Spending time with old friends, the ones that really know you and where you came from, is like slipping on your most favorite pair of old slippers.

It is comfortable and warm. And it just fits. Really, really fits. And it feels like home.

For the past four years, a group of four of my dearest high school friends and I have slipped away from real life to a weekend of eating, drinking, talking, connecting, and laughing until my sides hurt.

I could easily get sentimental, but I’ll spare you my gushing about how much I appreciate these friendships, and how much I treasure these women.

Rather, I’ll just tell ya a bit about how to have the best girls’ weekend ever.

First, FOOD. Bring a lot, make a lot, eat a lot, then eat some more, then travel to a place that sells good food, buy food, and eat some more.

Please note that ALL of us forgot cameras-oops. All pics are from my iPhone… not great, but not terrible.

I love being around girls who can cook AND eat.

Because they make things like pumpkin cream muffins.

And a giant baked apple pancake.

And the most delicious goat cheese and zucchini frittata.

And loaded brownie cake topped off with whipped marshmallow.

I think I shall no longer have any dessert that isn’t topped off with whipped marshmallow- it would be wrong.

And crab dip.

And bruschetta.

And spinach and artichoke dip.

And buffalo chicken pizza.

And white pizza.

And the list goes on and on and on.

Next, you’ll need an EXCURSION. I use the term excursion loosely because you don’t want to get all crazy with things that make you leave kitchen for hours on end, because that will interrupt the food portion of “how to have a good girls’ weekend”.

Visit the Amish.

They have good prices on toys.

And they are the friendliest of folk.

According to my friend Jenni (the blonde), the Amish make the best cheese.

She was devastated that the deli line was a mile long.

But let me give ya a little tip. Jenni is a liar and a cheater (we’ll get to the cheating later). Last year she bought this “amazing” cheese, and it was vomitous.

Yes, I know.

Vomitous is not a word.

But is the only word that does the cheese it’s due justice.

Want to know what the Amish get right?

Absolutely, positively, hands-down, no-argument-here right?

Baked goods.

Sweet Mary Martha Magdeline St. Paul.

The Amish bakery that we visited makes a make-your-knees weak hot pretzel.

I would give my pinkie toe for one right now.

I would.

Third, ACTIVITIES.

Do something fun.

Make something.

Have a cocktail.

Enlist your friends to peel 5000 apples for a large batch of applesauce and apple butter.

Make them work until they achieve the perfect peel technique.

Impressive, non?

After apples, move on to something different.

Like decoupaging frames.

When I told the main man about our activities, he just shook his head and laughed.

Do men not decoupage on guys’ weekends?

Please look at my mouth.

I CAN. NOT. use scissors with precision without pursing my lips.

I tried.

I just can’t do it.

Is this normal?

Anne is a craft master.

So, is Molly.

She prefers to go by the name “Mo”, so if you see her out and about- make sure to say Hello Mo.

Cute, right?

I’d like to take this time to issue a warning.

During the activities section of your girls’ weekend, you will likely hit a snag.

Not every craft is going to be a hit.

It is just a fact of life.

For us, this year… the illusive Felt Balls were an unclimbable Mt. Everest of crafts.

I would like to state that old Marty Stewart is a liar. Her directions said these felt balls would be “the perfect craft for kids” because it is “so simple”.

That is BS, Marty.

And you know it.

When you look at those bright colored packages of wool, it looks harmless enough.

And look, it is soft and green and lovely.

But in reality, this stuff is dangerous. And difficult.

And it causes you to gray prematurely.

See?

I won’t take you through the whole long and painful and soapy (?!?!?!) process, but believe me… felt balls are no fun.

We finished up our activities with gray wool flower pins.

And these super fun bowls made out of old records.

By the way, Alison brought the felt ball project. We were about to un-invite her to future weekends, but then she totally redeemed (read like Harry from Dumb and Dumber) herself with the record bowls.

She is back to being invited.

Seriously, that was a lot of activity and crafting.

Finally, you need a GAME.

Every group of friends has that one card game or board game that they like to play whenever they are together.

For us, it is Mexican Train Dominoes.

It is fabulous.

…Unless you have a cheater in your midst.

Jenni Teaters.

Teats Cheats.

Fact.

Just look at her wily face.

Did I mention that you must laugh a lot?

Sometimes so much you fear you may not be able to stop.

That is the laughter that I believe adds years to your life.

There ya have it.

My easy four step process to having the perfect weekend getaway.

Happy Monday, my friends.

It is a short week- and that makes this a very, very happy Monday!

XO,

Leah

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