Tag: girls night out

Same Friend, Different Weekend

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.”

Why Her?

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.

Girlfriends’ Weekend.

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.

Why There?

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?

A Weekend with the Girls

Life speeds ahead and important elements like friendship might become little more than casualties along this racetrack. This is one of the reasons I have made a weekend with my best friend from high school a priority in my schedule.
If you’re a man, you might be able to relate if you go hunting with your friends. Or maybe you have tickets to a sporting event and share dinner before (or after) with a testosterone-heavy group. Good for you. Friendships enrich our lives.
And no, a girls-only getaway doesn’t me pillow fights in pajamas (regardless of what my husband likes to think). But it does involve the heart-to-heart talks that may have been left behind with those teenage slumber parties.

Many years ago, my best friend from high school and I began this tradition. Although we haven’t maintained an annual reunion since the inception, we’ve been faithful to it for the past three years.
City Escape
Two times we’ve traded our small-town existence for the big city. After all, spending time with friends isn’t about secluding ourselves from the world.
Our wide world begs us to experience its many faces. How better to see the bright lights and high rise shadows than with a friend?
We’ve visited San Francisco and Seattle. A trip to Sin City is brewing.
These destinations offer unique opportunities. Walking along Fisherman’s Wharf to the sound of barking sea lions? Sure and don’t forget the wax museum and Ghiradelli factory. If you’ve never been offered drugs at the entrance to Golden Gate Park, have you really lived?
Fish tossing at Pikes Place Market? We saw it. And sampled fresh-roasted coffee and nuts while perusing wares from dozens of artisans. When we wanted to be grossed out, we toured down Post Alley to the gum wall.

These are shared memories that fuel the midnight conversations in years to come.
Mountain Escape
One of our earliest weekends was at a condo near Mount Hood. It rained to greet our arrival, so we watched movies and snacked on popcorn.
While the clouds camped on the highest peak in Oregon, the sun shone on one trail that wove through evergreens to a small lake. There the mountain was reflected in all its glory.
This year, we took a longer drive to Leavenworth, Washington. We hiked two-and-a-half miles up the side of Icicle Ridge to enjoy amazing views of the river rushing through a rocky gorge on one side and calming to lap gently at several parks on the other.

Yes, that’s the river gorge nearly 2,000 feet below us

This little town offered plenty of other sights, too, with much more panache than the sleepy mountain towns of Rhododendron and Zig Zag (look them up if you don’t believe me).
Worth the Drive
While we flew to California, most years we hop in our respective vehicles and drive to the rendezvous point. The older I get, the more my body groans at being trapped behind the wheel for hours on end.
                                                            Yes, I’m not much for road trips.
But to spend a weekend laughing, sharing, crying and living with my girlfriends, I’ll suffer the butt-ache and stiff knees (all of which faded after the long hike anyway because my feet screamed much louder).
Even if we lived much closer, I think my friends and I would still like to “get away from it all” together. It’s therapeutic to bare our souls and drain our stress.
Sunday comes before we’re ready. There are hugs and goodbyes and then the promise of the future.
“See you same time next year.”
And it’s a date.
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When girlfriends get together

3 girlfriendsOnce upon a time there were three teenage girls. Two of them lived in the same apartment complex. Yes, neighbors can be friends.

The third girl needed real friends. She had been dumped by her church friends when she became a cheerleader. And dumped by her cheerleading friends when she quit the team.

And so, girl three tumbled over a hurdle and one of the neighbors had to carry her into the locker room. It was the start of a wonderful friendship – one that has been real and true, surviving relocation, divorce, deaths and long silences.

The other Neighbor girl arrived late to the party. Her family moved into the apartment complex a year later. Before long, she was invited into the tight friendship circle. After all, a circle contains numberless points.

Fast Forward Thirty Years

After many years of separation, the last girl added to the circle reconnected with the other girls. Yes, thank you, Facebook. It started with a lunch. Who knew they had lived so close to each other all this time?

The other lady (yes, none of them are girls any longer) lives in a different state. In this era, that means nothing. But the Internet can only take you so far.

Thus, a girlfriend weekend was planned.


Obviously, this author is one of the three women in this friendship.

The woman from the other state, L1, is a computer geek. Okay, an IT specialist for the county where she lives. Do any of the rest of us really understand what that means? (Do we want to?)

These two women had spent several weekends together, but it had been many years. At the mention of it, the third friend wanted to experience this great method for catching up and relaxing (as well as escape from familial stress for two days).

The third woman, L2, has been struggling to raise her orphaned nephew. She works in transportation. She’s the only one who still has both of her parents (and they are the reason she lives so close to this author).


This was a Friday-Saturday getaway. A central location was agreed upon (more on that later) and a hotel room secured.

“What are we going to do?”

The location was a high desert, so the mid-spring weather promised to be dry. The hotel was located along a river walk.

“We’ll play it by ear.”

That’s part of the adventure anyway, isn’t it?

Besides, this weekend was mainly about reconnecting with old friends. That meant talking. Who needs to be entertained when you have two friends to chat with?


Richland, Washington was chosen for this first get-together. (Yes, first, meaning there will be a second). L1 reserved a room at a Shilo Inn along the river.

Ms. Writer picked up L2 at a shopping mall near her home. They carpooled down the interstate, chattering like squirrels on speed. What better way to make the miles fly?

A nearby baseball tournament filled the motel with teenage boys on Friday night. Which turned out to be an interesting twist since someone brought a shoe box full of old notes (more on that later).

To say the motel was dated is being kind. At least it was clean. The pool was out of service and the weather promised to hit the high 70s. But the river trail was wide and paved and headed past two marinas and some interesting condos and restaurants.

Friday was a late night. No one could believe the collection of notes from 1981-1983. Not even L1, who called herself the keeper of historical documents. Sounds better than pack rat, I suppose.

Girlfriend Historical Records

What to Do

Talk. Walk. Try to shop. Talk. Walk. Eat out. Talk. Walk. Talk.

3 girlfriends

And before we blinked three times, it was Sunday morning and we were checking out.

Parting felt painful. The goodbyes were stretched through a milkshake at Applebee’s.

3 girls goodbyeSomeone got to take a nap on the drive home. But only a short one, and more conversation followed the sleep.

“We have to do this again.”

And so, same time next year, the trio will travel to Seattle. Reservations in a nice condo are already made.

The historical records? We hope the maids at the Shilo got as much laughter from reading them as we did.