I am not made for winter. This is something I remind James every time temperatures dip below 30 degrees.
It annoys him to no end, but I can’t help it. I crave sunshine more than I crave a shopping haul– which if you know me, says a lot.
Well, this past weekend I got my sun fix along the warm, white beaches of Destin, Florida, where I met up with some of my blogging friends for a working retreat/girls weekend.
The idea of this working retreat had been something we were throwing around for awhile, and this year Newman- Dailey Resort Properties graciously offered to host us at their gorgeous Blue Haven rental home. .
This 7 bedroom, 6 1/2 bath, vacation home was beyond perfect both for sleeping and our daily round-table discussions.
The home’s bright, airy, easy breezy “welcome home” vibe really set the tone for a laid back, inspirational weekend where we shared ideas, experiences and offered support for one another’s questions and goals.
The natural light in this house is insane! Right?
Occasionally getting away with your girls is always fun but this was the first time I ever shared a home with friends (barring my early 20’s down at the Jersey Shore) and I truly believe it contributed a great deal to making the weekend extra special.
If you are considering a girls getaway or are in the early stages of planning one, I highly recommend considering renting a vacation home vs. staying at a hotel– below are a few reasons why:
Less cost + more living space
The house we stayed in has multiple bathrooms (which is key with multiple women getting ready), sleeps 18 comfortably and is quoted around $544 a night (during the month we stayed).
With a group of 10 we had more than enough room and staying 4 nights, it would come out to less than $220 each person in TOTAL. That is a tiny fraction of the cost it would have been if we all got separate hotel rooms– or even if we doubled up 2 to a hotel room.
Not to mention, being able to stock up on snacks, quick bites and drinks really helps save on food costs as well.
While doing laundry was not on our agenda, it was nice to have a washer/dryer on site. It offers the options to pack less and rewash/re-wear outfits– which is great. It was also great to have our own private pool and jacuzzi area all to ourselves and NO parking costs!
Feeling like family
Living the roommate life, taking care of each other and the shared space you’re living in really creates a feeling of sisterhood.
Going on store runs allowed us to get to know each other’s dietary needs, likes, dislikes… and daily Starbucks order.
Together we pitched in to do every day living things, such as setting up and clean up meals, taking care of the garbage, etc. and it felt like home in all the best ways possible.
Grabbing that first cup of coffee together
Every morning, it was nice to let everyone kind of wake up at their own pace and join each other for a cup of coffee in the kitchen/living area. Some of us showered and got head-to-toe ready before emerging from our rooms and others lounged in their PJs a little longer.
Everything at our own pace. Not rushing was nice.
Live like the locals
Exposing yourself to another way of life always makes for a memorable experience.
The home we stayed in was about 2 blocks from the beach. Those who ran in the mornings ran along the shoreline. One afternoon, we decided to just pack up some blankets and take our brainstorming to the beach– all because, beach life! 🙂
We shopped at local markets (A 115 store outdoor outlet mall was literally less than 10 minutes away) and ate at local restaurants.
Brotula’s, a seafood restaurant with a pier view in downtown Destin, invited us to stop in for a bite to eat. We spoke to the owner, learned a little about their business and how their chef personally selects and cooks with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.
We also learned that some of the fresh, locally caught fish that they serve are served with a QR code you can scan to see the fisherman who caught the fish on your plate and ask any questions you may have! How awesome is that?
We toured the pier area, snapped a kazillion-and-one photos and took in the gorgeous sunset.
Bottom line: Sharing a home with your girls is a must-experience.
Speaking as a blogger, I can tell you that when you’re working at home day in and day out, it is so easy to feel like you’re operating in a silo– just you and your computer.
Often the same or similar can be said of motherhood– or life in general. We need a change of pace to hit the reset button.
These women, they are my “tribe”, my virtual co-workers and friends. They are brilliant and kind and we chat online every week– but nothing compares to connecting in person, sharing tips, experiences and goals face to face– with people who truly want to see each other win.
Whether the people you’d like to get away with are friends you’ve known for life, business colleagues or virtual co-workers– everyone needs face-time (not to be mistaken with FaceTime) with people like this.
It is just plain good for the soul.
Tell me, where did you go for your last girls getaway?