Girlfriend Traditions

I love my college girlfriends. They are the ones who have seen me at my best and worst, and still choose to be my friend anyway. I met a core group of college girlfriends through a combination of living in the dorms and my sorority pledge class. These are the girls who ironed my hair- literally with an iron- before I discovered the Helen of Troy straightener (even before there was Chi). We lived together, went on Spring Break together, and were in each other’s weddings. Unfortunately, we all live far away and found it hard to get together once we started our careers, got married, and had children.

Melissa lives in San Francisco, has two children, and works in sales.
Stephanie lives in Washington, D.C. and juggles her career as a research consultant with her packed social calendar.
Emily lives in Orlando, has a toddler, and is an elementary school teacher.
Amanda lives in Fort Lauderdale, has two children, and is a physician’s assistant.

In 2010, we started the tradition of meeting in a different city for an annual girls’ trip. In 2013, we made an exception and had a family trip, which included children and significant others. We canned that idea the following year because it was difficult to have meaningful “girl time” when we were busy changing diapers and trying to prevent our toddlers from drowning in the pool. So far, we have gone to Newport, Boston, Dallas, Sarasota, and Orlando. My favorite location has been Newport because it’s a historic and “walkable” city where you don’t need a taxi to get around. There were plenty of restaurants and shops within walking distance from the Bed and Breakfast where we stayed. Our inner nerds convinced us to tour Rough Point, one of Newport’s many mansions, and the former home of philanthropist and tobacco heiress, Doris Duke. This mansion tour was the inspiration behind my daughter’s name. The first time I ever heard the name Arden was when the tour guide said it was the name of Doris Duke’s only daughter, and I loved it so much that it became my first daughter’s name (beating out Harper and Channing, but I digress…)

The Girls (and a guy friend) in Newport in 2010.

The Girls in Boston in 2011. I was five months pregnant with my first daughter.

The Girls in Dallas in 2012. Melissa couldn’t travel because of pregnancy complications and it wasn’t the same without her.

The Girls in Winter Park, Florida, in 2014.

What are your favorite traditions with friends who live far away? How do you make time for your friends once you get busy with life’s obligations?


    7 Comments on Girlfriend Traditions

    1. Cass
      January 15, 2015 at 1:09 pm (7 years ago)

      Jennifer – Girls Trips are the best treat! My friends and I also used to do the annual trip, but have fallen off. Spoiler alert – I was so inspired by your post that I used it that I snagged your idea. Thank you for the inspiration – hope your own Girls Trips continue for many years to come!

      • jenniferdaku
        January 16, 2015 at 10:41 am (7 years ago)

        CASS- your comment made my dad and I’m so glad it triggered your own “Girlfriend Tradition.” Please keep me posted on how it goes and where you end up traveling for it- always looking for new venues. Have a great weekend!!!!

    2. Emily
      January 5, 2015 at 10:12 pm (8 years ago)

      Loved all of these and cannot wait for the next 50. XOXO

      • jenniferdaku
        January 6, 2015 at 5:12 pm (7 years ago)

        Thank you Emily!!!

    3. Melissa
      January 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm (8 years ago)

      Daku, thanks for not calling me out on the Dallas
      girls trip– dare I say it was because of me we decided to meet “half way in the middle” hence how
      we ended up in Dallas. Too bad I couldn’t partake in the amazing weather, hotel accommodations, and night life!! Ohhh and I heard the fried chicken down the street from the hotel was to die for;)

      • jenniferdaku
        January 5, 2015 at 12:51 pm (8 years ago)

        LOL. Love you and we missed you.