I met her in 8th grade and we have been best friends ever since!
And now, here we are, decades later, still the best of friends. We went from writing notes in class to texting every day. We have been through the craziness of middle school and high school years, from going off to college, getting married, and having children. She has four, I have three but they are all between the ages of 10-17.
Sometime in our 30s, we decided we really wanted to start taking trips together, but at the time it seemed impossible. We still had little kids and no budget to really do this. But then…time went on, and we were finally able to plan our first trip.
We turned 40 in 2019 and we knew we had to start this tradition! So a few months later, we met up in St. Louis and celebrated turning 40. Our birthdays are just two days apart and planned a great trip. Towards the tail end of that trip, we started thinking about all the other places we wanted to go. We pretty much assumed, sometime in the spring or summer of 2020, we would head somewhere and celebrate 41.
We booked a trip in February of 2020, all ready to celebrate in June. But we all know what happened in March. What were we going to do? We waited all these years and now this. What the heck?
I was a little worried about this trip, I had a layover and wasn’t totally sure how safe it would be to travel that summer. My husband, who is in the national guard, was called up for the riots that summer. Our trip was canceled and we struggled to figure out what we would do to make up for it.
By August, COVID was still around, and we didn’t want to have to fly somewhere far or change planes anywhere. So we came up with a plan for my friend to fly to Nashville and we would spend a few days at the Opryland hotel. I love that place!
We had a great visit, enjoyed some yummy food, and were able to get away, even though it was four months after we had planned.
Little did we know that COVID would still be a factor when it was time to plan our 42 trip. But here we were in 2021, still not wanting to venture too far. My friend had since moved to Missouri, so we decided that I would plan to fly up there and we would spend some time in Branson together. I had flight credits after all.
So I joined her up there, and my trip up north was an experience all on its own, which I will share in another post. We had a great time, just relaxing, doing what we wanted, finding a few bookstores, and spending some time away from all the realities of life. We both really needed it.
I am so thankful we can take these trips, even through these crazy times. Getting away and taking a break is a must for me these days. I love my family, kids, husband, and dogs, and I love what I do, but I need to take my breaks, and thankful I get to spend them with my best friend year after year. I can’t wait to see where we will go in the future!