I'm fairly certain I could write a book about the resort that was our home-away-from-home on this trip. The landscaping, the beach, the comfy beds, the impeccable service, the fantastic food, and on and on and on.
I know I could write a book about the value of stepping away from your everyday life and forcing yourself to relax, unwind, detach and just BE. Sinking your toes into fine, white sand on a warm, breezy day on the Gulf of Mexico should be available by prescription. I think it could cure just about anything that ails you.
But really, the joy part of this trip was multiplied by the company I kept and the conversations that flowed on and on for five days among high school friends re-united after a 20(ish) year hiatus.
If we're being totally honest here, the company was the part of this trip that caused me a little angst. I loved these girls in high school, but aside from one local neighbor, we really hadn't been in touch for the past 20 years beyond weddings, high school reunions and occasional Facebook commentary. So I wasn't completely sure how it would go. Would we all get along? Would we run out of things to talk about? Would we stumble into some random political discussion that would create a rift for the rest of the trip? And (most importantly)...What if I want to go to bed early and everyone else thinks I'm a party pooper? Because for me, vacation means sleep catch-up time.
Well, we survived. And I think it's safe to say we were all pleasantly surprised at how swimmingly it all went. We spent hours catching up, laughing about husbands and kids and how life turns out differently than what you imagined when you were in high school. We shared bottles of champagne over a lobster lunch, toasted with shots of tequila at the Mexican buffet, and sipped margaritas together in the ocean. Some of us worked out. Some (most) of us didn't. Some of us spent the day zip-lining at Xplor Adventure Park while others stayed home and hit the spa. We napped, swam, drank, gossiped, parasailed, snorkeled, shopped and pretty much had the time of our lives.
There is something about reconnecting with people who "knew you when." We spent a fair amount of time reminiscing, but exponentially more time talking about life NOW. We shared our frustrations and our fears and our stories of life as we know it today. We didn't get caught up in the past, because, as it turns out, there is plenty between us that is better left in the past. This vacation was our chance to celebrate friendship and draw strength from it. It was a reminder that we are all busy but should never be too busy to keep up relationships with our girlfriends.
I was fully expecting the big story to be all about this:
Turns out, it was more about this..
Twenty years ago we were different girls. This would have been a much different trip. We might have been a little cuter in our bikinis back then, but beyond that, 20 years only aged the experience to perfection.