I kicked off the holidays with an impromptu road trip with a girlfriend to New Orleans the week after Thanksgiving. We had no set agenda but did know that we wanted to go to places and see things that we hadn't done before. Our hotel was perfect and located on the edge of the French Quarter. Our first night we went to Celebration in the Oaks where we had Jingle Juice, rode the carousel and ferris wheel (which we could not stop laughing on) and took advantage of the numerous photo opps. We ended up at various bars dancing our way over to Frenchman Street. The next fews days were filled with wonderful food as we explored Magazine Street, shopped on Royal and spent the evening admiring the view from Hot Tin and chatting about spirits with the bar manager at Bayou Bar downstairs. We ended up at secret bars and ate at little dive places and experienced some of the best food and drink ever.
The following week was our Annual HoHo lunch and caught up on each others lives over gift exchanges, Chinese food and yummy cocktails. Repeal Day celebrating followed the next day where I spend time with my industry friends and fellow bloggers at the preview of DuMont's Whiskey bar and singing karaoke at The Highball over Jack Daniels cocktails.
Week Two we were treated to The Wine Sled - a limo full of girls decked out in our Christmas hats and attire while we visited hill country wineries and bonded over wine, Jingle Juice and much laughter. After a quick trip to San Antonio, I returned in time for our Dress-Up Girls Night Out. We started with bubbles and bites at The Driskill Hotel (which has a FAB happy hour) then went over to The W Hotel to their Grinchmas Bar. We had reservations at the hottest secret bar in downtown Austin and ended with my favorite cocktail there topped with a dehydrated pineapple - tasty and beautiful!
The weekend was low key hanging out with My YaYa's - a group of women I've known and loved as family for almost 20 years. We've been through everything together. There's never a dull moment with us and we had a blast at a local winery with the most amazing lake and sunset view, sipping cocktails by the outdoor fireplace snuggled in Christmas jammies and warm blankets, doing the white elephant gift exchange and slumber party. They are my life!
I left the YaYa's and went straight to a Women who Whiskey Brunch with some lovely industry gal pals headed by Ms Jen who had a stunning table setting spread, awesome welcome punch and Jack Daniels cocktails paired with scrumptious brunch indulges. Afterwards I checked in to the beautiful Intercontinental Stephen F. Austin hotel and got ready for the annual Austin Food Magazine Friendsmas Party. This is where my fellow bloggers and influencers come together for food, fun and lots of libations. Held in a Hospitality Suite, the food and drink spread was all you would expect with contributions from local eateries, breweries and spirits. There was no shortage of any. Dessert was out on the rooftop deck where we had sweets in a Merry cabana, followed by the after party in the Presidential Suite. Thank you to the J.W. Marriott for their hospitality again this year.
Met up with friends who were in town the next day and spent all day doing the holiday pop-ups. We visited Nickel City for Sippin' Santa, The Roosevelt Room and then next door to Miracle on 5th Street. A quick stop in at Academia resulted in another cocktail and preview of their new cocktail menu (More on that shortly!).
Week Three I decided I was staying in for a few days until I had to work promos over the weekend. It was crazy with people buying last minute gifts and stocking up their bars for the holidays, but I got to chat with so many cool people who shared their holiday plans with me. Believe it or not, working promos is very rewarding for me - I love meeting new people.
Christmas was spent with family. No other way I'd like to spend it. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to spend so much time with my loved ones consisting of family and friends. I'm looking forward to a quiet New Year's Eve ... only because I'll be resting up for a whirlwind 2019.
See photos of these events, food and drinks on my Instagram or Facebook page.
How did you spend your month? Wishing you the happiest of remaining 2018 and may your 2019 be all you imagine and desire it to be. Cheers!