GWA stands for Girls Weekend Away. About a decade ago, a group of us made a pact that one weekend a year, we would all go away. It did not matter where, but it mattered that we always made the time for each other. It used to be 4 days at the Delaware beaches. Then it became 3 days at the New Jersey shore. The last few years, it’s been one night at the house of a friend who owns a pool and a bar. It seems that swimming and cocktails are two "must have's" for GWA. The hope is that we will get back to the beach someday, but for now, we are content with just finding a little bit of time each summer that we can call ours.
GWA 2011 came on the heels of our Chicago trip and so I was in a pretty good place before I even left the house. And GWA did not disappoint. We swam and laughed and ate delicious food – and way too much of it! We laughed so hard that we had tears streaming down our faces. My sides are still sore from the giggles. We stayed up till 3 and 4 AM and told stories and shared memories and enjoyed being together. We acted like little girls at a sleepover party and not the grown women we are in reality. We had no responsibility but to enjoy ourselves and make the time count.
Talk turned to the future and what we wanted to do next. We all had big parties for our 30th birthdays and we talked about a trip in a couple of years when we will be close to turning 40. We think an all-inclusive long weekend might be in order for that. We encouraged everyone to start saving now!
I have known all along that the power of friendship is amazing. I was reminded of that this weekend. You see, this was supposed to be the first GWA that I was going to miss. I was supposed to have a 2 month old baby at home and therefore, was not gonna be sitting at a bar, singing “We Didn’t Start the Fire” at the top of my lungs and try to get my friends to go back in the pool at 10pm.
But I was able to go. And I had a great time. Maybe next summer will be the one I miss. Maybe I will never miss one. Who knows? What I do know is that when I am with my friends, close enough to me that they feel like my sisters, life goes on. Laughter happens. Smiles are frequent.
Allie was there in spirit, as she is with me every place I go. She will sadly never get her own GWA, but maybe she will have a sister that will. Or maybe she will just have to be there in me, which lately does not seem like such a bad place to be.
To my GWA girls and my other amazing friends, thank you. There would be no laughter without you.