For the past few years, every winter or early Spring my dear girlfriends from my former life in Boston all get together for a weekend getaway. Looking forward to this weekend is the fuel that gets many of us through those long {short} dark {very} days of February. There is nothing like the warmth, laughter, good food and hugs with old girlfriends to recalibrate the soul.

This past weekend was the 2011 getaway. Thought I would post our two-day excursion if you are planning your own getaway before your big day. Some of these finds might be perfect for a big city bachelorette celebration!

The first night, we stayed at our girlfriend's brownstone outside the city and indulged in her warm hospitality and roomy accommodations. Kathryn is the quintessential foodie {factoid of the weekend: did you know there were actually six taste senses? Sweet, spicy, sour, salty, bitter and...umami---we came to learn that is the savory flavor and unofficial sixth taste sense} and we indulged in the largest selection of cheeses, eclectic crackers, olives, flatbread pizzas and lots and lots of wine. With this group of ladies who work in all sorts of interesting industries, we still hold up Kathryn's former job as a buyer traveling worldwide for Trader Joe's as the coolest of all possible professions.

The next morning, we woke up to bright sunshine streaming in her place with what must be 10 foot windows and ceilings a mile high. I felt like I was in Europe. Maybe it was how she steams her milk for coffee and served up the most delicious cranberry nut bread, fruit salad, greek yogurt and big,fat mugs of coffee. The sun was shining, the temperatures warm--Spring weekend forecast delivered!

We headed into the city and booked one night at Cooper Square Hotel near SoHo and the East Village. I cannot say enough about the wonderful customer service at Mr. & Mrs. Smith Hotels. With seven girls splitting the cost of two double/double rooms, we could afford to shop at this site with a small portfolio of amazing high-end boutique hotels worldwide. The hotel beds were like clouds {no creepy worries about NYC hotel beds in this place!}, the views were amazing, the showers divine and the champagne check-in was just our style.

That day we spent walking all around Downtown (NoLita, East Village, West Village, SoHo) with a few simple goals. Yummy lunch, mani/pedis and some casual window shopping. After lunch and mojitos at a delicious Cuban restaurant, we ended up at Spazio Nail salon and were, sadly, very unimpressed. Didn't find out until now it was such an 'it' place but when the entire mani/pedi takes about 15 minutes and are asked to wait outside with your toes barely dry, not sure if we care that Sienna Miller got pampered there, too! With so many inexpensive and wonderful salons on every corner in New York, you may want to avoid this one unless it is a quiet Tuesday in January. Regardless, we went on our way with shiny toes in search of a coffee and a late afternoon sugar fix. Billy's Bakery with cinnamon carrot cupcake, cream cheese frosting and a latte was just the way to boost the spirits.

Kathryn is newly engaged and in the midst of dress shopping. It was a thrill to meet the dress designer in her darling bridal shop Saja. We met the lovely Yoo herself and she recognized the bride-to-be from a connection they had in Los Angeles! Her dresses are so ethereal and light and I had coincidentally blogged about it here before.

We ended the night with 9:30 reservations {yep, we weren't sure we would make it} at Public. Delicious. The weekend concluded with a fat brunch, tired eyes {I can't remember the last time I was up until 3AM sleepover party style} and missful for our 'others' who make these getaways possible and such a wonderful reason to head home.

It is so special when life takes us in all directions with all different lifestyles {from single in the city, to engaged and newlyweds, to married for nearly a decade with little ones in the 'burbs} some things never change. The laughter, comfort, support and kindness of good girlfriends is truly food for the soul.