The tiny white lights on the large Victorian house caught our attention. Had it not been for them, we might have missed the massive front porch nestled behind the crowds of people who walked by without blinking an eye. Drawn by our curiosity we wandered into the little courtyard. It appeared out of place amid the loud and boisterous bars that lined Duvall Street in Old Town Key West. A young girl named Sharese was belting out tunes on her guitar in front of an empty table that seemed to be waiting for our arrival. The six of us happily grabbed a seat and a bottle of wine to share. The wine was served in actual glasses instead of the plastic cups used everywhere else we went.
We would sit there laughing and singing and dancing for the next few hours. We wouldn’t think about trouble at home, or responsibilities, or what we had to do tomorrow.
My 4 sisters are simply beautiful humans. Inside and out. They are fierce and smart and opinionated. Each of us so incredibly different from each other yet bound by an unbreakable bond and mutual respect. Mom rounded out our group. It had been 9 years since we all got together without kids or spouses. Trip number 2 out of 50 places I’ve never been the year I turn 50 was a big one. It was my official 50th birthday and I wanted to spend it with them, my first friends.
The whole trip was the perfect balance of chill and crazy.
We ate fun food our children wouldn’t want to eat. Lots of it.
We sat and watched a beautiful sunset because we could. We were on no one else’s schedule but our own for a change.
We conjured up spirits on a ghost tour
and went to a cemetery for fun.
Some things are worth all the hype… like Fort Zachary Taylor state park… and Glazed Donuts which I had instead of birthday cake.
Don’t get me wrong.. the crazy is fun to see…
but this night. this place, The Abbey, was really magical.
It wasn’t lost on me that my sisters being there was truly an act of love for their big sister. I knew what it took to take time out from busy lives. It’s no small task to leave directions for husbands, and line up the weekend activities for the children. I needed this.. and maybe they did too, more than they knew.
My sisters are some of the funniest people I know. By the end of the evening, my stomach hurt from laughing. Sometimes at each other. Sometimes with each other. Sometimes because we just crack ourselves up. The one-liners were off the charts on this night.
Then there was mom. She sat there watching her girls with a smile on her face. She is the real MVP. She lives life to the fullest and has shown us how to do the same. People are drawn to her… even drunk lost souls find comfort in her presence (and some want to dance with her!).
We would leave The Abbey with memories of the new friends we met, and stories we would be telling for years. And when we got back to our little cottage rental I would officially turn 50… surrounded by the strongest women I know… and a craving for pizza…