okay, i don’t typically prefer to swear on my public, social media, but this post is the exception because we were celebrating kari’s bachelorette-ness this past weekend. she’s marrying my older brother kyle in a short 53 days, and labor day weekend was the perfect time for the bachelorette party. plenty of time to relax and recover after the fact. i wish i could share all the shocking and juicy details, but some things are sworn to sisterhood. thankfully most of the weekend was g-rated, so i’ll let you in on the fun.
liz, kari, and i piled into the zoom-zoom to carpool over to the westin here in buckhead. having everyone stay at my condo was out of the question, so a couple rooms at a fancy hotel would do just fine for us.
i swung the car into valet, and the bellhop kindly assisted us with all of our bags. it may have only been a getaway weekend, but that doesn’t mean we cannot overpack! the westin is upscale and contemporary and turned out to be the perfect place for our event. i mean, with views such as these, how can you not have a great time?
we had just enough time to polish off a bottle of champagne (the first of many for the weekend) before we had to spruce up for dinner. we had reservations at bistro niko just a couple of blocks down the road, and i know we were all getting hungry to eat. we started off with a round of drinks at the bar before being seated. although we only had eight girls, it actually was quite perfect because we were all together at one big round table. i really could not have planned it much better (pats self on back…).
our waiter nick was friendly and attentive throughout the entire night. perhaps we can attribute it to his good looks and manners? yes, let’s attribute it all to those things. bread was brought out hot and fresh all around, and we also ordered a couple baskets of the gougeres, light gruyere cheese puffs that had every one of us wanting more. sara declared she could have had a couple orders of them for dinner and be set. i do not argue with that statement at all.
after placing our dinner orders, we enjoyed the french atmosphere and energy with one another. even though it’s bustling inside bistro niko, it still felt like an intimate affair for our group. sometimes you just need a nice night out at some place where you can wear those heels and that sparkly dress you’ve been dying to rock. i’d say bistro niko fit the ticket for us.
after a couple more rounds of drinks, the meals arrived, and these lady-like women had no shame in chowing down on their food. i think kerstin finished her escalope of salmon in record time, but sarah was not far behind with her seafood tagliatelle pasta. jamie also had the pasta like sarah and let me have a bite of the noodles at the end. they were incredibly divine, so homemade and fresh and buttery. i was a little jealous i hadn’t ordered it myself.
alison went with the scallops st. jaques, which looked to be a good choice with the generous serving of scallops atop the potato puree. she loved every bite, she said. kari and sara both had the boeuf bourguignon, which was a heavy and rich dish with those kobe beef cheeks and that burgundy wine sauce. i don’t fault them for not being able to finish because that was a large bowl of food.
finally, liz and i were also in a meat mood, so we ordered the steak frites. the hanger steak was delicious in its green peppercorn sauce, but it was even better when paired with the bernaise on top. i really did like the flavor of the steak, but i couldn’t eat those last few medallions. they started getting quite tough, and even the smallest bite required a good bit of chewing. next time i’ll certainly be having the pasta or the veal again, which was simply out of this world last time i was here.
the dinner plates were cleared and space was made for the grand dessert finale. not only was it kari’s bachelorette weekend, it was her birthday weekend also! the kitchen so kindly put together a few plates of dessert puffs with “bon anniversaire” scripted across the top in chocolate sauce. all the ladies loved them, myself included. considering the delectable food, tasty drinks, and wonderful service, i’d say it was a fantastic evening out in the city.
Saturday was jam-packed, non-stop fun, so we’ll start at the beginning. after some of the ladies finished up breakfast at highland bakery, we all drove the short couple of miles to sugarcoat beauty salon off of pharr road. the salon is bright and welcoming inside, so welcoming that they let us bring our own champagne for the event. ah, such good people.
they accommodated our group of fourteen effortlessly over the next few hours. some ladies went with the ultimate escape to fiji pedicure (i can testify that it truly did feel like an escape), others had gel manicures, and many ladies did a mani/pedi combo to feel fresh and beautiful. it’s a good thing that we pretty much had the salon to ourselves the whole time, because we were a bit of a raucous bunch. i mean, would you expect anything less when you get nearly fifteen women together with four bottles of bubbly? i didn’t think so.
we gossiped and laughed and enjoyed being pampered. a girl needs that every now and then, and i think this photo on our way out says it all.
there was no time to lose after the salon, for the lingerie shower was up next! good thing henri’s bakery was barely a mile away. i had scoped out henri’s a month or so ago for our event, and it could not have been more perfect. they had everything set up when we arrived, so we just whisked in, filled our plates, and enjoyed the perfect afternoon snack. the tea sandwiches hit the spot, and i think i liked the turkey sandwich and cucumber/cream cheese sandwich the most. the chicken salad sandwich and pimento cheese sandwich were also a hit. the petit fours were a stellar idea, and they were just as delicious. everyone loved the chocolate cake, which was perfectly sweetened, and i personally loved the lemon cake with vanilla icing. don’t be surprised if i order a cake from here for our next event.
also, henri’s was so creative and baked and decorated panty and bra cookies for us. i just about died when i saw them, they were so cute! the classic sugar cookie was delicious, and the different designs on each of them was charming and tasteful. ha, tasteful. see what i did there?
after fueling up, it was time to unveil the gifts. just what did kari get? well, i don’t want to spoil things for the groom, but let’s just say that opening lingerie in public is something worth remembering. i highly recommend it, for the reactions you get from other customers will be priceless.
we loaded the car down with all the unmentionables and had just enough time to go back to the hotel before dinner. we weren’t going too fancy for the night, but when we had an excuse to dress up, even a little bit, you can bet we didn’t refuse. our ubers arrived in a timely fashion and zipped us on down to fado’s just in time for the beginning of the georgia football game. all of us at dinner that night went to uga for school (or were associated in some way), so you can bet we were not missing the opening game of the season for the world. we drank and ate our way through that game, holding onto the edge of our seats until the dawgs settled in comfortably at the fourth quarter and took the game away for a win. after last year’s heartbreaking loss in clemson’s house, it was our turn to return the favor, and we did so with much convincing. let’s see how that momentum holds up in a couple of weeks when we go on the road to face the gamecocks!
fado’s is a great go-to spot here in the upper part of the city. the parking is convenient, the service is kind, and the food never fails to satisfy. i went with the fish’n’chips this time around and only wish i had ordered the whole portion because it was so delicious! we paid our checks, finished off our beers, and made space for the next group. fado’s was packed that night, to no one’s surprise, and it was time to keep the party going elsewhere.
“where to next?” i asked kari as we leapt out into the warm summer night.
“how about the east andrews area? surely we can find somewhere over there to drink and dance?”
“done and done!” we were off on north fulton and headed over to park bench, a great local spot that isn’t too fancy but always has great service and cheap drinks. even luckier for us that night, the dueling pianos were there! they were in the last hour of the show, so we swigged down a shot of fireball and took it to the dance floor. you can tell it had been a long night for the pianists, for their rhythm was a bit off on some of the songs. but hey, live entertainment is what it is, and i won’t knock them for being up there. the crowd went wild when “sweet caroline” came on, and you can bet we were singing/screaming the lyrics along with everyone else. i will gladly say i lost my voice that night and could barely speak the next morning. always a good sign of a great time.
the pianos finished, and right after their last notes on the keys, the band at the back of the bar started into “semi-charmed life” by third eye blind, and we raced over to sing along. the vocalist had a nice country twang that came out every now and then, just as a southern band should have. we rocked along with them for an hour or so, making fools of ourselves because, hey, we were having kari’s bachelorette party, and we just didn’t care! and when i say making fools of ourselves, i mean it. kari even captured me attempting to dance with a stranger. thank you, dear, for letting me relive this moment.
kari wasn’t quite ready to call it a night, so per kiley’s slightly tipsy suggestion, we traipsed around and then on over to buckhead saloon. i had been here once before a few years ago, and back then it was messy and grimy, things that were a little bit of a turn off then. but, if you want to do some good ‘ole bumping and grinding with the extremely intoxicated of buckhead, the saloon is the place to be. so, without much question, we found ourselves there, too.
naturally, a group of girls on a bachelorette party get their fair share of attention in public. however, at the saloon, we were not the stars of the show. who was, you ask? the stars were the superheroes who had come up from dragon con to find trouble for themselves. their costumes were great, but batman stole the evening. he seemed to be playing the part quite well, and one young lady just could not keep her hands off him. she dragged him to the dance floor, leaning/falling into him as the music played. this is the part when us southerners say, “bless her heart.” that girl was on another level of drunk, and she wasn’t trying to hide it. she and batman were getting a bit handsy, and just watching them may have been the most fun we had while out that night. a couple of times they escaped the dance floor to who knows where, only to return for more public humiliation. wait, is humiliation too strong a word? maybe i should say shame instead? nah, i don’t want to be cruel. we’ve all been there before, and so long as she and batman were responsible that night, who am i to judge?
eventually our dancing feet tired out, so a ford expedition served as our chariot ride home. our ears were ringing and our bodies were tired, which meant sleep, lots of sleep. we woke the next morning, retelling stories from the night before and rolling on the bed in stitches. we were a pretty bunch as liz pulled back the curtains to expose our baggy eyes and beautiful hair. aren’t we a sight?
we made ourselves somewhat presentable and decided that food was in order. we picked up the cars from valet, threw everything into the backseats, and drove on over to the corner bakery café. we didn’t need anything fancy that morning, and this place was just right. we sat outside to watch the world go by and put ourselves in tears reliving everything from the weekend. i sometimes forget how important girl time is, and this weekend reminded me that this group of women is smart and funny and incredible. i count myself lucky to call them my friends. stay tuned to see what kind of party we start at the wedding!