Over the past weeks (ok months), this blog has unfortunately been put on the back burner for me as I got into the final weeks of wedding preparation and was traveling for a full month.
Now that I’m back home in Israel and the wedding is over, I’m happy to finally get the blog going again.
For a time I felt like I just didn’t have much to talk about: every day was work, wedding planning, sleep, repeat, and I pretty much didn’t have a minute to spare. But, I’ve gotten some very sweet and encouraging emails and messages about this blog in the past weeks (which is amazing because I didn’t really think many people were reading!), and it made me really want to get back to writing it again.
Another encouragement is our awesome new camera we got as a wedding gift. I’m still learning how to use it, but even in my unexperienced hands it will be an upgrade for the blog’s future pictures.
I have a lot of things to talk about now – from planning a wedding long distance, to long distance relationships in general, to introducing families from opposite sides of the world for the first time (days before the big day in our case), to some amazing travel destinations.
Today I’ll start at the beginning of our trip to the States – my bachelorette party, which was an amazing girls weekend in NYC. My flight to Missouri from Tel Aviv always stops in NYC, so my friends and I thought it would be the perfect place for the bachelorette.
We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria, which is a fun experience in and of itself. The hotel is huge and beautiful, and while it may not be the newest in Manhattan, it has its own classic charm and so much history. The hotel was originally built in the current location of the Empire State Building, but it was torn down to make room for that construction. Now it has a prime location on Park Avenue, where it has sat since 1931. Tons of celebrities and politicians have graced its halls, with VIPs like President Hoover and Frank Sinatra owning residences there. From the gorgeous clock tower in the lobby to the opulent chandeliers everywhere you look, the hotel is a real stunner.
My friends and I spent two days and nights together in New York, shopping a ton and visiting some awesome restaurants and bars, including my personal favorite – Tavern on the Green. Tavern on the Green has been a New York mainstay for almost a century, though it closed and reopened not long ago. We grabbed brunch there on our first morning, and, while it’s a little pricey, it’s totally worth it. It looks a bit different now than I remember it as a child, since the interiors were auctioned off after it closed in 2009 and it was completely redecorated, but it’s still beautiful, albeit slightly less formal.
The food was fantastic, and we had such amazing weather that it was perfect to eat outside in the garden surrounded by Central Park. They also had possibly the best Bloody Mary I’ve ever had in my life, and I consider myself a Bloody Mary expert. Everyone enjoyed it, and we even got to see part of a beautiful brunch wedding reception.
Of course we had to shop on Park Ave. after breakfast (I’ve been super deprived of good shopping here in Israel). Sephora was a sight for sore eyes, and I think I spent a full hour in there trying and buying basically everything.
Later that night, we visited TAO Uptown restaurant for dinner before heading out and about in Manhattan. I’d been to TAO in Vegas, but never in New York, and it was a completely different experience. The decor and atmosphere are really cool – especially the two story Buddha statue and reflecting pools in the main dining area. The food was good, though the portions were big, so I highly recommend sharing to get a taste of everything.
The next morning we only had time for a quick breakfast before some of the girls had to head to the airport (P.S. late night Waldorf room service is amazing), but one of my friends and I had time to make a trip to Ladurée on Madison Avenue for some macarons. The bakery is gorgeous, and I seriously wanted to buy everything and have them decorate my house. Luckily I don’t live anywhere near there, because that place would drain my wallet super fast.
By that evening, our fun weekend was over and everyone was headed home (though I stayed for more New York fun when Ofir and his family arrived). I couldn’t have asked for a better bachelorette weekend or better friends to share it with. They planned everything so perfectly, and I got to live out all my SATC/Gossip Girl dreams.
The secret to great bachelorette parties, in my experience, is good planning on the front end, and then going with the flow once you get there. Even if all the girls don’t know each other, you’re all friends with the bride, so you have something in common. I was so lucky that all my friends became friends, and it’s so funny to see my friend groups intersecting on Facebook now. All in all, the weekend was a total win, and I feel so fortunate to have gotten to have the bachelorette party experience.