Did someone say ROAD TRIP?
A friend of mine had some extra points for her timeshare apartment in San Antonio so she invited friends to enjoy some time away for 48 hours. After much maneuvering of husband and children’s schedules, I was able to gain a spot on the rockin’ van to San Anton.
Ahhhh, the Old Days
Girl trips are not what they used to be when I was young and single. Those were the days when someone made a weak suggestion about making a road trip. It could be in a bar at closing time or whispers during lunch hour at work. The next thing I knew I had an entire crew of women stuffed into my olive green Oldsmobile on the way to the closest beach.
Accommodations were whatever we could afford, usually a no-tell motel where the remote control for the TV was nailed down to the nightstand—so it wouldn’t get lost or stolen we never found out. The bath towels were so small they would barely wrap around one thigh, and were so stiff from too much bleach and detergent they could stand in the corner on their own. The hallways were active until about two in the morning when the traveling 20-somethings decided they’d had enough beer at the local pubs. Once on a road trip to Tampa, my friend and I were awakened at three AM by 18-wheelers racing in the parking lot. (I kid you not).
We did have some standards, like no bed bugs and a clean bathtub (no mildew or tufts of wet hair from the previous tenant), but as long as we could squeeze four or five ladies into one room, we were good.
We’d pack a bathing suit, a couple pair of undies, shorts and shirts. Beach chairs were mandatory and so were flip-flops. There was no thought about sunscreen and no one cared about flat irons. There were no cell phones because, well, they did not exist then, and whom would we call anyway? Anyone we wanted to talk to was sitting right next to us with her toes in the sand.
How Times Change
Times have changed for this 40-something mama of three and her posse of van rockin’ friends. First, this trip was planned 6 months in advance. With fat Sharpies we blocked out the three days that the mamas would be on sabbatical. Of course, since it was a posse of mamas, last minute emergencies came up so our gang dwindled down to three die-hard “partiers”. We got a late start because one had an appointment to hide all the grey, and two of us had doctor’s appointments. Then, we had to run by the pharmacy for blood pressure and anti-anxiety medicine, and a drive by the liquor store for some high-end tequila. (No more cans of Miller Lite.)
On the two-hour drive here, we stopped twice—once for lunch and once because our post-pregnancy bladders failed us. The accommodations were a far cry from my beach bum days. No TV with rabbit ears, no “funny” smell in the carpet, and no tight quarters. This was pure luxury—a two-bedroom suite with a full kitchen and living area. The kitchen and bathrooms had granite countertops, and there were two Smart TVs with free-range remotes.
When the biggest thing in your bag is a beach towel, it doesn’t take much effort to get settled. I don’t know what happened in 20 years, but my “essentials” grew exponentially, and I wasn’t alone. It took an extra large luggage cart to haul up all our gear. Yes, we had bathing suits and flip-flops just like the old days. But, we also had visors and sun hats, a cooler full of organic and vegan snacks, a grocery bag of sun block, flat irons, make-up bags, magazines, novels, computers, bottles of medicine, bathrobes, and margarita making supplies. Of course, we all had our smart phones because we needed to get the hourly update on what the kids were doing. Besides, we needed to be available in case the dads had problems locating key items like shampoo for the kids. (Did I ever tell you my husband is the King of all Bad Lookers?) After hauling up all our gear and putting away drinks and snacks, we were all in need of a nap, but we pushed through and hit the resort’s lazy river instead
Girls? Not so Much
The rest of the weekend was quite uneventful. We spent our time sitting by the pool and floating on the lazy river. A highlight was a small bar in the elbow of the lazy river where one could float away with some $10 fruity drink or ice-cold beer. We made sure we were set out early for dinner at the fabulous Mi Tierra restaurant in San Antonio and were rewarded with immediate seating. Our wild night consisted of watching “What Would You Do?” with John Quinones and playing a miserable game of Phase Ten.
What I did learn is that we probably should stop calling our little jaunts a girl’s trip. There is no doubt in my mind that the days of a non-stop crazy get-a-way complete with drinking too much beer, giving each other pedicures, and dancing to Jimmy Buffet at the local Tiki Bar are long gone. It’s not that I am suddenly allergic to fun. Rather, it’s that my priorities have changed. I spend so much time running around at a frenetic pace at home that when I get a chance to get away, all I want to do is relax, listen to the quiet, and enjoy sleeping without getting kicked in the kidneys. Am I ready to say I am going on a woman’s trip? Probably not. That sounds just plain awkward. How about calling it Mama’s Retreat? Seems more accurate.