Girls on Retreat

My sisters get away for a girls’ weekend now and then. They call themselves “The Tiara Club.” Often they rent a beach cottage and have fun cooking together. They have a few drinks going, laugh and tell funny stories, go for walks on the beach and just generally relax and enjoy their weekend.

My guest today is Patricia Sands, author of The Bridge Club and  The Promise of Provence. In The Bridge Club, a group of eight friends meet and have getaways just as my sisters’ Tiara Club does. Here is Patricia Sands with an excerpt from her novel The Bridge Club. 


Patricia Sands


Draped over the arms of the comfy, softly-plumped chairs, sinking into down-filled sofas or lazily stretched out on the carpet, they passed the basket from one to another with the fire roaring inside and storm raging outside.

Another whoop of laughter filled the room as Dee fanned the air wildly with the photo in her hand, barely managing to get her words out. “Without question the award-winning group shot from the ski weekend at the Alton Spa, when my farmhouse was being renovated.”

“What a weekend that was!”

“We know without looking exactly which one it is! In the restaurant Marti had been rather over-served, as our kids like to say, and when we went back to our cottage on the grounds we partied on.”

“To put it mildly. Remember Lynn sitting in the veggie dip?”

“She insisted it was okay for her to do that because she had brought it.”

“Trust me. You both have portraits in the Hangover Hall of Fame after that night!”

Tears were rolling down cheeks as they relived so many good times and recalled frequent silly behavior that does everyone a lot of good every once in a while no matter what age. Particularly when you’re with people you trust, who won’t judge you.

Lynn rolled her eyes and nodded. “How can I forget those youthful hangovers? It’s amazing how having kids gets you right out of that habit!”

“Or having to be on call for clients 24/7. Running the shelter certainly put an end to those days for me—although in a perverted way I kind of miss that bad behavior,” Marti finished with a sigh and a giggle.

“Marti, you still manage to encourage us all into bad behavior from time to time. We’ve simply become adept at not needing booze to fuel it.”

“Wait, wait, wait.” Danielle was rummaging through the basket. “There’s one more shot from that weekend that I must find.”

Waving the photo triumphantly, she passed it around to more peals of laughter at the image of them unloading all the gear for skating on the pond and cross-country skiing from the car. “I love this. We had such plans for that Saturday. Unpacked all of our equipment only to pack it all up again unused. Nobody could move after our party that first night except to go out to the hot tub … or play bridge.”

“And I brought all those outfits for nothing,” moaned Cass, who always managed to have some wild costume in her bag to make any event special.

“Yup! No question though, your day at the races with the polka dot skirt and matching tulle hat with the brim no one could see around still is the prize-winning couture moment.“

“Yuh think?”

They laughed until their sides ached recounting other stories. If one of them did not get the details exactly right, someone else did. Their forty years had been too full for one person to remember everything although Dee was the acknowledged master retainer of detail. They had not called her “Steel Trap” for nothing.

However these days it definitely took a group effort, which was one of the reasons it was so much fun reminiscing.

La recherche du temps perdu,“ sighed Danielle, rubbing her eyes and yawning. “Such great times.”

Agreeing it was time to call it a night, Pam set the camera timer as they organized themselves in a disorganized fashion in front of the fireplace. Complaining, joking, and mugging were part of the process and she always insisted on more than one shot. Everyone knew, but no one said out loud, these would be the last group photos with eight of them.


Patricia’s real life “Bridge Club” (her version of The Tiara Club)

TBC Kindle cover-2


Click on the link to Patricia’s media page for more info on her novels:


11 thoughts on “Girls on Retreat

  1. I’ve always wanted to do that – have a weekend getaway – but it’s very rare that I have the chance. Not that I want to get away from my life, but it’s nice to recharge the batteries once in a while.


  2. Anneli, thanks for having me here. It’s always a pleasure to visit your fabulous blog! The ladies of The Bridge Club always had an annual ski weekend, but this one was like no other!


  3. It’s always a fun filled weekend to get away with a couple of friends. We “walk” away from our everyday lives and usually head South for a short distance. One of us has a “time share” to share. We shop for snacks, chocolate, and a bottle of cheap white wine to chill. We can pass hours in the evening just laughing and talking. The next morning, we’re up early to discover the town. One of the nicest moments in our annual series of get a ways was a little town we visited during the holiday season. Quaint little shops offered up the prettiest of old and new. Vintage angels, baubles, bottle scrubber trees and lit lights. It was magical.

    What would life be without our friends? Surely, empty.


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