Two weeks ago, I headed North for a girls' weekend in Portland, Maine. Six of us traveled from as far away as Washington, DC to celebrate Cara's engagement! It was such a treat to spend so much time with my three best friends from high school, and two college pals of Cara's who I'm so happy and honored to count as my new friends, too. Together, this group of women makes up her bridal party, and let me tell you -- this is one for the books. I'm a huge fan of pre-wedding get-togethers like this one; they allow you to bond with everyone else in the wedding party in a fun, stress-free environment. I truly can't wait to see them all again!
I'm glad the bride chose Portland as our destination. It was a new city for almost all of us, and offers the perfect combination of laidback daytime activities and exciting nightlife. If you'd like, read on for plenty of pictures of our adventures (and our favorite Portland spots)...
Minted provided the adorable invitations keeping with our seaside theme. (An extra note: Cara and her fiancée Jay purchased their wedding invitations through Minted, and when a typo was discovered in the eleventh hour, Minted responded and saved the day with such tact and grace, we were all impressed! Just wanted to share that positive experience with you.)
We rented an apartment through Airbnb that was big enough to fit all of us, and located in a quiet, safe neighborhood that was walking distance to everything we wanted to visit downtown (even when we opted for cabs, it was never more than $6). I can't say enough good things about our rental; there's nowhere I'd rather stay on a return visit! The fridge was stocked with beer, and we saved so much money over choosing a hotel. (New to Airbnb? Use this link to sign up and receive a $35 credit.)
We toured the Allagash Brewing Company, and even though I didn't try any of the beer, it was so interesting learning about the brewing process (and it made for some pretty great photos).
We spent plenty of time in downtown Portland, having an amazing late lunch at Nosh Kitchen Bar (I have four words for you: bacon dusted French fries) and marveling over all the pretty things at k collette.
We strolled around the harbor with an afternoon drink, enjoying the sun and relaxing before heading out that night.
Aren't these tank tops fabulous? That's our lovely bachelorette in the middle wearing the "Yes!" tank, along with bridesmaids Nicole and Claire in "That's What She Said" tanks. The tops were so fabulous, and made by Liz! (I love her blog, her nephews are the cutest.)
We got a great group photo thanks to a self-timer and careful balancing act on top of the microwave before heading out for live music and dancing at Ri Ra!
The girls used their Baggus the rest of the weekend both as purses and for new treasures.
One of the best things I came home with? A half dozen gluten-free donuts from The Holy Donut. Just...wow. These potato donuts tasted just like the real thing. I got three cinnamon sugar, and three chocolate sea salt. They lasted until the next day. My only regret: Why didn't I get a dozen?!
This trip was so special. Even just strolling around town or our neighborhood offered plenty of time for catching up, meaningful conversations, and new bonds in the making. I can't wait to come back to Portland soon with Kristie in tow!