Earlier last week, some girlfriends and I got together for a “weekend” (technically it was Monday through Wednesday, but you get the idea). All five of us have lived overseas over the past two decades — and two still do, actually — so the fact that we were all in the same general vicinity was a minor miracle. Our paths hadn’t crossed in far too long.
We decided to mark the moment because we calculated it had been sixteen years since we were last all in the same room together (and that was for one of our weddings, so it doesn’t really count because it’s not like we were hanging out).
All we did was grab some pedicures and dinner up in Waco, then drove an hour further to a nice guesthouse in the middle of nowhere. Truly — there was no wifi and I had no cell phone reception, and the last semblance of a road before turning into the grass to park was gravel. Truly middle of nowhere.
It was fantastic. And we all left pinkie-swearing we wouldn’t wait another sixteen years before getting together again.
Very similar to my ten quick thoughts about weekend getaways with your spouse, here are ten quick thoughts about weekend getaways with friends.
1. Pack super light. We’re only talking a few days here, and with good friends, there’s no reason to fuss over too much stuff in your bag.
2. Keep it casual. Unless you’re gathering for a regatta gala, it’s usually more cost-effective — and more laid-back — when everything planned is casual.
3. Don’t plan too much. Time will fly by, and if it’s been a long time since you’ve hung out, chances are good you’ll mostly want to talk and catch up. (We were originally thinking of flying to Charleston or NYC, but then decided we’d honestly prefer to hang out in pajamas and talk in a comfy living room.)
4. Plan for unfancy leisurely meals. We hit up the grocery store on the way out of town and made super simple (but delicious) meals in the guesthouse kitchen. None of us wanted to spend too much time cooking.
5. Talk about your kids and spouses. But then move on, and talk about how you’re doing, too.
6. Don’t force deep. Sure, get to the important stuff, but also goof around and reminisce. It’s good to lighten up.
7. Bring a game or a movie. We didn’t need this, but if you feel like you may need a talking break, bring something to do together. Hanging out can mean both talking and playing.
8. Add maybe one or two activities, tops. We got pedicures and wandered a few shops before heading to the guesthouse — all still hang-outable and chill.
8. Do your best for everyone to have their own room. Yes, it’s great to reconnect, but the introverts among us still need to retreat to our personal caves every night for some quiet and privacy.
9. Stay up and/or sleep in. Especially if you have kids. It’ll feel foreign, but it’s amazing to let your body dictate your sleep. Hang out later than you usually do, then make a pact that everyone silences their phones and wakes up whenever.
10. Don’t wait too long to plan the next one. We left with tentative plans for two summers from now, when there’s a chance we’ll once more all be in the same country. A minor miracle!
This week on the podcast, I’ll share more practicals on planning a weekend gathering — places to go, the best housing set-ups, and a nifty little app we found that made things even easier.