Pop Pop Fizz Fizz

December 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Friday night I was part of something I haven’t been a part of in a good long while – a Girl’s Night Out.  A friend of mine recently turned 31 and a group of us met at her place for some wine before heading downtown to Pops for Champagne, a fancy-schmancy champagne bar.  We all got dressed up (I even wore a new dress!) and gathered around a table to enjoy some light snacks and a huge bottle of champagne.  And, from looking at the scale shown, this wasn’t really considered a “big” bottle. There were five of us girls total and it took us a fair bit of time to kill it all, after which we were all feeling…well, fizzy.  The bar itself wasn’t one that I would frequent very often because 1) I don’t go to fancy bars all that much, 2) it wasn’t exactly cheap, 3) it’s far from the local dive bars in my neighborhood and 4) the majority of the people there were kind of snobby.  I’m really glad I went though because it was a blast, though I wish they had let one of us pop the cork instead of discreetly doing so in a cloth napkin.

Well, I thought a Magnum was big...

Well, I THOUGHT a Magnum was big…

By the time we finished our food and the biggest bottle of champagne I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying, I knew I needed to head home.  My five-hour stint at the Field Museum was going to come quicker than I wanted and trying to sound engaging and educational while really hung over isn’t something I wanted to experience.  So I bowed out early and I later learned that the others had a night which culminated in two other bars, buckets of booze, shots, someone throwing up and everyone almost walking out on a tab.  While that sounds entertaining, I’m kind of glad I wasn’t around to see it.

The rest of my weekend was a blur of museum stuff; driving around for nearly two hours trying to find parking for Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Lights (Scott and I wound up giving up to the parking gods and we’re going to try again, but next time we’re taking the bus); brunch with a friend of mine from Kindergarten who was in town; an expensive trip to Target (though aren’t they always…); grocery shopping; cleaning my bathroom so well that I thought I was going to pass out from the fumes and watching the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead.  Which makes me wonder – just when the hell did a MID season finale become a thing?  Thanks a lot, cable.  And 65 degrees in December?  Thanks a lot, global warming.  At least it was warm enough for me to wear my new dress!

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All About All-Inclusives

September 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Not having to pay is oh so nice

All-inclusive vacation packages are awesome.  If you’ve never done one, I highly, highly recommend it.  The last two vacations I’ve taken have been all-inclusive and at this point I don’t think I could do it any other way.

*Disclaimer: when I say ‘vacation’, I mean a venture to a beach where the primary focus is relaxation.  A ‘trip’, on the other hand, is typically a more activity-laden adventure with a focus on exploration.  I don’t even know if an all-inclusive ‘trip’ is possible, but for the purpose of this post I’m discussing ‘vacations’.

On the two all-inclusive vacations I’ve taken, pretty much everything was paid for in advance.  Plane tickets, resort room, all meals and all beverages (both alcoholic and non) are included in one fairly reasonable price.  Only having to worry about tipping makes things easier all around, though simply getting up and walking out of a restaurant or bar after you’re finished does take a bit of getting used to.  Conversely, getting back into the habit of paying for a bill at the end of an evening is a readjustment after vacation is over.

When I say all food and drinks are included in the package, I mean everything.  Every single day

To be honest, I'm surprised I didn't come home looking like this

there was a breakfast buffet, brunch buffet, lunch buffet and dinner buffet.  There was also a snack bar that had fruit, salads, sandwiches and nachos that was open 24 hours a day, in case you happened to find a 10 minute period where you couldn’t find a giant spread of food set out waiting.  Each buffet had an array of Mexican, Italian and American food, not to mention table after table of desserts and fruity drinks.  There was a suckling pig one night, which yours truly took a pass on, and each night had a different featured entrée.

Besides all of the buffets, our resort had four fancy shmancy restaurants only accessible with proper reservations.  These included a Japanese restaurant (pretty good, for someone who doesn’t eat much sushi), a steakhouse (again I passed), an upscale Mexican restaurant (amazing) and a gourmet restaurant (so awesome I wanted to live there).  Trust me when I say there was no shortage on food on our vacation.

We weren’t exactly lacking in the drink department as well.  There were bottles of vodka, rum, tequila and whiskey in our room that were there just for the hell of it – if we finished one, they’d simply bring us another.  Truth be told, though, we didn’t even touch those bottles because booze was so easy to be had everywhere else.  They even brought us up a bottle of champagne with a tray of chocolate strawberries on our first night there (this came with a note thanking the Mr. and Mrs. for staying…which was hilarious, as my mom hasn’t been a Mrs. in quite some time).  Drinks were served at the swim up bar in the pool, the random bars placed throughout the resort, by servers asking what you would like if you were simply laying by the pool, for breakfast at the buffet (there were various blenders full of fruit and a bottle of vodka nearby) and in the mini-fridge in our room.  Yup, besides having bottles of liquor at our disposal, we were able to order as much beer as we wanted and keep it on hand.  We absolutely took advantage of that.

Yup, pretty much the life

My family and I didn’t get sloppy drunk at any point in our stay but we did manage to have a great time with all those free drinks.  We probably had our biggest bender the night before our outdoor adventure, and in hindsight showing up slightly hung over for speed-boating, mule riding and zip-lining wasn’t the smartest thing in the world.  We managed though and were enjoying wine by dinner time.

If you have any doubt that an all-inclusive vacation is worth every penny…well, you obviously weren’t reading this post.  Two thumbs way up, and I’ll cheers to that!

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