This past weekend I had the best time with some of my most favorite girls on the entire planet, all in celebration of Shirley! I talk about Shirley all the time in this space- she is one of my best friends that I met in college. She came up to NAU already being childhood best friends with Autumn, who I had met when she rushed Pi Phi her sophomore year, and had become one of my closest friends too. One evening on one of our regular nightly runs, Autumn suggested that we swing by one of the dorms so I could meet Shirley and we could all run together. To make a long story short, it was friend love at first sight, and over the next three years of college the three of us would become inseparable. We ended up living together both in college and after college too, and I consider both of these girls not just two of my very best friends but also my sisters. We've seen each other in so many stages of our lives- crazy college nights, serious boyfriends, serious breakups, heart aches, happiness, marriage, kids, new careers, etc. And over those years at NAU our group of friends grew as we all met girls we couldn't live without, and all of my most favorite memories involve Alana, Brenda, Erin, Carrie, and Amy. I feel so lucky to have had such a fun/crazy/memorable college experience, and I fully credit all of those girls for all of those memories.
What's great now though, is that even though we are all so, so different, with our own families, different interests, and different lives, we all manage to come together to celebrate each other in these various stages of life. We've gone on countless girls trips, celebrated bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorette parties, weddings, and everything in between. Outside of Autumn, Shirley, Erin and Alana, I don't see the faraway girls as much as I'd like, but I know that if I needed them, they'd be there in a heartbeat, and vice versa. And I also know that no matter how much time has passed, it will always feel just as good to reunite.
So this past weekend was a very special time. Shirley is one of those girls that you immediately fall in love with. Her heart is the biggest and kindest of anyone I've ever known, and it was neat to be around her other groups of friends and see how much they love her too. The couple of days we spent celebrating Shirley was a blast- we stayed in Venice at the Marriott Marina Del Ray (originally Manhattan Beach but we changed hotels at the last minute) and it was a great time.
I flew into LAX on Friday afternoon and even though it was so hard to leave Henry, I was super excited for a "me" weekend. I hopped into a cab and headed to the airport upon arrival in LA, and the girls were already having fun and getting ready for the evening. That night we went to dinner at Primitivo in Venice and I had one of the best meals I've ever had- a mixture of a million types of tapas and a scallop/shrimp meal. To-die-for delicious. Afterward we headed to a bar close by and had a good time dancing and being silly.
The next morning we woke up and walked down to breakfast at The Terrace then a few of us went for a nice run along the beach. We got to experience some of Venice's "local flair" and interesting patrons too. The rest of the day was spent over in Santa Monica, walking around, having lunch, and enjoying some drinks at the Hotel Shangri-la, and we actually spent the evening down in Santa Monica too. First we came back to the hotel to get ready and to throw Shirl a lingerie shower, and then headed back out for sushi at Makai and drinks and dancing at a few different bars. It was a really, really perfect bachelorette party kind of night, and by the end of the evening (3am, yikes!) my feet were sore from dancing so much, and my cheeks hurt from all the laughing. Mission accomplished? I think so.
Here are some photos from the weekend, from my little point and shoot (c/o Samsung) and iphone -