The All-Girl Getaway - Plus Varmint (& Kid)

Our girlfriend getaway for Jen, Deb, Donna and me has been planned since high school. We weren't sure where we were going - Italy was an often-mentioned spot, maybe frolicking around Greece - but we knew we were going together when we all turned 40.

For years, I pictured our getaway with a convertible full of shrieking gals heading out for a night of dancing after an afternoon of museums, tours, culture and fun. But, as so often happens with middle-age, such teenage notions of fun have been dumped in favor of realism.

The new dream: We're headed to the San Juan Islands off of Washington and renting a house. There'll be a lot more napping. Absolutely zero shrieking. Good red wine. Birdsong. Exercise. Hiking. Massages. Sun. Good conversation. Serene mountain and lake views. Gourmet food. Drawing. Silence.

MakennaSlide_2008It's more than four broads chugging vino and chin wagging. We're kayaking. We're taking tours. We're having a spa day. We're doing some girlie spiritual stuff. And in the case of me, and me alone,  there will be the occasional hooking up with The Varmint and Mak. 

That's right. For me, the Celebrating 40 All-Girl Extravaganza came with a caveat. The cutest little caveat you ever did see, but a caveat, nonetheless: My kid.

Who'd have thought I'd have a kid at all - let alone when most people were starting to get serious about stashing for retirement?  But here I am. I'm loving it and in the middle of some serious attachment parenting. Go figure I'd be right in the middle of that when our trip was scheduled!

So, rather than chuck the trip altogether and miss this milestone, we decided to rent The Varmint his own separate burrow, where I will be able to pop in and snuggle now and again with a very mama-focused little girl. A compromise well worth making, methinks. Especially since I don't have to be on the airplane for the trip up. I'm still suffereing psychological trauma from the last time we traveled on a plane with Mak.

FridayHarborSo, while it might not be THE trip-o-my-dreams, it's A trip-o-my-dreams. I'm just excited to be going. Gracias to my beloved tag-along Varmint for his support.

Overall it's a pretty good deal for us both. How can that be? Well, I'm not just talking about this trip. I'm talking about our vacation strategy in general. We've set it up so that each year he and I take one separate getaway and one family trip together.

That means he scores his precious annual surf trip with the fellas and I don't have to sit on the beach with my honky skin, pretending to enjoy it. I get to snowboard (or this year, celebrate being over the hill) with my girls, get massaged, hike part of the PCT, whatever - do whatever I want to do - and he doesn't have to sit around checking the surf reports to see what he's missing.

We're sort of combining both trips in this particular getaway due to Mak's current age and stage, but it's cool. The second part of the trip will be a blast for both of us - where we see tons of our transplanted friends (Megan, Sally, Amy, Mike, Adam, Horner and The Hurleys) and bomb around the area. Plus, it will undoubtedly provide everybody with some much-needed "me" time, and Makenna with exactly what she craves - everybody together, everybody active.

So when it sucks, as parts of it undoubtedly will, we're going to roll with it and take comfort in the fact that travel makes you a stronger, better person. That is - if it (or your almost-two year old) doesn't kill you first... or vice-versa. The Varmint's never traveled alone on a plane with a nearly two-er before.



  1. Christy said on August 12, 2008 08:56

    Tam and Shannon,
    Have a wonderful time up north! We will all miss ya, but look forward to hearing about your big adventure when you return...
    Love, C + A


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >