The first day of our trip started out bright and early, as Kelly was waiting outside my house at 6:45. Our 2.5 hour drive to Grand Rapids was uneventful, save for Becca’s Nervous Nelly moments when she thought we were going to be late for our flight. For some reason, when we arrived to the airport, the monitor said our flight was leaving early, and we panicked for a moment until we confirmed it was flying on time.
This was the first time I have used an app to check in to a flight, and I absolutely loved it! So easy and quick. I will definitely be doing smartphone check-ins for my future flights.
We had just enough time to sip a couple bloodies to kick off the weekend.
Luckily, Kelly & Becca had seats together and Tab & I did as well. We chatted for a bit, and Tab tried to nap (I don’t blame the mom who rarely gets regular sleep) and I got a little reading done.
When the flight was over, we had to navigate through the Ft. Lauderdale airport to find the other 3 who were waiting for us in another terminal. After our excited reunion at the Chili’s in Terminal 3, we were starving but didn’t want to spend the whole day in the airport. We grabbed some chips and salsa and margaritas, and then it was time to be on our way.
The condo setup was interesting: it seemed like timeshare condos but also like a hotel at the same time. We had 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a pull-out and a Murphy bed– plenty of space and a great view.
Our first point of action was to stock the fridge with the essentials. We made the trek to Publix where we proceeded to fill up an entire shopping cart– we realized it is difficult with 7 different opinions and taste buds, but we made it work.
In memory of Grace, her mom Rose sent us money for a nice fifth of tequila (Grace’s personal favorite) and also sent us each sweet little bottles of perfume. As Tab said, Rose kept us drunk and smelling nice all weekend. 🙂 So along with the fridge, our alcohol shelf was nicely stocked as well.
We spent the early evening leisurely getting ready: trying on outfits, sipping cocktails, and catching up. This time of the evening is always my favorite when I am with the girls– I just love chatting, swapping clothes and asking opinions, and anticipating fun nights ahead.
When we were finally ready, we decided to just walk a bit and see what looked interesting for dinner. It was VERY windy out, but we found a neat tapas restaurant called Sun Surf Sand which had a fireplace outside where we waited for our table for about an hour and took pictures in the wind.
We then decided to try many different small plates. We ordered them in ones and twos, so we could enjoy each dish as it came out. Everything was seriously phenomenal. Sorry I didn’t take photos of the dishes, but here is what we tried:Mac & Cheese ~ Smoked Gouda ~ Crispy Prosciutto, Stirfried Brussels Sprouts ~ Pork ~ Mint ~ Puffed Rice ~ Peanuts, Lettuce Wraps ~ Confit Duck ~ Mango ~ Spicy Slaw ~ Peanuts, Lump Crab Cakes ~ Blue Crab ~ Avocado Cream ~ Corn Jus ~ Charred Pepper Salsa, plus a sushi roll and a pork dish (one of my personal favorites) that I can’t find on the menu.
I had Yelped a dueling pianos bar that had good ratings, but when we got there the place was pretty much dead. I guess Thursdays in November are not the most conducive to the party crowd. 🙂 Some of the girls were quite tired at that point, so we headed back to the condo to play a few rounds of the entertainingly horrifying Cards of Humanity, which resulted in a particularly lengthy race/class/socioeconomic issues discussion, which is a usual discussion when we all get together, but tends to take us out of the party mood and into the “it’s time for us to call it a night” sentiment.