I'm so lucky to be one of those people still in contact with my childhood friends. We've stayed in touch over the years - thanks to our group chat "Core Four." But we're so caught up in our jobs and our busy daily lives, we barely get to actually hang out.
Recently, my friend Rebecca hit the chat with big news – she's moving to Paris for grad school later this year. Of course, we're thrilled for her, but it's bittersweet. It marks the end of an era. Before every big life event, it's a ritual that we meet up to celebrate.
When we were kids we used to camp in each other's backyards. So we thought, why not find a cabin in the great outdoors? We'd stay up all night telling stories and reminiscing - for old times' sake.
We talked about setting ground rules for the weekend - no Instagramming, no hashtags, and even no Wi-Fi. Just us and nature, with comfy beds of course. But where were we gonna find all that in one package? We didn't think it was possible until we found Getaway. They're awesome outposts with beautiful, secluded cabins tucked away between the trees.
We wanted to make sure that Getaway was a safe option, considering everything that has been going on. We checked their site and Journal posts, plus I emailed their team for reassurance. They couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. They reassured me that they've upped their cleaning procedures to make the cabins as safe as possible and that the cabins are at least 50-150 ft away from each other. We also wouldn't have to go to the check-in desk so we could go straight to our cabin without interacting with anyone else during our stay.
Getaway was the perfect way for us to safely celebrate the next step in our friends' lives, since we couldn't throw a party or go out to dinner. Here's what the Core Four got up to
Friday 1:30 PM
We set off on our drive, excited as can be. We sang Britney Spears at the top of our lungs the whole way there. It felt like we were kids again.
Friday 3:30 PM
We're here! I can't believe how peaceful it is. So quiet I hear the crickets chirping. The Getaway cabins are nicely spread out, there are other cabins in the distance through the trees. We walked around the campsite for a little bit, settled in, and decided on dinner! We whipped up chicken pesto pasta on the stove and had cookies for dessert. Then we stashed our smartphones in the "lock box" and pinky promised to switch off for the entire weekend.
Saturday 11:00 AM
Wow. These beds are so soft, everyone slept in. I woke to birds chirping; a nice change from my alarm ringing or 30+ text notifications and emails. The best part? The bed is right next to this giant window. So as soon as I adjusted my eyes I got to see an orange canopy of leaves, blue skies peeping through, and a blaze of sunlight. So refreshing.
Saturday 2:00 PM
Amanda Archibald www.amandaarchi
After rustling up lunch, we took a rigorous 3-hour hike. We live in the city, so the view from the mountain top was extraordinary - the golden-red autumn trees stretching for miles. Not a building in sight.
Saturday 8:00 PM
Back at the cabin, exhausted. We each took a steaming hot shower and sipped wine as we cooked dinner together. Then Monopoly til midnight. There's something about that game that really brings out the Core Four's competitive side. Three hours in, I had the railroads and all the top properties, so I annihilated them in a sweeping victory.
Sunday 10:00 AM
We made eggs in the cabin for breakfast. After that, we took a lazy stroll, leaves crunching underfoot as we rambled through the forest. The scent of autumn in the air was so fresh compared to the city air we were used to - we felt like we could actually breathe for the first time in forever.
Sunday 5:00 PM
Once back, we were starving so we demolished a bag of chips as we grilled veggies and chicken skewers over the fire pit. Then we sat at the picnic table and devoured it as we reminisced about our first NSYNC concert. We agreed Justin Timberlake needs to bring back the ramen noodle hair.
Sunday 7:00 PM
Rebecca toasted three rounds of s'mores, and we chilled out in the Adirondack chairs around the flickering fire. When it started to get chilly, we headed back into the cozy cabin, made some tea, and chatted and laughed the evening away. When we eventually checked the time, it was 3am. Where did the time go? Then it hit us. That's the point of our magical Getaway - losing track of time.
Monday 11:00 AM
It was time for us to pack up and check out. Funny, I was kinda dreading the no Wi-Fi thing, but it turned out to be so refreshing to completely detach from our devices for a few days. On the journey home, we discussed how shocked we were no one broke the pinky promise - I was sure Rebecca would break.
Our weekend Getaway was a perfect blend of camping and comfort - we could enjoy the beauty of nature without roughing it. Between nature walks, hikes, and hilarious stories, we made memories our Core Four will never forget.