Warm Beer, Fat Farms, & Working Vacations

My best friend Trisha called the other day to say that she unexpectedly had some free time in late January, and what did I think of the idea of taking a quick 4-day vacation together? "Somewhere warm," she said.

We aren't looking to spend a ton of money, so we tossed around the idea of Florida. "Hey, we could be ugly girls with cheap beer again," she said, referring to an event from our junior year in college where 5 of us piled into a station wagon and road-tripped to Florida for spring break.

Upon arriving we were tired, gritty, and make-upless but nevertheless grabbed a six-pack and strolled the beach. Guys waved at us from distant hotel windows. "If only they were up close, they'd see we're ugly girls with cheap beer (Milwaukee's Beast)," we laughed. Because you can laugh at those things when you're 20 with taunt skin. Even at our worst, we were still pretty darned cute.

"Time changes things," I reminded Trisha. "Now we'll be ugly women with a sad taste in choice of alcoholic beverages and that's just nowhere near as fun."

We talked about taking the high road and spending time on a working vacation, maybe repairing hiking trails in the Florida woodlands or going west and working at a dude ranch. But then I opened my mouth and the conversation took a sharp nosedive.

"Oh hey," I exclaimed, "we ought to go to one of those spas where they teach you to cook gourmet meals or--" and now I really got excited, "--you go there and work out and come home 7 pounds thinner."

"That's called a fat farm, dearest," said Trisha. "And I'm in."

Here's the kicker. Fat farms (or "luxury spa experiences" as the brochures prefer to tout them) are damned expensive. If I had that much money to spend on losing the weight I'd just hire a personal chef to cook healthy meals for me to begin with. And it's not that either of us are fat. But the idea of leaving the house and returning a size smaller holds a universal appeal. Which made it that much more of a bummer that we couldn't partake.

"I can't believe we can't afford the fat farm," moaned Trisha over the phone.

"What's happened to us?" I asked. "Since when did we grow old enough to a) want to spend our vacation losing weight and b) be bummed out that we can't make that happen?"

"I wonder if I have any Milwaukee's Beast in the fridge?" said Trish.

So we're still looking. Mexico is a forerunner at the moment, although I'm holding out hopes for a last minute spa/hiking/biking/yoga/pilates/swimming/skiing resort deal.  I'm not too worried about it. As Trisha said, we could hole up in a Motel 6 in the middle of Kentucky and have a good time.

That's what best friends are for.