I haven’t been running, but I’m ok with that. Life is hectic as I knew it would be as we prepare for the second wedding in our group of friends coming up on May 5th.
The one I’m most excited about.
The one in which I’m maid of honor and mother of a flower girl. The one for which I planned and am planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower.
The one for my lovely, amazing, gorgeous and hilarious running partner, Ginger.
The past weekend was one of legend. A group of 10 of us drove 12 hours to Asheville, North Carolina to meet 5 other friends at a huge house in the mountains. HUGE house.
That’s how great a friend Ginger is to all of us. Fifteen women, most with kids, jobs, and busy lives, dropped everything to split town for three full days and celebrate her upcoming nuptials.
Every single moment was amazing. Seriously.
We drove through the night Thursday night and arrived early Friday morning. Most of us crashed in one of the 20 beds then woke up to hang out and enjoy the mountain views and start getting ready for our night out.
Friday night, we dressed up in our costumes and hit up the bars and clubs of downtown Asheville, courtesy of some very blown-away cab drivers. Everyone was so excited about the costumes and really went all out. Ginger had only heard snippets of our plans, but eagerly jumped on board with her costume too.
It was epic. And crazy. And all of the things a bachelorette should be.
Saturday, we all tried to sleep in but there was too much excitement in the house. We awoke slowly, made coffee and ate breakfast. Then got dressed and headed out for a hike.
Five of us had done this hike when visiting Asheville in the fall, so knew it was breathtaking and we were excited to bring the other 10 girls along with us. It didn’t fail to impress us again.
There’s nothing like “hiking” in southwest Florida. There are no hills to speak of; no rocky mountain streams; no cool snowmelt water. 75-degrees and dappled shade through the trees? Our hangovers disappeared quickly.
So we started drinking again.
There’s something magical about drinking champagne with 14 of your best friends on rocks warmed by the sun in front of a waterfall.
Then diving into the waterfall’s icy cold water. It takes your breath away. Literally. It was like 50 degrees.
We spent about an hour enjoying the waterfall, climbing on the rocks and swimming, then hiked back. We headed to a mountainside cafe – The Straightaway Cafe – where we found a live bluegrass band and table for 15 already waiting for us (unplanned!).
The girls ordered me a surprise birthday cake to help celebrate my
35th 29th birthday (which was the next day). I’m not a big birthday celebrator anymore so it was a really nice gesture for them to remember me – and have the band sing me happy birthday.
We all enjoyed burgers and Fat Tire, then headed back to the house for a night of games and obnoxious, lazy fun.
I have to mention the first game we played, because it had us in hysterics. Jelly Belly’s BeanBoozled. You spin a spinner to select a jellybean from the box – and that jellybean can be either “licorice” or “skunk spray.” ”Booger” or “juicy pear.” ”Baby wipes” or “blueberry.” We were seriously cracking up (and gagging visibly) while trying to choke down these disgusting and frighteningly accurate-tasting beans. Good times.
I’m so happy that so many of our friends made the trip to show Ginger how much they care about her and want to be there for her. She’s truly an amazing friend to everyone, having attended every single one of our showers and parties and kid’s events over the past 10+ years with sincere excitement and a willingness to pitch in and help with anything. She’s the one to bring a bottle of wine when you’re fighting with your husband or show up an hour early to help decorate for your sister’s baby shower. She’s always there, for all of us.
I’m glad we could do this for her – and for us. We all needed this. I needed this.