So I don't know about you, but genuinely good friends are something that I plan to hold onto tightly, no matter the distance, or how often we see one another. Heaven knows they aren't easy to find! When I started my first job in the medical field at a dermatologist's office when I was only 19, I certainly wasn't thinking I would be meeting some of my lifelong friends. Especially when there was such a variety in our group between ages, backgrounds, and interests!
I'm pretty sure there is a 12 year age span between all of us (don't tell them I told you that! LOL) and we could not be more different personality wise. We have gone through some major life events together, some good, some bad. I am so thankful to have my group of big sisters (I'm the baby of the bunch) to help to get me through it! So when three of our seven now literally live several states away, and none of us work together anymore, we've made the trip to St. Louis each year to set aside time to catch up and enjoy being toegther!
So the last two years that we have met in St. Louis we all piled into one hotel room. Which was fine as far as catching up goes, but have you ever tried to get seven women ready to go out to eat with only one bathroom? Such the struggle. So this year, with the help of airbnb, we got to stay in Hammed's beautiful historic mansion! We had the entire house to ourselves. It had three bedrooms and bathrooms, with plenty of room to spread out and enjoy ourselves. We were even able to enjoy some authentic Phillipino food on Friday in the giant kitchen, courtesy of sweet Gina! That would not have been possible in a hotel room, that's for sure!
This house had me desperate to come back home to Louisville and start the house hunt! The history and the character in this home were off the charts. From the stained glass, the ornate details of the trim work, to the grandiose of the staircase, it pretty much won my heart. And ahhhhh! The built ins! Insert all the heart eyed emoji's here.
This sun room is pretty much what dreams are made of. I don't think I would ever leave this room if I lived here!
So what are the components that make up any truly stereotypical girls trip??? Food and shopping, obviously. I think we pretty much blew both of these out of the water. I know my bank account certainly suffered some damage :) But with amazing creameries, authentic Italian, and an IKEA nearby, what did you really expect to happen?
And yes I know we were photo bombed. More importantly his beard had a ponytail that was braided that deserves to be recognized.
Another part of town that we really enjoyed was "The Hill." This long-established Italian-American neighborhood was filled with delicious places to eat from restaurants and bakeries, to gelato shops. After a ridiculous amount of both walking, and shopping, loading up on carbs, cheese, and sugar was just what the doctor ordered. While the Gelato shop did not have the pistachio flavor I have been craving (trying Gelato for the first time in Italy was maybe not my best choice. Now I'm a picky diva), it was still delicious!
If you're looking for an awesome place to stay, close to everything, but with plenty of space, Hammed's home really is the place to check out!
I would not trade my annual trip with these girls for anything. We always leave, only wishing we could stay longer! So thankful for each and every one of them, and the fun we get to have. Next year, I think we're going to make ridiculous reunion T-shirts. And I'm pushing for the beach to be where we meet :) If you have any questions about where we stayed, or places we would recommend, I would love to talk to you about it! And if you have any suggestions for next year, send them my way!