This past weekend was all about celebrating my best friend Sam. After planning and prepping for two major events – bachelorette party and bridal shower – that we wanted to get just right, it was thrilling to put all the pieces together. Everything turned out as fun as we had hoped it would be!
The festivities officially began on Friday with a road trip to the New Jersey shore – Wildwood, to be exact. We arrived at the Casa del Sol Motel around 3:30 for check-in. It received pretty good reviews online, but the real draw was the fact that it was literally steps away from the Wildwood boardwalk, where all the action and nightlife can be found.
Our first order of business was to decorate the room while Sam explored said boardwalk.
A lot of fun stuff came from Party City, but I was most excited about the goodie bags for the girls.
I decided to go with a nautical theme that included plenty of reds and creams, two of Sam’s wedding colors. A lot of the items were from Etsy, including these seahorse acrylic tumblers with our names on them, these seahorse muslin cotton bags and these gorgeous bridal party pins.
Inside the bags were a mixture of Sam’s favorite candy (Starburst, Smarties, M&Ms and Hershey’s Kisses), a notepad from someecards, Eos Summer Fruit lip balms and these shell frames, which were perfectly square for an Instagram group photo. Of course, Sam also had a few extras – every bachelorette needs a tiara, sash, whistle and glow ring for her night out on the town.
We also spruced up her bed…
…and set up a game of Kiss the Stud.
Once all the decorations were ready, we poured glasses of Barefoot Red Moscato Champagne and called the bachelorette back into the room for a toast to kick off the festivities.
Then we got her all dressed up. Doesn’t Sam look gorgeous?
First stop of the night: the pier! Fellow bridesmaid Reci found this awesome sunset dinner and dolphin watching cruise from Starlight Fleet.
At first, the cruise was a bit windy and full of way-too-brazen seagulls. These guys would fly inches from our head in their quest for food. Fortunately, Sam’s whistle scared them off.
But once we were further away from the coast, the cruise was absolutely amazing. We saw at least a dozen dolphins swimming around in the water and some of them came very close to the boat! We also saw the iconic Cape May lighthouse…
…and an absolutely breathtaking sunset (first photo courtesy of Lauren).
The group! (Clockwise: Reci, Kianna, Kylah, Katie, Lauren, me and the bride-to-be.)
Sam also had a chance to be captain of the boat. She never steered us wrong.
But of course, this is a bachelorette party. Dancing was required! We spent the majority of the boat ride back to the dock dancing to the electric slide, cupid shuffle, YMCA and the cha-cha slide, among other classic wedding songs. You’d think they created a playlist just for us or something…
Several of the other groups on the boat commented that they were thoroughly entertained by us, so mission accomplished. Once we were back on land, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up and get our hands on dessert: a corset cake from Palermo’s Bakery!
The inspiration for this cake came from here. I was really happy with how it turned out, minus the fact that it said “Congralutations, Sam.” But spelling errors aside, this red velvet lace-up masterpiece was delicious. The appliques on the side of the cake were gorgeous, too.
After satisfying our sweet tooth, we made our way to the Wildwood boardwalk and Morey’s Pier.
Every Friday night at Morey’s there is a fireworks show beginning at 10:00 pm and an unlimited rides special until midnight. We started out by watching the fireworks from the boardwalk. They were great! I took a short video since pictures don’t do it justice:
Then we headed over to the Mariner’s Landing Pier to take on some wild rides.
The Wave Swinger was our first ride, the thinking being that swings are pretty tame. Wrong! As someone who is a little squeamish about heights, I was positively terrified! Fortunately, I have a strange ability to forget how scared I was the minute I get off…
…because next we set our sights even higher up: the Giant Wheel!
But before we got there, the Whac-A-Mole booth was too tempting to resist.
Especially when guaranteed to win a pink dolphin – named Frenchie – for the bride-to-be.
Dolphin now in tow, we began to climb…
…ultimately stopping at the very top while they let people off. Reci and Katie were with me and all three of us happen to have a fear of heights, so we bonded in our inability to look down. Who knew that two of the tamest rides on the pier would conquer us right away? All joking aside, it was still a lot of fun and cool to see all of Wildwood lit up.
Back on ground level, we snapped some shots of the sisters…
…and the friends.
A few of us then went on the Sea Serpent roller coaster, which was AWESOME. Finally, we walked over to Adventure Pier to try out The Great White before the clock struck midnight. An old school wooden roller coaster that we once again thought would be tame, it turned out to be the most exhilarating of all. I think Lauren still may have nail marks from where I squeezed her arm the entire time. Never once was there not a drop, turn or climb that did not feel scary.
And we loved it.
On our way back to the hotel, we made a stop at Macks, the best pizza on the Jersey shore.
It lived up to the hype – the veggie pizza slice I had was amazing!
The rest of the night…well, I’ve got to plead the Fifth on that one. 😉 Some bachelorette stories are best left untold, after all. We slept in a bit the next morning, checked out of the hotel and headed to Samuel’s Pancake House for brunch.
This place was voted best of the best for 2012, and it delivered. I started with a vanilla cappuccino.
For my meal, I tried out the bacon, avocado and cheese Egg Jeffersons, which are two eggs over light on a toasted English muffin and topped with hollandaise sauce. I was a big fan!
And Lauren’s dish must also be shared – her s’mores pancakes were unbelievable.
When we finished, we took a photo outside the restaurant. I’ve always wanted to be toast.
Then we headed over to Duffer’s for some ice cream. Unfortunately we ran out of time to try out the mini golf course and arcade that they had to offer, but we’ll have to save that for our next trip.
There were so many flavor options and heaping portions, even for a small cup. No complaints here.
I went with the strawberry ice cream topped with “jimmies,” a childhood favorite.
Before we headed back, we had to stop for one last photo in front of the iconic Wildwoods sign.
It was an absolutely fantastic trip. I was so happy to see Sam so happy and can’t thank Reci, Lauren, Katie, Kylah and Kianna enough for their help in making it a reality!
But of course, the weekend was far from over. We still had a shower to prepare for. More to come.