25th Birthdays!

So now that i’m almost 27 (eeekkkk) I am getting around to writing about our epic year of 25th birthdays.

My 3 best friends from college & I decided to go big for our quarter century birthdays. I’m not even really sure when or where the idea originally came from, but it turned out to be such an cray fun year celebrating 25 trips around the sun!

The 4 of us all chose the destinations for our birthdays and essentially planned our trip. First was Chelsea Tyler on January 22nd, 2016. She chose Vegas which was a perfect way to kick off the year. We stayed at the MGM Grand which was HUGE, I was able to get us a deal through my job, and being in the hotel business, I of course was so curious about all the other hotels on the Strip. One of the days we walk the entire strip and into every. single. hotel. It was really fun and they’re all so over the top and fancy. My favorite was the Cosmopolitan which is basically dripping in diamonds everywhere you look.

On Chels’s actual birthday we went to a fancy dinner at ______, and then went to Drais nightclub to see Brody Jenner DJ (heart eyes for days). I spent pretty much the entire night standing directly in front of the stage trying to make eye contact with Brody. I swear he waved at me. That night we stayed up until the sun came up, but nothing that happened after 2 am is worth mentioning. Slob Kabob status x 10.

Image may contain: 7 people, people smiling

The next birthday was mine, April 7th 2016. I chose to go to NYC – I’ve always loved New York and had been looking for an excuse to go back since my trip my sophomore year of college. We stayed in midtown, and had two rooms because I had a few more girls join us for this trip! We brunched (unlike Boston, New York has bottomless mimosa brunches yaaasss), and we shopped ‘til we dropped.

On Friday night we went to Tao for dinner, and on Saturday night we were hosted by our good friend from college Gigi & her family who live on the Upper West Side, her parents made this amazing dinner for all 10 of us and bought me this gorgeous cake from a fancy NYC bakery, it was so nice of them!!

After dinner and drinks at Gigi’s we took ubers from uptown to the bar downtown where we spent the rest of the night, that uber ride was seriously one of the highlights of the tip. The uber had a sunroof, which my alcohol influenced mind immediately wanted to climb out of. When I asked the driver if I could stick my head out the sunroof he shockingly responded “sure!”, I literally spent almost the entire ride across Manhattan out the sunroof screaming “It’s my birthday” and watching the lit up NYC building buzz by –  looking back it was slightly embarrassing, but so fun. You only turn 25 once, right?! On our last day we walked – A LOT… we started at the highline, and then we walked all the way up to Times Square and Central Park, which was so beautiful. It was so memorable and special and I’m so grateful that I had so many friends to share it with!

 

Chelsea bee was up next, she was born on the 4th of July, and she takes it VERY seriously! She might just be the most American girl I know. We rang in her 25th in Nashville, TN. It was the most amazing spot to not only celebrate Chelsea’s birthday but also America’s birthday! We stayed right on the main street in Nashville but it was still a bit of a walk to get to all the stores, restaurants and bars. Luckily Nashville has golf carts all over the place that act as Ubers except they’re way more fun. You just flag them down, hop on and they’ll take you anywhere you want to go Some of them even have coolers for adult beverages built in. It was such a quick, easy and fun way of getting around.

We hit all the main spots in Nashville – The Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, and of course, Tootsies. On the 4th of July we ran a 5k that went through downtown Nashville, we’d all run 5k’s before but never in this heat of humidity, it was tough but so worth it for the ice cold beer at the end. After the race we went back to the hotel to get all dolled up in our 4th of July gear and the rest of the day we spent bar hopping downtown. That night we watched the fireworks before getting caught in the craziest rain storm ever and running back to the hotel.

The Opry was definitely my favorite part of the trip, it was so cool to see where a lot of my favorite artists began their country music careers, there was so much history there.

The flight home from Nashville was also quite the ride – we all had that entire week off of work because it was the 4th of July and we have a marathon of concerts etc. lined up when we got home, we although our trip was over we were still all in party mode. We took a pit stop at Tootsies in the airport and from there we ended up taking Dierks Bentley’s Drunk On A Plane lyrics a little too seriously. Let me tell ya – Row 24, seats, A, B, C, D & E were LIT.

 

The baby of the group, Juliann, turned 25 on January 8th 2017. So almost a full year after we returned from Vegas, we jetted off again, this time to New Orleans! Juliann invited another big group, there were 10 of us. 3 hotel rooms, 1 large van to accommodate us and our luggage, and 10 girls running from gate 11A to gate 15D to catch our connecting flight in DC (which we almost missed). I felt like the family in Home Alone when they were about to miss their flight to Paris.

We looked like a clown card unloading from the van when we got to our hotel. Traffic was stopped and 10 girls (mostly blondes) were wooooping it up, so happy to be in NOLA! We settled into the hotel, and then went out and started exploring. With 10 girls, there were a lot of different suggestions of what we should do and where we should go. The first stop was a bar that was recommended to us because they supposedly had the best bloody marys in town. It was called the Copper Monkey and their bloodys were on point.

That first night we explored Bourbon Street, first stop  was of course Pat O’Brien’s for some hurricanes. I personally hate sweet drinks, so I stuck with drinking my Pinot Grigio, but the other girls raved about the hurricanes.

We happened to be there during the first week of Mardi Gras (apparently it’s a whole month long celebration, but the majority of people go during the last week). There was a parade the second night we were in town to signify the beginning of the Mardi Gras season. Obviously we planned to go, thinking that it would be the wild and crazy, bead-throwing, boozy parades that we had heard about. Turns out it was a religious parade (who knew Mardi Gras was a religious celebration?) there was prayer in French, and most of the people in the parade were dressed as Mary, Joseph, the wise men, or shepherds. They handed out prayer cards, and small angel figurines. My Pinot Grigio induced religious side came out and everytime someone from the parade handed me something I replied with “God Bless”.

The next day we brunched at _____, which is a gorgeous, authentic Louisiana spot, and then walked down to the famous French Quarter to explore. We stopped at the French markets, walked the river, and saw a few street shows. To warm up we stopped at Cafe Du Monde for beignets and coffee, it was super crowded and we had to wait in line, but luckily it moved quickly. In terms of warming up it didn’t quite do the trick since the cafe is basically in a banquet tent, but at least the coffee was delicious and warm.

Our last night we went out for a fancy birthday dinner, we sipped champs & ended the night at the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. It was the perfect way to end our epic year of birthday extravaganzas.

 

XO,

Em

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