Allll night long

So, post-nap on the Boston roof, Ting and I set about some record-time primping …

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… and then traipsed over to the hotel where the rest of the girls were staying and where the festivities were already under way!

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I thought I was still stuffed from brunch until I smelled this!

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I have never been a fan of Pizza Hut pizza, as experiences with it in the past have left me gagging. However, the Hut seems to have undergone some serious renovations — this was some of the best pizza ever! The crust was garlicky, the cheese was crispy, the sauce was tangy. Has anyone else noticed this?

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To accompany this pizza, we sipped champagne like the classy ladies we are:

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(Bride)

Ting, as the sole remaining Boston resident, had put together a schedule of activities for the evening. We reviewed our agenda with the other girls:

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Scavenger hunt for the bachelorette:

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Once the schedule met with approval, we slid into our matching rhinestone bridesmaid tanks (yes, we were those girls)

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… and moved outside for transportation assistance:

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The first man we met was the taxi dispatcher in front of the hotel, and Penno immediately consulted her scavenger hunt agenda to see how he could help (aside from hooking us up with a taxi van):

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He was too shy to bite a candy from her necklace …

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… but our cab driver, Muhammad, was not!

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He was a wonderful sport, and we could not thank him enough for getting the ball rolling!

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Our first stop was Jaque’s Cabaret, apparently the #1 destination for Bachelorette Parties in Boston:

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We took our seats at the bar and waited for the magic to begin:

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One of the first items on the list required the bachelorette to obtain the label from a man’s underwear. Lo and behold, a real, live gentleman walked through the drag queen bar and offered up his label! Scissors were procured from the bartender …

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… and label retrieval ensued!

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This is the, Yay for growing up in North Attleboro! picture:

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The ladies performing on stage for the evening were incredible and had us all on our feet:

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Penno worked her dollar bills for some lap dance magic:

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Once the show ended, we made our way into the street and stopped in a hotel piano bar for a moment to collect our thoughts. This dude made us all cherry pineapple shots and then charged us like a million dollars for them after the fact:

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We left that bar and had the dispatcher of that hotel call us another taxi van … which happened to be driven by our favorite driver Muhammad. The girls vogued while we screeched through the city toward our next destination …

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The Greatest Bar!

Helloooooooo, Boston! Who knew you were so full of men???!!!

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The spot was rife with facilitators for Penno’s scavenger hunt!

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More men, men, and men!

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The biggest scavenger hunt accomplishment of the night, in my opinion, was convincing this incredibly sober guy that it was a brilliant idea for him to remove his boxers and gift them to the bride-to-be!

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And how could we forget the famous piggy-back ride?

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All in all, it was a mindblowingly successful night that left Ting and me in a late night pizzeria with styrofoam cups of water …

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… and delicious pizza that may have been destined to not stay in our stomachs entirely forever:

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The next morning, recovery was in order, so Ting and I went out for brunch to an adorable book store on Newbury Street. Coffee and water:

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Juevos rancheros my way: hard-poached eggs, mashed avocado, refried beans, and salsa over tortillas with maduros (fried sweet plantains) on the side:

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Perhaps the most delicious meal of my life!

After brunch, we went to a cafe with wi-fi so we could make progress on our various homeworks. The display case had a lemon ginger scone — with real chunks of lemon and ginger — so I got one to split with Ting:

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Post-scone, I engaged in some T-action and got myself to the bus station to catch my Bolt back to NYC and some semblance of a healthy lifestyle.

Penno, I’m so happy to be one of your bridesmaids, and I can’t wait until the big day!

All for the vows

Well, the whirlwind never ends around here! The past couple weeks month has been crazy. At the end of April, I headed up to Massachusetts for Kerri Penno’s bridal shower and bachelorette party. ‘Tis the season!

The bridesmaids (including me!) put on the bridal shower at Luciano’s, a swanky Italian restaurant and event spot near where I grew up. As we mingled, the beautiful smell of baking bread began to waft through the room until these stunners arrived …

Tomato-garlic-herb focaccia:

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Warm gooey cinnamon buns:

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Is it breakfast or lunch? You decide!

We started with salads …

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And then chat-chat-chatted until the buffet began to grow and grow and grow:

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And grow!

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The bride began the food line:

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And her loyal servants followed closely behind 😀

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Brunch was a delicious medly of fruit, eggs, sausage, pasta, saucy seafood (including crab and lobster!), and chicken:

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After eating, Ting and I got a little wild with the cinnamoon buns (and whatever mamosa-ish drink it was that kept coming around) and started dunking the sugary bits in our coffee:

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Heaven.

After brunch, we looked at the shower cake:

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And at the impressive rolled chocolate floral arrangement on top of it:

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We looked, but we did not touch … because it was time for presents! And presents and presents and presents:

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And then, finally, the cake was mine for the taking, mmmmmmmmmm 😀

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After the shower, Ting and I drove back to Boston to have our own little pre-bachelorette party at her apartment while we “got ready” for the main event that night. We toasted nearly empty red wine glasses and had to fill them up again immediately:

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(Pretty apartment.)

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And then, full wine glasses in hand, we made our way up, up, up …

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… until we were floating in the sky!

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(or maybe just on the roof)

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Wine in reach, obv:

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Having grown up so close to Boston, I tend to take it for granted, but it really is such a pretty city!

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Cheers!

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And naptime …

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Thank goodness for those peaceful five minutes. We had quite the wild night lurking just moments away!

Bachelorette party to come …

Are your springs/summers full of nonstop wedding festivities?

Another loss, another cake

My office recently celebrated the retirement of Lorraine after 18 years working in the early childhood department of the agency. It was a bittersweet affair because we will miss her tremendously (and already do!). For the occasion, the “decorating committee” transformed the baby gym into a swanky lounge!

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I was in charge of the chocolate fountain, of course! Please admire my handiwork 😛

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The spread of hors d’oeuvres was staggering.

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The table kept growing …

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… and growing …

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… and growing!

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Ta-da!

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Finally, the guest of honor made her appearance amidst much hugging …

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… and greeting …

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… and schmoozing …

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… and laughter …

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… and general fanfare!

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Here’s my plate with veggies, pico de gallo, guacamole, fresh herbed mozzarella on parmesan toast, sushi rolls, and bean dip:

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Just imagine the guacamole times about 30, and that’s probably how much I ate!

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The crowd went crazy!

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My favorite kind of assembly line:

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Belkis demonstrated proper chocolate fountain procedure:

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Sam just posed:

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I ate:

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Deborah and I found Lucia’s sangria!

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The crowd gathered for Lorraine’s speech …

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… while I embarked on super critical cake-cutting duty!

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Lorraine, we will miss you … and thanks for giving us yet another marvelous opportunity to celebrate in style!