Here's how our Girls' Getaways work: every year, each one of us pitches a destination to the group, we vote on which one we like best, and whoever pitched the winning destination is in charge of planning. It doesn't mean that that person has to do everything for the trip. She can assign tasks to the rest of us if she so chooses to. But generally, this person is default decision maker and overall coordinator.
Orcas Island (OI) was my destination pitch so I was at the helm from the very beginning. I've wanted to do OI (and the San Juans in general) since my first introduction to the Pacific Northwest years ago. Between numerous visits to Seattle and a couple of week-long trips to the Olympic Peninsula (plus a handful of trips to Vancouver and Vancouver Island), I fell in love with everything about the area: GREENS like you've never seen before, water everywhere, mountains, wonderful people, and creative foodies. When Emmett was looking at grad schools, the University of Washington was one of the places he was accepted at (to?) and I pushed HARD for him to go there. It's not that I wanted to live in Seattle specifically, but that I wanted to have access to the Pacific Northwest in general. UDub was my ticket. Obviously, he decided that UCSB was a better place for him...and I am not even the slightest bit disappointed we ended up in California (if it's not clear in my blog posts how much I love living here then let me set the record straight now: I LOVE CALIFORNIA!!!). But when I do think about how close I got to living in the Pacific Northwest, I can't help but sigh a little bit.
I sketched out a pretty active vacation on OI for the girls and me. Despite it being a small island, there was a lot I wanted to cover...both on land and on water. There was whale watching, kayaking, hiking, dancing while prepping for dinner, art galleries and villages to explore, happy hour on our rented vacation home's deck overlooking Fishing Bay, bird watching, tidepooling, morning coffee and breakfast time together...all in four days.
While our Girls' Getaway destinations vary drastically (from East and West coast to the South, from country settings to cityscapes), there are a few constants:
1) We always meet at least one VERY interesting, VERY fun person who totally GETS the concept of Girls' Getaway and GETS us.
2) We always manage to find a dog friend.
3) We always end up on the water.
And 4) we always stumble upon a labyrinth...and dutifully walk it!
Orcas Island was our sixth trip together over the past five years!!! I am so happy that the four of us have made the time and financial commitment to do this annually. And even though I travel A LOT every year, the Girls' Getaway is the one trip I look most forward to. They are that much fun.
Before leaving OI, we came up with a rather long list of options for Girls' Getaway 2013. I don't know where we'll end up next...but I do know regardless of weather, coffee pot debacles, escapes from botanical gardens, the number of margaritas consumed, diverted and delayed flights, and no-snore-zone sleeping arrangements, it will be another grand experience. Girls' Getaways always are.