With a bunch of vacation days I had to use up by the end of March, I asked on a local message board a couple months ago if anyone had suggestions for fun trips I could go on with a few friends within a reasonable driving distance. I really lucked out, because someone recommended the Girlfriends Getaways promotion. I posted it on Facebook, got a couple friends lined up, and booked the trip. It was fantastic! I was very happy with the package, and would definitely recommend it – or even go again!
MB came to my place on Sunday morning – which was a gorgeous day, by the way! – and we had a nice drive down 422 out to Reading. At the Abraham Lincoln hotel we met up with Lina and Jules. This hotel was specifically recommended, and I really liked it. I’d been in touch with Stephanie, the front desk supervisor, for quite a while, and she really took care of us. I had e-mailed her with tons of questions, and she was so helpful! When we arrived I finally got to meet her, and we were actually able to check into our suite early. We received big shopping bags from the VF Outlets (aka “The Saddest Outlets in the World“), coupons, and some other pamphlets about area attractions.
Since we were able to check in early, we went up to our suite first before going out for the day. This is the one negative thing I’m going to say about the hotel. The place was really nice, it’s a very historic feeling hotel with some neat little details, very nice decor, etc. However, when we got up to our floor, the first thing I noticed was a cooking type smell. I can only guess someone was warming something up in the microwave in their room. Then we got to our room. With four of us staying together, we paid about $15 extra per person for a two-room suite. We assumed this would be two bedrooms connected, but it was actually a sitting room area with a pull-out sofa and a bedroom area with two double beds. I’m still glad we had the extra space, but the sofa bed and bedding for it was kind of gross, so we ended up sleeping in pairs in the beds. However, everything was clean, the beds were extremely comfortable, and the bathroom was nice (and came stocked with True Blue Spa products). Plus we had a fridge and microwave, two TVs (including one flat-screen), I believe the hotel has free WiFi, and I had a full cell phone signal with 3G.
We had nice views from our room!
Anyway, after getting situated in the room, we went out to The Saddest Outlets in the World. Lina, MB and I were there last year while our husbands were all at the Stoudt’s Brewfest. This time, despite the nicer weather, they were even sadder, with yet more stores closed. We actually really wanted to go to the Fuller Brush store, for example – I wanted to buy one of those brushes for cleaning your hairbrush (seriously)! But it was gone. We used some of the coupons we got to buy lunch, get pretzels, and pick up our matching sleep shirts. By the way, even though they were turquoise (not pink, as in the pictures), they were terribly unflattering. We got a picture before bed of everyone wearing theirs, and then we promptly swapped them for our pajamas! (If you’re my friend on Flickr, you can see the photo over there – I’m too nice to post it here for the world to see!)
We ended up wearing the same “uniform” of bright colored shirts and jeans!
After the outlets, we decided to check out Penn Avenue, because Lina had a brochure promoting it as a little shopping destination. Well, everything on that street is closed on Sundays, plus it got a little creepy the further we walked, so we just headed back to the car. After a nice afternoon shopping, we came back to the hotel for a bit, then went out to Austin’s
for dinner. After lunch, a snack, and the giant dinners we were served there, all of us were totally stuffed! We went back to the hotel, and in an effort not to be totally lame, we stayed up talking for a while before finally giving in to sleep around 11 PM.
Monday morning, we took our time getting ready before heading downstairs to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Breakfast was included as part of the package, and the nice thing was that you could pick anything from the menu except, like, steak. The meal was really good! Then we checked out, and the hotel shuttle took us to the spa!
Because it seemed like the best deal offered, we chose the Accent on You spa. You got your choice of a pedicure, facial, or massage, plus a manicure. We all went for the massage/manicure combo. To save time, they paired us up so two got massages while the other two got manicures, and vice versa. MB and I were in the massage room first. Neither of us had gotten a real massage before, and I think this spa did a great job of making sure we were comfortable with everything, covered, etc. The massage was wonderful. GG always tells me that I should get a massage, but I never wanted to just go by myself, so it was also nice to have MB with me for my first time. However, now that I know what it’s like, I might have to start going regularly! Then while Lina and Jules got their massages, MB and I got our manicures. Everyone there was really nice, and we were treated really well.
When we were finished, the hotel shuttle picked us up and brought us back to the hotel. I am really glad they provided a shuttle for us, because some of the areas of Reading we had to drive through to there there were… not the nicest. Reading kind of reminded me of Norristown – the downtown area (where our hotel was) was kind of cute, but make one wrong turn and it gets a little sketchy. Oh well. Since we were already checked out, we said our goodbyes in the garage and everyone went their separate ways. MB and I actually stopped at Wegman’s for a late lunch on the way home, because her husband wanted her to pick up some certain beer that’s not sold in NJ, which they happened to carry.
So then we got home and I said goodbye to my chicklet, and got to unpack… This time it’s over a week until my next trip!