Monday, October 5, 2015

10 Necessary Things for Getaway Weekends with the Girls

Angie hanging out on the balcony of our hotel room.
By Angie Quantrell

After a recent 2-weekend-in-a-row record for getaways with girls, several necessary requirements for a successful retreat floated to the top of my mind. Add these suggestions to your special weekends for a fantastic time.

1. Take friends and relatives. Yes, I adore having time alone. But for a million laughs and plenty of sharing and rekindling of friendships, take along friends, sisters, moms, or cousins. We laughed until our sides ached, shared until our minds went blank, and relaxed between in the quiet times.

Sister TJ goofing off at a museum stop.
2. Location, location, location. Choose a meeting place that has the necessaries for a bunch of girls - beds, bathrooms, showers, kitchen space (or great restaurants), activities, and lounging-and-chatting-places. My first weekend away was a beach cabin with all the amenities. The second weekend was at a spa resort complete with bells and whistles.

Beach or resort? Both are fantastic for getaways.
3. Plan for good food, coffee, and tea. It doesn't matter if you assign meals to each person, haul along the ice chest to save on costs at a resort, pool snacks for sharing, or dine out and let others wait on you. Some of the best times are had during meal preparation, eating, cleanup, or waiting for restaurant selections to arrive. Those early morning risers will thank you if plenty of am coffee and tea choices are read to go.

We shared meals at the beach (delicious root vegetable soup and rosemary cheese bread). We combined resources for meals and ate at restaurants during our spa weekend.
4. Prepare for fun activities. Beach walks, shopping, sightseeing, crocheting, rubber stamping, watching movies, crafting, soaking in hot springs pools, a 50th birthday party, splurging on spa treatments, getting haircuts, and sneaking to the fancy lobby in pajamas are all things I've enjoyed over the last 2 weekends. Taking it easy is also a wonderful treat.

Polly loved crochet time.
5. Carpool. Get the party started early. Time in the car chatting and stops for museums and attractions along the way add to the festive holiday atmosphere. Plus you will be saving gas and the environment at the same time.

6. Embrace the sillies. At the beach getaway, the hostess brought her  4-month old kitten. Talk about fun times (and one spoiled kitty). During the spa retreat, we surprised each other with little gifts, balloons, chocolate torte, and crazy toys. The birthday girl had a crown of glow-in-the-dark ears. My sister turned the leftovers into a runway lighted strip to lead us to the bathroom in the dark hours of the night.
Playing is good for adults!
 7. Capture the fun with photos and videos. Many of my pictures did not turn out. I really wanted photos of us soaking and being pampered though that was not possible. But looking back and sharing the shots with each other is worth hauling around that clunky camera and having to delete the ugly shots.

8. Be flexible. You will get tired or irritated at times. Let things roll off your back. Go with the group consensus or suggest everyone choose their own thing to do. Not everyone wants to go on a 5-mile hike or spend the entire weekend sitting and stamping. It's ok to do different things at the same time.

9. Enjoy the time. Who knows when the entire group will be able to get together again (if ever). Catch up, reconnect, and refresh. Make the most of the gathering. We all need times like this to take us out of the every day ruts and get our brains recharged.

We splurged on one fancy meal at the hotel.
10. Stay connected. You just spent a marvelous weekend in each others' hip pockets. Keep the love and relationship going by staying in touch through email, phone calls, texts, social media, and in person. Your mental sanity is worth the time and effort!

So pull up a chair. Let's chat.
Did I miss anything? What else would you add to the list for great girl getaways? I'd love to hear. I might just be planning my next trip...

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