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Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: The Hamptons

Here’s a quintessential summer experience for U.S. girlfriends: The Hamptons! Read on for Casey Wohl’s report about this perfect girlfriend getaway and then plan your own.

by Casey Wohl

I was so excited about our Girls Getaway to the Hamptons that I could barely sleep the night before.  We were going for Memorial Day weekend, which is “opening” weekend of summer vacation for the Hampton-ites.  I had heard so much about this great place…the celebrities, huge vacation homes, and summer beach parties galore!  The Hamptons refers specifically to the towns of Southampton and East Hampton on the South Fork, Suffolk County, New York. This strip of Atlantic coast on Long Island’s eastern end has long been a favorite summer escape for city residents. I was meeting my friend Liz and her girlfriends from Miami.  I knew this would be a very “festive” trip since most of the girls were single.   
We arrived in the Hamptons Friday night and ventured to our first stop, a bar/night club called DUNE (while very unassuming from the outside, the place was filled with people starting the holiday weekend). We had a great Girls Night Out (GNO) and decided that what happens in the Hamptons, stays in the Hamptons…On Saturday, we took a taxi to the Southampton Village. We ate lunch at 75 Main (, along Main Street, and then browsed the shops along Main Street and Jobs Lane. This is a quaint shopping area with unique boutiques and outdoor seating at several restaurants and a great place to spend the day with your girlfriends. We discovered a fabulous designer consignment store, Collette ( She has several clothing and home decor consignment stores in Southampton, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, and Bridgehampton. On Saturday night, we attended the Social Life Magazine ( Party. There were several reality stars there, including Whitney Port from MTV’s The Hills and Alex McCord from Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City.  Champagne, martinis and delicious appetizers were served to the “Who’s Who” of the Hamptons. We had a great time, especially when Liz borrowed Gerard’s flute to play a tune for everyone there. Good times! 

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Take a Girlfriend Getaway to Montana (And Meet Some Cowboys to Boot!)

Travel opportunity alert! Girlfriends, are you up for some travel to Big Sky Country? Are you looking for a fabulously relaxing girlfriend getaway this summer? Our contributor Casey Wohl (the Getaway Girl®) has put together a reasonably priced girlfriend getaway in Montana that sounds absolutely heavenly. One weekend is completely sold out, but spots remain for two other weekends in July. We know it will be just the trip some of our Girlfriends are looking for; this sentence in particular caught our eye: “The July 4th weekend will host the Livingston Roundup Rodeo and hundreds of professional cowboys will inundate this charming town.” Read on for the awesome details:

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Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: Puerto Rico

[Need an exotic getaway that's simple to pull off? Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl is back with a tantalizing account of her trip to Puerto Rico. After reading this, you'll want to give it a try too!]

By Casey Wohl

For a summer Girls Getaway, my girlfriend and I decided to experience Puerto Rico.  With great air deals from the U.S. mainland, this English-speaking country requires no passport and you don’t have to worry about exchanging currency. We arrived in Puerto Rico late Friday night, so we were thrilled to wake up Saturday morning to an awesome view of the pool and beach from our room at the Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino ( After a few hours of beach and pool time, we made our way to the spa for afternoon massages.  After a few unsuccessful attempts at the slot machines, we headed to Old San Juan for the Sofo Culinary Festival. The streets were packed with people sampling delicious cuisine, festive cocktails and enjoying live music and street performers.

We made our way to a restaurant called Marmalade (, which is located on Fortaleza Street. We ordered a Pomegranate Martini and a Mojito, as well as Paella Bytes, Baby Field Greens with Honey Passion Fruit Vinaigrette, Tiny White Bean Soup with Black Truffle Oil, and Ceviche. Everything was absolutely amazing! I now have a new favorite restaurant. This place is a “must-visit” during your time in Puerto Rico.  Chef Peter Schintler, originally from Iowa, has been all over the world studying and preparing amazing food. He currently brings his extraordinary flair for exquisite and creative cuisine to Old San Juan. Thank you for one of my favorite meals to date. Many thanks to Rob for his impeccable service and wonderful recommendations.

With chef Peter
With chef Peter
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Chocolate Inspires Downward Dog at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

[Our spa correspondent Melissa Mellott is back with another amazing review, in which she shows us that "spa" doesn't just mean facials; it can mean new experiences too. Sharing them with your girlfriends is even better!]

by Melissa Mellott

I think we can all agree that getting a facial, massage or any type of spa treatment is relaxing, and thus good for mind and body. As an esthetician, I believe that these treatments are good/nurturing/healing to our skin and body. 

The concept of Spa Health, however, is defined as doing something positive for yourself—something that makes you relaxed, happy, balanced, peaceful, or simply rested.  This could be a facial, but it could be taking a walk on the beach, playing with a puppy, cooking (yes, comfort food; it doesn’t have to be spa cuisine!) or eating a truffle (I, personally, could be in any sort of stressful situation and chocolate becomes my “OM”!) 

Speaking of chocolate, I recently attended a Chocolate & Wine Yoga Workshop at Ojai Valley Inn Resort and Spa. Prior to the workshop, I scrambled to find anything that resembled yoga pants to take with me, commenting to a friend about the upcoming workshop, “I don’t do yoga, but…I certainly do chocolate and wine.”  The class was taught by author and yoga expert Dave Romanelli, and over the course of two days, I took two yoga classes and had two chocolate and wine tastings following the yoga; it was like the carrot dangled in front of me … except it was the most delicious Vosges Aztec truffles infused with ancho chillies  and Ceylon cinnamon. Read the rest of this entry »

Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: Orlando

[Getaway Girl Casey Wohl is back with some great travel tips from sunny Orlando, Florida. Let her expert advice warm you up, and then start planning your next girlfriend getaway!] By Casey Wohl After graduating from Orlando-based Rollins College, my roommates (Sharon and Colleen) and I vowed to return to Orlando once a year for a weekend of girl time and college reminiscing. There’s plenty of adult fun to be had in this family-friendly city; it’s much more than just “the Mouse!” Here’s a glimpse at some of our Orlando favorites.

Where to Stay

Grand Bohemian Hotel ( An experience in art and music, the AAA Four Diamond Grand Bohemian Hotel provides guests with everything, from an art gallery to excellent dining to a fun and trendy lounge to a Starbucks to luxurious accommodations.  Located in the heart of Downtown Orlando, this is my favorite hotel in town! 

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One Day of Rejuvenation for a Recessionista

Are you and your girlfriends having a tough time justifying those little indulgences that you used to take for granted? Well, our spa correspondent Melissa Mellott is back with some thoughts on how pampering yourself fits into a tough economic picture. And, she reviews the Lake Austin Spa in Austin, Texas. Sit back, relax, and enjoy! by Melissa Mellott  Lately, my girlfriends and I find ourselves constantly assessing and maximizing.  We assess our career situation and stability, our families, our options… and maximize our resources, money and networks. As women, we are brilliant multi-taskers, caretakers and maximizers, but it is exhausting!

In a time when we are more cautious about spending, why would I recommend spending money on pampering spa treatments? Even the consideration of treating ourselves leads women right back to the assessment of the idea, “I have worked so hard and it would be good for me, but can I afford it? Shouldn’t I be saving my money or using the money for groceries?”

As a spa health advocate, I believe spa treatments are necessary for maximizing your efforts and energy. At first, it may seem like you are “splurging,” but think of it as maximizing your health and managing your stress. 

I recently had the ultimate rejuvenating spa day at Lake Austin Spa in Austin, Texas and if I may say so, Lake Austin is truly one of my favorite spas (in my top three—and yes, even compared to the spas I’ve visited in Italy!)  Here’s why …

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Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: Chicago

The Girlfriends-In-Chief had a rare girlfriend getaway last month right here in our home base of Chicago. We may be biased, but we highly recommend the Windy City as a destination for girlfriends! Here’s our report and some tips for planning your own Chicago Girlfriend Getaway. Chicago is a friendly, beautiful city with sophisticated dining, world-class museums, excellent shopping, outdoor recreation opportunities and plenty of tourist attractions. You literally cannot go wrong with a girlfriend getaway here. We’d suggest you do a little planning before you arrive though, because deciding among the sheer number of options might slow you down a bit. Skyline photo via flickr

Where to Stay

Numerous hotels dot the Magnificent Mile, Gold Coast and downtown area. You’re sure to find one in your price range. We stayed at the delightful Hotel Monaco Chicago, a four-star boutique hotel located on the Chicago River. This hotel is really well-located close to shopping, dining, and nightlife, and also offers fabulous views of the river from some rooms. The hotel decor is uniquely chic, and the staff friendly and helpful. We truly appreciated all the special touches, from a free wine reception in the lobby each night to turndown service complete with gourmet chocolates on the pillow. Because we were celebrating Tina’s birthday, we found champagne on ice waiting for us in our room when we checked in. Wi-fi service was included in the room rate, a must for our working getaway. We had a blast blogging over drinks in the South Water Kitchen, the hotel’s adjacent restaurant and bar. Our room was comfy and adorable, with a fabulous river view and cozy window seats. Our package also included a heavenly in-room massage (the therapist really knew her stuff) and an in-room movie. Can you say “chick flick”? Overall, it was an indulgent little stay for these two working moms.

Enjoying the window seat
Enjoying the window seat
Highly recommended! Read on for theater, things to do, places to eat, online resources and more: Read the rest of this entry »

Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: The South of France

[Hello Girlfriends! Enjoy our belated Christmas present to you: this "aaahrticle" about a girlfriend getaway to warm and sunny southern France! Our contributor Casey Wohl bring us another great girlfriend travel destination, and sent along some glam pics of her journey. Happy reading!] by Casey Wohl From Orlando to London, then London to Marseilles, my girlfriends and I finally arrived in the South of France for an amazing vacation!  We stayed in an ocean-view villa managed by the Best Western Hotel Provencal. Although the majority of the trip involved some much-needed R&R, we did take some fun side trips during our time there.
One day we went to a nearby farmers market to browse the French goods. They had some amazing items, including fresh bread, fresh cheese, fruit and textiles. We later drove to St. Maxime, which is a small town located in the Gulf of St. Tropez and surrounded by the Maures Mountains. A popular attraction is the La Tour Carree (the town square) and the harbor, but we had fun just relaxing and enjoying the view.
By the third day, we were up for an adventure, which entailed a 20-minute ferry ride to the island of Porquerolles, which is a mostly un-inhabited island of Mediterranean forests, rocky coastline, nature reserves, beaches, boating and one little village.  We rented bikes and explored the island’s beauty, including its farm fields of figs and olives, lighthouse, gorge and beaches.  It was a fabulous day, but I’ll admit that my bottom was sore from the bumpy bike riding.

Biking on Poquerolles
Biking on Poquerolles

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Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: Nashville

[Editor's Note: We are excited to have the Getaway Girl, Casey Wohl, sharing her expert travel tips for girlfriend getaways. Casey knows her stuff and she knows how to have girly fun, so we know you'll enjoy her writing. This is another in our series of articles on girlfriend travel destinations. Hope you are planning your next girlfriend getaway!] By Casey Wohl  The country-music capital, Nashville, Tennessee, offers good times for girlfriends! Even if you are not a country-music fan, you will find a fantastic time awaiting you in Nashville. My very first visit to Nashville was in April 2005.  My divorce was final two months before the trip, and I encountered my first anniversary, post-divorce, the end of March.  Needless to say, I was in desperate need of a girls’ getaway.  I flew to Nashville with my good friend Erin, who was experiencing her own personal troubles.  Erin is a huge country music fan, so we knew this trip would be just what we needed.  She was excited to hear country music played live in the airport and see various guitar monuments scattered throughout the city. During our visit, we managed to visit just about every cultural attraction, and even attend a celeb party with actor Billy Bob Thornton and Nashville’s finest musicians at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.  We met up with my good friend and Nashville resident, Mandy, for one fabulous girls getaway! 

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Girlfriend Getaway of the Month: Four Seasons Westlake Village

By Melissa Mellott [Editors note: Our guest writer Melissa Mellott of Spa Defined is back with a heavenly suggestion for your next girlfriend getaway! Melissa attended a cooking class at the Wellness Kitchen of the California Health and Longevity Institute at the beautiful Four Seasons in Westlake Village, California. She learned that spa cuisine can be comfort food too! Read about her relaxing yet educational experience...and then book your next girlfriend getaway!] Read the rest of this entry »