In the fall of 1996, I moved to Marshall, Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. I had no idea that I'd be meeting two of my lifelong friends there. Even though that was almost 18 years ago, I clearly remember moving into my dorm room on the third floor of Merle Bruce dormitory during welcome week. I met, Kelly, my suitemate who was also a nursing major. (I was nursing major at the beginning of my college career.) Sometime during that first year, I met Andrea who lived on the first floor of Merle Bruce. We all became fast friends. Our sophomore year we changed dorms (Lineberry Hall), but all ended up living close to each other. Kelly and I remained suitemates and Andrea was our RA. We had some really good times and made a lot of memories. Kelly and Andrea finished up their degrees at ETBU, and I transferred to Texas A&M. Life has taken us different places--3 different states to be exact, but somehow we manged to schedule a girls getaway to start the new year. So many things seemed to happen to hinder this trip, but we were determined to have some good ol' girl time. Hot Springs or bust!
We didn't have a detailed itinerary of things to see and do. Our goal was rest and relax. R&R isn't something we're very familiar with since we are all moms of little boys. It's fair to say there's not a lot of downtime at our homes. All moms know that there's no greater joy than our children, but we know that raising children is hard work. Even though we missed our little guys, it was wonderful to have a break from the demands of motherhood. That might sound selfish, but I don't think so. We were very mindful of our husbands, relatives and friends back home who took good care of our boys in order for us to have this special time together.
The time together was special. It's been years since we've seen each other, but we picked up just like it was the Spring of 1998. We had long conversations about life, swapped birth stories, laughed and cried. We talked a lot! It's really hard for me to open up and trust others, but it's not difficult when I'm around these two. That's how I know the connection I have with them is the real deal. It's not that we are all identical, but we are the same on the things that are important. Kelly and Andrea are solid Christian women who love their husbands and children. I am so blessed to call them my friends.
It probably sounds like all we did was sit around and have heartfelt conversations. That was a good portion of our trip, but we did manage to squeeze in a tour of downtown Hot Springs and Bathhouse Row. It was so cold outside that we decided to only spend a little time downtown walking around. We shopped at some cute boutiques (our favorite was Pink Avenue) and ate a lot of good food.
This was as close as we got to a real bath on Bathhouse Row. We didn't try out the natural hot springs. Kelly is expecting and I had the worst case of poison ivy I've ever had on my face. That pretty much disqualified us from having the Hot Springs experience.
I think Andrea and Kelly are the most photogenic people I know. Aren't they gorgeous?
The water was hot, and it was frigid the day we visited downtown. You can see the steam rising.
This is a big deal! Andrea's first Starbucks.
Totally getting spoiled! Starbucks and a pedicure.
Looking forward to the next time I see the girls!
We might even bring along our husbands and boys so they can join in the fun.