Bachelorette Party Weekend in Austin

Sunday night and Monday were extra rough this week!  But the exhaustion was worth it because I spent this past weekend with 14 amazing women in Austin, Texas celebrating my friend Monica!

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I arrived in Austin on Thursday afternoon after some travel delays (I hate flying!).  When I got to the condo, the Thursday crew was just getting back from exploring the city.  We hung out for a little bit and then started getting ready for happy hour at Benji’s Cantina.

Of course, we started off with “a few” drinks and then moved on to dinner…tacos!

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After dinner, we headed to Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar.  So much fun!  We had front row seats and spent a couple of hours singing along to all kinds of songs!  In my opinion, Pete’s is a must visit Austin bar.

We also spent a couple of hours bar hopping on 6th street.  For those that have visited Austin before, you know how fun (and interesting) 6th street can be!

Believe it or not, I started Friday with a 3 mile run.  Kim and Laura, Monica’s law school friends, are training for a half marathon, and when I heard they were bringing their sneakers, I made sure to pack mine as well.  Great decision!

After showering and getting ready, the group headed out for lunch at Torchy’s Tacos!  We ate here twice the last time I was in Austin, so I knew the girls would love this place.  Proof that this place is SO GOOD – Monica said she’ll be adding Torchy’s to her “best things I’ve eaten” list!

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Our post lunch plans included a shooting range (again, the same one I visited the last time I was in Austin).  Most of the girls were pretty nervous (who can blame them), but once they got in there and were successfully able to shoot the gun, all traces of nervousness disappeared!  I was one of four girls who decided not to shoot, but I still had fun seeing everyone else enjoy themselves!

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We broke out our matching t-shirts on Friday night.  Personally, this is one of my favorite parts of bachelorette parties.  It’s so fun to go out and see the bride get showered with attention because of her matching entourage!

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We had dinner at Licha’s Cantina (another must visit restaurant) where most of us indulged in a couple of watermelon jalapeno margaritas and some very unique and delicious Mexican dishes.  YUM!

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Our post dinner plans included visiting bars, dancing the night away, and riding a mechanical bull!  Good times were had by all!

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One by one, people woke up on Saturday morning and congregated in one of the bedrooms.  This was also one of my favorite parts of the weekends – talking and laughing with all the girls! 

After getting ready, we opened some gifts (!) and then headed out to lunch.  I can’t remember the name of the taco truck but it was really tasty and authentic (from what I could tell). 

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And what trip to Austin would be complete without trying Amy’s Ice Cream!  You guys, this was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had – so creamy, so rich, so yummy!  Our bride-to-be LOVED it as well!

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After stuffing ourselves silly, we made our way to a blow out bar to get our hair done.  I decided to go the braid route!  In retrospect, it was an interesting look…will definitely stick to a regular blow out the next time around!  Everyone’s hair looked great, and we were halfway ready for our “class” night out. 

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Since we wanted to spend time playing a few games before going out, we opted for dinner in (Thai food!).  After a couple hours of playing and talking, all 14 of us headed out to the Container Bar on Rainey Street, where we spent the rest of our night!  We may have also ended up at a Karaoke place and Taco Cabana (for a late night Mexican fix!).

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Roshni and I woke up nice and early on Sunday morning (in a state of pure exhaustion!) to head to the airport.  We (ok, I) miscalculated how long it would take us to get there, so we had a couple of hours to spare.  We met up with our friends who were departing on a slightly earlier flight and then spent the rest of our time talking before it was time to board. 

It’s hard to believe that Monica’s bachelorette party is already over!  Only 40 more days or so until her wedding!!  I think it’s safe to say that everyone had an absolute blast in Austin eating, laughing, talking, and creating hundreds of amazing memories!

Goodbye, Chicago!

My time in Chicago has come to an end!  And what a month it has been.  I hung out with friends, tried new restaurants, and worked alongside some of my favorite coworkers. 

And not surprisingly, I even walked away with a few takeaways.

Living out of suitcases is not our thing.  In line with this, Vishnu and I do not well in very small spaces.  We like our space.  But you do what you have to do I suppose!

Being away for a month, even when it means that you get to hang out in a great city with friends, is hard.  You have to relinquish a lot of control.  And as I’ve discussed before, giving up control is not my cup of tea.  But if anything, I’ve learned to live outside my comfort zone and thrive (somewhat!).

A person can only eat out so much before even their favorite foods start to sound a little unappetizing!  One of the things I’ve missed the most over the past month is my kitchen.  I can’t wait to meal plan, grocery shop, and cook again!

As much as I love living in Miami, I miss experiencing all four seasons.  While I would prefer never to live through below zero degree temps, the slightly cooler weather over the past few days was a welcome change.  And now I’m back in a city where there is only one season and it’s called summer.

I’ve said this before, but we are very very blessed to have some amazing people in our lives.  Not only did our friends share their homes with us, but they made us feel like family.  No number of thank yous will ever be enough but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop saying those two little words!

In order for me to feel good from the inside out, I need regular exercise in my life.  Let’s just say I sort of fell of the wagon a little bit and didn’t do as much as I could have.  Lesson learned! 

Overall, I feel lucky.  Lucky because I was able to work from another city without any issues.  Lucky because we were able to spend time with great people.  And lucky because Vishnu and I didn’t have to spend two months living apart.

These are just a few of my thoughts after living in Chicago for a month.  As much as I’ll miss it, I’m excited to get back into a routine, sleep in my own bed, etc. 

Miami, I’m back!  Chicago, I’ll see you soon!

Thank YOU!

I had the opportunity to meet a blog reader for coffee last night!  Seema emailed me a week or so ago asking if I had time to meet her up for a bit, and of course I said yes.  I’m not going to lie, as excited as I was, I could not get over the fact that someone wanted to meet me.  And all because of my blog. 

Blog meetup 
Hi, Seema!

The beauty of blogging is that when you meet someone for the first time you already know so much about them.  Aside from her quickly filling me in on her life, it was as if we’ve been friends for a long time.  And even though I know how this whole blogging thing works, it still blew my mind (in a good way of course)! 

I often forget that people other than my friends/family (i.e. my mom) read my blog or care about what I have to say.  Meeting with Seema reminded me about why I blog in the first place – to connect with people from around the world and hopefully make some sort of positive impact. 

When Seema thanked me for writing about things like body image and my marriage, I didn’t know what to say besides “you’re welcome and thank YOU for reading.”  She said it makes her feel like she isn’t the only one who feels a certain way about topics that aren’t always the easiest to talk about.  Again, mind blown…in a good way!

I guess what I’m trying to say (in a very roundabout way) is thank YOU – the people who read My Inner Shakti – for making this such a fun and fulfilling hobby for me!  My blog may not have a bajillion readers, but I honestly believe I have the best readers.  Thank you for reading, commenting, emailing, caring, etc.  You have no idea how much it all means to me!

And with that, I wish you all an amazing weekend!