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!