Category Archives: TK Destinations

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Our guest blog this week comes from Whitney Hoover, who is Meredith’s best friend. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Whitney loves nothing more than experimenting in her kitchen. When not perusing a farmers market or behind a stove, she is usually enjoying the great outdoors whether hiking, reading, jogging or training for an upcoming triathlon. Read her blog, ‘Nursing My Appetite,’ to learn more about how she navigates through her culinary adventures as well as the rest of her life… with a happy heart! 


Note from the editor: Whitney served as the maid of honor at Meredith’s wedding that took place in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 23rd. Today, Whitney is sharing some of her most cherished memories from the celebrations. From the engagement party to the Big Day, take a walk with Whitney down memory lane…

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The Engagement Party:

The engagement party was such a fun night because it was the first time that family and friends of both Meredith and Denison had a chance to all come together.  I had a ton of fun planning it with some of Meredith’s closest girlfriends, and seeing all of our ideas come to fruition – and seeing Meredith and Denison’s faces when they arrived – was just the best.  I’d already had a chance to meet Denison’s sister Erica (whom I have come to absolutely love), but it wasn’t until the weekend of the engagement party that I met his parents… which was undoubtedly one of the most special parts of the evening.

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The Bridal Shower:

Meredith was lucky enough to have not one, but two gorgeous bridal showers!  I was able to attend the one in the Bay Area, which was hosted by the lovely Laura Nathan.  In addition to the conversation, laughter and games, I’d have to say my favorite part was hearing everyone share their favorite things about Meredith, from memories together to the beautiful qualities she brings to life in her relationships.  It was also fun to see Mere’s reaction to the giant gold glitter that wrapped my gift (because who doesn’t love anything covered in gold glitter?!).  Shout out to Paper Source for the awesome wrapping paper. 🙂

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The Hatchelorette Party:

For The Hatchelorette, we headed to Palm Springs and somehow lucked out with renting Sonny & Cher’s vacation home – which was all kinds of awesome.  The weather cooperated and the weekend was filled with laughs, dancing and great conversation, but what made this weekend so special for me was the women whom I shared it with.  Meredith has an incredible group of girlfriends who are hilarious, bright, kind, genuine, creative, thoughtful and a ton of fun to be around.  Of course, this is a true testament to Meredith as a person, sister and friend.  I had the time of my life celebrating with everyone!

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The Rehearsal Day:

In the year (plus) leading up to the wedding, Meredith and I shared countless conversations, text messages and emails regarding all of the planning and coordination (not to mention elbow grease) that went into bringing it all together.  However, it didn’t really become real until we lined up and rehearsed the ceremony.  Standing next to my best friend as we ran through everything for her wedding the next day was surreal.  One of my favorite parts of the day was how it ended.  Meredith had asked her sister Kendra and I to spend the night with her, and Mere wanted to do 100 sit-ups before the big day (something she’d been doing nightly for awhile).  100 sit-ups soon turned into 300, and I will always remember the groaning and giggles that accompanied the late-night workout.

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The Big Day: 

The day kicked off on such a fun and happy note when, bright and early at 6am, Kendra and I woke Meredith up by tossing tissue paper confetti at her and yelling: “IT’S YOUR WEDDING DAY!”  The rest of the day was filled with so much love and joy that it’s impossible to pick a favorite moment, but I will always remember the fun of getting ready with the girls in our darling matching PJs (a surprise gift from Meredith), seeing Meredith looking absolutely radiant in her wedding dress and beaming as she prepared to see her groom for the first time that day, tearing up the dance floor at the reception, and being filled with joy and gratitude as I stood next to my best friend and soul sister as she exchanged vows with the man of her dreams reality.

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Cheers to our Bachelorette: Celebrating in the Desert!

This past weekend Bri and Kris traveled down to Palm Springs to celebrate Meredith’s second-to-last weekend as a single woman! With the beautiful backdrop of Palm Springs, we couldn’t have been more excited to celebrate our friend in style at the lovely Villa Carmelita!

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The weekend began with pool time and champs, courtesy of the beautiful Bubbly Bar.

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Meredith’s fabulous MOH Whitney pulled together thoughtful and creative party favor gifts, including adorable personalized water bottles (perfect for hydrating in the Palm Springs sun), custom hair ties titled “To Have and To Hold…Your Hair Back!” (and yes, they were the fabulous ones that do not crinkle your hair!), and a very practical Emergency Kit filled with bachelorette weekend essentials (Shout Wipes, Chapstick, Advil, etc.).

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An aside: that beautiful flower arrangement on the table was courtesy of our bride-to-be’s thoughtful fiancé, Denison!

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A Triple Knotter’s bachelorette party would not be complete without a whole lot of gold—including gold balloons! (via Etsy)

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Customized cocktail napkins, foil straws and candy finished off the festive look.

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Friday night started with homemade Pasta Puttanesca (courtesy of the multi-talented MOH Whit!)

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…and continued with merriment – and a cocktail or three- into the wee hours. Late-night partiers were  treated to this lovely evening view of the courtyard.

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Saturday morning continued with more pool time (who wouldn’t at this gorgeous property) and more cocktails, including these beyond fabulous bloody mary’s, which were adorned with a bacon garnish.

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We all got a fantastic throwback to our 20s when the keg cups and ping-pong balls came out. Girls paired up for a game of beer pong, but wait! We have to disinfect the table first! (This is something we never would have thought about in college!)

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Turns out while we’re a bit more conscientious about cleanliness, we aren’t quite as good at the game anymore. It took a bit longer than we expected to wrap up the first match, so we moved on to Flip Cup!

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After flip cup, Whit got the BBQ going and we noshed on a delicious grilled lunch and continued to lounge by the pool.

Saturday evening started with a fabulous toast to our soon-to-be Mrs. Hatch. (Sip, Sip – Hooray!)

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Cocktail hour continued with a “How Well Do You Know Each Other” Q&A game, which included quizzing Meredith on answers provided by her fiancé Denison. They did amazing—it’s a hatch-match made in heaven!

We also each brought along a lingerie gift for Meredith and got to share lots of smiles and laughs as she guessed which piece came from which friend.

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A bachelorette weekend always includes about 900+ photos and we had no shame in indulging!

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But before we knew it, time was flying by and we were being whisked away to downtown Palm Springs for private dinner at Workshop Kitchen + Bar.

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After dinner we grabbed a quick cocktail at the ever-delicious Bootlegger Tiki and finished the night with hours of dancing and drinks at Bar.

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This weekend was quarterbacked by Meredith’s fabulous MOH Whit, and we can’t thank her enough for making the trip so special.

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The weekend also included lots of support/help from Meredith’s family and besties, including: Kendra, Colleen, Jill, Kristen, Lauren, Nida, Rachel and Sevana!

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Bri and Kris were so excited to have been able to share such a special weekend Meredith…

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…and cannot wait to watch her walk down the aisle as Mrs. Hatch.

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TK Destinations: Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Santa Fe, New Mexico holds a special place in my heart. It’s the city, where my fiancé popped the question, thus beginning an incredible new adventure in our lives! A little backstory as to why Santa Fe… A few years ago, my then-boyfriend and I completed a cross-country road trip from Delaware to California after spending the Christmas holiday with family on the East Coast. As we mapped out our stops from East to West, we choose destinations that would get us far enough along in our journey but would also allow for a bit of fun. We experienced the Bourbon Trail in Lexington, visited friends in St. Louis, and enjoyed authentic steak in Tulsa before arriving to Santa Fe. We chose Santa Fe based on its distance in the trip, but also because of the charm and authenticity that this Southwest city offered. As we continued onward in our drive home, we marveled at our 2-day stay and gushed about wanting to visit again!

14 months later, my boyfriend and I returned to Santa Fe for a romantic weekend getaway. Busting with excitement we began planning our hotel accommodations, dining reservations and daily activities. During the drive from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, he pulled off to scenic overlook and right then and there asked me to marry him! Thus, the extra specialness of this city!

During the midst of wedding planning, we decided that a getaway weekend to Santa Fe would be the perfect early mini-moon as our honeymoon would actually be 2 months post-nuptials. Hardly an official expert on Santa Fe, I wanted to share my favorites of this charming and authentic city!

Sleep Santa Fe:
There are many options for accommodations in Santa Fe. During our first two visits to the city, we stayed at a charming Bed & Breakfast Inn, El Farolito. A short walk from the main square, El Farolito offered private, spacious casitas with Kiva fireplaces in the rooms. Some casitas even had private patios to enjoy your morning coffee. Each morning we were greeted by the owner, Wayne, who started our day with a home-cooked breakfast in property’s main dining room. This is a truly delightful and service-oriented spot; the type of place where tea and cookies are always available in the afternoons and an owner who will regale you with Santa Fe stories and hike suggestions (but only if you ask).

Wanting to expand our horizons a bit, we decided this time to stay in the hustle and bustle of the plaza at La Fonda on the Plaza. This charming boutique hotel was beautifully decorated with Southwestern charm, but up-to-date with all the modern amenities. Our room was spacious, and even had a balcony that overlooked that plaza square and a Kiva fireplace. Located in the heart of plaza, we were just steps away from the shops, galleries and restaurants. We loved being able to walk outside and experience

Dine Santa Fe:
Coming from Los Angeles, a mecca for foodies, we weren’t sure what to expect from Santa Fe’s eating scene. With each visit though, we have returned to our favorites and discovered new gems.

Probably the most visited, is the Kakawa Hot Chocolate House, a local, charming spot with specialty chocolate for drinking and eating. From unsweetened dark, chili infused, and spiced–filled, Kakawa Hot Chocolate House houses the best when it comes to a unique warm cup of cocoa.

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If you are looking for a fancy night out, I suggest Geronimo. This meal promises to be one for the books! Geronimo has an inviting and warm atmosphere—an adobe-style building lined with traditional Kiva fireplaces inside. The menu is elegant and sophisticated—I recommend Geronimo’s signature dish of Elk Tenderloin—it’s like no other!

A few other notable favorites… The Shed offers authentic Southwestern cuisine that is bold and filled with flavor. A dining institution since 1953, this neighborhood gem is located just off the plaza and is packed nightly with locals and visitors in search of family hospitality and cooking. The Plaza Café is Santa Fe’s oldest restaurant (since 1905!), located in the heart of the main plaza square. This historic diner features authentic, local favorites, as well as global dishes, that will leave you feeling satisfied.

Explore Santa Fe:
Santa Fe is full of adventure! During previous visits, we explored Tent Rocks National Monument and Bandolier National Monument. Both parks offer great hiking and scenic views, but each has unique differences. Tent Rocks National Monument, approximately an hour West of Santa Fe, features impressive rock formations, which stand up to 90 feet tall. There is also a striking slot canyon that shows the layers of the volcanic rock. Approximately an hour Northwest of Santa Fe, gorgeous views greet you on the mile entrance drive into Bandolier National Monument. For the casual hiker, there is a very manageable trail, which leads from the “Welcome Center” up the cliffs to well-preserved ancient Indian pueblos.

Last year, we made the two hour drive North to Taos Ski Valley. Although I have been skiing for most of my life, I found myself exercising a bit more caution in the recent years. Initially a bit intimated by this mountain, I ended up loving the open space and small crowd. And epic and breathtaking views from the top made the steep slopes down worth it. This year, we decided to stay local and hit Ski Santa Fe. Although not as expansive as Taos Ski Valley, my fiancé and I really enjoyed this mountain. There were gorgeous views at the top, challenging (but not unmanageable) run downs and even an Adventure Park with a few small moguls and jumps!

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Feb17_image2For the adventurer who desires a bit of relaxation post-skiing, I definitely recommend Ten Thousand Waves. This Japanese-themed Spa is nestled in forest, just 10 minutes outside of downtown Santa Fe. My fiancé and I booked the Ichiban spa suite for the indoor/outdoor hot tub soaking experience. As we soaked in the tubs, we marveled at the peace and tranquility we felt. It was a perfect breath of luxurious relaxation, as a must-do-again for a future visit!

Feb17_image5Santa Fe will always be one of my favorite places—not just for the personal significance, but also for the food, culture, and adventure. My fiancé and I have promised each other that we’ll be back again soon!

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