For someone who used to travel internationally at least once a year, recently realizing that I hadn't even left the state in the past two years was a little jarring. I was thrilled to break that streak this past weekend with a quick jaunt to Arkansas with some of my closest girl friends for a weekend in the woods.
On Friday three car-loads of ladies who have known each other for decades first met up in Bentonville which is home to the uh-mazing Crystal Bridges museum. Before perusing some art, lunch and drinks were shared in town square while we did some very important catching up. Amazingly missing small rainstorm after small rainstorm, we finally made our way to the museum and had an accelerated afternoon of artful acculturation before starting the caravan back up to head to our weekend cabin.
After driving on some of the THE scariest and bumpiest country roads I've ever been on, we finally arrived at our huuuuuge cabin that we had booked months in advance. It was lush. We were spoiled. Friday night was filled with a home-cooked dinner, a beverage (or three), LOTS of laughs that made your belly hurt, the scariest face masks you ever did see, hot tubbing in the rain, nonsensical games, and a sunset in rockers on our screened-in porch.
After a hearty breakfast Saturday morning, the crew headed out to Fayetville to spend the day (and most of the night) but I opted to hang back at the house. I rarely ever get true time alone so I jumped on the opportunity. Oh man, was it nice. I made friends with the hot tub again, read (for fun!), took the most leisurely bath complete with mimosas and snacks, gave myself a pedicure, watched some movies, took a THREE-HOUR NAP (worthy of three exclamation marks!!!), did some serious reflecting, and just enjoyed the peace and quiet.
Here's the thing with away time with friends who've known you more than half of your life - sometimes, they help you see yourself in a different way. Perhaps see things that you don't want to see or have been ignoring. Or maybe they help you see the good that you can't see. I had a girls' weekend like that. It was a very introspective getaway for me complete with some of my dearest helping me through it.
And of course, the weekend wouldn't be complete without stopping by the side of the highway in a field of wildflowers to take odd engagement-inspired photos with my best friend.
Growing up is weird. And sometimes really hard. Life is confusing and often overwhelming but having your friends along for the ride makes it just a bit more possible to conquer the difficult parts. To my girlfriends, and their friendship through it all.