This past April, I met up up with two of my best
friends from my college days on the Mexican island of Isla Mujeres
for a sublime break from everyday life. We spent most of our
four-day break doing a whole lot of nothing: sunning ourselves on
the beach, swimming in the ocean, chatting over long, drawn out
dinners (that none of us prepared! Woo hoo!), sipping Coronas with
lime wedges, wheeling around town in a golf cart, sleeping late. To
summarize: It was heavenly.
The fact that we managed to meet up on the Isla
Mujeres in the first place is nothing short of a miracle. All three
of us are working moms, with insanely busy lives, bustling careers
and little kids. We each could have thought up 1,000 valid excuses
for not being able to make it to our
little reunion on a faraway island. But who could resist?! Each of
us knew we had to make it happen; if
anything, for our own sanity. When was the last time we were able
to talk together, without interruption? Be lazy together? Hang out
into the wee hours, sharing our hopes and dreams, for our families,
for ourselves (without having to dread waking up for work or pack
lunch boxes the next day)?
Since Michelle and Tatyana are in NYC and I'm in
Chicago, we spent a lot of time finding a destination that was an
easy flight away for all of us. We settled on the Isla Mujeres
since it's only a ferry ride (yet a world away) from Cancun -
where flights from both NYC and O'Hare are easy to find. Then each
of us kissed our families goodbye and caught our flights to
I was the last to arrive on the island. At 11pm, I
wheeled my one small suitcase off the ferry and wandered into town.
My two pals had already met up; they left a note for me to meet
them at an outdoor cafe. In a wonderfully surreal moment I walked
up to the cafe where my two best college friends were sitting,
smiling over colorful margaritas. After hellos and hugs, we settled
so quickly back into our usual camaraderie. That's the thing about
old girlfriends: you can always pick up where you left off and
carry on. Never mind the marriages and divorces and five kids
between the three of us; for a few days, we were girls again,
sunning ourselves in our swimsuits, diving into the ocean, talking
about boys (now referred to as "husbands"). It was absolute
We are planning on making our girlfriend getaway an
annual appointment, as essential as a yearly mammogram. Think of
how great it feels to be with your best friends. Now give them a
call. Figure out a date. Choose a destination. Just do it. Our
friendships are too precious to let time and distance carry them
Amy Bizzarri is a writer, Chicago public school teacher and mom to two kids - a preschooler and a middle schooler - living in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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