A blog by Lori Lyons

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Just a few days ago, the very nice man to whom I spill my guts once a week or so asked me a rather simple question:

"Where do you see yourself in 10 years?"

That was easy.

"Living at the beach," I replied.

Of course, I had just had the time of my life at the beach and the memories were so fresh I still had sand in my shoes and, very likely, tequila in my bloodstream.

Just days before, I had spent my 52nd birthday in the company of my two best girlfriends, an adorable young airman, two half-naked and half-drunk hotel employees and some really good bartenders in Pensacola Beach, Florida -- my favorite place on earth. It's the place where my husband and I go for our summer vacations and a couple of our winter anniversaries. It's the place where the water is the perfect color of turquoise and the waves actually make a sound. It's the place where my soul seems to be at peace.

It's also the place where they make really, really good Margaritas and Pina Coladas.

So it's the place I decided to go with my girlfriends when I realized that my birthday would be on a Saturday and The Coach would be on a baseball field five hours away. I've spent too many of my birthdays waiting for him to come home to me -- empty damn-handed. So this year, with his encouragement, I decided to run away from home for a weekend. And take accomplices.

Bright and early on my birthday morn, my two young, no-longer-married friends Daniell and Kristal pulled into my driveway. We filled the trunk of Daniell's brand new car with wayyyy to much stuff,  opened the sunroof, hit the road and settled on a music genre. We started with the 80s -- for me.

And we started with a nice, polite selfie pic.

But by the time we got to Biloxi ...

We were rockin' the Top 40, singing the nasty version of "Thrift Shop," Googling the lyrics to Beyonce's "Drunk in Love" and bombarding our friends with pictures on Instagram and Facebook.

And we hadn't even had a drop to drink yet.

By late afternoon, we had listened to the 70s, the 80s and the Top 40 more than a few times, knew all the words to "Drunk in Love," (and what they meant), had stopped for orange juice at the Florida Welcome Center -- and pictures.

Blue Angel and Not Charlie's Angels. 

Orange juice! But, there was no Vodka.

So we hurried to our destination and, by sundown, we were on our first cocktails of the day. I started with a classic Margarita at The Margaritaville Beach Hotel. On the beach, of course.

It was the first of many cocktails. Yes, there were many. And shots. Many of those too. Ones I'd never heard of. And Pina Coladas. And a very tasty drink called a Junebug. And something called Rumplemintz. And drunken texts to my husband, who was on a bus on his way home to an empty house.

(Heh heh. Serves you right.)

And the next day we headed home only slightly hungover with wonderful memories, a new friend and plans to return next year for some reason. Any reason.

And I made the resolution that, someday, I would live at a beach. Any beach. Hopefully, Pensacola Beach, but I'm not all that picky.

But this was more than just a Girls Weekend or a birthday weekend or even a beach weekend. This was my Get Out of Jail Free weekend. I've just spent a long, hard 16 months of being trapped in my own home or close to it as I took care of my mother-in-law Jane and gave up my life and my identity to do it. I've been hiding away from the world in a darkness of sadness and depression. The one day I did run away from home in frustration, I went to Big Lot's.

Now I'm free. This weekend was me asserting my independence once more. It was me finding myself and my soul, reconnecting with my friends. And fun. It was the first time I've gone off with friends since my college days. It certainly was the most alcohol I've consumed since then. And the most fun I've had in a long, long time. It was me, being reborn.

So Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy to Me!


  1. I am so glad you had a fun weekend! It sounds like y'all had a blast (and it looked like it too!!!) I should go on an overnight trip with some girlfriends for my birthday one of these days!.

    and I would have NEVER thought you were 52!!! NO WAY!!!

  2. Oh it was so much fun. And we really didn't do anything but drink and laugh and eat. I didn't leave much out. Really. Well, OK. The two half-naked guys, but they just decided to come dance with us on the balcony. That's it. And, yes, I am 52. Thanks for the compliment! I guess the best I can hope for now is, "She looks GOOD for 52!!!"