I have a love-hate thing with bachelorette parties. Love partying with my best girls, but I’d literally rather get married in this swimsuit than stumble around in a veil and a suck-for-a-buck shirt. No offense. It’s just not my bedazzled chalice of wine.
My group of girl friends had been tossing around the idea of going on a vacation already, so I said I’d love a destination party. Preferably warm, with good food and culture. I mentioned that I’d always wanted to go to Palm Springs. Mid-century architecture, desert glam, and Frank Sinatra used to live there. Bam! Enthusiasm galore.
It was literally one of the most fun trips ever! Aside from the fact that I have incredibly fun friends, here’s why it worked:
1. Give up control. (#218)
When it comes to planning trips, I can get obsessive. I challenged myself to completely hand over the reigns (tough!) to someone I trust, which is just one reason that I picked my college bestie Maggie as my maid of honor. She legitimately cares about how I wanted things to go and orchestrated everything. This was perfect because I was already planning this other party called my wedding. What a relief!
2. Be clear on what’s important! (#219)
I figured there were two ways my bachelorette party could’ve gone: A big night out in Minneapolis with lots of friends and relatives, or a smaller destination trip. I have so many amazing people in my life that I would’ve loved to include in the weekend. However, when I really thought about it, all I wanted was a low-key weekend with people I didn’t need to be “on” for. I don’t really like going out. I like hanging out with a small group of people, drinking wine and talking. That’s when I’m at my best and when I feel my best, so that’s what I opted for. Knowing some people might feel left out gave me some anxiety, but sticking to this allowed me the relaxing escape I needed.
3. Get a spray tan. (#220)
I've always been afraid, yet intrigued, by the elusive spray tan. What if I looked Snookalicious? I decided to give it a whirl for my bach weekend... recommended! Glow Mobile came to my house (!), set up a small tent, and sprayed me down. It only took 20 minutes and I felt one million times better in my swimsuit all weekend. Plus, it made me feel like I didn’t need to get a tan, so I slathered on the sunscreen. No burn, just a healthy glow that faded naturally. And the best part: I came home with zero tan lines.
4. Do what you want to do, not what you think you should do. (#220)
Like I said before, I am a bit of a people pleaser. I'm also a bit of a homebody. This means I sometimes feel pulled between the perceived need for my friends to go out, while I'd rather stay in. On our first night in Palm Springs, we went out for an amazing dinner at Workshop, then decided to go out for a post-dinner cocktail at a nearby bar. Within minutes, our energy was zapped. We didn’t really want to talk to other people, the drinks were better at the amazing house we’d rented (seriously, look at this place. It was even better in person!) and we couldn’t hear each other.
The next day, we went hiking, then hung out by the pool. Dinner was at the house, followed by cocktails and wine on the patio. We never ended up going out, which in my opinion was the highlight of the trip. I think some of us stayed up until 3:30 a.m. PACIFIC TIME (I was very impressed with myself). It was perfect! No need to go out when I already have many of my favorite people all in one place.
5. Bring Muumuus.
Because they are really, really funny. And comfortable. I'm giving myself #221 here because my muumuu came from Goodwill and smelled like armpit and I STILL put it on.
6. Let other people do stuff. (#222)
This is a big one for me. I’m kind of the entertaining queen in my group, always throwing dinner parties, barbecues, etc. Initially, it was a challenge to sit back when I saw a few people working away in the kitchen or heading to the grocery store. This is when I needed to remind myself how much I enjoy doing nice, thoughtful things for the people I love. It’s really important to let others do the same for you. I stopped feeling guilty and just enjoyed a stress-free weekend. It was perfect.
And last but not least, the scariest part of the whole weekend:
Bonus: When in Palm Springs, Ride the Tram.
Palm Springs is the mullet of destinations, summer on the bottom (desert) and winter up top (mountains). When we visited a few weeks ago, it wasn't exactly winter-y in the mountains, but there was about a 35 degree difference between our pool (110 degrees) and the hills (75-ish). Because hiking is a normal bachelorette activity (no it isn't), we wanted to venture to the top of the mountains for the views, change of weather and general adventure. There are two ways to get there-- hike (takes many hours) or aerial tram. Not just any aerial tram, but the world's largest aerial tramway.
I'm not afraid of heights and don't get motion sickness. Some of my friends were in a different boat, but we all agreed the adventure would be worth the dizziness (and potentially barf). And it was worth it... but I'd be lying if I say I wasn't on the verge of a panic attack the entire way up! The ride takes about 10 minutes, and you're swinging/spinning/hopping from one cable to another... and then another... and another. Plus, you're flying at 20 mph or something, which sounds slow, but feels real fast!
The 2.5-mile ride starts at an elevation of 2,643 feet and ends at an elevation of 8,516 feet. My hands sweat the entire way up, but this view made for no regrets:
This was one of the best trips of my life. In part, because I was the guest of honor and had most of my favorite people all in one place. But the biggest thing is that I didn't let myself stand in the way of having a good time.
Where's your favorite unexpected girls or guys weekend destination? And speaking of heights, remember the time I jumped out of a plane?