Some things are worth a 500-mile drive in a weekend (and I’m not a fan of road trips). In this case, it was the same friend for another weekend.
My best friend from high school had to drive a similar distance and it didn’t make her bat an eyelash. She’s one of those people who loves to drive, and I’m happy to let her when we’re together.
A couple years ago, we went to Richland, Washington. That year, we had another high school friend with us. I blogged about it here.
We’ve since been to Seattle and Leavenworth.
I’m sensing a theme here: the state of Washington. As it happens, Washington is “middle ground” for us. She lives in Idaho and I’m in Oregon. Check your map and you’ll see what I mean by “middle ground.”
Unbreakable bonds are forged on cinder tracks. Okay, that didn’t sound as prophetic and epic as I hoped. It’s safe to say, Laurel and I became friends after a hurdle tried to take me out at the knees.
For many years, we were inseparable. But people grow up. At times, I feared we might be growing apart, but that’s not what happened at all.
Each time we saw each other, time fell away and we took up right where we left off. Except we were older and wiser (more gray-haired and wrinkled anyway).
When she went through an ugly divorce (yes, there are other kinds, but ugly seems to be the norm), I was a concerned yet distant ear. Most of the communiques came through email, but the weekend the divorce became final, we started our tradition.
And it started with hiking on Mt. Hood. Then it headed to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.
It hasn’t happened every year, and what started as an autumnal tradition has migrated to springtime.
It involves late nights, good food and lots of laughter. In fact, we’ve considered trademarking the hysterical laughter method of ab-tightening.
The original point of these getaways was to offer a retreat from regular life with someone who accepted you at face value. It might be a time of therapy-by-venting or relaxation through escapism.
As for destinations, there wasn’t any rhyme or reason to the selection. Not even in the beginning.
In recent years, we’ve chose destinations centrally located that we could drive to. This keeps the cost down, although I’d wager we could find another discounted airfare to a city further afield…if we wanted to be flexible and let it happen more spur-of-the-moment.
Richland, Washington is no tourist destination. Not one I’d pay money to attend anyway.
But it happens to be nearly halfway between the two cities of our residence. And it has pretty decent weather most of the year.
The hope for sunshine is what made me reject her suggestion we relocate this year’s meeting to a place much closer to me. A place in the once-scenic (and now burn victimized) Columbia River Gorge.
She’s bringing her brochures and planning to convince me it’s a decent location for the next meet-up. And since I’ve never “bathed” in natural hot springs, she can probably talk me into it without too much trouble.
Same friend next year, who knows where? Same time? Possibly. We tend to be creatures of habit.
Have you ever had a girls’ getaway (or a guys’ getaway)? What did you do? What was its purpose?