Relax, Recharge, Reunite: Analysis of a Girls’ Getaway

I am just heading home from a 4 day weekend with some of my college roommates. We have now known each other for longer than we hadn’t before we met in our late teens. As our 40th birthdays were approaching a couple of years ago, I suggested that we all get together to celebrate sometime this summer. After multiple Google searches for ‘girls’ weekend,’ many destinations proposed and rejected, and several ‘anonymous’ doodle polls, four of us amazingly agreed on a time and place and pulled it off.

It was the first time since graduation that we met ‘just because.’ There was no wedding or baby shower, no reunion, no conveniently timed and located work meeting. We wanted to, and in retrospect needed to, just be together for the sake of reconnecting with women we hold dear in our hearts, who will forever share a piece of our soul even if the hustle and bustle life keep us largely apart and disconnected from each others’ daily lives. We came together from different corners of the country. This is what friendship is all about.

So we friends, who have moved geographically and/or practically away from each other over the years, slipped right back into our easy friendship in a swank condo in downtown Denver. (Denver BTW is a great destination for a girls’ weekend offering a balance of outdoor adventures, culture, and urban fun but this blog post is not about that.) We laughed together. We cried together. We ran, hiked, biked, swam, and lifted/toned/burned* together. We shopped together. We relaxed together. We perused social media together. We ate and drank together.

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Mostly we just talked and talked and talked while we did all these things together. We had so much to catch up on: so much advice to seek; so many opinions to render; so many feelings to share. It’s not that none of us have equivalent friendships in our daily lives to do all this sharing, all this bearing of heart and soul; but the same challenges of life, be they work, kids, personal health, etc., that get in the way of us keeping in touch also get in the way of those local friendships.** Some of us, however, just don’t have women who are true friends close to our current homes, part of our daily lives. And for us, the reconnecting was ever so much more meaningful.

In theory, since we value each others’ friendship so much, we could call or text each other, we could Skype or Google Hangout together, and we could email or (gasp) send letters to one another to stay connected. But we don’t. We just don’t. It’s not that we don’t need or want to. We just aren’t able to execute on our friendships when everything else is a more immediate priority. So, without the rigors of daily life bearing down on us, without the distraction of some other event calling us together, we were able to just let go of all the things that keep us perpetually apart and be together this past weekend.

We all benefited. We felt unconditional love and received honest input on things that are weighing heavily on our minds. We learned more about ourselves and our relationships with others. We deduced what undergarments should and shouldn’t be worn and for what occasions. We exorcised demons of roommate fiascos of long ago. We built new memories and hatched ambitious plans for the future.

From gut busting guffaws, to smirks and smiles and frowns and tears, we had a great time. Part therapy, part fun, part vacation—girls’ getaways are an undeniable fact of life long friendships, quickly mitigating the challenges of distance and distractions of modern life. A perfect way to relax, recharge, and reunite.

*See Pure Barre

**This is why so many women who are in geographic proximity do ladies’ night out much in the way we did this weekend.

 

 

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Avoiding a Vacation Set Back: Day #5

DURING MY 2 WEEK VACATION, I HOPE NOT TO GAIN MY TYPICAL 5-7LBS. MY GOAL IS A DAILY POST ABOUT WHAT I DID TO AVOID A VACATION SET BACK.20140722-091936-33576986.jpg

Yesterday got away from me so this post is a little late. It was a day filled with lemon (the color), relaxation, art, culture, and food–especially food–lots and lots of yummy amazing delicious food which obviously had to be balanced by some physical effort. The day started with Pure Barre. I was especially excited because one of my friends decided to join me and I was wearing my new favorite summer work out outfit. Here I am in the Athleta Stride Capri in what they call Aloha Yellow and the record breaker tank in white.

After barre, three of us went for an easy 3mi run along the Cherry Creek Path. I have run before Pure Barre before but never after. With the altitude that I am not used to and the muscles that were still sort of in tetany it was tough but I got her done. We chatted while we ran so it wasn’t the fastest pace ever. I can’t recommend running with friends/partners along new routes while traveling enough. You get in your workout (so more food later), you get to bond, and you get to explore the locale.

And then there was brunch. We went to a local chain called Snooze where there is always line out the door and a long wait. We waited 45 min on a Monday and it was so worth it. I am pretty sure a single pancake there (which you can get in multiple varieties including the familiar chocolate chip, blueberry, etc. and the more far fetched cinnamon roll, strawberry malt, etc.) is like 3000 calories. I opted for an omelette with a single sweet potato pancake on the side. So I was totally indulgent but I did exert some control by choosing the omelette as my savory item instead of the hollandaise and sandwich options that would have the added high carb bread and I did sub the hash browns for fresh fruit. My god it was amazing. The 10 block walk back and forth also helped temper the yummy in our tummies.

After an afternoon at the spa (nothing like a massage to soothe the Pure Barre worked muscles), we took in the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens.  This allowed the opportunity to work off a bit more of the pancakes with more walking. Chihuly is always fun. I ended wearing one of my favorite Pleione tops from Nordstrom.  It’s super comfy and a great bright yellow. So there I was again donning lemon.

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Finally, we ended up at a very highly reviewed restaurant built into a former service station called Root Down. We have eaten very well this trip but this was hands done the best meal and definitely a contender for one of my favorite foodie finds ever. We ate tapas style and the flavors and textures were so amazing. They call it “globally influenced seasonal cuisine.”  This just might be my new favorite type of cuisine. We ate something called Devils on Horseback and seared Colombian arepas and amazing meatballs with balsamic blueberries and several mor20140722-092315-33795218.jpge amazing dishes. Sadly we ate so much that we left no room for dessert.  Sitting on a patio on a mild night with a view of the city from up on a hill was also a treat while treating ourselves to a totally indulgent meal. And yes, without really planning it, I wore my go to summer dress that I have had for years and it is lemon yellow.

 

The Fitbit logged 20,054 steps yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Avoiding a Vacation Set Back: Day #4

DURING MY 2 WEEK VACATION, I HOPE NOT TO GAIN MY TYPICAL 5-7LBS. MY GOAL IS A DAILY POST ABOUT WHAT I DID TO AVOID A VACATION SET BACK.

Skipped the morning workout today given we had planned a hike in the nearby Eldorado State Park. There are so many amazing outdoor options to choose from in the greater Denver area we were almost paralyzed with choices but when the forecast predicted 95 degree temps we opted for the state park with a natural spring pool nearby. We have a mixed group of fitness levels so opted for an easy hike. Post-hike we cooled off with a quick swim before heading back (via Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale at the Flatiron Crossing store).

Here I am before I got too hot and sweaty in my Caslon 9in inseam clean front chinos and an Athleta Tinsley tee (yes, when they went on sale I bought them in multiple colors but as much as I am currently obsessed with Athleta is really is criminal to have ever expected anyone to pay $44 for the shirt; however at $15 it’s a figure flattering, go to active tee when you don’t want to look like you have specifically put on gym clothes). The Saucony Peregrine trail runners I grabbed on Zappos just days before the trip served their desired purpose well. My feet were comfy, no blisters. The treads held the terrain well, even on steeper declines.

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After a long day of hiking, even with cooling off at the time warp Eldorado Springs Resort Public Pool, no one was really in the mood for a meal requiring an intense amount of effort. So we aimed for casual and, having had our share of outstanding new American farm to table the last couple of days, we opted for ethnic and chose a cuisine (Malaysian) that none of us had ever had before. The meal was meh but it was fun to try something new.

The Fitbit logged 23,792 steps today. About 4.5 of the ~9mi was attained during the hike.