The PBKMoms are pleased to welcome Amy Moss and her sanity-saving vacation tips!
It started so innocently, like most life-changing, amazing ideas do.
I was sitting around a dining room table with my four close girlfriends. Two years prior we had all taken up scrapbooking as a hobby. This is not a story about scrapbooking; so if you are not into scrapbooking, don’t worry. In place of scrapbooking you can insert knitting, crocheting, needlepointing, cross-stitching, quilting or any other favorite craft. We’d found a hour or two here and there on rare weekends to get together, drink wine and try to put pictures of our children into scrapbooks. Scrapbooking is a great hobby because it is a shopper’s dream. There is always something new to buy – sparkly jewels, Mickey Mouse die cuts, just the right shade of black paper (It does not exist.) and on and on. I have more scrapbooking supplies than I will use in my lifetime, but still I buy that new Victorian Halloween paper that would be perfect for my imaginary fall layout.
Anyway, it was not for a lack of supplies that led to the great revelation, but rather an over-abundance of them. We had so many neat scrapbooking toys that it made it hard to get together. Even with Creative Memories rolling luggage bags, it was a hassle to pack it all up. We’d complained about this problem at several crops. Then enlightenment hit - What if we went away for the weekend and scrapped?
Wait a minute! Could we go somewhere away from the kids, away from the husbands, away from the jobs, away from the cleaning, cooking, laundry, playdates, swim teams, etc.?? This idea was pretty unheard of outside of bachelorette parties to Vegas or New Orleans. Our voices dropped to whispers, lest anyone hear of our novel scheme. The more we talked, the more we loved the idea, and so we made a list of requirements:
- Location must be within driving distance – shorter the better.
- We each need our own room – Ladies, after college you are too old to share a room.
- We need a place with a large space to all sit together.
- We need a TV, DVD player and sturdy blender.
The plan was born: Friday through Sunday in a rented house on the beach in Galveston, Texas. Just us girls - all together with no responsibilities (and, as it turns out, a lot of tequila) for three whole days! After our first weekend together we knew that we had something unique and precious. Something we were determined to do again… regularly… and our annual scrapbooking weekend was born!
Unlike other girls-only vacations there is no running around to see antiques or museums or going out to restaurants or bars. And no shopping. No need to worry about what to wear or wanting to go home because you are tired when everyone else wants to party. With this vacation there is no schedule! You get up when you want to. You go to bed when you want to. Hell, you even get to take a nap if you feel like it! You also don’t need to worry about what to bring. Pajamas, t-shirts and yoga pants are pretty much all you need. No one to see you. Your girlfriends don’t care that your hair is in a scrunchie and you are wearing old Eeyore pjs.
Remember there is no schedule here and you have nowhere to be. So cocktails start whenever you want them. It is a safe drinking environment because there is no driving. Your girlfriends are watching out for you with Advil and water. So have that mimosa with breakfast and smile!
This is the time to watch all those chick flick movies that your husband and kids don’t want to see. So pull out the Notebook and the tissues! Haven’t seen the first season of Downtown Abbey – you can watch the whole thing this weekend! Want to watch Gone with the Wind again – all four hours of it – with enough vodka you can do it. I also recommend a PBS mini-series, any Jane Austen movie and missed seasons of Glee.
Now is the time to indulge in the food you love. Never have you seen a grocery cart so full of delicious and unhealthy junk. Oreos, five different kids of cheese, salami, BBQ potato chips, peanut M&Ms, etc. You name the junk food and we eat it guilt-free. This is vacation and the calories don’t count. We take turns cooking dinner or we decide to just eat olives and cookies.
However, the best part about these scrapbooking weekends is being with friends that are family. We talk. A lot. About everything. Life’s scary challenges have been tackled with laughter, tears and loving support (plus a little drunken dancing). If I have a problem, I know these girls will be there with at least three possible answers and a shoulder to lay my weary head on. Their experience with home and business matters is invaluable and this weekend gives us the opportunity to swap stories and best practices. It is a safe place to bare our souls…. and we get a little scrapbooking done too.
In short, this is a wonderful stay-cation away from home with your best girlfriends doing a hobby you love. This relaxing time is the best weekend any over-stressed mom could have. I hope you can plan your trip soon!
Amy Moss is Corporate Securities and M&A partner at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Houston, Texas. She is the proud mom of two amazing kids, Z-Girl who is finishing up third grade and Z-Boy who starts kindergarten in the fall. She is lucky to be married to Z-Husband, whose idea it was to pick names for the children that start with Z.
C, D, P, M and K – can’t wait till scrapbooking weekend in September!