We are not going to Jamaica, but this prompt made me think of my 14th annual Girls’ Weekend next year, when for the first time ever, we won’t be taking the cheapest possible route of getting a cabin in the Appalachians. We’re doing something big. We’re booking an all-inclusive resort package so we can go lay on a beach and have cabana boys bring us drinks.
Each year, four of my closest girlfriends and I get away together for a weekend. Two of the women have been friends since kindergarten, others of us since sixth grade, and some were college roommates. In our marrying years, beginning in 1998, we saw each other regularly as we gathered for bridal showers, weddings, and committment ceremonies.
But by the third wedding, we were scattered all over the country and wondered, “How are we going to see each other once the weddings and showers are over?”
That was when Girls’ Weekend began: after the third wedding was over and there were no more events to bring us all together, we made our own event. One of us offered up a family condo in Ocean City, Maryland, and the GW tradition began.
When we plan, we usually book a cabin or house — someplace most of us can get to easily, and someplace we can cook and drink in. We don’t go anywhere for attractions because, frankly, we rarely leave the house. We cook big breakfasts (with lots of bacon) late in the morning, or maybe around noon. We lounge in PJs till mid-afternoon, when we might go for a brief walk before heading back to the house for late afternoon cocktails (and changing back into PJs).
We’ve been to Maryland, the Floriday Keys, Chicago, Alabama, the Georgia and Tennessee mountains, and Asheville, North Carolina. We’ve brought babies and breast pumps, we’ve had many years where at least one of us was pregnant or nursing, and when we’ve been super pregnant, we’ve asked our husbands to vacate so we can host at home.
This year, though. This is the big one. Nobody is pregnant and nobody is nursing.This year, we’re going someplace that’s not in any of our back yards. Our usual strategy is to go where only one or two people have to fly so that we can save on costs. On the final day of the weekend, we pool all of our receipts — airfare, gas, groceries, booze — and split the total five ways so that the women who are further away aren’t penalized for having to fly.
This year, I’ve been saving. We’re not going to Jamaica, but we’re going somewhere warm, with beaches and blue water. This year, we’ll all be flying.
For the month of November, I am participating in NaBloPoMo and plan to publish every day of the month. Usually, I will publish a 10-minute free write, initiated by a prompt from my prompt box. Minimal editing. No story. Just thoughts spilling onto the page. Follow along with the tag #NovemberDaily.