The first one to Hilton Head Island with my former co-workers was health focused, as it was organized by our size-two-petite friend who is now a personal trainer. She had several groups of clients in throughout the week, but we kicked it off for her on the first weekend. She had the time slot available at her beachfront condo, so we all thought it was a perfect excuse to get together. We stuck to quite the regimen.
We knew we’d be working out, but little did we know we’d get a notebook filled with health tips. We learned that sleeplessness can contribute to weight gain, that diet drinks can increase cravings for sugar, and that you can’t expect to lose weight just by working out. Any time we were eating meals or snacks, our trainer had suggestions for us about healthy food choices. And, while she doesn’t drink at all, we did have a cocktail with our dinners out. Somehow, more than one just didn’t seem to fit with all the healthy activities we had going.
We woke up early each morning, ate a light breakfast and hit the beach for a 30 minute walk. We followed that with a 30 minute workout session on the beach. We headed back to the condo for a fruit smoothie before we rode bicycles for several hours—at least we rode that long the first day. Since we three weren’t actually clients, our trainer cut us a little slack day two. She knew we wanted to go shopping, so we only rode our bikes to the nearby shopping center. We shopped, had lunch, shopped some more and hit the showers...so we could take the car to do a bit more shopping before dinner.
Though all four of us haven’t been together for a shopping expedition in many years, we’ve lost none of our ability to power shop for ourselves and each other. Fashion advice was freely given and taken, and we had a ball. We know each other so well that as we surfed the racks, we picked up items for each other to try. And the laughs—we laughed about the old days, our workouts, shopping, people watching, you name it.
As we worked out the last morning and packed up to go our separate ways, we agreed we’d be back next year to do it again. We’ve all always felt fortunate to have found each other early in our careers and to have maintained our friendship these many years even when we go months and sometimes years without seeing each other. I think we’d all agree with S.E. Hinton when she says, “If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky.” I consider myself very lucky.
PS. Check back for A Tale of Two Vacations, Part Two next week.