Friendship

This past weekend was wonderful.

Once a year, three of my best friends from high school get together for a girls weekend. We always go somewhere new and spend a few days catching up and talking about life. And we always pose for a picture like this on a balcony, or, in this case, balcony looking object.

2015_balcony pic

It’s one of my favorite traditions.

These ladies are some of the kindest, most genuinely good people I know, and I’m really fortunate to have them in my life. We’ve been there through so much life together already (we’ve been friends for over 10 years) and I know their friendship is just going to mean more and more to me as time passes.

I don’t really know how to write this post without taking a quick trip down memory lane…

original balcony pic

2004. Myrtle Beach High School Band Trip. This is when our friendship REALLY began.

2008_balcony pic

2007. OBX. Spring Break. A week of sitting on the beach, flying kites, and being happy.

2012_balcony pic

2012. Boston. Visiting Stephanie who was in Law School at BU!

balcony pic

2014. Charlotte, NC. Exploring downtown Charlotte and lounging by our hotel pool.

And then there was this year: The best weekend yet:

2015_balcony pic

2015. Wrightsville Beach. Morning yoga, beach, seafood, wine tasting, pedicures.

We call this weekend “Balcony Fest” because we always take a picture in the same order standing on a balcony. And it’s great. And I hope it never ends.

Our hotel offered beachside early morning yoga and I was DELIGHTED. It’s kind of been a dream/goal of mine to incorporate beach yoga into our of our trips. It was great.

2015_yoga  2015_ocean

We had yummy on-site dining options. We rented some beach chairs in the morning, walked over for lunch, and walked right back to our beach spot for the afternoon. Perfection.

2015_poolside

We explored downtown Wilmington and the adorable Riverwalk.

2015_view 2015_riverwalk

We had a fancy complimentary breakfast every morning at our hotel. And we split dessert four ways because we always share things perfectly.

2015_breakfast 2015_dessert

We had delicious drinks and bought friendship rings.

2015_drinks 2015_friendship

We went wine tasting because every year we buy a bottle of wine for the NEXT Girls Weekend.

And if there’s one thing you take away from this post, it’s that you need to purchase a bottle of the pumpkin pie port. It’s really, really, really, really, really, really worth the $25 + $10 shipping. Perfection in a bottle.

2015_wine

It’s hard for me to put into words how important this trip is for my soul. I’ve had “friendships” that are actually quite horrible. Friends can be competitive and judgmental, and well, we’ve all seen the movie Mean Girls, right? I’ve seen friendships like that continue right through adulthood.

These women. This friendship. Sometimes I say things I don’t mean and I don’t even realize how hurtful I was until days (weeks?) later. Any of these people forgive me. Sometimes one of us falls out of touch for a couple months, and we forgive her. I would do anything for any of them. I trust them. I depend on them. I feel like my truest self when I’m with them.

I think it’s really important to maintain friendships with people who have known you the longest. I’ve seen my grandparents do this, and my parents do this, and they always seem “at home” with these friends that have known them since they were kids. So far, we’ve maintained our friendship through different relationships and break-ups, through good family times and tough times, and through a lot of long-distance living (Stephanie has been in Boston; I’ve been in Florida), but now we’re all living within 5 hours of each other: two of us in North Carolina, and two of us in Virginia and it’s so comforting to me. I want us to still be friends when we have our own kids, when we have grandkids. Forever.

I won’t be able to say this as eloquently, so I’m going to quote my friend Tiffany here:

If you have those people in your life who you can be totally yourself around, who get you without you having to explain, who know what you’re really saying when you say something else and who ask you the hard questions nobody else will… don’t ever let those people go. You will never regret making the effort to connect or reconnect. But you’ll regret letting people slip away. — Tiffany Heidenthal

It’s so true. I’m just so grateful to have these people in my life. I really don’t know what I would do without them.

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