of rain hovered over us the next day, but we rose early to snag a poolside cabana at the W hotel. It was ideal for a big group of us to have somewhere for storing our stuff. Outfitted with flat screen TVs, water bottles and lounger service, it was easy to not leave the whole day. There’s nothing like a pina colada and avocado veggie burger in the middle of a hot day. We met another bachelorette group from Boston in the pool, called WET, and wiled the hours away under the hot sun. The pool was small, but had a unique staircase through the middle, making part of the pool see-through underwater. Kids (and grown-up kids with cocktails) seemed to love this feature.
Once the heavens opened at it began to storm in the late afternoon, we happily went back to the suite for a few more drinks on the spacious balcony. Then it was time to get ready for the first big night out.
Step one: food. Big City Tavern served its purpose and much more – everyone got exactly what they wanted and it all was delicious. Cocktails were strong and the music was crazy loud, but we had a comfy booth and just yelled over the noise with gusto.
To shake out all those calories, we wandered into Vibe.
It was my first real east coast Florida club and it was exactly what I was looking for. Dimly lit, pulsing house tunes and bouncers then opened up the gate for us ladies to take over the VIP section right by the entrance. A classy yet scantily clad woman brought us over a bottle of bubbly topped with sparklers and we let the drinks flow for a few hours. Although I’m happy to don boot and jeans just like any other New England girl, it was fun to mingle with the sequined and stiletto wearing crowd for the evening. We did crash in for a nightcap at a place called the Royal Pig Pub, then poured into a cab back to the W for a well deserved sleep.
After conquering Fort Lauderdale and enjoying our success, the girls surprised me with a limo to Miami to complete the last leg of our trip. Little did we know Miami with chew us up and spit us out, but that’s for another time.