Getting away for the weekend, especially with the girls, is a great way to relax, regroup, party and laugh, sometimes until we cry. It’s a wonderful form of therapy. My friends and I have enjoyed getting away for a girls weekend for the past 36 years. Yes, you heard that correctly, 36 years.
Last year we weren’t able to go due to the pandemic, which would have been year 35. Every 5 years since inception, we have shirts made to commemorate the occasion. We had shirts made last year since it was a milestone year, even though we didn’t go. Most, if not all of those attending, bring at least one shirt from past weekends.
The idea began with a girls float trip, sleeping in tents, floating in canoes, or kayaks, or rafts and roughing it when we were mere youngsters. Then over time, as our aging bodies started screaming at us, our girls weekend venues morphed into the large, beautiful rental home on The Lake of The Ozarks in Camdenton, Missouri that we enjoy today.
Not everyone can go every year for various reasons, and this circle of girlfriends is vast. Having said that, you can probably imagine the amount of planning and organizing that goes into this event every year. The planning has also morphed over time as we have learned lessons every year and developed a well-organized girls weekend.
At the beginning, we attended multiple happy hours to plan what we would bring to the girls weekend. Those that could not attend the happy hours were tasked with bringing difficult food and drink items, such as deviled eggs and Jello shots, lol!
There were lists created for everyone to remember to bring the essentials such as, tents, sleeping bags, bathing suits, sunscreen, bug spray, towels, river shoes, toilet paper, etc. These are very organized ladies that I hang out with. We have never had to worry about forgetting something, because if we do, someone else probably has it, and will share.
We no longer attend multiple happy hours to plan the girls weekend. However, as it gets closer to the date, which is now the same every year, emails start going out to everyone that has gone in the past. The list of attendees has decreased over time for various reasons, so the first thing to do is get an idea of who will attend for the sleeping arrangements, and a headcount for meal planning.
Since we have been going to the same rental home for several years, we know what to bring in terms of essentials. The planning emails are mostly for meals, and since we have a big kitchen, the sky’s the limit on what we make.
One of the ladies came up with a great idea several years ago for the meals. Every meal, breakfast, lunch & dinner for each day we are there, is listed on the email. Each person signs up for a meal and figures out what they will make and list it on the email. They bring all the ingredients, make the meal and clean up afterwards, although we do help each clean up.
We all bring what we will drink, alcohol or otherwise, and snacks we like that we share. That way, if someone has food allergies, or someone is making something they don’t like, or that doesn’t agree with them, they will have something to eat. Although we all know each other well enough that we can accommodate our friend’s allergies and food likes & dislikes with the meals we make.
By the end of our well-organized girls weekend, we all are relaxed and have some wonderful memories that last a lifetime.