When you move, to a new city or a new country, you have to start again. New home, new schools, new routines. New friends.
And, as an adult, making new friends can feel a bit like dating. It’s daunting. It can be disheartening and demoralizing. Putting yourself out there, inviting potential new friends for a coffee, trying to impress, making sure there is never a hint of desperation in your voice, hoping they like you back!
In all honesty, it’s downright scary at times.
But, the relief when you find people you click with! And I feel very lucky to have met quite a few of those people since we moved to the US.
A couple of weeks ago a (new!) good friend turned 40. To celebrate, she arranged a weekend in Miami with her best friend and invited me to join them.
And what a fantastic weekend we had!
We left Boston in a snowstorm. I had to wear snow boots to get to the car… Six hours later I was in flip flops wandering down Collins Avenue in South Beach, soaking up the atmosphere. It was 10 o’clock at night and, despite being tired from the journey, we couldn’t resist exploring!
What can I tell you about Miami’s South Beach?
Coming from a freezing cold Boston, walking barefoot on the beach was just amazing! The sea was a sparkling turquoise and the life guard huts were just like in the movies :) Lying on the beach in the sunshine was not something I expected to do again until June, and it was wonderful. Sea air and the sound of waves is truly good for soul.
It’s buzzing and bustling, but wonderfully relaxed. The luxury cars sit happily next to the family saloons (and there were some amazing cars!). The Art Deco buildings are fabulous and taking a stroll along the beach or the surrounding streets was a pleasure. Something beautiful to see wherever you looked.
We ate well! From the perfect breakfast spot, the 11th Street Diner, to the most delicious tacos ever at Naked Taco, we were spoilt. The odd margarita, far too many nachos and dip, and to die for pastries. We were in foodie heaven. Coupled with amazing service (bar one grumpy waitress), we couldn’t stop raving about the food!
The side trip
One of the things I love about my friend is her sense of adventure and her let’s just do it attitude. There’s never a problem that can’t be solved or any doubt that a plan will work. In that respect, she is the complete opposite of me and it’s good for me. To stop thinking too much and just go with the flow.
So, we went from having a leisurely breakfast in Miami with no real plan for the day, to hiring a car by lunchtime and driving all the way across Florida, to Naples, to have dinner with friends!
We drove along Alligator Alley, at the edge of the Everglades, leaving sunshine in Miami for grey skies and rain in Naples…
But, we can say that we went to the beach on the East and West coasts of Florida in the space of a day…
Naples was lovely, and the following day dawned bright and sunny so we were able to enjoy a stroll in downtown Naples before driving back to Miami.
I missed the kids terribly and it felt very indulgent to be away from them purely to have fun with friends. For three days! I am very grateful to my wonderful husband for stepping in so that I could do it, especially as he also had to deal with the worst snow we’ve had all winter!
But, it was remarkably refreshing to be away, with no agenda. Good food, good company, good times. Lots of talking; about kids, about families, about life. Lots of stories, and lots of laughter. A lot of laughter.
A girly weekend isn’t something I’ve done in a long time. Years.
It was fabulous.
Making new friends can be hard, but oh, so worth it.