Inside & Out: Diary of a Girl’s Weekend

Today is Friday, Nov 4, 2011. Tomorrow I’m going to St Martin with four of my best girlfriends for four nights, and I don’t want to go. How did this happen?
Saturday, Jan 1
“We are all turning 40 this year — let’s go on a trip without husbands and kids to celebrate!”
“Yes, totally!”
“Oh my gosh I am so in!”
“Right on!”
“Here’s to such a great idea!”
That’s how it happened.
Saturday, Nov 5
I’ve been at the airport for 39 minutes, and already it’s been surreal and hilarious. I walked into the terminal to catch the opening strains of Madonna’s “Hung Up”. I love that song. Out of habit, I waited to check my bags, though I was carrying on. The immigration official was shocked I was leaving my 18-month-old behind, and asked if I breastfed him. The man handling bags in security serenaded me, probably because I’d developed a permagrin. I texted my husband: This is pretty fun. But I’m still not ever doing it again.
Sunday, Nov 6
I’m staying in a villa at La Samanna in St Martin. Our personal concierge, Anchise, brings us plastic cups so we can keep drinking prosecco at the pool without fear of breakage, runs to the supermarket for us, and drives us around the resort on a golf cart. Our housekeeper, Evela, does our dishes and makes our beds, then turns them down in the evening. She sets up the sun loungers and washes our pool towels. Our biggest responsibility is remembering to put on sun block and call our families for video chats. For once, WE are being taken care of! I want to do this every year.
Monday, Nov 7
9:59am: The novelty has worn off. This is my life. And it’s fabulous, although the high of our first two nights is gone. We are officially half-way through our trip, but I almost wish I was at home, hanging out with my mom, who flew in to take care of the kids while I’m gone. I don’t want to put pressure on myself, but this really is one of those trips of a lifetime. Can Anchise get me an attitude adjustment?
5:11pm: Villa Six is on a point, so we have a 180-degree view of the ocean. It’s getting dark; the rain is falling. I walk to the point, still wearing my bathing suit, getting soaked. The surf crashes below me. What bliss. Anchise is at Le Grand Marche buying us fish and steak to grill tonight. I’m now back on the covered terrace, reunited with my vodka cranberry. Attitude adjustment: check.
Tuesday, Nov 8
I have learned how to start drinking at noon and still maintain composure for a 6pm video chat with my family. Thank goodness I don’t need to keep track of my kids, since right now, I’m having enough trouble keeping track of my sunglasses, iPhone and book. (So many sun loungers on which to forget them.) We are truly spoilt. I think I need to go lie on the pool. What? Did I really just say that? It’s time to go home. (Tomorrow.)
Wednesday, Nov 9
Today. “Ugh” and “Thank goodness” resonate simultaneously through my totally relaxed mind and body. I’ve renewed my bonds with my girlfriends, I’ve been totally selfish, I’ve been left alone. But enough of that. I want to listen to my 3.5-year old spin tales. I want to feel my 18-month-old’s head on my shoulder. I want to be in my husband’s arms. And I want to do this again next year — but only for three nights.

Sarah Western with Max & Conrad

Sarah Western Balzer grew up in Tampa, FL and worked in the music industry in New York, Washington, DC and London before she got married, started a lifestyle relocation business in London, and had a baby. Now she lives in Toronto and is a mostly full-time mom, but still oversees the Lifestyle section of London-based financial news website, Here Is The City . She and her husband, who is German, have two sons, a Brit and a Canadian.

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