Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tuesday Talk: Girls' Getaway to Fort Lauderdale Edition

It's time for Tuesday Talk with Erika and Ashley.  Linking up HERE
 During the third Tuesday of the month, we are invited to talk about anything we want to. So..I decided today would be the day to talk about my girls' trip....

I finally did it.  I went on a girls' trip despite family stress, work stress, weather stress and life.

You know I constantly carry the Italian Catholic guilt but I forced myself to step out of my comfort zone...and I may have had much pushing from my hubby and father-in-law...I did it and I am so glad I did.

I have needed a break from it all for a very long time and I think my mind and my body got just that in addition to priceless quality time with friends who are like family.

I have so much to share and highly recommend the destination for a girls' trip or a couples' trip or even a family trip. 

 With that being said, I was only going for a long weekend but Mother Nature had other plans.  Before the storm even hit, my Jet Blue flight was cancelled on Thursday.  As a result, we had to scramble and my friends worked every angle they could to get me out of town.  They all left on Tuesday but due to work and other obligations, the earliest I could get out of Dodge was Wednesday and that is what I did.

At the airport by 6am and my flight left at 7:45am
I read more of my current book- Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty.  So far so good.

and I know I said I was going to wear the blush and gray outfit I put together but in the end, I was feeling that I really needed some Lilly if I was going to Florida, so I pulled out my trusty Lilly turquoise cardigan and paired it with a white tank and white jean capris and used a Lilly tote for my carry on- it worked and made me feel beachy.

 When I got to Florida, it was raining but I kept thinking, as I was riding over to the hotel, that it was better than the snow at home.

When I arrived at our hotel, (The W Hotel Fort Lauderdale- check them out HERE)* I got the greatest welcome I have ever received and I will remember it for the rest of my life.  I walked out to the hotel pool and my besties were sitting under a canopy at the hotel bar and when they saw me, they started screaming and my BFF Cass came running to hug me.  I was feeling the love.  (oh and maybe I felt a little famous- ha ha!)
*We would highly recommend this hotel.  Not only is it perfectly located- everything is beautiful- the food is fantastic BUT the service is absolutely exceptional!  You will not be disappointed

We relaxed at the bar and in the pool for the rest of the afternoon and I presented my girls with the insulated wine cups and they LOVED them.

 After that, we were pretty wiped but we headed back to the room to get changed for dinner.
We took a recommendation from a friend in town and headed to Lobster Bar Sea Grille.  Check them out HERE

I didn't think we got a picture this night and I was disappointed but since Laurel taught us how to air drop photos and we created a shared album I did find one there and I was so excited!  Here we are before heading into our amazing dinner!

  We all enjoyed the most delicious seafood dinner.  Laurel and I shared the Dover Sole and they actually came to the table and did a beautiful "de-boning" presentation!


After dinner, it was straight to bed.  After only sleeping 3 hours the night before, I was ready to crash!

We started our day so beautifully with Yoga on the Beach.  Our experiences, however, always include much humor.  Our yoga instructor and the hotel assistant were getting harassed by an interesting gentleman on the beach...he then started practicing yoga moves behind us...and then finally got bored...hysterical...it was a great way to start the day...stretch...sweat...and with the most beautiful backdrop and calming effect from the crashing ocean waves...pure bliss.  I snapped a couple of photos including my bestie BA because she is our "Yoga Ninja"

After class, we grabbed coffee and sat on the hotel deck for a bit and then we headed to the pool to lay out and relax

We enjoyed lunch and cocktails while up there too.  One of my favorite meals all week is the Summer Salad at the W Hotel- it is essentially a caprese salad with chicken...the mozzarella was so creamy and it is just seasoned so well....going to make it at home this week!

Happy Hours are a specialty of Fort Lauderdale.  They are typically 4-7pm and include half off drinks and appetizers.  This night, we headed to a Happy Hour that Beth Ann found at the Wild Sea Oyster Bar and Grille on Las Olas Blvd.  Check them out HERE 

We enjoyed $1 oysters and half off some incredibly delicious apps like the Wild Sea Nachos and Cauliflower Mac and Cheese...oh yeah and we may have also split the Red Velvet Beignets for dessert!

After that we headed back to the hotel because this was our chance to be famous.  We were actually invited by the hotel staff to a party they were having that night.  The party attracted local realtors as the W was showcasing their new properties that are actually part of the hotel.  People can buy oceanfront two bedroom units for as little as a million!  Ha ha!!  Well we thoroughly enjoyed and all agreed that we felt like we were on the set of Sex and the City.  There were dressed up characters all over (including a mermaid in the pool!)....hand passed appetizers and cocktails galore including Veuve Clicquot champagne so our little friend Laurel was none too pleased!   

We started each morning with a coffee from Starbucks next door.  On this morning, we decided to have breakfast at our hotel too.  We had big plans for later this day.

Breakfast was incredible at Steak 954 right at the W.  Our favorite part, though, was the jelly fish tank...so calming to watch them swimming around.

We decided to hit the beach instead of the pool this day.  It started out kind of chilly but quickly warmed up.  We enjoyed my playlist that I made just for the trip while relaxing for a bit.  Alison and Cass went shopping but Laurel, BA and I enjoyed the relaxation.

We headed back to the room pretty early this day to get ready for our big adventure.  I really wanted to hit The Breakers in West Palm Beach and my friends were all about making this dream happen!  It is the Lilly Pulitzer capital of the world and she started her first business here.  You can always bank on seeing all of the pretty Lilly outfits AND my parents had told me about the incredible bar- The Seafood Bar there.  The bar itself is a fish tank and as you are enjoying your cocktails, you have fish swimming right past you!  

I want to add that we had some great Uber drivers when we were down there.  The ride to West Palm to The Breakers, however, was legendary.  We tried to all squeeze in a regular size Uber and we did with Laurel laying across three of us in the back seat.  At one point,  a cop pulled up beside us and was honking his horn and we pretty much had a heart attack!  Thank God he kept going and was honking at someone else.  Our driver too was more than interesting.  We all lost it when Laurel exclaimed that it would not be the classiest exit at The Breakers. 

Exhibit A ;)

Also, what should have taken us 20-30 minutes, took us 1.5 hours to get there due to Friday afternoon traffic.

Once there, however, we were in paradise.  We had the hostess take our pic in front of their beautiful live flowers, in our matching Lilly and she did complement us on just that!  It was so beautiful and everything I had imagined.  Check out The Breakers HERE

and then we made our way down the hall to The Seafood Bar and it was just incredible!  The fish tank bar..the views...the service...just wonderful!  Definitely in my happy place!

Check it out HERE 

and LOVED the oyster dishes!!

My cocktail- the "Smoked Coconut Margarita"- so savory, different and delicious

and our favorite app- The Truffle Gorgonzola Fries- we are all pretty much obsessed with truffle anything!

and we had to try the key lime pie for dessert-  they have been using the same recipe at The Breakers for over 100 years!  We tried to get it but no such luck!

and after our cocktails and bites, we headed outside to look around- it was breathtaking!

and after that we Ubered it over to City Place in West Palm- it was a great area with tons of shops and restaurants.  We got a few more bites at The City Wine Bar- an awesome cheese board and Caesar salad along with some great wine.

We found a great little shop where we snagged some tee shirts and gifts for the kiddos and then had a night cap at a great place called Brio.

After morning coffee, we bee-lined it for the pool.  It was supposed to start raining early afternoon so we wanted to get as much sun time in as possible.  We enjoyed lounging, lunch and more catching up.

We decided to hit the Happy Hour at The Blue Martini and headed over to that area pretty early in the afternoon.  We made a pit stop at Dillard's to get some shopping in before we indulged though.  We all spent most of our time in the shoe department and then the jewelry.  I am so excited- I got matching sandals and a watch- both leopard!  

The Happy Hour at The Blue Martini was incredible.  Check them out HERE .  We agreed it was some of the best food of the week.  We enjoyed sliders, lobster tacos, a flatbread and Thai chicken along with delicious cocktails and wine.  We took a chance to snap a pic with our cocktails and matching starfish rings (we snagged those at the cute shop at City Place the night before too).

We loved sitting outside even when it started raining.  We were nice and sheltered under our table umbrella.

After that, we headed back to our hotel as they were having an 80's night in the lobby.  We danced and danced and Beth Ann cracked us up with all of her requests to the DJ.  We think at first he was confused as to what 80's music was but she set him straight! 

and gotta love a man purse (insert wide-eyed emoji here) ha ha!!

and an epic shot of Cass- this one makes me laugh out loud...

Beth Ann's favorite hallway in the hotel.....

 My final day...and Laurel's final day...the rest were staying for an extra day (and they ended up getting stuck for a few more days because of the huge snowstorm)

We headed straight to the pool after coffee and again it was supposed to start raining early but we really lucked out.  It was another beautiful day!  We got in some more sun FTW!

 After pool time we headed up to get ready and pack up.

We then Uber'd it down to the Aruba Beach Cafe which was a recommendation by one of our awesome Uber drivers.  It is in the next little town down, Lauderdale by the Sea and it is right on the ocean.  It was the perfect little Sunday afternoon fun.  We got to eat outside and listen to live music and I had the best lobster club sandwich.  

The cutest little dog was sitting beside us too- isn't she precious!?

After lunch we walked around and hit up another cute souvenir shop and then finished our trip by a little walk on the beach.  It was the perfect ending to a perfect little vacation.

We headed back to the hotel and then Laurel and I took off for the airport.  I was grateful and so grateful that our flight was on time so I could get home to my little fam.
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