I got an invitation to reunite with a dear college friend to celebrate her birthday. I hadn’t seen her since college, and the suggested meeting place was…in Miami? Who could say no to that! Certainly not me.
Of course, after saying “yes” to the trip, reality set in. How much had my friend changed since we last saw each other? We kept in touch off and on, but spending a weekend together—what if we had nothing in common? And, holy crap! I own one pair of shorts and zero swim suits. What am I doing going to Miami?!?
Thankfully, I calmed down. I realized issue number one about what we shared in common was not going to be an issue. True friends always share fond memories, and an interest in what has evolved in the interim. To wit, my emailed concerns were met with a three-word reply…”Don’t be ridiculous.”
And, when I told her I lacked shorts and swimsuit? She admitted she didn’t have a suit either! BOOM perfectly matched friends, or what?
Now that the initial worries were addressed it was time to get down to business and plan our activities. Fortuitously (and/or serendipitously) Departures magazine arrived at the same time I’d started planning and Miami just so happened to be the special feature and cover of the October issue. Timing is everything, and like any good traveler, I dove in to research what was covered, waiting to be inspired. I was actually a little overwhelmed because there were not enough maps to indicate what was where, or distances between locations. With only three days one has to be able to plan carefully.
There was just too much too select from: restaurants, art museums, art gallery’s, night clubs, beach bungalows, wine tours, the Everglades, Little Haiti, Little Havana… and how could I match all of these wonderful spots with my friends interests, plans and vision for her birthday weekend?
After (successfully) navigating a near meltdown, I dog-eared several pages and decided to come with a series of suggestions and ideas. Miami would be a fun adventure no matter what we did. Ultimately, I was not going to be able to cover the ground I would want to cover, because it was about my friend’s birthday and celebrating with her.
What would that mean? In fact, it would be much more mellow than I’m used to. It involved an afternoon at the spa, dinners out, and overall else, enjoying a break from the daily grinds of work and parenting. After coming off of a grueling three weeks of my own, it turned out to be just what I needed to recharge and refresh.