This past weekend was a first for me. I left my 4-year old son and husband at home while I went out-of-town for a girl’s weekend to the Bahamas. Of course, preparing for this journey came with weeks, even months of planning…and I’m not talking about the actual trip. I’m talking about getting ready to leave the house! From arranging babysitters, packing lunch for camp, leaving paint-by-number instructions, mapping out ideas and possible activities…I was exhausted before I even got on the plane, but it was all worth it since I was joining 14 others for a 50th birthday celebration of a very dear friend.
First things first, the average age on this trip was probably around 46 and not for nothing, if anyone looked a day over 38 I’m stretching. What is it about aging women today? And none of these women have been near a knife or syringe (at least as far as I could tell). I honestly think women in their 40s and 50s today look better than ever. Of course, that’s probably because when we were in our 20s and 30s we had bad hairstyles and fashion. Can you say perms and shoulder pads? Please don’t let anything from the 80s or 90s come back…ever!
Not shocking, but I was the only one on the trip with a child under the age of 5. The majority of women all had kids in high school and many had children in their senior year of college. Needless to say they were all nostalgic for years gone by with their children and more often than not said how they missed those early days. Really? Did they really miss the constant whining and temper tantrums of a 4-year old not getting his way? Did they really long for the days of emotional outbursts for no reason at all? Did they really forget what is what like to never finish a single thought because their child had his mouth in constant motion and never stopped talking? I bet not. But I digress.
The trip was fantastic! From lying by the pool and beach every day enjoying frozen rum drinks, to the crazy, body shot-filled booze cruise on the final night of the trip (yes, a lot of drinking!), we had four fun days in the sun at the Bimini Bay Resort. By far the most memorable part of the weekend, however, was a trip to the Healing Hole. If this trip was our Fifty Shades of Fifty, this excursion was our Red Room of Pain.
Now I’m no stranger to good marketing copy and have even written some in my day. But rarely have I fell victim to the allure of words. You know, it’s usually hard to BS a BSer. The copy: For decades, the “Healing Hole” at Bimini has been said to have therapeutic properties and rejuvenating power. Dip yourself in this spring and find out its benefits, while enjoying the peace and beauty of this spot on earth. Ask for the “Healing Hole” option, where you will be able to dip your body in this legendary spring.
Sounds healing, right? Well, what they don’t tell you is that to get to the hole you have to kayak through Mangroves there and back! And by there and back I mean three hours and probably six miles! Kayaking? Really? There’s a reason I never got that badge in Girl Scouts. And furthermore, why do they make it look so easy on Dora the Explorer?
So off we went, two-by-two in our kayaks (except one brave woman who went solo) to what felt like a lot longer than three hours. And you know everyone was singing the theme to Gilligan’s Island. Every time we asked our guides if we were there yet, they responded with, “Oh, we’re about 60% of the way there!” We were 60% of the way there the whole damn trip!
My kayak partner and I kept getting stuck in the Mangroves because not only were we never in sync, but we’re both very strong and were essentially going in circles. Needless to say we were the last to make it to the hole. And wouldn’t you know it, the minute we arrived at the hole, something stung me. Not surprising seeing as on the way there I saw hundreds of jellyfish floating in the water. It was like freaking Survivor out there. All the girls got out to experience the hole and I passed. I know; I’m lame.
On the way back the “rescue” boat kept coming by to ask if we wanted to get on board. Were they crazy? Did they really think my partner and I would not finish what we started? We were so close to jumping on that damn boat, you have no idea! Three hours and six miles of kayaking…at least I didn’t have to feel guilty about all those Piña coladas and not working out all weekend.
None of us should really have been surprised by the lack of healing at the hole. Bimini also brags about having the “Fountain of Youth.” We actually stopped to see it on the way to the resort. Of course when we got out to experience it and possibly drink from the fountain the driver screamed out, “Don’t touch the water!” Nice.
Healing Hole not withstanding, it was such a great trip with a lot of laughs had and a lot of memories created. It was so great to be a part of this group of rock star women celebrating such an amazing woman and friend. But I was so excited to get back to my husband and my whining, temper-tantrum-throwing, non-stop talking 4-year old. I suppose it’s only a matter of time when I, too will be nostalgic for these days.
Here’s to the Sisterhood of the Healing Hole!