In July of 1993, my family moved from California to Colorado. One evening, we were having a goodbye BBQ with my Dad’s side of the family. The next morning, a line of vehicles and moving trucks stopped so my mom could get a photo before turning off of Trailridge Road for the last time. It was the only home I remembered, having lived there since age 2. I’d graduated from high school less than a month prior, which was my final goodbye to many friends. My heart was breaking to leave not only a boyfriend (he didn’t last) but my best friend (she did). That day in July was the worst day of my 18-year old life.
I didn’t know it then, but leaving California was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Moving to a tiny town in Colorado where it (gasp!) snowed was quite a shake-up in my life, but one that I needed to grow up. It opened my eyes to other ways of living, new beautiful places, different kinds of people. I’ve now happily lived in the mountains of Colorado and Utah for 22 years, longer than I lived in California. But a giant piece of my heart remains in California, partly because my core crew of girlfriends is still going strong.
There are five of us. Amanda and I go back the furthest, meeting in 1984 (though Ame grew up near me and we all went to elementary school together). Ame and I got super close in junior high, and Erinn and Stacey were cheerleaders with me and Amanda for all four years in high school.
After I moved away, the five of us enjoyed a couple of wine-filled reunions in California. Amanda came to Colorado, and few of the ladies visited Utah. I traveled back as often as possible, to celebrate engagements, weddings, pregnant bellies, and eventually 10 babies between the four of them. We attended our 10th high school reunion together, and then (gulp) our 20th. All five of us danced together in Utah on my wedding day two years ago. There’s a lot of incredible history between us. I can’t believe we all turn 40 this year!
To celebrate this milestone year (as if we need an excuse), the Fab Five come together again this month. Our memory pile will grow with the first kid-less getaway in over ten years. The sleepy California town of Ojai won’t know what hit it. (Hint: we’ll be the loud ones laughing in the corner, ordering another round of cocktails.)
Isn’t friendship a treasure? (Ojai recommendations welcome!)
Bit by the travel bug? Dive into some of my past adventures on the Travel Bliss page.
One year ago: A day in photographs.