The hustle and bustle of work, marriage, children and just everyday life can be such a whirlwind … you look up sometimes and wonder where the time went. And with all of those things keeping us all so busy, it’s even more important to set aside time to take care of not only yourself, but also the friendships that mean so much.
As I sat down this week to recap my fabulous getaway weekend with some of my best girlfriends, I was reminded of a similar post I wrote for Hybrid Mom. I looked back and was shocked to discover that was four and a half years ago. How did that happen? Back then, we vowed to do a girls weekend every year. But I guess, as they say, and as I’m sure you know all too well – life gets in the way.
In the time since our last getaway we’ve had so many legitimate excuses — graduations, new jobs, kids moving away, family illnesses and the loss of precious ones. During that time, we’ve shared many “counseling” phone calls and have been to comfort one another. But there really is nothing like getting away. So thank goodness we put a date on our calendars and finally made it happen. Really, that’s all it takes – setting a date and committing to put all of life’s other adventures on hold for just a few days.
Last week, as I hit publish on my first PLANK blog, I closed my computer and headed to the airport for what would be one of the best weekends I’ve had in a very long time. We came from three cities and crossed thousands of miles to converge in a great little cottage in Napa Valley, California. The cottage – a vacation rental by owner (VRBO) had absolutely everything we needed, even the bathroom was stocked with the little extras! (Check out VRBO your next getaway – I have done it several times and so far it has always been amazing!)
I must tell you this is an active group of woman — every one of us powerwalks, does yoga, goes to the gym or does Cardio Barre in our own towns. With that in mind, we all brought exercise clothes and shoes and set out with the best intensions of getting some activity in on this trip. You know how this ends, right? We never made it.
Instead, we sat endlessly in our robes (provided by the house), drinking coffee and snacking on breakfast fruits and yummy treats from the bakery. It was wonderful. We talked about beauty, hair and fashion dilemmas, with everyone sharing what works best for them. I love that aspect of the girl’s weekend! Normally, we are all just out there in the world, winging it, and it’s so enlightening to share things we’ve found. From blow-drying your hair a certain way, to the best new products – you name it, we covered it. We talked about baking and cooking ideas, and shared tips on everything from taking care of winter boots to getting the pills off of sweaters. We jotted notes and laughed until we cried. It felt so good!
We would have been content to just sit like that all day, but there was so much beauty to experience, not to mention the incredible food and wine tasting!
By the time we finally made it on the road and navigated the beautiful Silverado Trail that runs along the vineyards, we only had time for a couple of stops. My favorite of the day was Caymus Vineyard – their Cabernet is out of this world! While there, we met this lovely wine educator, Roseanne Acquistapace, who gave us a personal wine tasting (Click here and see a little of our personal wine tasting), with little bites of specialty cheeses. What a way to do it! We learned so much and Roseanne became our new best friend! (She is also a personal chef, so if you ever make it to Napa, look her up!)
In addition, we were lucky to have an adorable, hilarious girl named Stella, who was on vacation from Shanghai, join us. She was already sporting what the locals call “The Napa Smile,” and was such a fun addition to our group, so cute!
The next day was for my dear friend’s birthday celebration. We started the day the same way, but with the addition of sweet gifts and heartfelt cards. By the time we finally got on the road it was even later than the previous day. We stopped at a quaint roadside market, Oakville Grocery, for lunch that we enjoyed at their outdoor tables.
After lunch we once again hit the Silverado Trail, which took us to the vineyards. Our first stop was Chateau Montelena vineyard, which was established in 1882. The location is so beautiful with a lake (complete with swans), a vineyard and a long stone stairway leading to a gorgeous castle-style building. The tastings were great and the surroundings were really incredible. We didn’t make it to all the stops on our list, so we’ve got more to catch next time, including Yates, Biali, Rudd, V12, Jarvis, Trumbull and Frog Leap. Okay, maybe that’s two more trips worth.
We rounded out the day with a little boutique shopping on the main drag in St. Helena. – an adorable town with many restaurants, bars and shops. We had a reservation at TraVigne for dinner and it did not disappoint us … the butternut squash ravioli was amazing! Everyone had something so delicious.
We talked our heads off, sharing memories and our goals for the future. We finished the evening with a candle and a song, and then drove back to our cottage full and satisfied.
As we headed out the next day, recharged and inspired for great things to come, we recommitted to taking a trip together at least ONCE a year. This time I think we’ll pull it off!
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