As with many great ideas, it started in a bar.
During an impromptu gathering of college friends, the conversation turned to a familiar topic: We should see more of each other.
It had been ten years since we’d graduated from Syracuse University together. Remarkably, we’d stayed in touch and liked each other even more than in the days of dorm food and keggers.
We also were enjoying the self assuredness that comes with being 30 years old, and the bonus of having a little financial security to boot.
There was only one logical thing to do–plan a weekend getaway. Little did we know that our first trip would turn into an annual tradition.
1. Planning is half the fun.
Our trip always falls on MLK Day weekend, but discussions about locales, flights, hotels, what to pack, and what to see last all year long. E-mails with links to indulgent spas, highly recommended restaurants, and top-rated attractions bounce back and forth. So what if there are days we barely make it past the hotel bar.
2. There will be tears.
At any given moment, it is not uncommon for one or more of the five of us to break down. Whether it is over entrees in Arizona or walking down Sixth Street in Austin, there’s something about being around girlfriends who validate your feelings and love you unconditionally that spurs an emotional release. Bring tissues.
3. You’ll miss home.
Most of the time during our girls’ weekends I’m giddy with the joys of leaving it all behind. Pets, kids, laundry–not today! But then I’ll get a little twinge, wonder what’s going on back home, and need to check in. It’s OK, just try to avoid calling at 4 a.m. from a dance club. Husbands don’t love that.
4. Be flexible.
Plans will be made, and plans will be broken. It will rain. Planes will be delayed. That don’t-miss thing you must see, forget about it. Crankiness is inevitable (and usually caused by hunger, by the way). In the end, it helps to remember that girls’ weekends are about being together, no matter if it is waiting in line for an epic brunch at the Bellagio or dealing with the inevitable delays caused by five girls and one bathroom.
5. It will end too soon.
Before I know it, bloated from too much food and drink, wallet empty and laughing to myself over some silly happening, I’m on a plane heading home and wondering where the time went. Inevitably, I will open the inflight magazine, flip to the map of the U.S., and start thinking about next year.