Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

Girls Gone Road Trip: Spring Break Edition

Adult Spring Break was so much fun beyond the usual reasons: It was cold, so I didn’t log my typical eight hours a day on a beach chair. The first five days, I stayed in four different locations, as opposed to my preference of making my base in one place for the length of a trip. Other than a 12-mile run one day and a yoga class another, I pretty much took the week off from working out. All-around, it was a departure from my regular routine, which is sometimes a good thing.

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

But what made it so over-the-top great? It included visits with a number of my very best friends, all within a few-day span.

My college suitemate/lifelong soulmate/wedding officiant Lemon spent the first half of it with me, flying into Atlanta, where we stayed for the night, then road-tripping with me to Columbia for a wedding and Charleston to see another college friend.

Adult Spring Break

From there, we ventured onto Jacksonville, where Angie so graciously allowed us to bunk at her house for the night (and then me for several nights beyond that). I’m the type of connector who loves to introduce my favorite people to my other favorite people; Angie and I didn’t meet until just after I left New York so while she, Lemon and I all had a few of the same friend (and in some cases, work) circles, we never actually crossed paths in Manhattan.

Angie Away

But seriously, how cute is she?

It was fun having a night to kick it at Angie’s in our pajamas and trade war stories about those formative years in our twenties spent braving the wilds of Midtown, where we all coincidentally lived during the same time period.

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

Lemon had to catch a flight to see her mom the following day, but not before the three of us ventured into San Marco for a delectable breakfast at Maple Street Biscuit Company.

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

After dropping Lemon off at the airport, Angie and I spent much of the afternoon catching up on work in a cafe in Murray Hill before I was a terrible guest and ditched her and Rick to spend the evening taking an Acro class in Jacksonville instead.

AcroYoga in Jacksonville
AcroYoga in Jacksonville
In my small world of small worlds, I took a workshop from this instructor in Nashville last summer and randomly dropped in on her class in Jax because it was the only acro class in town!

The next day was Angie’s and my planned girls’ day, so we went down to Sawgrass for a spa morning then continued onto Vilano Beach for lunch. Why? Because two of my other favorite girls happened to be there: Jade and Kid Augustine!

Kid Augustine

I know, I know, guys; at this point, you’re wondering if Jade and I are going to ditch our husbands and run off together. It’s cool; I call her my wife, too. I just can’t help but loving that Vagabond trio, and a brief lunch with Jade, Augustine and Jade’s mom was simply not enough time to love on them as much as I would have liked!

Kid Augustine

On our way back north to Angie’s house, we took the rugged coastal route. We may have been suited up in an armor of puffy coats in March (true story), but good god, that view was worth it.

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

It was a Thursday and 45 degrees out, which means that Floridians go into hibernation mode (or perhaps were just at work like normal people?), so we found Neptune and Atlantic beaches blissfully empty. This allowed us time to stroll around the little downtown areas and poke around the shops without the crowds.

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

Angie took me into One Ocean Resort, and we were getting a bit too fatigued to stop for a drink, but if I had to stay anywhere at Jacksonville that wasn’t a friend’s house, this no doubt would be the place.

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

We finally decided to call it a day and headed back to Angie’s house for naps and a chill night, but not before stopping for ice cream. Because c’mon, an old school ice cream shop with a retro feel and birthday cake-dipped ice cream cones? Totally our bag!

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

On the following morning, my final day in Jacksonville, I headed down near the river to see another boss babe friend of mine, Carrie McLaren, fellow writer and blogger and mom to a duo of adorable girls. She met me at Black Sheep, which was a highlight of my 10-day culinary adventures, no doubt, and introduced me to Intuition Ale Work’s King Street Stout (so good!).

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

Black Sheep is also in the 5 Points neighborhood, and I could have spent hours there shopping the indie stores and tasting the beer in the new taproom. But alas, I had places to be (and beer to drink!) so after lunch, I parted ways with Carrie and embarked on my Ale Trail adventures with photographer B.A. Van Sise (who happens to be SVV’s cousin we didn’t know existed until Angie’s wedding a year-and-a-half ago!).

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

That wound up taking the majority of the day, and by the time I was done, Angie, her husband Rick and her sis Rachel were already at Topgolf waiting. So off I went to my new obsession!

Planning a Vacation to Jacksonville, Florida

Who knew that an interactive driving range of sorts could be so much fun? Who needs bowling, Topgolf is the best warm-weather group activity there is! All I can say (other than that there was an unexpected victor…hint hint) is that I cannot wait for the Topgolf Nashville to open later this year.

AcroYoga in Jacksonville
AcroYoga in Jacksonville
On Saturday morning, it was up and at ’em. I had six hours to drive for the final stop of my 10-day, four-state road trip. Destination: Georgia. Friends to see: Team Mayhem.
Headstands with Mayhem

While I always welcome any chance to get to spend time with Angie, Keith, Sydney and Moxie, I feel like I always blackhawk in, drink a lot of wine, play a lot of games, then leave before we’ve all had time to properly catch up. And there was plenty to catch up on, too, as this was mere days after #Teethgate2017.

A Visit with Mayhem
A Visit with Mayhem

Alas, like most trips I had limited time as SVV was dad-sitting while Mom and I were on our respective Adult Spring Breaks (she stole away to D.C. while everyone else I know is fleeing…), though I did wake up to a carefully crafted list from my precocious 7-year-old pal that outlined our morning:

girls fun day

  1. smoothies.
  2. do yoogu.
  3. go play teniss.
  4. do art.
  5. nite.
  6. soo.
  7. acroo.
  8. go get lunch.
  9. maybe meet my friends.
  10. make somethings.

And we accomplished nearly all of those things before I left town at 2pm. Admirable, no? No big surprise, Mayhem was a natural at Acro:

AcroYoga with Mayhem

There were tearful good-byes as always and promises to see each other soon. But three hours after leaving Team Mayhem, I was home in Tennessee, grateful to be back with SVV and Ella after so long away and also feeling pretty darned blessed my life is full of so many strong female presences, all of whom I was able to see in a single week.

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