Investing Wisely: In Friendship

Waiting for her doctor’s appointment Monday, Pen found this little gem on her phone and shared it with us immediately. Senior Prom. Omg the hair. The dresses.

It’s possible that this was the first Girls Weekend: it began on a Friday with the big bash at the Huntington Townhouse, followed by dancing at OBI (the Oak Beach Inn – a former Long Island hotspot) and about two hours of sleep before heading out to breakfast at someone’s house. Saturday was the beach day at Robert Moses (Field 2 to the right) and a house party Saturday night. Sunday was a barbecue and a Mets game at Shea stadium. So much fun!

The best part of that weekend or of any Girls Weekend is the girls. We had become friends long before this picture but it represents a milestone, and I began to think about how many of those we’ve shared over the years and what it means to invest in friendship.

No one sets out thinking, “today I will invest in my friends” and of course it’s too easy to get sucked into your own Matrix but we came up with a few things you can do to make sure you keep your friendship going:

  • Start a group text. Find a funny picture or a nostalgic quote and send it to your besties. Great way to start or end the day.
  • Make a weekly check in phone call. We started Happy Hour Friday calls. We can’t commit to it every Friday, and it takes some planning but is well worth it to share a long distance chat and a cocktail with your home girls (or guys). We can’t wait to be able to face time each other. That should be a hoot.
  • Take turns calling each other (if you have more than one best friend as we do, take turns) on the ride home from work. Most of us have a bit of a commute and it passes the time and keeps us current in each other’s lives.
  • Make plans for a Girls Weekend. Don’t wait – we cannot emphasize this enough. Start immediately and adopt a “plan it and it will happen” mindset.We don’t really think about all our years together until pictures like this pop up and when we’re done laughing at our clothing and hairstyle choices, we realize that a huge return on our investment is our history. There’s no replacement for it, you can’t buy it and the only way to have it is to invest in it. It’s that simple.

My stepdad summed it up beautifully when I texted him this picture with no message. He sent back one word: yesterday.

Witchcraft and Fondue: 6 things to do in Salem

2010 was the year that My Girls Weekend found out why everyone says that Boston is such a great city…because it is! Omg – so much fun. Must be something in the water. We stayed at a Marriott Long Warf, ate delicious food, drank a lot of Sam Adams beer, and took the train to Cambridge to wander the lovely Harvard University campus.

The highlight was an impromptu trip to Salem. Who knew it was only 30 minutes by ferry? Though the place was hopping, locals told us that we lucky to have arrived ahead of the October crowds.

We spend hours walking around, admiring the beautiful houses, marveling at the history, and checking out the myriad of Halloween and witch-themed chatychkes and eating yummy foods in the golden, September sun.

Salem is still a top 5 Girls Weekend all-time favorite and we highly recommend adding it to your bucket list. When you get there, make sure you:

  1. Take a tour : don’t miss any of the history here. There are so many tours to choose from and you will be happy you did. Think you know all about the Salem Witch Trials? Think again. Want to see more of the town? Try a walking tour. Want to make it extra spooky? Take an after dark tour. In 2010 we walked around and picked one we liked (a re-enactment of a portion of the trials) but now you can go to Tripadvisor.com to read reviews on their top 10 Salem Tours.
  2. Walk: Salem is a beautiful city and the landscaping along the water makes you understand why the early settlers chose it for their home. Pack your walking shoes.
  3. Shop: I loathe overpriced junk that fills your suitcase, drains your wallet and no one really appreciates anyway. In Salem though, I shopped. We found unique and reasonably priced, well made items (much of it locally crafted). My favorites are still the three Halloween costumed figurines that I bought for each of my children.
  4. Get a Tarot card/psychic reading: Salem is a Mecca for witches, the psychic and highly sensitive. There were people at every corner happily handing out cards (and we liked that it wasn’t intrusive, just neighborly). Ask around for a reference because the locals know who’s who and are happy to share it with you. Or let your intuition guide you – this is Salem after all!
  5. Watch for Laurie Cabot sighting: the longtime Salem resident and founder of the Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft, Laurie Cabot is the woman who put witchcraft back on the map in the 1970’s.
  6. EAT: after a few hours of walking and touring we stopped in at Rockafellas for sustenance and refreshment. Best. Move. Ever. We sat outside in the sunshine, sipped white wine and dipped anything not nailed to the floor into melted cheese. You can check our their extensive menu here. You will be happy that you did!

Former home of Jonathan Corwin, the only building in Salem with direct ties to the Salem Witch trials.

Favorite wind chime souvenir still hangs in my window…

You Can’t Eat Just One…

You have to bring snacks when you stay at a resort. The cost of raising your family, college and just navigating life is expensive so we have found that stocking a few essentials helps to offset the cost of eating in a café or restaurant. Some mornings maybe you don’t need eggs benedict and a fruit bowl, and a simple coffee and power bar is enough to get you through until morning.

If you have a beautiful room with a kitchanette that overlooks the ocean like we had in Cannon Beach, OR then you definitely want to keep your favorite beverages, plenty of water and your favorite snacks on hand. You might also want to make sure that you have your favorite coffee pods on hand so you don’t miss a sunrise and in Oregon, they are not to be missed.

Vine enthusiasts take note – if you didn’t already know, Oregon produces really amazing red wine and the Erath that you see on the table is a beautiful Pinot Noir. My cousin introduced me to it at a party and I’ve never looked back. Delicious.

Also the quote on the photo is from Hurricane Irma in 2017 when Pen and her family were preparing for the worst but you know, all those goodies in the house are hard to resist. What’s a girl to do? Her husband wasn’t thrilled lol.

1996 vs. 2019 – Ten things we do differently now

10. Packing: we pack so much lighter now. Carry on luggage demands we choose practical, interchangeable pieces that are stylish as well as multi tasking. Do I really need 7 pairs of shoes??

9. Cocktails: except for the occasional show in NYC or Vegas, we favor early mornings over late nights these days. The best time to kick back and relax is Happy Hour time where we can enjoy our favorite beverages, some appetizers and a lot of laughter.

8. Eating: speaking of food, meals are light and dinners are mainly shared appetizers and local specialties. It’s easier, more cost effective and a great way to sample new foods. Like the food truck culture in Portland, OR or the myriad of rib places in Austin, TX

7. Spa time: when we stay at a resort with a spa, we like to indulge in a massage, facial, or color light therapy (thanks MB!) to really relax and let go of any extra stress.

6. Sightseeing: we do much more exploring in 2019 choosing to soak up a little culture and local cuisine like checking out the carriage tours in Charleston SC.

5. Shoes: choosing shoes that are stylish as well as capable of trekking around town or hiking trail are not hard to come by these days. Slip on leather sneakers, Skechers or Borns and get out there!

4. Families: in 1996 we couldn’t wait to get away to catch a breath from families and children. Now that they are older and not as needy, we love to visit with each other’s kids whenever we can. In Tampa we got to have dinner with Penny’s daughter Alex who graduates college in the spring.

3. Mini GW: we have been talking about having a Mini Girls Weekend for the past ten years but family, finances and schedules just got in the way. We finally broke the seal in 2019 when we went to Tampa, FL for a February weekend together.

2. GW at home: as our children get older, leave for college and become more independent, having a stay over for a day in our own homes while on the way to our destination is an inexpensive, fun way to have time together and to visit families. In 2018 on our way to Sedona, AZ we spent two nights at Paula’s new home. Our February Mini Girls Weekend was spent entirely at MB’s new Venice, FL villa. It was so much fun to enjoy each other’s company as well as share their homes.

1. Relaxing: gone are the days in which we were hellbent on doing and seeing it all in 48 hours. In 2019 we are carefully choosing what we do and where we go.o optimize enjoyment and maximize laughing time.

VooDoo Take Down..

Did I ever tell you about Voo Doo donuts in Austin TX?

I’m thinking no…

VooDoo Donuts is the Valhalla of sweet treats. As you enter you are instantly transported into a mythical hall of colors and fragrances that are not of this world. Odin himself couldn’t resist.

Then me and my homegirls showed up in late 2016 and shit got real. Real fast.

Still slightly zombified from the dancing, singing, displays of sugar, Pen, Paul and I waited outside for MB. The doors in front of this VooDoo Donuts are: enter on your right, exit on your left. Not a complex set of instructions for most people but for me and my girls waiting in between the doors, then yes.

As MB emerged with her pink-box-from-the-gods, the arthritis behind her knee kicked in just enough so that her knee buckled as she descended the small but apparently deadly step at the exit. Stumbling forward she caught Paula by the back with her free hand and down they both went in a huddle in front of the shop. Bitch took her DOWN….

Paula never saw it coming but managed to yell out a startled and irritated “MARYBETH!”, as they hit the ground.

It’s one of those GW memories that plays out in my head occasionally and from which there is simply no escape. I can’t even write about it without the tears of hysteria welling up in my eyes.

Thought I would share it with you all because if you’re ever in front of a VooDoo Donut shop, stop in for some yummy goodness and pay attention when you leave. You’ll be happy you did.

These are my original posts from my personal Instagram account where I post pictures of my kids, my pets and the wine I drink to keep it all going…Feel free to follow me if you don’t have enough of this in your own life…lol

Valhalla awaits you….
Yum domes!

Also, I got Photoshop:

Ever have something like this happen on your Girls Weekend? Tell us about it!

Away We Go!

It took less than six months from the time Paula moved out to Vegas in 1995 for us to book our first Girls Weekend tickets to Chicago.  In a short amount of time our lives had changed exponentially, and we had so much fun reconnecting that first weekend.  Sitting in the lounge at the Marriott Hotel making fun of other people on the dance floor laughing and catching up, that we realized that our friendship was more than enough to have a good time.

We must’ve grown up that weekend.

Since then we know that regardless of what beautiful location we are in, it’s about four friends enjoying each other’s company.

That’s the magic formula.

The Story of Girls Weekend: states

During the years where we were getting married and settling down, three of us girls began to look outside of New York to find homes and begin new lives. MB was first; she had been down in VA for awhile but chose Florida as the place to settle and start her family. She is still the only person I know who is cold. Constantly. In Florida. (Penny and I went to college close to the Canadian border. I can’t even wrap my head around that…)

Days after her wedding, Paula and her new husband headed west to Vegas. She and Penny made the almost week long trip (a mini GW if you will) cross country in Paula’s Honda. The journal they kept along the way documents how they spent their time vacillating between hysterical laughter and killing each other. It was awesome…

Penny was next, though she stayed in New York long enough to take the plane with me to the first girls weekend in Chicago. Her parents had already settled on the Gulf Coast of Florida and after the birth of her daughter, she and her hubby packed up their home on Long Island and headed for Tarpon Springs.

I chose to stay in New York. My family was here and I couldn’t imagine myself living else; I need to know that I am close to Manhattan and the beach at all times. Though it was difficult to watch my best friends leave, I wasn’t devastated. Maybe on some level I just knew we would always be friends. This of course came true because after her first year in Vegas, Paula suggested we have a Girls Weekend.

The rest is history.

I don’t think you need a reason to have a Girls Weekend other than to simply enjoy time with your best friends but being able to stay in contact with your closest friends ranks highly in my book. If you and your besties are apart, now is the time to grab your girls and go.

You don’t need a million dollar weekend; you need to have fun.

Have you ever had a Girls Weekend? Let us know in the comments and tell us where you went!

The Story of Girls Weekend: Kelly

Then there’s me in NY where it all began years ago. I remember sitting by the pool at the J.W. Marriott in Austin, TX asking my best friends, “what do you think if we go public with our Girls Weekends? We’ve been doing this for so long now and and we’ve always known we have something special…do you guys think other women would want to hear about it too?” Immediately they all said “yes!” We spent that morning swimming and talking about what our blog would be like. We were so excited, that as soon as I got home I started a blog (not WordPress at first and more on that later), took an online course (Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging) and haven’t looked back since.

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