Tuesday, September 20, 2016

GWA 2016

I am still recovering from GWA. 

Here is how I described it in 2011:  

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. 

We are going on 15 years of GWA now.  And this year, instead of the beach, we went to the lake. On a campsite.  In an RV.

It’s a true testament to my friends that I love them so much that I was willing to camp. I grew up going to camp and loved the experience, but perhaps not the dirt and the mosquitos. I went camping post-college to a Bluegrass Fest and all I remember is being hot and yucky. So camping is not really my thing, to say the least.

Friends, though, are very much my thing. So off I went.

First of all, we were really glamping, not camping. We had running water and electricity and a full-size fridge. We wanted for nothing.

We spent the weekend drinking, eating, swimming, laughing, talking, giggling, and laughing some more. I laughed so hard that no sound came out of my mouth. I laughed so hard that tears streamed down my face. My sides hurt from all the laughter and at one point it was actually painful! I enjoyed myself so much that it was hard to believe I was ever resistant to the idea of camping. To spend 48 hours with girls who have known me for more than half my life is a gift. A true gift. They remember stories I don’t. They remember experiences that I have long forgotten. They knew the me before I was the me that I am now. They loved me then and they love me now.

We talked about everything and nothing at the same time. We met other folks at the camp site and everyone talked to everyone. It was so different than anything familiar to me and I adored it.

We swam in an old cranberry bog which was turned into a lake. We fell asleep listening to the sounds of nature all around us. I learned to appreciate the calm and the stillness and the bonds that we have worked so hard to keep strong. We shared stories about our friends that were not able to make it this year and kept them close to our hearts the whole time.

My legs still itch from my bug bites and my hangover is finally gone.

I am still recovering from GWA and GWA is probably still recovering from me.

I can’t wait to go again.

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