I've said before that it took me a while to like Texas. When we moved from California I was adamant that we wouldn't stay beyond two years. Eleven years later, I can't imagine leaving. But having grown up in Hawaii and California, there are times when I really miss the beach, and am grateful this is just a 2 hour flight away.
I used to go to dinner every week with these sweet girls. Then I'm not sure what happened. Work took over, I moved across town. There are a million excuses, but the truest reason I think, is that I just got out of the habit. Because as much as we love to see friends, you know it takes a certain level of commitment (at least for me) to wash, blow-dry my hair, and find something in my closet that isn't made of spandex… (workout clothes are only for the gym?) Anyway, the more time that passed, the more awkward it felt to email them and say, "hey, remember me your lazy friend who has been MIA for years? Can you put me back on the email list?" And not doing that turned out to be a dumb waste of time. Because real friends want to see you whenever you can make it, regardless of whether your hair and makeup is done.
And I realized this again when I got a message on Facebook that turned into a lunch with everyone which turned into us planning a girls' trip to Mexico.
It was fun and relaxing and just like no time had even passed. And having been on a few girl's trips by now, these are the things I've learned about them.
1. Groups of 8 or less are easier when it comes to the spa or activities or dinner reservations. But either way, call in advance to schedule everything. You may or may not end up going, but at least you have the option.
2. Do your own thing. If she wants sushi and you want tacos, just meet up again later. There's no pressure to stay together and/or try to control what other people do.
3. Bring your own music to the pool. There are tons of portable speakers that hook up to your iPhone. I always thought this was rude, because I didn't want to bother other people. But outside, it's hard to hear past the immediate area. And it makes your trip more fun if you have the music you like.
4. Bring a vacation friendly book. One year, I don't know what I was thinking, but I brought Sarah's Key, a historical fiction book about the holocaust. There I was, on the lounge chair with my friends, bawling. No bueno.
5. Take a nap when you need one (and you know you will). I'm bad at this because I never want to miss out on anything. But I've learned that whatever small thing I miss, pales in comparison to that refreshed feeling of waking up in a hammock on the deck.
6. Also, take a nap in a HAMMOCK. Why has no one ever filled me in on The Joy Of This? The only ones I ever laid in before are the kind with a big bar across the top. You know the ones that seem like they're going to dump you on the floor? This one was like a cocoon, which I know in itself doesn't conjure images of ecstasy. Maybe more accurate would be to say it was like cocoon where George Clooney was rocking you to sleep and singing you lullabies. And now I want a George Clooney cocoon for my house, and maybe to take the place of my bed.
We stayed at the Villa Del Palmar, which is was nice. Decent food, clean rooms, nice pools, beach and bar, and inexpensive. In fact, the whole trip from Monday-Thursday was $800 (all-inclusive with airfare).
Oh wait! My last and best tip: If you have lost touch with a friend who you miss, but so much time has passed that it feels awkward to call them, JUST CALL. Or email. Or Facebook them. Or whatever. It is so worth it.
(love you Judy, Tina, Misha, Courtney, Joi and my new friend Jill)