In Defense of the Weekend Getaway

Every year, two dear friends and I get together for a weekend getaway. We were lucky enough to live together when we all worked for the same organization in Indiana, and aim to recreate that sweet season for a few days each summer. These weekend trips are a tiny break from reality, a chance for the three of us to reconnect, to talk over coffee in the morning, and to laugh late into the night. For three girls from three different states, it’s pretty much magic.

Weekend

Last year, our trip was a true walk down memory lane. We got together in the town we used to live in–Winona Lake, Indiana. It’s a tiny, artsy town, full of cute houses, delicious restaurants, and adorable shops. Admittedly, we bring a host of fond memories and nostalgia to our trips to Winona Lake, but if you’re looking for a quaint and quiet weekend destination, look no further! It’s an easy drive from Chicago, Detroit, and Indianapolis, and is about halfway between Fort Wayne and South Bend.

When you visit, you need to get lunch at Cerulean (a bento box!) and then head back in the evening for their beer garden. Coffee and breakfast on the porch at Light Rail Cafe is a must. And make sure to take some time to wander the shops and check out the locally handcrafted goods.

Getaway

The guest house we rented (it’s just past the lilies in the photo above) was truly delightful. Our hosts were so kind and helpful. The shower was incredible, and the studio apartment was furnished with everything we needed for our weekend. We booked through airbnb.com, and would stay there again in a heartbeat. When we were locals, we lived in a 3 story duplex with a walk out basement and porches overlooking the park. While we would have loved to stay in our old house for the weekend, we couldn’t. Something about current owners or whatever. The guest house was truly the next best option, and happened to be even closer to the coffee shop than we used to live!

Winona Lake Getaway

Airbnb, if you’ve never heard of it, is this awesome site that allows you to search unique and interesting vacation rentals–rooms in people’s houses, cabins, apartments, flats, entire houses–and rent them for anywhere from a single night to several weeks. I love, love, love staying in vacation rentals, and often find the experience better than a hotel for a much lower price tag.

A bonus for you! If you use my referral link, you’ll get $40 off your first trip! Even if you don’t want to go to Winona Lake, check out the thousands of other rooms and houses available for rent on airbnb. You won’t regret it! Full disclosure: I’ll get a small travel credit on airbnb if you sign up through the link and take advantage of the killer discount.

I want to know: Where are you off to this summer? Where will you stay? In a house or cabin? A tent? A hotel? Do tell!

Sunday Small Talk

I’m sitting here on my favorite porch. I used to live in the house behind this porch, and have spent many a morning, afternoon, and evening sitting in this very spot. I’ve spent time relaxing, talking, working, thinking, grilling, eating. I love this porch.

IMG_0350If you were sitting here with me– enjoying this cool morning and being serenaded by birds’ chirping– I would tell you how great this weekend has been. I would attempt to share how grateful I am for my story and for the people I’ve had the privilege to live with and work with and know. I would tell you about a few of the experiences I had here and how much I grew through them.

And I would talk about this town and how great it is. How I love this porch we’re sitting on. How I miss the coffee shop down the hill and the ice cream parlor and the restaurants and the park and the lake and the trail. How I miss walking and running and kayaking this town’s streets and paths and coastline.

Then we would inevitably come back around to the people. We’re all bonded by the common experience of this town and this organization we all love. And there’s nothing like that bond. There is nothing like community. A community drawn from different states and different life experiences, different joys and different trials.

This is what life is about. Community. And it’s short little glimpses of it–just like this one–that remind me community is worth sacrificing for, worth seeking out. It’s worth the fight to maintain through moves and marriages and children and jobs. It’s worth it.