Balcony Fest 2014

I had the best weekend.

…about 4 weeks ago.

When I learned the sad news that my grandma’s health had taken a turn for the worst, I was actually sitting in the Charlottesville airport about to come home from a fun weekend with some of my favorite friends. It was quite the jolt into a sad reality. It’s so strange to me to think about how HAPPY and carefree I was and how suddenly that shifted into concern and helplessness. For this post, though, I’m going to focus on the happy weekend.

As you may remember from this post, I have a few friends from high school who mean a lot to me:

BALCONY

2004

Friends_1

2009

Even though we live in different places, we try to stay in touch through a weekly-ish Skype date. There’s nothing like three full days together, though. It’s so much better. So a few weekends ago, we ventured to Charlotte, NC and enjoyed eating food, talking by the pool, and drinking wine. Of course, the main purpose of the trip was to re-create our balcony photo since it’s been about 5 years:

balcony pic

2014

We picked Charlotte because it’s one of the few places I could get a direct flight to from Tallahassee. I appreciated all of them making the drive down and, truthfully, I wish I could have been in that car, too. We stayed in a cute hotel downtown so we could walk around to all of the nearby restaurants and such. Occasionally we’d ask someone to take a photo for us. This request was almost met with a cautionary, “you girls be careful” which convinced me people thought we looked about ten years younger than we actually are. It was funny – I didn’t mind.

dinner

I realized I hadn’t seen all of them together since my wedding about a year and a half ago and I didn’t really get to hang out like I would have wanted to because I was busy getting married and all. Before that, I think the last time we were all together was in 2012 when we visited Stephanie in Boston.

boston

We tried to organize a “friends weekend” in Savannah, GA last summer, but it kind of fell through. I couldn’t make the trip up to Virginia, but the three of them still got together for an afternoon. They actually purchased a bottle of wine that we ended up drinking on this trip a year later. We bought another bottle in Charlotte!

Wine

So we decided to really try to make this an annual thing. It was so comforting and normal-feeling to be together. We had fun exploring Charlotte and talking by our hotel pool, but mostly I was just glad to be together. I’ve learned that it’s really valuable to keep people around who knew you at different stages of life. It reminds you who you are and where you’ve been. I really appreciate how we all still make this priority and I hope it’s a tradition that sticks around forever like these guys.

Stephanie and I have no idea where we’ll be living next year this time, and Kristen was literally in the process of moving, so we decided that Tiffany – the homeowner – would be in charge of keeping the wine safe until then. I can’t wait!

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