I couldn’t believe she was on The Bachelor! I always love when I “know” someone on TV, and I know I was not alone. There were always great comments after each episode about Renee from Island peeps.
Renee made it to the final four in of The Bachelor with Juan Pablo. That’s a big deal because it means that dozens of other women went home without a rose.
It also means that you get to travel the world with The Bachelor cast, and that there is a connection between you and the bachelor.
Renee had spent her summers on Martha’s Vineyard since the ninth grade. It was a place she loved. She felt at home on the Island. She’d get a summer job and enjoy the magic of those three months.
In 2002, Renee decided to try being on the Island year-round. We all know this can be a tough venture. Heck it’s even tough for me some days still. But, Martha’s Vineyard became Renee’s home for 11 years.
She fell in love, got married, and had an Island baby, Ben. This was and always will be home, no matter where Renee is.
Once the Vineyard gets into your blood, it’s hard to not love it. She has family here, and it will always be someplace she comes back to.
Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. Renee and her husband divorced, and she moved to Florida with her son. There, Renee had a lot of fun with her son Ben, and was able to accomplish a lot professionally.
Renee got her real estate license, is a photographer (has been for years), and started a food blog, Indigo Tide Creations. Renee is a self-trained foodie, and enjoys creating amazing dishes from super casual to super trendy and everything in between.
Since she loves food and photography, a food blog seemed a natural fit. Sharing her creations has been a great creative outlet during life’s ups and downs.
Of course I had to ask Renee why go on The Bachelor? I am always curious about a girl’s motivation regarding something like this. Renee had ended a relationship with someone who was not ready for a family. As a mom, her number one is her son Ben, and I can imagine that’s got to be tough for some men.
She wanted to date someone who she knew was ready for a family and understood how important her son was. Well, Juan Pablo Galavis is a single dad who loves his little girl, and knows about the struggle of finding someone who “gets it.”
It seemed like there might have been some potential there. Plus, Juan Pablo is pretty easy on the eyes no matter how many times he says “it’s OK.”
The casting for The Bachelor was pretty intense. You’d be surprised, but Renee says the men and women who are there are really looking for love. I had always thought it might be for fame, but Renee shares an inside look at what people are feeling.
Renee’s son was actually excited for her to try out. He wants to see his mom happy, but he had a lot to say to her “Wear your helmet if you rollerblade.” “Don’t choke on your food.” And the list went on and on. So cute!
So, Renee was chosen, and she was shocked. She went back and forth emotionally before leaving for the show, thinking it was going to be great — no, it was a huge mistake. What am I doing?!
However, a week into the show, she knew it was the right thing for her. It was one of the greatest experiences of her life.
She was so nervous, and that first meeting with everyone is intense. There are 27 women and one man.
I asked if it was hard seeing other women with him. She said it wasn’t fun, but you knew it was going to happen. You have to prepare yourself. If you watched the show, you know many women obviously did not prepare well.
Renee and Juan Pablo did get to spend a lot of time together. Though there were not any angels singing when she looked into his eyes, she liked him, and he liked her. That can lead to something as many of us know.
There was a bond they shared. Being a single parent is tough no matter what.
It didn’t bother Renee that Juan Pablo was seemingly lackadaisical about things. She didn’t even realize it until it was brought to her attention. She likes an easy going guy, so it worked for her.
He is easy going which is part of his charm for many women. However, if you saw the specials after the show, you know a lot of women did not like this attitude at all.
When Renee did not get a rose, which bummed me out because I thought she was the most wonderful woman on the show, she was not surprised. She knew it wasn’t right.
However, it turned out not to be so sad. Juan Pablo taught her a lot. He taught her how a single mother should be treated, and gave her hope to find a love that was right for her.
It was hard for Renee to leave the show and it did hurt. She was a fan-favorite and when she left many of us were sad, and we didn’t like seeing her hurt.
Traveling to New Zealand was on her “bucket list,” and she got to cross that off, and do so with some serious style. She also got to meet and become friends with some wonderful people. Renee got to see so much and really discover herself. She was ready for a new chapter in her life.
The Bachelor Women
So, I was certain that the women on the show were not friends. Competition seemed fierce, and women can be really tough. I was pretty shocked when Renee told me that’s not the case.
The girls share clothes and make-up on the show, and it’s more like a sisterhood. As a matter of fact, all the women got invited to Renee’s wedding reception.
Yes, this ex-bachelorette got married in March to Bracy Maynard, her first crush, her first kiss. They were in and out of contact over the years. Dating again when Renee got divorced, but he wasn’t ready for anything too serious, and Renee was in it for keeps.
After Renee came home, Bracy reached out to her. He had an epiphany. He was ready to get serious. This was in November. They got engaged. And a month later, they got married. The two eloped, and of course, Ben was the Best Man, and Renee has married her best friend. She is beyond happy.
I wish the Maynard family much happiness and love. All three now reside in Seattle, Washington, and I imagine we’ll see more from Renee Oteri-Maynard.
A big thank you Renee for talking with me and for all the great pics! I had a lot of fun writing this.
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