Cindy and I have done a fair amount of traveling together, albeit the last time we took a trip was easily 15 years ago or more. Since we were roommates sophomore year, I knew we’d be compatible travel companions. This is important because someone can be your best friend and yet your WORST travel companion. We’re both early risers, big time planners and pretty laid back when it comes to primping and getting out the door. I might even dare say we’ve never fought. Sure we disagree — often — but I really can’t recall raising my voice at Cindy ever.
Our very first girlfriend getaway (not counting visiting ad agencies in NY and Chicago during college) was to Nashville and Memphis.
We were about 2-3 years out of school and decided to road trip it. Then a few years later we hit the Bahamas.
Cindy reminds me I was dating my now ex-husband at the time but he must have still lived in London then. (Caveat: I have no memory anymore. Could be the wine. Could be the kid. Could just be me. I’m Dori from “Finding Nemo.”)
I would see Cindy about every year or so for work as I traveled to LA with previous jobs. And then I changed careers and the trips stopped. But we saw each other this past April for our 20th college reunion and spent so much time together that the idea of a trip just made sense. Yes we both have families and responsibilities, but travel, in my opinion, is a responsibility. Not only to take time for yourself, but to learn about other cultures, places, etc.
So I threw it out there on Facebook that I wanted to go to Sonoma and Cindy jumped at the chance to join me. After clearing it with her husband and working out the childcare logistics, it was settled. And the planning began. Luckily we both know many wine lovers and Sonoma lovers and after soliciting recommendations and cross-referencing those with picks from Food and Wine, we had our wineries.
There’s just something about being with an old friend. The moment I got in the car I noticed a bag at my feet. This bag was filled with mix tapes Cindy and I had made in college. Yes tapes! And the even better part? Cindy’s car actually had a tape player! In 2014. Praise the lord. We spent the majority of the time in the car listening to the tapes and reminiscing. Guessing who created which tape and laughing at song selection.
The trip went so smoothly because we mesh so well together. We’re pretty much up for anything and while yes, we had a very detailed and specific itinerary, we also left wiggle room. This way when a tasting room told us about a winery we should go to, we were able to move things around or skip wineries altogether to make the exception. I definitely did a lot of the pre-trip legwork but we managed a balance since Cindy did all of the driving and therefore was vital in planning which venues we’d visit on one day (thank goodness for Google Maps).
It’s important to know your strengths. Is one of you a foodie? Is someone into nightlife? Figure out what ‘s important to each of you and divide and conquer. And of course, be open to the other person’s ideas and recommendations. But most importantly? Have fun!