Aaaah…January. The month that most despise because of the 8,732 days in it. For me, however, I look forward to it. Relaxation after an insane holiday season and kids back in school, but mostly, a weekend away with my college girlfriends….
It all started 11 years ago in Hershey, PA. My girls were 6 months old, the boys, 16 months and 2.5 years; I had a traveling husband and no family in the state. Momma needed a break. College roomies to the rescue!! We planned a weekend of shopping, spa treatments, dinners and drinks. It was perfect. We called the Hershey Hotel, booked an expensive room and the four of us crammed in it and had a weekend sleepover. We dressed up, we danced our way down the hallway to the spa, we dined in the Circle room…it was fantastic. I came home exhausted but refreshed. Our tradition was born. However…..
It’s funny as you get older, how things change. What we once referred to as “Moms Gone Wild”, gradually became a little more “relaxed”. (And no, we weren’t “wild” by any stretch of the imagination, but felt as though we were, leaving our combined 12 kids home with our husbands). But as I mentioned, any sense of the wild feeling didn’t last long. We traded in our evenings in a single bedroom of the Hershey hotel and “upgraded” to a suite at the Hampton Inn and Suites. The size of the room and the cost factor alone changed our minds immediately. Before we knew it, also gone were the massage appointments and the dinners out and our weekends became dubbed, “Moms Gone Mild”. And we love them. We meet up Friday for lunch in Hershey, check into the hotel, go shopping, come home by 5 and get into our pajamas. We then eat, drink and laugh. It’s refreshing for the soul. But we don’t dare stay up past midnight because on Saturday we meet for breakfast at 9am and head to Starbucks to get a little jolt of energy for the day. We hit Hershey outlets and shop. All day. Well, until 5pm; cause that’s when we “STOP…pajammer time”.
Funny enough, a few years ago we questioned whether we would keep this tradition going. Not the weekend away, but Hershey. Were we outgrowing it? We used to come and it was all kid based shopping. As the kids grew, we threw around talk about a Caribbean weekend, or Nashville, but every year we book the same Hampton Inn and keep coming back. And like us, the stores are maturing as well. Gone are the days of Gymboree and Janie and Jack and now we have Kate Spade, Michael Kors, JCrew, White House Black Market…it’s a day to shop just for us! And because we are typical moms, we make it a game to see how we can get the best bang for our buck. Sales are good end of January/MLK weekend as is, but we get AAA coupon books and scour our emails at each store to help each other out…sometimes we combine purchases to get the lower prices, if the coupon has a minimum. I mean, none of us need to do this, but that’s our thrill. My gosh, I do believe we sound lamer than the Golden Girls. Those four biddies are our #squadgoals .
We do splurge a bit though on presents for each other. Girlfriend gifts are so exciting and fun to give and receive! It’s a highlight of our weekend! Our friend Carla always wraps so nicely. I take pictures of it each year. It’s the little things, people.
So that’s January for me. It’s cold, it’s long but it’s also a perfect time to recharge the batteries, unwind and laugh. Oh do we laugh. And this year, because of the candy bouquet biz, we stopped into the Chocolate Factory so I could pick up some goodies. I normally have only gone through there with the kids, and when I mean go through, I mean run through before they beg for every single thing in there. I love, love, love taking my kids to fun places- seeing the excitement and magic through their eyes, but I ask you this… Have you ever taken the time to do something childish and simple with your friends? Do it in 2019. You won’t regret it. Especially at the Sweetest Place on Earth! Just bring elastic pants. And if you forget, there is a great Ross Dress for Less nearby. Hey….Mild is the new Wild.