I recently returned from a girls’ trip, and as much as I love traveling with my husband and my kids, there is just something special and magical about a girls’ trip. Some of it has to do with the chance to reconnect with old friends you might not see every day. Some of it is getting to have a few days to care about yourself in a world of “Mom! Mom! Mom!” Whatever the reason, it feels a bit magical to get a few days away with your friends.
I’m going off on a tangent here, but I love the story of the girls’ trip I just returned from. I spent four years in dental school in Memphis and made some wonderful girl friends along the way. We would spend time together on the weekends and started going on trips that have evolved from weekends as single girls in Miami to road trips with our families and visiting each other around the country. Over the years, we have watched each other get married, have kids, see heartaches and celebrate happy times. We don’t talk every day, but whenever we get together, we pick right up where we left off.
Ten years ago, we decided to go on a trip to celebrate some of our 30th birthdays and a bachelorette party all in one. We picked San Francisco and Napa as our destination. One of our friend’s sister, Suzanne, also decided to come along and she happened to know a lot about wine (and we knew nothing), so she planned our fun in Napa. We had an amazing day and stopped at beautiful vineyards, one of which offered a tour from a cute guy about our age. As we walked through the beautiful grounds, we found out it was his family’s vineyard.
Suzanne was single at the time (and already planning to move to California) and she ended up friending him on Facebook. We continued along on our trip and had an amazing time. When we returned home, we saw that Suzanne and Anthony (the guy) met up not too long after our trip. Over time, a romance unfolded and she ended up marrying him, and they now have two adorable kids and live in a beautiful house on the vineyard we visited on our first trip! See, girls’ trips really are magical.
My recent trip was a Napa “reunion” of sorts, with the same group of girls, and this time we stayed at Suzanne’s house with the happily married couple and their adorable kids. It was amazing to think we were there when they first met! We realized we were also celebrating 40th birthdays and have 13 kids between us — things have changed just a little bit.
Times have changed; we didn’t stay up as late, the time sitting together on the couch is more valuable than being out on the town, and we spent a lot more time talking about cute things our kids have been doing. But the chance to get to have a little time with my friends truly was amazing, and if this romantic story isn’t reason enough, here are some (completely unsupported by evidence) reasons you should make time for a girls’ trip:
- Every mom (and this applies to dads too!) needs a little chance to recharge. I adore my kids and generally don’t shy away from traveling with them, but every once in a while it is nice to have a chance to go on a trip that is really a vacation. Without the kids you can actually get a chance to relax and not do anything for anyone else. I feel like part of being a mom is always doing everything for everyone else, and taking care of you is the very last thing on the list. Getting away for a few days gives you a chance to be a little selfish and just think about you, which is good for the soul.
- It makes you realize your husband really can do it and your kids think he’s great. I have a tendency to want to leave to-do lists or clothes out to wear, but this trip I just let it go and my husband totally nailed it. My daughter did wear a white smocked new with tags Easter dress with a tiara to school the day after I left, and I don’t think anyone had brushed hair, and they consumed a lot of pizza, but you know what? They all survived and the kids had a great time without me and my husband totally nailed it.
- You get a chance to have real conversations without interruption. Is it just me or if I am talking to my husband or any adult on the phone or in person, my kids appear (sometimes like Houdini) and start saying “Mom! Mom! Mom!”? Sometimes I hide in my closet and they still find me. I love talking to my kids, but it is a rare occasion to get to have an uninterrupted conversation with a friend. Even if you go out to dinner with another family, you don’t really get to actually have a conversation. These long conversations with my girlfriends give me life. I find the answers to questions or really get to see something from a completely different perspective or talk about our feelings. I really need this connection, and it is hard to get that plugged in type of conversation in this season of life unless you go on a girls’ trip.
- I get to go to the bathroom alone. Everybody gets this. Enough said.
- You make memories with your friends that truly last a lifetime. We had so much fun recalling the hilarious stories from past trips. You get a group of women together — they can be 20 or 70 — and fun will happen. I love having these moments and hilarious things happen that we will never forget. From almost getting hit by another car to learning to saber a champagne bottle open, something fun always happens and you will always have those memories to share with each other.