Where the Boys Aren’t – Girlfriend Getaways – Women’s Answer to Guy Golf Trips

For years guys have cornered the market on getaway weekends. From golf trips to journeys across the country to see their favorite football, hockey, baseball or basketball teams play, to weekends at a Casino. Many of these men have been lucky enough to find these events work “requirements” while others merely appreciate the – “you work hard you play hard” philosophy on life.

While women have come a long way in the workforce, for years we lagged far behind in terms of equal fun. But watch out because we’re catching up.

There is much to be said for a weekend away with your friends whether you are male or female, young or old. If you can think back far enough to sleepovers when you were a kid, you’ll remember that those nights of watching movies, sharing stories and laughing until your sides hurt, seemed to be endless. Sure when we were kids we were pretty care-free to begin with but after a night with your friends you could roll up your sleeping bag in the morning, pack your things and head for home knowing that you weren’t alone. You had more of a bounce in your step, a bigger smile on your face and a renewed outlook on life.

Then came the high school or college years when travel usually revolved around a popular movie of my mother’s generation and we all headed “where the boys are.” We packed our bags, hopped in the car or boarded a plane and headed for the beach, where we spent much of the time trying to look good and say just the right thing to the right guy. But we had our girl friends with us so whether we met the man of our dreams or ended up dancing on a table and singing Karaoke only to leave man-less at the end of the night, again we had our girl friends by our sides to re-live every glorious or humiliating detail with. And still we knew we weren’t alone. We still had aching sides from laughing, we still had a bounce in our step, a bigger smile on our face and were ready to face the world again.

We were making memories, we were having the time of our lives and we didn’t even realize it at the time just how much we needed these sleepovers or beach weekends, they were just rites of passage when we were growing up. But what happened next you ask – we did just that – we grew up. And we all know that growing up means so many different things. For some it’s getting married and having children, for others it’s endless hours at the office and for so many it’s trying to juggle both. But so many of us forgot about those sleepovers and beach weekends and just how important they were. So instead for many years we tried to condense all that fun, all the laughter and all the stories into a couple of hours. So “let’s do lunch,” became a popular invite or “who’s up for a girls night out?” proved to be a good time. Vacations or weekends away were something you did as a couple or with your family. But none of these held a candle to the sleepovers or getaway weekends of yesteryear.

But who had time for a night away from home let alone a weekend? Had we become so wrapped up in our families and our careers that we lost sight of just how important we are? If we don’t take care of ourselves and take time out for ourselves every now and then, we might lose that little girl we once were. And just like the sleepovers and beach weekends of our childhood days all it takes is one person to pick up the phone and say pack your bags and the adventure begins.

In the last several years the travel industry has seen an increase in girl getaway weekends and it’s about time. And once word spreads over book clubs, luncheons, mommy and me classes or yoga more of us will be packing our bags and hitting the road.

Eastover Resort, a recreational resort in Lenox Massachusetts has responded to this trend. In 2002 they hosted their 1st Girls Weekend Away. They promised a “Kid Free, Guy Free, Stress Free Weekend.” Girls Weekend at Eastover came to life when Betsy Kelly, whose family owns Eastover and Melanie Marsden who is a Massage Therapist in Boston and worked at the time as Eastover’s Sales and Marketing Director, were sitting with Melanie’s mother and some other long time Eastover guests who they had become friends with through the years. Betsy and Melanie were talking about their hectic lives and how they needed a day off. The guests told them what they really needed was a weekend that they could stay in their pajamas and drink mimosas with friends all weekend, then proceeded to tell them about the girl getaway trips they go on each year, sometimes to Eastover, other times to Florida or Myrtle Beach. But working in the Hospitality Industry doesn’t allow for a weekend away – so Betsy and Melanie did the next best thing – they brought the idea to Ticki Winsor, Owner and General Manager of Eastover who got behind the idea and together they started to plan their own weekend away – at Eastover Resort.

They invited friends and family and with solely word of mouth advertising, 4 months later over 60 women came to Eastover’s 1st Girls Weekend. They ranged in age from 21 – 70. They were single, married, divorced and widowed. They were executives, waitresses and stay at home moms. But will all of their differences they had one thing in common, they were girls.

Eastover arranged for Spa Services such as Massage, Reiki, Facials and Nail Services. They had Tarot Card Readers and Palm Readers too. They had low fat menu options and greasy comfort food. They served Mimosas in the morning and Rum Punch at Happy Hour served by Cabanna Boys. Some women sat by the fire and read magazines, others went horseback riding or for a hike. Others spent the afternoon in the pool or napping in their room. For 3 whole days and 2 whole nights these women got to do what they don’t often get to do – whatever they wanted. At Girl’s Weekend they weren’t somebody’s wife or mother, they weren’t answering to a boss or checking their day planner for their next appointment – they were that little girl again – the one who could stay up all night, lying in a sleeping bag, laughing with friends for hours without a care in the world – the only difference was this time they were in comfortable beds. The resort took on an amazing energy that weekend. It was a feeling of relaxation mixed with empowerment. And they left with that bounce in their step, that smile on their face those familiar yet long forgotten aching sides and the reminder that they were not alone – but with one promise that they would be back.

And back they came, the 2nd Annual Girls Weekend at Eastover in April of 2003, which was still advertised solely through word of mouth brought 150 women and the addition of activities and services such as Water Aerobics Classes and Yoga, Massage Workshops and a Personal Coach and Karaoke. Due to an overwhelming demand and the reluctance to let the weekend grow beyond 150 women for fear of losing the intimate feel Eastover now hosts 4 Girls Weekends each year in January, April, May and November.

Eastover was surprised yet pleased with the overwhelming turn out and attributes its success to women’s realization (or is it remembering) just how important taking time away from their life to relax, recharge and renew can be.

Country Walkers a company based in Vermont offers trips for women travelers. Designed exclusively for women, these innovative tours offer guests extraordinary opportunities to take “time out” as they connect with travel companions while walking the world together. Solo women travelers. Sisters. Mothers and daughters. Friends. Women of all ages and interests explore fascinating destinations in a “women only” atmosphere on these adventure vacations for women. Some of their 2008 destinations include Morocco, Vermont for Fall Foliage, Arizona, Grand Canyon & Sedona and Italy.

Gutsy Women Travel was created to celebrate the indomitable spirit within every woman to experience the world! Whether you are already a well-traveled individual or someone who has never ventured much beyond your own community, Gutsy Women Travel invites you to embrace that inner longing, pack your bags, and come travel with them. Gutsy Women Travel arranges tours to Africa, Asia, Greece, Europe, Latin America and North America.

If you search “Girl Getaways” on line you’ll literally find thousands of options from weekend retreats to Bed & Breakfasts, Cruises or oversea adventures. So my advice to you is pick up the phone, call your old girl friends and plan a girls weekend away. Go big like a cruise or go small like a sleepover at one of your “kid free, guy free” girl friends house but more importantly just go. You won’t regret it.

Source by Melanie Marsden

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