The Girlfriend Getaway
There is nothing that quite compares to seeing your friends from high school. In my case, I've had a group of girlfriends that I've been close with since I was 15 years old. Sure, over the years, we've moved to different cities and there have been times where we don't get to talk or see one another, but no matter what, the moment we are together, it's like time has never passed.
This past year, one of my close girlfriends lost her father when he passed away suddenly from a heart attack. When we reconnected at his funeral, we all realized how precious life truly is and how important it is to make time for one another no matter how many commitments keep us from spending time with the people we love. We decided we would all meet in New York City in February. I found a great deal on Broadway show tickets for "Beautiful," tracked down a Groupon for the Hotel Edison and made a reservation at Bobby Flay's famed midtown restaurant, Bar Americain.
My friends from out of town began booking their flights and at the same time, I was contacted by the folks at Toyota to see if I wanted to try out the brand new 2015 Camry and I gladly accepted the invitation -- as long as I could have the car for my girlfriend's getaway.
The car arrived a few days before my friends, so we spent a few days tooling around our neighborhood in the Camry and what we discovered - especially in light of the fact that our area is completely covered in snow and ice, was that the car handled really well in bad weather conditions. The gas mileage was also fantastic. While the car isn't a hybrid, I managed to travel to Northern Westchester, New Jersey, Manhattan and back to Westchester without going through a tank of gas. Plus, the car has a rear camera so when you are backing up, you can see if anything is behind you and it even senses if your car is too close to the car next to you -- ensuring that you protect your car doors from nicks and scratches.
When my girlfriend arrived from Miami (after a torturous six hour delay), we picked her up from the airport and proceeded to turn on Sirius XM radio and instantly switched to 80's on 8 so that we could get inspired for our long awaited girlfriend reunion.
The next day, we left my house to pick my friend up in New Jersey. While the car didn't come equipped with a Nav system, I decided to use the Waze app on my phone and somehow, we still managed to get lost. I truly am GPS challenged when it comes to the Garden State so instead of making it to Ridgewood, New Jersey, we overshot the exit and wound up in Woodbury Commons. I have to admit though, despite the fact we were forced to take a 40 minute detour, the car handled beautifully and eventually, we arrived at our destination.
From there, we hit Manhattan and valet parked our car for the night. Before we knew it, the rest of my friends arrived and we spent the night catching up on lost time. It was as if time had never passed. We were the same group of 15 year olds all looking for a great time. We all agreed we couldn't wait to see "Beautiful on Broadway" (it was absolutely fabulous), a few of the girls wanted to go dancing while my mission was to find a great dessert or brunch place afterwards. The rest of the group really didn't care what we did as long as we were all together.
Before we knew it, the night that we had been planning for months, passed in what seemed an instant but not before we made a pact to plan another getaway real soon. Hopefully next time, it's going to be in a warm weather climate. Maybe I'll even get to score another Camry the next time around but this time, I'll get to open the sunroof and blast our favorite 80's songs again so we can sing at the top of our lungs while catching up on lost time.
For now, I'm just going to reflect on the fun that we had - even if it was just for 24 hours. There is something to be said about having friends who knew you before you knew yourself. What this year has taught me is that life is too short not to spend it with your oldest and dearest friends. And something tells me that we're going to be seeing a lot more of each other from here on out.