Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Bachelor(ette) Party on the Connecticut Shore

We had one of the best weekends ever on August 5-6. Roger's incredible friends from college planned a joint bachelor(ette) party for us at Emily's grandparents' house in Westbrook, CT. We figured it would just be a little get together by the beach, but the HWS crew took it a mile further with fun decorations, silly sailor hats (Roger and I got captain hats, and mine has a veil attached to it), and cute games. Any time we're all able to get together is a special time, but with all these fun little things, they really made it such a perfect weekend for us.

On Friday, after a bit of work in the morning, we packed up our things (including a bunch of beers we wanted to taste before serving them at the wedding), and hit the road down to Westbrook. Funnily enough, we packed more for this trip than we did for our week in Latvia last month, but I wore almost everything I brought!

Roger worked in the car while I drove, and when we arrived, we had lunch at Johnny Ad's in Old Saybrook on the recommendation of Salt Water New England. The lobster roll was totally stellar and I loved their clam fritters, but I was less in love with their clam chowder.

After that, I dropped Roger off at a Starbucks so he could finish work and went to pick Molly up from the train station. She and I headed to the Old Saybrook town beach, which was quiet and lovely. Parking is apparently only for residents, but we arrived at 4pm and didn't have any trouble finding a spot or getting a ticket. The water was super shallow, but we went for a quick dip and then hung out on the sand for a while, until Christine and Cece joined us.

At around 6pm, it was time to pick up Roger and head over to Westbrook to meet the rest of the crew and check out the house. Emily's grandparents were incredibly generous in lending us their gorgeous beach house for the weekend, and having such a beautiful and comfortable spot to spend the weekend helped make this trip as relaxing and perfect as it was.

Cede surprised us with some amazing nautical decorations she'd made, which really added to the festivities. The highlight were problem the sailor hats she got for everyone, except Roger and me, who had captain's hats. Mine had a veil on it! I also got everyone these sweet koozies, which turned out to be adorable and really high quality. 

Emily and James made us their signature tacos and we all spent the evening catching up. At one point, Roger and I were asked to play the Jefferson version of the Newlywed Game, which involved each of us trying to guess the other's answers to questions like, "Windows or doors?" and "First graders or fourth graders?" ... Don't ask.

On Saturday, we woke up to a rainy, gray morning, but by around 10am, things had cleared up enough for a walk on the beach. When we returned, Laura had made her signature Latvian pancakes!

At lunch time, we all wandered over to Lenny and Joe's Fish Tale for lobster rolls and other assorted seafood goodies. Christine took what might be my new favorite photo of us, and Dave photobombed us.

After lunch, we all took a dip in the sound and played some board games before getting ready for our boozy sail on the Connecticut River. Emily had organized a sail on the Onrust, a replica of the 1614 vessel that Adriaen Block used to explore the Connecticut. It has a fascinating history made for a gorgeous sunset sail. This is the first year it's in Connecticut after being built in New York, so it was fun to have taken it up one of its original paths. It sails out of Essex, CT, which is one of the most adorable towns I've ever been in, and that's saying a lot considering I live in the Upper Valley now.

We had completely perfect weather for it, with a breeze that let us sail for almost the entire portion of the trip in both directions, and just enough sun that it stayed warm without being too hot. We brought some wine and beer, and a few of the other people on the boat had cheese plates. It was my favorite part of a favorite week. If you have a chance to take a sail on the Onrust, I would absolutely recommend you do! It's run out of the Connecticut River Museum, which we unfortunately arrived too late to check out, and it's a lovely way to spend an evening.

The Jeffersons! (And Jeff's best photobomb yet!)

We grabbed dinner at the Griswold Inn, a fantastic historic inn right in Essex that has an enormous and tasty restaurant and a really fun bar. Emily revealed that her grandparents like their piano player so much that they hired him for one of their parties in New Jersey. He definitely had the whole bar singing! The Griswold brews their own beer and their food was excellent. It was such fun to sit at the head of the table with some of my favorite people in the world and just enjoy a moment of transition and love.

At home, we all enjoyed more beers and togetherness before calling it a night.

The next morning was one more swim in the sound (what a delight to be able to wake up and go swimming!), more board games, and pin the tail on the whale, courtesy of Cece's awesome painting skills.

This weekend was the most perfect weekend I've had in months. We've been so stressed with house renovations and wedding plans, and being able to relax in a house with our nearest and dearest for a few days on the shore was restorative. The last time I remember being this giddy with excitement was  at the US Open last August. We went in expecting to have a lovely weekend at the beach, but our friends are so incredibly thoughtful and fun that they surprised us with something a lot more special. Thanks, guys! You are really nine in a million, and we can't wait to celebrate Dirty Thirty with you over Columbus Day!

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