Monday, August 9, 2010

Reunited, and It Feels So Good: Girls' Weekend 2010

When I snapped this photo, it was during dinner on our first night in Asheville, and I was drinking a cocktail called a Front Porch Iced Tea, eating fried green tomatoes with goat cheese grits and a sandwich called The Southern Fried Chicken BLT. Clearly, I was very happy, and the happiness continued mostly unabated for the next three days on this, our ninth annual girls' weekend.

Five out of the six of us stayed the first night in two adjoining rooms in the "historic" section of The Grove Park Inn. By historic, the much-talked-up Inn apparently means "dorm-room type rustic furniture, vaguely Aztec stencils on the walls, and a teeny tiny service elevator operated by strange old people." We were underwhelmed by the room itself and feeling skeptical about the experience when we talked over dinner at Tupelo Honey Cafe, not that this stopped us from staying up late talking and reading magazines when we returned to the inn.

The next morning, though, when we entered the Grove Park Spa, we apologized - to the inn, to the universe, to karma, whatever - for anything slightly negative we may have said. The spa exceeded our highest expectations. They didn't allow cameras inside, so there are no pictures of us there, but suffice to say that we checked in well before noon, changed into robes and slippers, had lovely, lovely massages, ate lunch, swam in various pools and sat around in various steamy rooms, brought cocktails and champagne out with us while we lounged on a deck with an amazing mountain view, and were still awfully sad to have to leave at 7:00 to make our dinner reservation. It was everything we hoped for and more, which is dangerous, really; this morning, back at home, I had a brief moment of self-pity that nobody would be bringing me a peppermint-iced towel while I lazed near a pool with a waterfall today. Sigh.

For the rest of the weekend, all six of us made camp at one of our in-law's mountain homes, which they generously left for the weekend so that we could sprawl around, sleep in, order food, drink bottles of bubbly things, and - of course - talk. Most of that essential, hilarious, honest, necessary talk happened out on the deck. We couldn't bear to miss this view for any longer than necessary:

We did go into town for the requisite shopping and grocery-store impulse snack-buying (dill havarti, olives, chocolate almonds, hummus, chips and guacamole), but otherwise we were there, talking. This year was the first year we've extended the annual weekend to add one more day and we still didn't run out of things to say. On the flight home yesterday, I wondered, how many days would it take until we sat silently in a room and admitted defeat, until we were just plain out of words? It hasn't happened yet.

We have a journal that Heather bought and that we finally got around to writing in this year, because the dates and locations are starting to blur together and we want to remember the highlights of each event we've shared. I opened the red cover to a swath of blank pages and the whole group watched me as I made the index page, numbering years one through nine and recording the month, year, and location. We left plenty of space after numeral nine - two pages, to be exact - because we think, we hope, we're going to run the tally up to at least forty, maybe more if we're exceptionally lucky. And I think we are.


  1. Sounds absolutely blissful! I couldn't go to our annual reunion this year (I was in a friend's wedding), and I missed the girl time so much. The spa is a great idea...something we'll need to look into!

  2. YAY. This photo put a huge smile on my face--so glad you had such a phenomenal weekend! The journal is a great idea; we've been keeping one since the beginning. Each person keeps it for a year and writes a big entry about her life at the time, then we pass it on at the next reunion. It's so fun (and sometimes funny) to go back and read those old entries!

  3. You guys are adorable! No one looks a day older than when we graduated!! So cute!