I turned 40 this year – which meant that 3 of my closest friends from high school turned 40 as well and that meant celebration.
We chose our celebration to be a week long stay in Ft. Lauderdale – kind of the spring break we never took together. And back when we went to spring break – Ft. Lauderdale was the place to go.
Two of my friends that went (Kelly and MaryKate) have been my bestest friends for 30 years. We lived in the same neighborhood and have been friends since we were 10 (yep, 40 – 30 = 10 – good math). There isn’t enough room in this blog or probably in cyberspace to detail the things we have done together.
I mean when you are friends with two girls who have seen you through puberty all the way to premenopause – truly – what on Earth could they have missed?
My other friend who went, Joanna and I met in high school. And, to be perfectly honest, well, we really didn’t hit it off so well.
She became my best guy friend’s girlfriend so you can imagine how this went. I was jealous of her for spending time with him and she was jealous of me for knowing him so well. We even had a “cat fight” at my locker one day. Yeah – it wasn’t good.
I am not sure at what point things took a turn for the better – but I know by the time I got married she was one of my bridesmaids and I was one of hers. And, Mike, well neither of us talk much to him anymore.
Joanna lives in Michigan and MaryKate lives in Spain – so our normal method of communication is email. And even though Kelly and I live about 40 minutes apart – we, too, rely on the internet.
However, for 6 days we all shared a beautiful suite overlooking the ocean. It really was an amazing place. (Nope, no 20 year old chicks chugging beer with guys on the beach like I imagined spring break to be) But, none the less – it was ideal.
We had nights in – where we talked for hours and stuffed our faces with pizza and beer. And we had nights out that were down right crazy.
Karaoke one night… where Kelly couldn’t have been more in her element. I believe Guns and Roses’ song, “Sweet Child of Mine” won her an encore performance – not to mention a video and more than likely a shot at youtube. And we stunned ourselves when we didn’t get home until 5am!
Club dancing another – where we brought down the house and made friends with the DJ.
We found time in between drinks to enjoy the spa (where, thankfully, they served champagne).
And we sat at the pool and soaked up the sun.
And, what kind of girls’ trip would it be without some shopping?
Yep, we did it all and we had a blast doing it.
But, truly the take away (besides the 4 pounds that I gained) was 6 amazing days of being close with three people who know you unlike many others. Three people who have seen your heart get broken and watched you lose all that post baby weight.
And, I think another wonderful thing about being on a trip with friends at 40 – is that you are 40. You are confident with who you are. Its not about anything but the moment you are in. You walk around in your bathing suit without feeling self-conscious – Hell, half the time (okay not half- some) practically naked in the hotel room getting ready… I actually can recall days gone by when we couldn’t even change our clothes in the same room – let alone let someone walk in when we are showering.
Yes, the scenery was beautiful and the weather sunny and hot – but the true beauty of the vacation was the time we got to spend together. Time we can never take back and never re-create.
20 years ago we had endless nights and days together – days that I guess we took for granted. So, when you get 6 uninterrupted days with such close friends – that is what you treasure most about a vacation like ours.
It was hard to say goodbye and watch MaryKate get on the plane to Spain so very far away – and it was hard to hug Joanna and know that I probably won’t see her for many months… (It would be hard to say goodbye to Kelly but I know that if we ever really needed to we could have lunch on a moment’s notice)
But, the last few days have been hard. There is something unique about living with your girlfriends. Going to bed talking and waking up talking. (yes, this would be a guy’s nightmare) but when you have your girlfriends right next to you – where you can ask for reassurance or make a total ass of yourself and still feel loved – that’s a magic you don’t get everyday.
I have already lost that 4 pounds and sadly, I have lost that time with my friends.
Sure we have facebook to re-live the fun and email to offer each other comfort but nothing makes up for not being together. There is a quote, “Don’t be sad its over, be grateful that it happened.”
I am very grateful.