Girls’ trips – a lot to love

I know, I know – girls’ trips have become so commonplace that they’re practically clichéd.

On a recent flight to San Francisco with two of my friends, we overheard the women in the row of seats behind us tell the flight attendant they were embarking on a girls’ trip. My friends and I looked at each other and rolled our eyes. We realized we weren’t all that special.

But if so many people are doing it, there must be a lot to love, right? In my experience, the answer is yes.

Over the past several years, a group of friends and I have celebrated our respective birthdays by taking short weekend trips. Along with the San Francisco trip, we’ve checked out a small mining town in Arizona’s Bradshaw Mountains, a resort in Phoenix, and a casino on the Navajo Reservation.

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Our hike in the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area in Cave Creek, AZ

One of the things I love is that we all tend to adapt to the interests of the group. Not everyone is a fan of hiking, dancing, shopping, or sitting by the pool, but our trips usually include some combination of those activities – all because someone in the group happens be an enthusiast.

On our San Francisco trip, I wanted to walk the Golden Gate Bridge. I had visited SF several times, but had never taken the touristy trip on foot. My friends willingly signed on.

It turned out to be pouring rain on the day of our walk, but that didn’t deter us. 10982480_10153083265872235_4032419780401658584_nBy the time we were midway into the two-mile trek, the rain was literally coming down vertically, the wind slashing icy water into our eyes. Everybody was a good sport, though, and we just kept going. It was a walk to remember, that’s for sure!

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The sun did come out eventually

We also took a side trip to a yarn store for a friend who is a knitter, a drive down Lombard Street for another who was a first-time visitor to San Francisco, and detour to Ocean Beach – my favorite! Not on everyone’s list, but still a lot of fun.

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An invigorating stop at San Francisco’s Ocean Beach, despite the high winds

Along with indulging our various interests, I’ve found that my friends also cut each other plenty of slack on our trips. I experienced that in a big way on last year’s birthday trip to Phoenix, when I forgot my cell phone in a restroom while changing clothes after a hike.

I didn’t realize my phone was missing until we stopped at a shopping center about 15 miles up the interstate. Rather than complaining, my friends just piled back into the car, and headed back to the park. Sure enough, my phone was sitting where I had left it in the restroom stall. Emergency averted, and we were back on the road – all without any grumbling.

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Our hike up Phoenix’s North Mountain

Oh, and did I forget to mention that no one complained when I needed to use the restroom in the first place? Never under-estimate the appeal of guilt-free pitstops!

For me, the combination of camaraderie, strenuous exercise, a good dinner, and various amounts of wine are a recipe for a beautiful excursion.

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