Let me just say, YOU NEED TO GO!
You know I'm a huge fan of Girls Night Out and Girls Trips, but do you know why? They fill a spot in our heart that nothing else can. Girlfriends are supportive, they listen and offer advice, they ask for advice. They offer a different perspective from what you've considered. They like to talk, maybe about deep stuff or maybe light and easy. They share their ups and downs and you realize we're all in this together, experiencing different versions of the same thing. These are just a few of the riches a group of gals can bring into your life.
If you've been following us, you know that I (Vanessa) just went to Charleston and Savannah with two of my friends. I vowed I'd get back to explore Charleston a bit more after our short trip at the end of last year when Chase graduated from Basic Training, and I did! I put it on the vision board and lo and behold, before 2019 drew to an end, there I was, back in Charleston. The three of us had an amazing three days of exploring, chatting, eating, walking and learning new things.
This was a spur of the moment trip, with minimal planning, and it just so happened we could all say yes!, and jump in. Granted, two of us have kids in their twenties and one has no kids, so no worries or planning around that and two of us have flexible husbands and one with no husband, so no worries there either! If you have younger kids or a 9-5 job, you may need to plan a little more ahead than we did, but you just need to make it happen.
Pick a destination, somewhere you've always said you wanted to go and BOOK IT! No excuses. Take that first step in buying the plane tickets or booking the room and you'll be amazed at how the rest falls into place.
Here is my list of why you need a Girls Trip!
- Way less planning. You can divvy up the planning by day or activities and each one of you can take part. I don't know about you all, but if I go somewhere with the family, I'm the one that gets to plan Every. Last. Detail. It's so freeing to not have to do that and just show up to the activity, hotel, restaurant that you didn't have to research!
- No expectations. You’re all there for an experience, an experience you're creating along the way.
- No kids to feed. It's nice to get a break from having to cook and keep others alive.
- You're all on this mini-vacay because you want to be. No grumpy family member with you because they must be.
- No fighting or bored kids wondering what you're doing next.
- Lots of conversation and laughs. Not to say you don't have this on other getaways with your hubby or family, but there is something about staying up late with your girlfriends and talking about everything under the sun.
- It's less expensive because you're only paying for one of you!
- Eating is more adventurous. Everyone can order something different and you can all share. The best way to get a sampler of many things on the menu.
This trip to this part of the South, is one for history buffs, tours and those that like lots of stuff to see. Apparently, there is also great shopping, but since I shop for a living and the others weren't big shoppers, we didn't do any of that. One could easily spend a week in Charleston or Savannah alone, but we were girls on a mission. We wanted to see a bit of several different places, which allowed us to pick our favorites and experience such a diverse array of things.
Day 1: Charleston: Our favorite, hands down was Charleston. It is such a quaint, charming city that has done a stellar job of keeping the historical district intact. It has the most beautiful homes you've ever seen, fascinating history, fun activities and is so walkable.
We started off on a horse and buggy tour through the historical district with a fun tour guide. I highly suggest this because you can see more while learning things you wouldn't come across otherwise. You could actually book this tour multiple times because there are different routes they take, but it's based on a lottery system, so even the driver doesn't know where they're going until a block into the tour. So, if you got the same route twice, that could be a bummer, but maybe not, because you'd have a new tour guide with new stories. We used Old South Carriage Company and our horse was Prince. We then walked on our own for miles! Although all the streets are darling, a few of the streets not to miss are S. Battery Street, Meeting Street and E. Bay Street. We had a very interesting tour at the French Huguenot Church led by a man whose family 12 generations ago were the founding fathers. I had no idea the Huguenot are Protestants. In fact, I learned a lot about Protestant's on this trip that I had no idea about! Wear comfy shoes and plan on walking for miles. You don't want to miss anything!
Day 2: Savannah is bigger than Charleston and is also a college town. There is a lot of gorgeous old architecture here too, and lots of Revolutionary and Civil War history, but it doesn't have the quaintness of Charleston. Unfortunately, they didn't keep everything intact and allowed big ugly commercial buildings to be built right next to amazing pieces of history. We did the open-air bus tour here that I highly recommend because then you can see everything and know where you want to go back to. Don't be afraid to get off at one of the first stops if your tour guide isn't great. We felt like we should stay on to see more right away, but then we decided it might have been a better tour had we jumped off and on more, which you are free to do. Unfortunately, it rained the entire day we were here, but that didn't stop us from walking for miles again. Definitely bring an umbrella. It rained both times I've visited the south now.
The churches were locked up tight, except of course for the Catholic St. John the Baptist Cathedral, which was gorgeous!
Savannah is arranged on a grid and has 22 squares that are park like with the historical houses and churches arranged along the sides of each square. Each square smelled deliciously of roses, but we couldn't find any roses in bloom in these areas. Lots of green, but not many flowering shrubs. The roads are also much dirtier than Charleston which was a bummer and some shady businesses along some of the main roads off the squares.
We had the most delicious dinner at a little Italian place called Bella Napoli Italian Bistro and would highly recommend! We also had a nice tour of one of the grand homes, but the most interesting part came at the end when a man knocked on the front door and was let in by our tour guide. Bag of alcohol in hand, he then proceeded up the stairs, where the tour does not go. Me being me, at the end of the tour, I asked who he was. Turns out he used to own the home but then in the economic downturn of 2008 lost everything, including his mind. He thinks he still owns the home and they let him live there. More to that story, I'm sure.
Day 3 ~ Tybee Island. OMG I was so shocked to feel that the Atlantic Ocean was so warm. Why oh why do people go to California to go to the beach, that water is freezing?! This is a darling, laid back little island that would be a great summer stay. Lots of people out walking, driving their golf carts and oh, don't try to get coffee before 7:30 am. Seriously, they're on island time.
Early in the morning, post 7:30 am so we could grab coffee, we did a drive around the island, pulled off in a neighborhood and walked the little path to the beautiful little beach. There were dolphins frolicking in the water, a sweet cat that the locals feed, and lots of shells.
We had a nice little tour of the historical lighthouse and light keeper's cottages. There is an amazing view from the top of the lighthouse, where you can see for miles. I would definitely go back to Tybee for a long weekend of some R&R. It's a cute little place, not much to do, but relaxing.
We then hit the road back to explore a bit more in Charleston where we would have a couple of hours before we had to catch our plane. On the 2 hour drive back, we passed the cutest little Peach Cider stand/store and made an abrupt U-turn. We did lots of those! This place was SO darn cute featuring lots of pickled veggies, jams and goodies. Unfortunately, we all had carry-ons, so we couldn't take any with us. Inside of the cider place was the cutest coffee place that I've ever seen, but the guy decided to randomly close, so no coffee for us.
When we arrived back into Charleston, we grabbed a delicious coffee and did a little more walking to finish off our amazing short trip.
A Girls Trip is so beneficial to your well-being. You can get friendship, fresh air, laughter, good food, history lessons, biology lessons, brain refresh and so much more! Friends are good for the soul.
We would love to hear about your best Girls Trips too!