How to Survive a Sober Girls Weekend

Girls weekends and wine go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Like macaroni and cheese.  Like Nutella and any bread product that exists.  They just belong to each other.  So imagine our dilemma when we two preggos embarked on our ninth annual girls weekend in Galena with our family.  With our body pillows, pasteurized cheeses, and sparkling grape juice in tow, we naively thought this would be just like any other girls weekend we’ve had.  After all, neither of us has even thought about alcohol for five months…

To preface this, our girls weekends don’t tend to be drunken sprees of debauchery.  I mean, we’re chilling with women age 30-60, and we’re in Galena, not Vegas.  To us, Galena weekend is about ditching our kids, husbands, jobs, and responsibilities for a hot second to just be ourselves without strings attached.  To laugh and eat and shop and cook and just be together.  To bond with both the women who are related by blood and those who have joined the ranks.  To remind ourselves that in this loud, enormous, crazy Italian family, there are eight of us who are united by this one weekend each year, so if we miss a Christmas or a Wednesday dinner or a baptism, it’s all ok because we have Galena.  It really is about more than the wine.  The wine just makes it that much more fun.

And we know this, which is why we assumed it was no big deal that we wouldn’t be drinking this time around.  But from the moment we heard the pop of the first cork, we both became instantly sad.  Or salty.  Or resentful.  It’s really hard to tell; we have a lot of emotions these days.  Even though this was not the first time we’ve been in the presence of wine since becoming pregnant, it was the first time we both pined for the sweet Dionysian nectar.

As sobriety tends to do, this weekend of abstinence allowed for a period of deep self-reflection.  We realized some things about surviving without vino:

  1. We had no idea how loud we actually are.  Either wine makes you louder or sobriety makes you quieter.  We’re still figuring out which it is.
  2. There are lots of activities to do with drinking gals that do not require alcohol, especially if you keep your hands busy.  We chose to paint wine glasses, which the entire group loved.  No one drank, so it wasn’t weird that we weren’t.
  3. Mocktails will make you feel like you can join in the fun.  For about ten minutes.  Then you realize you’re just drinking juice.  Good juice, but juice nonetheless.
  4. When you are feeling down about your inability to imbibe, retail therapy is a remarkably effective replacement for alcohol.  And for some reason, everyone (including your husband) feels bad for you, so they encourage you to spend more money.
  5. You’re saving calories by not drinking, so you can eat more cheese.
We worked through our drinking deficit with the healing powers of shopping.  My shopping outfit for day one: pants-Jessica Simpson Maternity // shirt-Motherhood Maternity // jacket-Thread and Supply
Shopping outfit Day 1: T-Shirt-target//jeans-target//over-the-knee boots-target//jacket-old, similar here (p.s. apparently, I went on a target shopping bonanza before this shopping bonanza!)
Shopping outfit day 2: plaid shirt-Nordstrom (sold out, similar here) // white tee-Gap Maternity // jeans- H&M Maternity // shoes-Nordstrom
Shopping Outfit Day 2: Lace-up Sweater- Nordstrom//Jean Jacket- free people, old, similar here//jeans- H&M Maternity//Boots-Franco Sarto
Even though we couldn’t drink any wine, painting wine glasses was a relaxing and fun activity for the whole group.  If you’re in Galena, check out Paint and Pour at the Galena Cellars.
Our lovely finished products.



After our painting class, the whole group walked around the Galena Cellars vineyard property, which was stunning.

Massages with the girls from Studio One Spa & Salon is an annual ritual for the Galena ladies. This time, they took us to a gazebo out on a lake, which was unspeakably serene.  This was when we discovered how loud our family is.

Our delicious mocktails for the weekend!  One part unsweetened cranberry juice, two parts apple cider, a splash of sparkling white grape juice, and a cinnamon sugar dusted rim.


Our nutty family has done a pajama contest in Galena for years.  This year, we made everyone shirts.  Notice that the backs of ours say “Sober Bitch 1” and “Sober Bitch 2.”  (Our family says “bitch” a lot.)
Some of the fruits of my shopping labors.  Love this wrap and these gloves.


As the seasons change, I have been crazing cozy pieces like this vest I found in Galena. Perfect with jeans or over a fitted dress!


Every time I go to Galena, I come home with a new funky piece of jewelry, like this leather wrap bracelet from Dreams.

If you’re looking for some great shopping in Galena, be sure to check out these adorable shops: Dreams Boutique, Simply Elegant, Lulu’s, Pink Boutique, At Home in Galena, Vignettes of Galena, Galena Kids.

Similar items to those from MB’s shopping spree:

Madewell Plaid Wool Cape Scarf  Product Image, click to zoom  Product Image, click to zoom  CRISTABELLE Cubic Zirconia Double Stud Earrings  

Similar items to those from Erinn’s shopping spree:


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