Getaway (4)

By Connie Portis Nationwide —   What better time than now to say “this year, I am going to put myself at the top of the list and travel with Sisters & Friends on a relaxing and fun vacation.” During the annual Martha’s Vineyard Getaway women from ar10744109898?profile=originalound the country make that decision – from California to Michigan to Florida and many states in between women travel to reconnect, relax and recharge in a wonderful, inviting ‘no drama’ setting.

In 2015 over 100 women ended the week with new connections, an appreciation for gathering with like-minded African American women from different backgrounds, and a check off their bucket list to visit Martha’s Vineyard. There are two separate weeks to select from this year, September 11-18 or 18-24.

There are many details to enhance a girlfriends’ getaway. It is best not to leave anything to chance so you can be ready for the surprises you will have to handle. Here are three tips to assist with planning a wonderful event.

  1. Define the Getaway purpose.  Getaways can range from all fun, health and fitness, personal and professional development, spiritual retreat and many more. It is important for marketing to have a focus that will energize the planner and prospective guests. Will you reach out to the public? Is it for a select group, a family, club or organization? Before you put the word out know your purpose so when sharing, others it will be clear if they are included in the invitation to join in.
  2. Decide the best way to achieve the purpose. If it’s a no agenda gathering where lazy days, at will meals and venturing out is left up to each person; research the destination and provide information on activities one can do alone. If your getaway is activity driven, offer a written schedule of workshops, tours, and other group activities. Sisters & Friends Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard offers a non-binding agenda of activities in additional to support for do nothing guests who want to sit, relax and enjoy the surroundings.
  3. Make a detailed plan. A getaway is an event and proper planning important. In your marketing material, identify your target audience, show photos and suggest who might be interested. If planning activities set perimeters, secure speakers and space well in advance. Take note of Sisters & Friends Getaway form for more information before sending out specific information. It helps to know who is requesting getaway details.

Make your event special! Sisters and Fiends Getaway includes early morning spiritual dips in the ocean, workshops, sightseeing tours, nights laughing, playing games, solving the world’s problems, and enjoying meals and beverages. Visit for more information.


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Sisterfriends returning from a walk around the neighborhood during Sisters & Friends Getaway to Martha's Vineyard.

There is no better month for a relaxing girlfriends getaway than September. It's back-to-school, back-to-work, back-to-reality drudgery. Most of us have busy months from the beginning of the year with hectic schedules, bad weather that seems to never end, a great summer of graduations, weddings, showers, reunions and other family and friends events. That’s all good! But, September is the perfect time to focus on you. Here are five reasons why:

  1. Starts the end of the summer with a vacation!
  2. Rates are less costly
  3. Popular spots are free from most tourists
  4. Less worry about ‘missing’ activities at home
  5. Things have settled and you can relax

Sisters and Friends Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard is perfect for relaxing and for a September jumpstart to the rest of the year. The unique location makes it a popular rejuvenating spot because it is secluded and surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. Rich with African American history, Adam Clayton Powell and Dorothy West once owned homes there. Writer Jill Nelson, broadcaster Charlayne Hunter-Gault, and Spike Lee own homes on MV and the Obamas visit there in August. Oak Bluffs, the Sisters and Friends "neighborhood" destination is one of the island's principal points of arrival and is noted for its "gingerbread cottages" and other well-preserved mid to late-nineteenth-century buildings. Women gather from around the country, most meeting for the first time are at ease not having to dress to impress, wear many hats or be on when they want to be off!  Sisters and Friends enjoy exploring the island, planned and impromptu workshops, clean air and vintage houses where sitting on the porch after a swim, line-dancing, or sampling another ice cream parlor is a perfect interlude during a Sisters & Friends day. Best thing is women come alone or with friends and leave with new life-long connections.

It is not too late to register and join women from around the country on a September Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard. Visit

Connie Portis is the host of the annual Sisters & Friends Getaway to Oak Bluffs in Martha's Vineyard. To attend this year or for more information, contact her at or 412-400-8809.

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10744097073?profile=originalPlanning group respites are becoming more common place as women seek ways to broaden their networks, re-connect with friends and experience different environments on their “bucket lists.” Many women love the outdoors, exploring new places, have talents they want to share and want to get away to relax. They are willing to put aside their usual vacation habits and go on a girls' getaway with friends and strangers. With times so tough and many women want to save and forgo vacations, a girlfriends retreat is a perfect way to experience a wonderful place and join with other women while not spending a lot of money.

Citing “needing some downtime”, “looking forward…need stress relief”, “wanting to be with positive people” are some of the reasons why guests say they are on the Sisters and Friends Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard. They are waiting to exhale on this relaxing and rejuvenating week-long vacation. Taking place September 8-15 or September 15-22 women are connecting with friends from around the country.

Host of Sisters and Friends Getaway Connie Portis shares four suggestions essential to include in the overall planning, once the destination is secured. Make coordinating a retreat as exciting and relaxing for the host as it is for the guests:

Envision what a retreat means to you -Think about your ideal retreat and make a list of what makes it ideal to you.

Dissect the list -Identify the elements you think others would also enjoy are doable and affordable

Start from the last day of the retreat and back into a schedule. -Work your activities backwards to determine how much time you will need to execute the event and be sure to include everything else in your life in that schedule

Arrive in advance leave a little later -Give yourself onsite lead time to prepare space and take post-time to reflect and relax

Make your event special. On Sisters and Fiends Getaway, the nights in the house laughing, playing games, solving the world’s problems, and enjoying good meals and beverages are stress relieving and fun. The best features include making cross-country connections, its affordable, choose what to do and when to do it, no drama, peaceful.

If you are waiting to exhale in an inviting environment, join Sisters and Friends Getaway. Space is available for September 15-22. Visit for more information or call (412) 400-8809.

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Romantic Las Vegas Vacation Getaway

Choosing Las Vegas for a romantic vacation doesn’t have to be a gamble!There's scenic views, romantic restaurants, and a bit of unique Vegas culture to explore...For getting around the Las Vegas Strip, you don’t really need a car. There's lots of hotel trolley buses, shuttles, and much more.The Monorail! Yes, the Las Vegas Monorail is an easy way to get up and down the Strip from the MGM Grand on the South to the Sahara on the north end. It's air conditioned, travels up to 50 mph, and costs $3 for a single ride, or $25 for a 3-day pass.Romantic Activities in Las VegasWhat’s there to do in Las Vegas besides gambling? Actually, plenty! Even though I don't gamble, I found lots of romantic activities in Las Vegas when I visited last year.The Venetian Hotel & Resort: A romantic Gondola ride down the Grand Canal. Indoors and out (weather permitting), complete with a singing gondolier! And while you're there, the Zeffirino Ristorante rates as perhaps Las Vegas best romantic lunch.A romantic stroll through the Bellagio's Botanic Gardens & Fountains (nightly shows every 15 min). I think this is one of the most romantic spots in Las Vegas! Oh, and for dinner, I rate the Bellagio as having one of the best buffets in Vegas!Take the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas. Splendid view of the Strip, especially at night with all the lights. And you can dine on the 11th floor in the Eiffel Tower Restaurant. Open till 1 AM.Las Vegas is King of the Tacky – I had a riot looking through some hilarious gift shops, attractions like the outlandish Liberace Museum, and the “can-you-believe-it” Drive-Through Wedding Chapel! Lot’s of excellent shows too.Even eating here can be outrageous - midnight steak specials, $.99 shrimp coctails, and all-you-can-eat buffets around every corner. When it's time for a quieter evening, most of the major resorts have excellent sit-down dining with a variety of different settings and atmospheres.Plus, there’s Grand Canyon Helicopter Tours, Sunset Dinner and Horse Trail Rides, Fashion Outlet Malls, Celine Dion, and Red Rock Canyon for scenic drives and hikes.All About Vegas
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