Back in early August, a group of my closest girlfriends from my Wisconsin days took me to Charleston, S.C., for a long girls-only weekend. It’s the first time in probably eight years where we’ve all been together, and the first time since 1997 where we all went on vacation together.
These girlies have been with me through nearly everything. I’ve known two of them since middle school and the other since 4-year-old kindergarten. If I can do math right, two plus two equals…and that’s going on 30+ years. They’ve been with me through crazy crushes on boys, losing my adoptive mom in college, my first serious boyfriend, moving away to grad school, getting married, and, of course, getting pregnant.
Even with all of us living in different places now — two are still in Wisconsin (different cities), one in Georgia and me in Massachusetts, we manage to arrange periodic video chats to catch up on each other’s lives and pick-up conversations from years before without skipping a beat. I know it’s really rare to find those kinds of friendships that can last the long haul. After everything, I treasure our bond as besties even more now and realize how special it truly is.
This whole tripped spiraled from one friend not knowing what to do for me, to us taking a trip together, to all of us looking at our schedules to go as a group. I know they didn’t have to take time off from work for me. They’re all super busy with their amazingly successful careers. I’m so appreciative of what they did, even if they don’t know how much it meant to me. The trip was a getaway from home and everything that could remind me of Emmett. It was a refreshing respite to escape for a few days and remember the happier times of past and also make new happy memories with people I deeply care about.
I flew into Atlanta. (Side note: I hate that airport especially when the tram isn’t working.) I met one girlfriend who was flying in from Wisconsin and then our other friend who lives in ATL, picked us up. We spent the night and then hit the road early to make the 4-5 hour drive to Charleston.
Almost six hours later, after a lengthy detour at a Georgia CostCo (we honestly should’ve bought the large sheetcake), we finally made it to South Carolina to meet our other friend. It was seriously like picking up where we left off our last conversation together, immediately joking around, poking fun at each other.
The weekend was full of good times at the beach and great food. Totally recommend the Lost Dog Cafe near Folly Beach. Probably some of the best homemade corned beef hash I’ve ever had. Plus, if you’re a dog lover, there are tons of cute pix of canine friends all over the walls.
While I did get exceptionally burned on the beach (remember to use that sunscreen) and I lost my prescription sunglasses in the Atlantic Ocean, it was a blast. Just lounging around, not having anywhere to be. We made some friends in the hotel shuttle and got some advice on what sights to see. I took my first Über ride, which was quite enjoyable talking to the driver about his match.com profile.
We also did one of those escape rooms. So, if you haven’t heard of these, you’re basically locked into a room for 60 minutes and you have to follow a bunch of clues to get yourself out. It was the four of us plus another family of four. Honestly, it was a ton of fun. It was this jailhouse scenario where we needed to escape the warden’s office. I highly recommend finding one especially if you like solving puzzles. It was the perfect way for us all to use our different methods of deduction and problem-solving.
On our final day, we hit up some more of the sights, like the Rainbow Road houses, all with their brightly colored facades and gas-light lamps along cobblestone streets. We had a great southern biscuit breakfast at a hole-in-the-wall place that was packed. And, then we drove out to Magnolia Plantation to view the gardens.
Let me tell you…plantations + August + humidity = me not happy.
There isn’t enough Gold Bond powder in the world to have helped me through there. Still, it was amazingly gorgeous to see centuries old foliage and such beautiful landscapes. I just can’t comprehend how people back in the 1700’s were able to live without A/C.
I am so eternally grateful to these incredible women for such a great time. I will remember this trip for year’s to come. I honestly hope that I’m as good a friend to you all as you have been to me through these years.