Every year I take a girls only trip with three of my great friends from high school. This tradition actually began when we were seniors in high school and we drove from Michigan to Florida for the week of Spring Break.
It was a big deal.
Everyone at our small school had their knickers in a twist over four seventeen/eighteen year old girls daring to drive fifteen hours to the heathen state of Florida for some fun in the sun. We survived, had an amazing time, and made it home without one traffic ticket or incident of indecent exposure.
And we did it all without the aid of cell phones, GPS, or online internet maps. We used real maps. You know, the ones kids today don’t know how to read. We called our parents to check in from pay phones. And no one died because they weren’t able to reach us every second of the day.
We were totally independent, smart, capable, badass teenagers.
Fast forward twelve years of being sidetracked with college, jobs, boyfriends who became husbands, raising children, and some husbands becoming ex-husbands, we resumed our tradition of the annual girls trip. Except now we fly instead of drive because we have more money and we’re scattered across the country. We’ve been doing it now for about ten years, give or take a year off for unexpected complications.
This year we congregated in Charleston, South Carolina.
My travel itinerary wasn’t fun since I was basically traversing the country as far as possible from the west coast to the east coast, but once I got there I was completely charmed. This was my very first trip to Charleston and I have to tell you, I was not disappointed. It’s a fabulous city!
We stayed in the historic district and walked everywhere. We took a carriage ride through the city and our guide detailed everything from minute details of residential architecture to churches and buildings of historic significance. We shopped in the open market on Market St. and I bought Sweet Grass Baskets for my children as souvenirs. We walked the waterfront to Battery Park, which has some of the most beautiful trees I have ever seen. We toured Rainbow Row and marveled over the charm of flowered window baskets, burning gas lamps, and real wooden shutters that add an undeniable ambiance to the already weighty, historic feel of the city.
And the restaurants in Charleston are amazing!
One of my favorite restaurants was called Poogan’s Porch and they serve gourmet southern cuisine. The food was fantastic and the service was incredible. If you go to Charleston, plan to eat there, but make a reservation in advance or you won’t get a table. I had the beef fillet with blue cheese dumplings, and it was to die for!
The other place I would highly recommend is called Kaminsky’s, and it’s a dessert bar. It’s a bar that only serves alcohol and dessert.
The line to get into this place was staggering. Thankfully, we had stopped in there for hot drinks one afternoon when they weren’t busy and got to know one of the bartenders. It was raining outside and we wanted to warm up with some spiked coffee. The next evening we decided to go back to try their dessert menu as well, but there was a mob of people waiting outside to get in. It would have been over an hour wait, but our dear new friend, the bartender, was able to snag us some seats at the bar and took excellent care of our dessert and cocktail needs for the rest of the evening. The place is fun, charming and has some of the best dessert Martini’s, ever. And I don’t like Martini’s, so that should tell you something.
Now, two of us, myself included, already had established alter egos. I am, of course, Wanda. One of the other girls is known as Belinda, but only when she drinks. Not wanting to leave the other two girls without a fun, alter ego to enjoy the weekend, Jasmine and Piper were born out of much alcohol consumption and consideration of naming preferences. I shall refer to my friends by their alternative names out of consideration of their privacy, and well, just because it’s more fun.
Jasmine received a chiropractic adjustment to her back, shoulders and neck by a local homeless man named Byron. I’m not kidding. We were walking down the street and observed this man cracking another man’s back while standing on the sidewalk. Jasmine yells out, “I need some of that!” Byron then crossed the street and began to work his magic. I was shocked. I was waiting for him to feel her up. He was standing behind her with his arms across her chest, working her arms, back and neck. At one point he said to her, “Lean back and put your head on my shoulder. Trust me.” And Jasmine said, “But I just met you.” It took every ounce of self-control I had not to piss my pants right there because I was laughing so hard. Jasmine decided to trust Byron, and he proceeded to give her, as she claims, one of the best back adjustments she’s ever received. The look on her face was orgasmic. She tipped him ten dollars. He rode past us on his bike a few minutes later and shouted out, “You’ve been Byronized!” Yes. Yes she had. (We found out later from our friendly bartender friend that Byron is a bit of a local celebrity, and every one knows him, loves him and he provides back cracking and adjustments free to anyone who needs them).
Belinda was good this year. She managed her alcohol intake well and there were no incidents of ‘Girls Gone Wild’ this year. We were really proud of her.
Piper just had a baby last year and is still breastfeeding. It became fun for all of us to mimic the sound of the breast pump which occasionally made her boobs tingle trying to release the milk. And we were treated to a special visit by her eight month old baby girl. Piper’s husband drove down with the baby so she could meet her Auntie’s and enjoy an afternoon with us. They live a couple of hours north of Charleston. I’m not kidding when I say she is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. I gave her a pink bear, which we named Flo, and she loved her, which means, by extension, she loves me. So that means I’m the favorite Aunt. Just sayin’.
As for myself, well, I had a Ross Geller moment while at dinner on Saturday night. I wore skinny jeans that night. I never wear skinny jeans because I find them to be tight and uncomfortable. But, to shake things up a bit, I wore skinny jeans to dinner. We walked to the restaurant which was about a mile away from our hotel. It was warm outside and I was sweating slightly by the time we got there. Do you remember that episode from Friends where Ross wears leather pants on his date? And he goes into the bathroom of his date’s house to air out his pants because his thighs are so sweaty? And then he can’t get his leather pants back up and uses baby powder to absorb the moisture on his legs, but the powder mixes with his sweat to form a paste? Yeah, well, my incident was sort of like that but without the baby powder. Skinny jeans don’t like to be pulled up or down sweaty legs. I went to use the restroom when we got to the restaurant and got stuck in the bathroom for a while trying to get my stupid ass skinny jeans back up my sweaty legs. Never again.
In short, we had a great weekend. Great laughs, great friends and good times!
PS–We are considering options for next year’s girls trip, so if any of you have a suggestion for a destination in the US, I would love to hear it. 🙂