By Sydni Ellis
Girlfriends. Sisters. BFFs. Squad. No matter if you’ve known her for five minutes or 50 years, girlfriends are our greatest blessing. Who else can you have a 3 a.m. giggling session with no matter how old you are? Who else always has a spare hug or spare room to share? Who else isn’t afraid to bring a bottle of wine–or tequila–when you need it most? Girlfriends are there for us to celebrate life and to get through hard times, so let’s take time to cherish them this month!
September is International Women’s Friendship Month. Kappa Delta sorority created this holiday in 1999 (known then as National Women’s Friendship Day) to foster more and tighter-knit friendships among females. It was expanded to a month in 2009 to give all women the opportunity to remember the important women in their lives. When I was active in KD (shout-out to my Gamma Upsilon pledge class ‘11!), we celebrated this event by writing letters of encouragement to women on campus, going out for margaritas with our sisters or taking spontaneous road trips to Galveston.
Be a part of this tradition by inviting your best girls to a weekend getaway in Texas! Go antiquing together, try new things at a foodie festival or simply catch up over a glass or two of wine. It’s good for your soul and, according to many studies including the Mayo Clinic, good for your health too—more girlfriend time equals lower stress levels!
Start by visiting Weatherford–just an hour-and-a-half west of eastern Collin County. Visit the adorable Main Street on Saturday, where you can pop in many of the vintage boutiques and shops. Main Street Mercantile at 203 N Main St. has one-of-a-kind gems, like gorgeous distressed dressers, fall decor, turquoise jewelry, china and collectables. Another great shop is Just 3 Days, located at 219 N Main St. This charming antique and home decor store offers gems like Cajun Candy, handcrafted jewelry, stunning fur coats and a delightful hodgepodge of gifts, wall hangings, art and other odds and ends. Don’t miss Buchanan’s Antiquities and Militaria, located across the street at 209 York Ave. Here, history enthusiasts will love searching for treasures from the Civil War, WWII airplane models, antique medical models and decor, historical artifacts, ancient coins and beautiful art.
End your weekend with something that brings all women together: chocolate! Dallas by Chocolate offers all kinds of chocolate tastings, food and drink tours. One of the sweetest is the Tour de Chocolate, taking place from 1-4:30 p.m. Sept. 8, where you will stop at several delicious chocolate and ice cream shops, making your way through a gooey, rich, scrumptious afternoon.
If shopping is what bonds you and the gals, take them to Third Monday Trade Days in McKinney Sept. 13-15, which is the oldest and largest monthly trade days/flea market in North Texas that dates back to the 1870s! Bring your comfortable shoes–there are more than 450 vendors here selling everything from shabby-chic antiques to trendy fashions to hand-crafted gifts and decor. It’s a great place to help your friends pick out unique pieces to take home, while indulging in a delicious corn dog or cotton candy together.
Is your crew ready for another wine-down weekend? They’ll love the 33rd Annual GrapeFest! From Sept. 12-15, you can sip on something bubbly and strong inside the wine pavilions, challenge your friends to a grape stomp, compete in the champagne cork shoot-off (yes, prizes are awarded), and shop for original paintings, hand-blown glass art, stylish decor, homemade candy and more. It will be a weekend full of grown-up, bubbly fun that you will love.
Ready for an adventure a little further from home? Drive 300 miles southeast to Hitchcock, where you and your friends can visit the 2nd Annual Galveston County Trade Days from noon-6 p.m. The Galveston County Fairgrounds transform into a bustling marketplace, complete with arts and crafts, new and repurposed goods and product demonstrations. These Trade Days also show off community spirit and camaraderie, as people gather around to play instruments with their neighbors, play games with the kids and give friendly smiles to all.
Next, visit the quaint town of Fredericksburg (300 miles west of Hitchcock or 300 miles southwest of Wylie) in Texas Hill Country. Here you’ll find gorgeous hills, wildflowers and nature scenes everywhere you look–group selfie, anyone? Texas Wine Tours offers a special girlfriends group tour, where you can invite 10 to 14 of your closest friends to ride in a luxurious private coach to the various wineries, picking up samples at each stop. The vino here is no jokeFredericksburg is one of the most visited wine areas in the country with about 5 million visitors a year!
Fredericksburg also hosts many lovely places to go shopping as well. Stop in Carol Hicks Bolton Antiques, located at 301 S. Lincoln St., which has a huge selection of European antiques that Carol and Tim Bolton lovingly collected and renovated. Make sure to see the special Room No. 5, which is like walking into the Bolton’s personal snow globe: it’s filled with brilliant, all-white antiques, furniture, decor and home goods.
The last weekend in September is the perfect time for sharing a drink with your besties. Texas Red Festival is taking place Sept. 28-29 in Bryan, near Texas A&M University. Celebrate the maroon and white by drinking red wine and eating red meat. The sizzling smell of steak will fill the air, where you can eat, drink Texas craft beer and wine, and enjoy the artists, live music and grape stomp–you’ll be a pro by the end of this month!
If your group is more of a beer-drinking crowd, drive about 100 miles west of Bryan to Austin for the Texas Craft Brewers Festival on Sept. 28. This is the largest Texas craft beer event in the state, featuring over 75 Texas craft breweries and 200 handcrafted beers available for sampling. Sip, mingle and browse in the beautiful Fiesta Gardens.
All weekends have to come to an end–no matter how much we don’t want them to. End your girls’ weekend at the Culinaria Wine + Food Festival Sept. 26-29 at La Cantera Resort and Spa in San Antonio. During this tasty festival, you choose your favorite events to attend. Wear a colorful mask to the Masquerade Tasting, a high-class party filled with samples of food from the best chefs in the city as well as delicious cocktails and wines. Or cool off at Bubbles, which will be a swanky evening filled with champagne and sparkling cocktails by the outdoor pool.
Like the old proverb says, “Life was meant for good friends and great adventures.” So, make a phone call, grab a coffee or get out of town with your girls this month and celebrate friendship–it’s one of the most important things in life, after all.