Take A Girls Trip To Recharge
By Yvette Armendariz
Tempe mom Zona Cecil fondly recalls taking a yearly girls trip. Her first escape took place when her girls were just 4 and 6.
“Honestly, having complete trust in (husband) James, and the way he took care of the girls, made it much easier to relax. He had his getaways and I had mine,” she said. “We both needed our time away.”
For her first trip, she packed the minivan and drove to Napa Valley with her besties. “I didn’t have to worry about kids, feeding, entertaining, bedtime, etc.,” she said. Instead she enjoyed “indulging in time with my girlfriends, the chats, comparing notes, sharing insights and gems of wisdom.”
We agree. Some girl time to recharge from work and home duties can do wonders. Spa days are delightful, but a two-day (or more) getaway may be just what the doctor ordered. Check out these itineraries for some inspiration and then start planning with your friends!
Wine Escape: For a budget friendly option, look to Southern Arizona for an inexpensive wine adventure. Take off a Thursday and Friday if you can’t miss a Saturday soccer, volleyball, or softball game. Start with Dos Cabezas Wineworks in Sonoita, Arizona – about a three-hour drive from Phoenix. Get the wine flight with one of their specialty pizzas. Then hop over to Rune, also in Sonoita, for some beautiful sunset views. We made Sierra Vista our base – it’s much closer to the wineries in Elgin and Sonoita than staying in Tucson. On Day Two, check out Arizona Hops & Vines, a woman-owned winery in Sonoita with fun, artsy vibes. If you want to indulge in some spirits, stop by Flying Leap Distillery in Elgin for an entertaining experience.
If you are looking for an out-of-state escape (plan at least three full days), consider Willamette Valley in Oregon, just south of Portland. Some recommendations: Argyle in Dundee (look for days when they have special events and music), Domaine Serene in Dayton and Ponzi in Sherwood both offer great wines and gorgeous views. Also try Torii Mor in Dundee and Raptor Ridge in Newberg for more quaint experiences (plus you can walk up to the vines). You can spend a day in Carlton popping into various tasting rooms and cool shops.
Just Amuse: If she has taken her kids to an amusement park more than once, she might actually enjoy those thrills. Several parks in California have specialty nights, so you can leave home in the morning, check into your hotel and have a night of fun before heading back the next day, if time is limited.
For moms who love both rides and frights, check out Hollywood Horror Nights at Universal Studios during September and October. Visitors – primarily adults – experience around eight haunted houses and a terror tram, plus Dia de los Muertos themed foods, drinks and entertainment. Margaritas anyone?
If she loves Harry Potter, make plans to enjoy Butterbeer in Hogsmeade. Deatheaters are lurking around many of the corners. The rides are open somewhat late, but consider splurging on the Express Pass to make the most of your evening. Before heading home, you can get some more fun in by booking an escape room or a tour at the Warner Bros. Studio just down the road. Maybe even add a beach day in Santa Monica.
Beat It: Concerts are back. Sure, lots of performers come to Phoenix. But a road trip to go back in time can be so much fun. Las Vegas offers so many performances and other girls’ weekend entertainment. Concert residencies in 2023 include Adele (through March), Katy Perry (February – April), Usher (March – July) and Carrie Underwood (June – December). While in Vegas, schedule a spa day, drag brunch, and/or people watching on the Strip.
Or look up your favorite throwback or current artist and check out where they are playing and plan a trip around it. If we had the budget, we’d head to London this summer to see P!nk in concert and visit some museums with the girls. More realistically, cities worth checking out for a show and some additional fun include Nashville (Music Row), Kansas City (Union Station) and Denver (16th Street Mall).
Combo Trip: Looking for a destination adventure featuring wine, music and thrills, plan a visit to Epcot during the International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World. You can easily spend three days making your way through the countries to enjoy all kinds of food, drinks and entertainment. Dates are not yet posted for 2023, but tend to take place in late summer/early fall.
Yvette Armendariz is a former award-winning business journalist and mother of two young adults. She cherishes vacations with just her friends to recharge and better support her family.