If you've been following my blog for more than a year, you might remember a similar post to this one from last year about the infamous balcony photo that my three closest friends and I take every year on our weekend together. The girls weekend tradition continued this past weekend when Stephanie, Nicole, Kristen and I went to Wilmington, NC together.
To catch up the newbies, we have all been friends for over a decade, some of us since we were 11 and 9 years old. Our relationships have been strong individually, but together the four of us just have something special. We connect and get each other like no one else and it's really pretty unbelievable.
But even the closest of friends tend to drift apart, especially when you no longer live near each other. We were close enough throughout college with Nicole, Kristen and I all attending JMU together and Stephanie being a 90 minute trip down I-64 at UVA. But after college, Stephanie moved to DC and then to BOSTON, while Nicole moved to DC and then to TALLAHASSEE. Kristen stayed in the valley where we went to college, and I moved back home to Richmond. So we were all geographically all over the place.
This year was so different! There were no flights to coordinate because Nicole moved to Boone, NC and Stephanie moved to Raleigh, NC. Which means we can all drive less than 5 hours to be together which is pretty exciting for us after so many years apart. Google Hangout nights can only do but so much.
So this year, Kristen drove 2.5 hours to Richmond, where I drove us 2.5 hours to Raleigh. Nicole drove 4 hours to Raleigh, and then Stephanie drove us 2.5 hours to Wilmington. It was a great system.
The hotel employee we asked to take our photo actually did an impressive job following instructions for my camera! It's so nice to get an in focus photo from someone who doesn't know how to use an SLR! :)
We had the best time in Wilmington. The city was adorable. Wrightsville Beach was beautiful and WARM but not too hot. Our hotel was really nice. I have never stayed in a "resort" type hotel where there is a nice restaurant, oceanside bar service, yoga classes, and spa options. We really enjoyed it, but as usual the greatest part was just sitting on the beach ALL DAY talking and catching up on each other's lives. Almost all of us have completely changed careers since graduating college or have gotten married or are considering starting families, so it's a great time in life to connect with the people who have always known you the best.
We enjoyed the beach and exploring the riverwalk in Wilmington. Ate lots of seafood. Drank our bottle of wine that we picked last year in Charlotte. We went wine tasting at a fantastic local wine shop and chose our bottle for next year's trip. We got pedicures and we drove home. It was basically the perfect weekend and probably my favorite trip thus far, though it's really hard to pick one.
If you have those people in your life who you can be totally yourself around, who get you without you having to explain, who know what you're really saying when you say something else and who ask you the hard questions nobody else will... don't ever let those people go. You will never regret making the effort to connect or reconnect. But you'll regret letting people slip away.
Until 2016... or rather, until our ten year high school class reunion this Fall... which is mind-blowing. TEN YEARS. Wowzers.