Bachelorette Weekend, Thirties Edition

There are many things that change between one’s twenties and one’s thirties. Energy levels, gray hairs, relationships and priorities. Bachelorette parties. In fact, there are many ways I imagine the average twenty-something bachelorette party is different from the average thirty-something bachelorette party.

The Food May Be Better: For real. No broke-post-college-student-cheap meals here. From the moment my friend and matron of honor extraordinaire Kacy picked me up on a Friday evening, one thing we certainly did well was eat delicious food in fancy restaurants. We started the weekend with a multi course feast at The Parrott House in Roseburg. Located in a restored historic home, this spot is as beautiful as the food is good.

We enjoyed craft cocktails and shared all the delicious dishes.

These fried green beans with jalapeño honey are basically the best thing ever
Wood-fired pizza with fennel sausage
Mushroom risotto
Roasted brussels sprouts
And, because there had not been enough food, steamed mussels

For the actual bachelorette dinner, my friend Chelsea picked out a spot that was new to all of us – Novo Modern Latin Table. It was perfect! The staff was fantastic and the food and drinks were even better.

There were, like, lots of different kinds of sangria. It only made sense to (make an effort to) try them all.
I also tried all the tacos
I am so thankful for these friends and for the fun memories

The Accommodations Are Fancier: For our first night, Kacy rented a quaint Airbnb. It was the perfect spot to crash after a late arrival.

But the real star of the show was the next night, which was spent at the boutique Inn at 5th. This hotel had every thing I love in an accommodation – style, comfort, and thoughtful amenities.

There’s even this little side door where room service delivers things so that you DON’T EVEN HAVE TO PUT ON PANTS for any late night snacks you might order. We didn’t order room service, but we did ask for some spoons for the dessert we picked up at the bakery, spoons which were promptly and privately delivered.

The Wine Tour Turns Into a Therapy Session: Of course this could have more to do with having two psychologists in the vehicle, but we learned A LOT about our wine tour driver. Honestly, he should have paid us for the free therapy session. At least we did it in style.

It’s Less About the Scene: We initially had three vineyards on the itinerary, but we were having such a relaxed time, that we didn’t make it to the third. Our first stop was the iconic King Estate. It was, of course, incredible to see the hundreds of acres of vineyards and to taste the fantastic wines. The style and scale exuded class.

And let’s not forget the view

But it was the second stop, the gathering place called Sarver Vineyard, that was our favorite.

It was clearly a place where people came to spend time together. The wine was simply a bonus.

It was mostly Sarver’s fault that we did not make it to a third spot. The wine, the cheese, the company – it was all meant to be unhurried, savored.

There Are Not Bachelorette Banners (but there are Bride flannels and paper crowns): When I saw the cute Bride flannel at a local bridal show earlier in the year, I could not resist.

And to be fair, there was supposed to be a Bachelorette Banner, but in true thirties fashion, my friend Kacy has two little ones who were playing with them beforehand and they got lost somewhere along the way. So instead I had a gold paper crown that we picked up at the bakery.

There Are Naps. And Tums. And Coffee: A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Enough said.

The Phallic Symbols are Somewhat Classier: Although perhaps they should have been absent… We decided that penis shaped things are fine for bachelorette parties in your twenties and probably cool again in your fifties and beyond. Even so, it was hilarious when the chef at Novo joined in on the fun and sent penis shaped appetizers to our table.

Thankfully, my friends forewent the penis cake in favor of something a bit tamer. And really, really yummy.

The Morning After Is More Brutal: I settled for salmon hash when the waiter at Marche bravely told me it was too early for a burger.

But really, I think this picture says it all.

Twenties or thirties (or beyond) a bachelorette party (or weekend, in this case) is a great opportunity to spend time with dear friends and celebrate a beautiful moment tin life. But some things really do get better with time – like fine wine and friendships.

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Abacela Guest Chef Dinner

In case you have somehow missed these two facts, Oregon has amazing wineries and LeChon is our favorite restaurant. Combine the two and you basically have the most perfect date night. Since moving to Oregon, I have been interested in attending one of the various Guest Chef or Wine Dinners that bring the state’s best chefs to local wineries. However, when a friend shared an upcoming Guest Chef Dinner at Abacela with me on Facebook, I quickly dismissed it because, you know, wedding stuff. When I took a second look, though, it was a matter of seconds before I was telling Brandon that we were going. As in, he did not have a choice. I sort of justified it by saying it could be a belated birthday dinner. The reason we could not possibly miss the dinner? That was because the chef from our favorite restaurant was coming to little ole’ Roseburg (well, technically to Winston, or somewhere outside of Winston). It was just meant to be.

We were greeted with a glass of Albarino and burrata on toast. Oh, and we took an Uber in Roseburg for the first time (which has sadly been stopped). And we got carded. I think we may have been the youngest folks at the dinner.

It was difficult to be polite and eat just one. Or maybe two.

After a bit of mingling, we were seated for dinner. Over the course of the next couple of hours, we were served a five course feast created by Chef Jaco Smith from LeChon. Each delicious course was paired with one of Abacela’s fantastic wines.

We first enjoyed tapas of shrimp ceviche and avocado and smoked trout toast (one of my favorite dishes from the last time I had been at the restaurant) paired with Tinta Amarela.

Our next course was an out of this world salad with quinoa, goat cheese (yum!!), and pumpkin seeds with coal roasted kabocha squash (which was perfectly sweet and nutty) all covered in a light coating of a miso-honey dressing. It was paired with a 50/50 Tempranillo-Malbec.

Our third course was a sort of pork kebab in a soy sesame BBQ sauce with a sweet potato puree on the side. It was perfectly accompanied by Abacela’s amazing barrel select Tempranillo.

There had been so much delicious food by the time we got to the entree that it may be difficult to imagine that we still wanted to eat food. But that would be false. This course included beef short ribs and smoked chorizo paired with an equally amazing Reserve Malbec, which was probably my favorite wine of the entire evening.

The meal ended with lemon cheesecake with a caramel and gingersnap topping served with a sweet blanco dulce that balanced the tart taste of lemon.

We enjoyed every single bite. It was one of the best meals I have ever had. But my favorite part was not even the food. It was Brandon geeking out at meeting the Chef.

Of course, he creates amazing food that we love. But we were both impressed by his passion for what he does so well. Over the course of the evening, he shared more about his history as a chef and how a life lived all over the world has impacted his cooking. Originally from South Africa, he even provided restaurant recommendations for our upcoming honeymoon to SA, which was the icing the cake of a perfect date night.

I’ll be honest, at $95 per person, this evening was a splurge. But it was one we do not regret as we savored a delectable meal prepared by the chef from our favorite restaurant, sipped wine, belatedly celebrated another year of my favorite person’s life, and took time out of the craziness of wedding planning to simply be. That, my friends, is priceless.