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Weekend Renews Body, Soul, Friendships

May 11, 2008
By PHYLLIS R. SIGAL Design Editor

 “There is nothing more than this moment,” yoga instructor Julia Payne said as we sat on our mats under the perfect blue skies and newly budded, age-old trees for a Saturday morning class.

 “Feel the wind on your skin, the sun on your face.”


 Yes, breathe it all in.

 And this was just one little piece of a heavenly girlfriend getaway weekend of which I had the pleasure of being a part.

 The weekend was titled WW II — Women’s Weekend II. A group of women who wanted to take cooking classes started the tradition last year, and it has grown from there.  

 Sometimes, we as woman, mothers, wives and professionals, find it difficult to find a whole hour to ourselves, let alone an entire weekend! And even this particular weekend, some disappeared for a time to take care of family business, one spent the nights at home with her toddler and most kept cell phones handy at all times ... just in case. (That is who we are, of course.)

 But from wine tasting to chick-flicks, massages and facials to craft projects and conversations, from martini hour to delicious meal after delicious meal after delicious meal, it was an incredible weekend that no one wanted to see come to an end.

 The weekend — held at Sandscrest Conference and Retreat Center in Wheeling — started with a wine tasting presented by Good Mansion Wines on the lovely front porch.

 Dinner — a salad that got rave reviews, roasted vegetable lasagna, garlic toast and, for dessert, chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet — was served in the dining room.


 Conversation and wine flowed throughout the evening, as we all retired to the front porch after dinner.

 We felt as if we were living in an earlier era, one of graciousness and leisure — one none of us was used to.

 In fact, one of the most amusing comments of the weekend was, “Oh, darn, I have to go get my massage,” one woman commented as she had to interrupt the relaxing knitting she was doing on the front porch.

 Life’s rough!

 The front porch was a favorite gathering place throughout the weekend — for reading, sipping wine, talking, knitting or just sitting in the comfortable rockers, drinking in the view of the country landscape and flowering trees.

 Books and magazines were strewn about, signs that there was time to indulge in “me” time. There were piles of board games and DVDs. Platters of brownies and biscotti were available all the time; bowls of chips and dips came out for cocktail hour.

 We talked of travel, children, husbands, boyfriends, politics, food, future, past, the weekend itself ... you name it.

 Saturday was spent walking the grounds of Sandscrest, having a massage or a facial, making craft tiles or, probably the most indulgent activity of them all — napping in the afternoon!

 I spent time on the front porch, rocking, listening to the birds, following a butterfly flit about, and watching the sun’s coming and going. My massage was the first one of the day, right between a delicious breakfast and a relaxing, yet invigorating yoga class. I had the luxury of feeling the benefits of my morning throughout the day. “There is nothing more than this moment” echoed in my head all day long.  

 Not much of a crafter, I did enjoy making a tile collage with photos of my children and appropriate words such as “grow, discover, love, treasures.” We made a bookmark, titled “My Life as a Bead,” in which we chose beads that represented things of importance in our lives.

 And while all of us were there, enjoying ourselves and our women friends, most of our bookmarks included children and family beads in the mix.

 One woman put it very well: “As much as I LOVE family, I think I appreciate them more when I have a chance to get away now and then.”

 We all need a break from our routine and responsibilities from time to time just for the sake of renewal. What better way than to spend time with our girlfriends.

Article Photos

Photos Provided
A yoga class is a wonderful experience for body and soul, and under a blue sky on a crystal clear day makes it all the better.

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