Last summer, a few of my girlfriends and I formed a small group and began meeting every other Monday evening to talk, grow in our faith, support each other and connect over the joys and challenges of motherhood and life as a new mom. (When we began meeting we all had kids right around a year old and one of our group members had a three-year-old.) At the time, not everyone in the group knew each other but since we all live within 10 minutes of each other, there was a lot of overlap and everyone knew at least three people in our group of seven (I knew everyone but one of the women) and we all went to a variety of churches and were at varying stages in our faith (and still are).
I still call myself the “religious newbie” of the group because I sometimes struggle with feeling such a strong sense of desire to feel close to God and connected to Jesus and envy the closeness and steadfast faithfulness I see in those who have their life rooted in God. I pray and work on my relationship with God and it’s a beautifully challenging journey full of questions, belief and prayer. The women in my small group have met me with complete understanding and kindness in a judgment free environment and only encourage me without ever making me feel uncomfortable or insecure. To say that this small group is a blessing in my life would be a huge understatement. I can honestly say that surrounding myself with some of the most positive and uplifting women I’ve ever met has immensely helped me not only strengthen my faith but approach everyday life as a mother with gratefulness (x 1,000), optimism and joy. No topic is off limits within our group and we have so much fun talking, laughing, crying and supporting each other every time we get together whether it be during our biweekly meetings or frequent play dates.
Last fall, one of the women in our group shared that she felt like she needed a weekend away to breathe. She was craving a weekend when she could leave some of the chaos of everyday life behind for a short time, relax and exhale and return home feeling rejuvenated. I suggested a girls’ weekend and the enthusiasm of the group was overwhelming in the best possible way.
We initially had a Charlotte-area staycation planned for January, but plans unraveled for various reasons. It wasn’t until my friend Lauren kindly offered for our group to stay at her parents’ vacation home just outside of Savannah at the end of April that plans began to come to fruition. (Quick tip: If you ever need to narrow down schedules and dates with a large group of people, I highly recommend using Doodle! It’s a free service that makes it SO easy to figure out everyone’s availability eliminates a ton of back-and-forth and overwhelming group texts.)
We took two cars to Savannah and I was in the first car that left in the early afternoon with my friends Carrie and Danielle. (Lauren and Jess came a few hours later and we were so sad that two of our small group members couldn’t make the trip in the end.) Carrie, Danielle and I had no trouble filling the 4+ hour car ride to Georgia with lots of uninterrupted chatting and plenty of road trip snacks. We arrived in the heart of Savannah a little after 5 p.m. and spent the next couple of hours walking around the city and popping in and out of the adorable shops along River Street.
We bought salt water taffy, snapped photos and had a great time exploring before grabbing a seat at the bar at Treylor Park, a quirky and lively restaurant Ashley recommended to me before our trip! About an hour later, Jess and Lauren arrived and we grabbed a table for dinner before driving back to Lauren’s parents’ house around 11 p.m. Of course we couldn’t resist chatting away in our pajamas before finally saying goodnight.
We all did our best to sleep in as long as possible on Saturday morning but our internal alarm clocks had most of us up a little after 7 a.m. We sipped our mugs of hot coffee and ate breakfast on the beautiful back porch that overlooked a lake.
It was such a lovely way to start the day and a couple of hours ticked by before we figured we should get moving. We were dying to explore the neighborhood (Lauren’s parents live in a stunning community) and after changing into comfy gym clothes, we piled into a golf cart and drove around to check out the area before hopping off to walk around and get our blood flowing after Friday’s long car ride.
We arrived back at the house ridiculously sweaty and craving a refreshing swim at the neighborhood pool so we changed into our bathing suits, packed some snacks and drinks and spent the next few hours poolside!
We flipped through magazines, ordered lunch and had a great time enjoying the Georgia sunshine before it was time for happy hour!
Danielle, Jess and I opted for the drink of the day which was some kind of a delicious concoction that included a combination of vodka, Grand Marnier, muddled blueberries and pomegranate arils with simple syrup while Carrie and Lauren sipped on ginger ale. (Carrie and Lauren are both expecting their second babies at the end of the summer!)
It was so nice to have a moment to indulge in cocktails and relax outside without feeling rushed before dinner.
We made it back to Lauren’s parents’ house around 6 p.m. and took turns showering and getting ready in the middle of rounds of Catch Phrase over chips and guacamole. We eventually made it out of the house around 8 p.m. and drove back into Savannah for dinner at Vic’s on the River at 9:30 p.m.
(Super random side story: We took this picture with a self-timer that involved rigging up Danielle’s iPhone with a large candle, a towel and an avocado. Ha! Sorry about my super awkward hand placement. #awkwardfamilyphotos)
We walked around a bit before our reservation and popped into The Olde Pink House to check out the bar which was so, so cool! I’m dying to eat at this historic and beautiful restaurant the next time I find myself in Savannah.
Once our table was ready at Vic’s we ordered appetizers and had no trouble polishing off buttery biscuits with honey butter before our entrees were ready. I opted for the seafood bouillabaisse and it came out packed with lots of shellfish, scallops, shrimp and salmon over rice.
I wasn’t crazy about the broth in the dish but LOVED all the seafood! I’m pretty convinced I could eat seafood for dinner every night of the week and be a happy girl!
We couldn’t head home before stopping by Leopold’s for ice cream and managed to make it there right before it closed at midnight. If you find yourself in Savannah anytime soon, you must pop into Leopold’s! Their ice cream is heavenly and so delightfully creamy. I loved every last bite of the chewy chocolate cookie flavor I ordered.
Once we made it back home and changed into our pajamas, we didn’t last too long before it was time for bed.
We spent most of Sunday morning cleaning up and eating breakfast before it was time to head out. Carrie and Danielle were kind enough to drop me off at the Savannah airport on their way back to Charlotte since I had a late morning flight to catch to Washington, DC for a blog trip. (More on that soon!) This past weekend was such a nice escape for our group and we loved every second. I am so, so grateful our babies brought us together and so appreciate Lauren’s parents’ generosity in allowing us to spend a weekend together in their gorgeous home. We had the best time!
Juliette | Namastay Traveling says
This looks like such a wonderful weekend! And so great that you fund friends during this similar time of life!
Looks awesome! I have not been to the Olde Pink House…..need to add that one to my list the next time I am in Savannah!
Carrie this fit chick says
You guys are all so beautiful!!! Love the flowy dresses. Looks like a perfect getaway weekend 🙂
Lauren @ Oh Hey! I Like That! says
It looks like such a fun weekend! I’d love to go to Savannah!
What a wonderful getaway. I can completely relate on enjoying a drink outside in peace and quiet – slowly, and how much of a treat that time can be. Being a mom keeps you on your toes, so the slower moments are rare!
Julie @ Running in a Skirt says
What a wonderful trip! Sometimes you just need to get away! Love Savannah.
Wow. What an amazing weekend with a great group of girls. I know I’ve said this before on here, but I am craving friendships like those so badly. Working on it though! Savannah seems gorgeous.
And I have to say…my faith journey is so similar to yours. I have been bopping in and out of small groups through my church for the last few years and just can’t seem to find one to stick with. I am like you – I want so badly to have a strong faith in God, but I’m just not fully there yet. I keep trying and need to find a support system like yours to encourage me along that path. You are so blessed to have them!
Thank you! It can be so hard, especially when sometimes it seems like everyone is light years ahead of you in their own faith. I crave a stronger faith and a deeper relationship with God and it’s something I am working on but not something that fully feels natural and second nature yet. This group has been incredible for me and so, so encouraging. I really hope you can find something similar!!
Laura @ Laura Likes Design says
There’s just something about time with girlfriends that is so refreshing! This sounds like a perfect weekend away!
Hi, Julie! Loved your post and so glad you could find a weekend away with your girls! I also loved that you shared a bit of your faith journey on such a public platform. These days especially, that’s not always popular, and I think it’s great. It’s amazing what a group of like minded and hearted women can accomplish together and for your soul! For me, it was finding a group of 30-something singles in urban Chicago that shared the same challenges. And I think everybody feels like you do regarding your journey, by the way, no matter their “newbie” status 🙂 All the best, xoxo
Hi Julie, I loved hearing about your faith journey too. I absolutely love my church and the joy and peace it brings to me.
Christina @ Montessoriish mom.com says
I’ve always wanted to go to Savannah, it looks so beautiful! I’m glad you had such a nice trip 🙂
Sarah @ Sweet Miles says
So jealous of your girl’s weekend! I NEED something like this soon. Definitely craving some time away from the busyness of everyday life. I’m so glad you’ve found girlfriends who you feel close to and can journey through these days of motherhood with together!
boston runner girl says
girl time is so needed! i’m taking a girls trip to Puerto Rico in a few weeks with a good friend from high school and can’t wait.
Joining a small group when I moved to Maryland in the fall might have been the BEST thing I did for myself, my faith, and even my social life. This looks like it was such a fun weekend away 🙂
Heather @ Polyglot Jot says
Sounds so refreshing! I loved my small group times and I’m looking forward to starting one up again once life calms down a bit!
Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona says
Your weekend away with friends sounds like it was a lot of fun. Sometimes all you need is a few days away from home and the usual to feel refreshed.
Ash Diamond says
I’m so glad you had a wonderful Savannah weekend with your girlfriends! Pink House is a must on your next visit but at least you enjoyed these back up options 🙂
Kelsie Garretson says
I love that you shared some background on your faith. I’ll just say this, there is no right or wrong way to have a relationship with God. It’s between you and Him and no one else. I know it’s hard to not compare your journey or closeness to God with others but no one else has your story and walked your exact path. Expectations = your plans, Reality = God’s plans. He knows what He’s doing in your life and your journey is all part of His grand plan!
I didn’t notice your “awkward hand placement” at first but I’m so glad you mentioned it because it really made me laugh out loud when I went back for a second look!!! 😀 haha thanks for the self-irony. It’s just the funniest form of humor!!!
Rachel @ Never Enough Novels says
I love the idea of doing a quick getaway with the girls in my small group! We are actually a couples bible study, so it’d be a blast for just the girls to get together. Clearly God had a hand in introducing you to all these women! So excited for you : )
Such a great blog post! Those kind of weekends are just the BEST.
I have found that community, especially encouraging, like-minded community, is vital to life. This year I’ve made “community” my word of the year because it’s so easy to fall into a place of just staying at home rather than putting myself out there and seeking friendships. I’m so glad you have that small group of women of faith to lean on and do life with. <3
jordan @ dancing for donuts says
i’m absolutely dying to go to savannah! it looks like you guys had an incredible time. i love the idea that you all connected over similarities and are now going on full-fledged girl’s trips together! i’ve recently become part of another group of friends as well, and it’s been really nice to connect with new people!
Lisa B says
What a fun weekend getaway! I love Savannah and it’s awesome to spend a weekend away with girlfriends <3
I’ve always wanted to visit Savannah, it looks like such a cute little town! Girls weekends are seriously the best and so necessary. I have one coming up this summer and I cannot wait
Emily @ Pizza &a Pull-ups says
What an awesome weekend! It is so wonderful to have loving, supportive girlfriends. Glad you were able to enjoy that time with them.
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West says
What a fun time to relax together! I LOVE Savannah, and love how it’s such a perfect walking city. I ate at the Olde Pink House with my Momma when we visited, and it was so good! So glad you had fun!! 🙂
Kaitlyn @ Powered by Sass says
This seems like such a fun and relaxing girls’ getaway! Also, any trip that includes cocktails AND girl talk is a win in my book. I hope you had fun in DC! You were in my current ‘hood!
Kim from MN says
I love Doodle! I’ve been using it to plan our Friends’ Thanksgiving since Doodle came out (16 people involved in that! So it’s so handy!)
I’ve always wanted to go to Savannah, so this was such a fun post to read (and look at the gorgeous pictures. Helloooo Olde Pink House! I want to go to you!) Hello dripping trees and magnolias and floral arches. Looks so lovely there.
Glad you had such a great time! I had a great time just reading this. Makes me want to plan my own girl’s trip.
Morgan Lewis says
Sweet Jess! I still can’t get over that you know her. <3 Love it! It looks like such a wonderful weekend with a great group of friends!
Patricia @Sweet And Strong says
What a fun weekend! Girls trips or getaways really are needed every so often. I have never been to Savannah but I LOVE exploring new cities and restaurants.
Sarah @ BucketListTummy says
Definitely looks like you have a great time! Love having a good group of girlfriends to travel with. I’m heading there this weekend, sad I missed you!
How did you meet these awesome ladies? Moving to a new city with a 6 month old and terrified on meeting new people:) Any tips or websites where I can meet non-sketchy normal moms?!?
Haha!! I know it is SO HARD when you just move somewhere new. I didn’t know anyone with babies when I gave birth to Chase and really made an effort to talk to moms at the kid-friendly places I took Chase. Most of my closest friends here I met through Burn Boot Camp (they have free childcare so it definitely attracts moms!) as well as Gymboree. Gymboree was great since the classes are divided up based on age and really let you meet/connect with moms who have kids around the same age! I go into more depth about how I met my closest friends in Charlotte in this post which might be of interest: https://www.pbfingers.com/where-to-meet-mom-friends/
I loved this post 🙂 Not only because it looked like an awesome time (and I LOVE Savannah!) but I loved that you opened up about your faith. Feeling like a “newbie” in a relationship with God is something I can relate to as well– I became a Christian in 2011 and felt like I didn’t know ANYTHING, especially when compared to people who had grown up in the church. It’s thanks to amazing friends that have shown me love, grace and compassion that I have come to understand and desire time with God. Also, it’s always refreshing to talk to people who have such a great perspective on what truly matters, when the world so constantly tells us our worth is in success and status.
Annnnnnnnyway, thank you for sharing 🙂
I agree with Brittany – thanks for opening up and sharing.
Lauren Robinson says
What a wonderful gift God has given you with those spiritual “sisters”!!! And what a wonderful time of refreshment for you all — it’s amazing how rejuvenating weekend getaways with good friends can be. 🙂
Teri Spinnenweber says
That’s so great to know that you’re growing and maturing in your Faith! Praying that you and Ryan continue to seek the truth and raise Chase to know the Lord too! And that girls retreat sounds amazing!!
What a fun girls weekend! Sometimes that is the just the thing you need. It looks like you have a great group of supportive friends.
Looks like such a fun trip!! And that ice cream shop looks amazing, too! Thanks for sharing : )
Kathy Dickerson says
Hi Julie! Thank u for all of ur info on Savannah! Can u give me a few places to stay in Savannah? Are there hotels close ? I’m on somewhat of a budget as well. Thank u.