Monday, November 07, 2011

Fabulous Forty for Us ~ Good Times Good Times Pt1

After a 5 hr drive from Atlanta we arrived on St. Simons Island at approximately 1pm, just in time for lunch.  We had arranged ahead of time to meet up with 3 of the five couples for lunch at Iguanas on Mallery Street.  As we pulled up I opened the window and shouted a big "HEY!" to our friends who were sitting right out front on the most beautifully sunny day.  Lunch was a perfect beginning to a fantastic weekend (real good fried shrimp ~ they have been voted best on the island for a few years running).  Some introductions and some reminiscing and LOTS of laughter!  Check in wasn't until 4pm so we had time to kill.  A friend of ours had told us to go have a drink at an OLD St Simon's standard ~ Murphy's.  There was a little plaque on the corner of the bar to honor our friend's father, a New York City cop who passed away some time ago.  Now as a disclaimer - Murphy's might not have been number one on the BEACH vacation list especially on such a sunshiney day but we wanted to have a quick drink to honor our friend's request.  Murphy's would be a great rainy day or winter evening bar.  Dark and cozy with a big fireplace and a ton of wood to keep the fires raging. We ended up really enjoying ourselves but who wouldn't, we were on vacation!  After a few good games of darts (I was on the winning team!) we headed towards the cars because we were getting close to check in time.
Murphy's Mayhem
I made a quick stop at St Simon's Sweets to pick up a dozen Wedding Cake Cupcakes I had ordered ahead of time to celebrate one of the couple's tenth wedding anniversary.  By the time I had reached the parking lot no one was in the cars, they were all sitting enjoying another cold beverage on the front porch of Brogen's.  It was tempting to want to stay due to the band that was getting set up.  I reminded the group that we had a MANSION waiting for us.  Check Please!
Brogen's Bunch
Villa de Suenos was a short drive from downtown.  Upon arrival we were unsure about which entrance to use for the property.  It is easy to be confused there are THREE entrances from three different streets.  That just is an example of how big the villa is.  After unloading cars and setting up bars we headed out to the pavilion pool area to PARTY!!!  Bathing suits were donned and hot-tubbing commenced.  The first night of a vacation is always SO GOOD ~ after all the anticipation & waiting for the trip to arrive and yet to still have the excitement of the WHOLE trip ahead of you (there is nothing better!).  Party mix on the IPOD playing the songs from the CD's I whipped up of old school tunes everyone sent me ahead of time.
Old School CD's for the BIG 40!
SIDE BAR - you may be seeing a theme here AHEAD OF TIME.  With a bit of planning and preparation a trip can be made SO much smoother.  By making reservations when you can (like lunch), by placing orders (like for the cupcakes) and decisions for meals etc.  Especially when with a group, it just takes the guess work out and the possibility of indecision (or worse) out of it.

On another SIDE BAR - speaking of CD's they went in the Welcome Bags (some of my favorite getaway things) I had one for each couple waiting for them on their bed.  In the bags were the Old School CD's, a big can of beer for the boys, a little bottle of wine for the ladies, flip flops for his & her, fun colored insulated acrylic cups, reusable thermal coffee cups, Advil, Emergen-c's, Twist & Pout lip balm lip clip, Colgate Wisp, The Tiny Birthday Bash Box of Questions, chocolates, earplugs, journals w/ pens and much more!

As the sun set we cheers'd each other's birthdays (5 of the ten of us were turning 40 this year) and an anniversary for one couple.  We fell into an easy groove with each other. We held a reverse raffle to get the weekend started.  An entry fee of $10 per person would give them a chance to win $100!  Everyone's name goes in a bowl and they get a sticker to wear.  Throughout the evening I drew a name every half hour.  If your name was pulled then you were stripped of your pants Just Kidding your sticker and were no longer in the running to win the BIG pot.  WAHHHHHH!!!!!!!  The evening was filled with hot tub time, exploring the villa (especially the cavernous grotto beneath the villa) and laughter, LOTS & LOTS of LAUGHTER!  At this point I knew that this weekend was going to be great!  I was inside getting some ice when I heard my name being yelled from the group outside in the hot tub.  The most AMAZING harvest moon was rising (ACTUALLY RISING) right up out of the ocean right before our eyes.  It was magnificent!  We made a raging fire in the outdoor fireplace in the pavilion and talked into the night.  SO FUN to be with FRIENDS (old and new)!

Saturday began with an intense sunrise right outside our window(s).  I could have laid there all morning watching the sky change from dark to light and every color in between.

But we had a chef downstairs ready to prepare our made to order eggs among other breakfast goodies (homemade muffins, crispy bacon and succulent sausage).   (One of the concerns Chris had before this trip was that I would be "working it" and not enjoying myself.  I told him NOT to worry we would get a chef to do our meals and then there is no work for me or the other ladies!  I highly suggest if you are renting a house with several couples trying to find a personal chef or caterer who can do the majority of your meals for you.  You would be surprised at what is out there.  Everything from super expensive wedding caterers to mom & pop personal chefs and all the price ranges in between.)
Me and our Mom & Pop Chefs
By 10am Saturday morning our reflexologists had shown up ready to rub!  We had couples reflexology appointments set up throughout the day poolside.  Champagne in hand and ready to get our RELAX on ~ one of the reflexologists asked me, "what are the plans for the day?" and I answered "you are looking at it!".  Truly what a gift to have NOTHING planned for the entire day but exactly what we were already doing.

Laura and Ginger have done reflexology on several weekends for me in the St Simon's area.  They are professional and caring - if you decide to use their services you will be so RELAXED and HAPPY you did!  The IPOD was cued to soothing spa music and cornhole games were put on hold while each couple had their chance to relax in unison.  A champagne bar is always a fun touch to "in-villa" (in-house) spa days.  We had several flavors of bubbly to choose from ~ raspberry, almond, peach and perfectly perfect Prosecco.  With fun little additions like a splash of pomegranate juice with raspberries and pomegranate seeds.
Each hour another couple had their turn at pure bliss.  Thank you so much Laura & Ginger!  You made our day simply perfect!  Lunch was served al fresco in the pavilion by our mom and pop chefs.  After all the relaxin' and rubbin' was over it was time for Couple's Cornhole Tournament!  PUMP UP THE JAM and get your bean bag tossin' arms ready.  Why do I sound so excited about this ~ I was HORRIBLE at this very fun game.  I mean one beanbag went in the pool and one went on the ROOF!  I am NOT exaggerating!  When I am involved in any type of game organizing you can bet there are prizes involved.  Who doesn't like to win something?  Second place prize was a mini bottle of champagne and a bottle of Philosophy's Bubbly Shampoo/Shower Gel/Bubble Bath.
First place prize was this fun little couple's game (you'll have to click the link to find out what game)!  Not going to tell you who won what but as you know it wasn't us (ON THE ROOF remember?).  A YUMMO Low Country Boil was being prepared for us as we played.  Gotta love our chefs!  

After a feast of shrimp, sausages, red potatoes, corn on the cob, cole slaw, cornbread and more!  We had a mini dance party (some of us just watched and LAUGHED) then retired to the living room to watch Bridesmaids, popcorn and theater candy in hand.  For a few it was a return to the hot tub and other's just retired early because we had a BIG morning of fishing planned!  To Be Continued.......

To read more details about the incredible Villa de Suenos click here -

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