“Couch surfing is just normal life for me,” the adorable 20-something boy said. I’d just been telling him how I had to leave my rental home for a month and was spending July hopping from friend to friend.
Couch surfing at age 40.
Only I didn’t sleep on a single couch.
The benefit of couch surfing at 40 is most of your friends now have guest rooms, so no need to snooze on sofas.
Week 1: Loft life
I started the month out at my friend’s luxury loft (after a tire blowout), which is now available as an Airbnb in downtown Orlando. I slept so much that week. I also binge watched GLOW on Netflix and finally finished up last season’s This Is Us. I watched fireworks and drank cocktails on a rooftop with dozens of gay men on 4th of July and basically lived my best life.
Then I had an epic slumber party weekend at my local bestie’s. We got all dressed up fancy and went out to a brewery Friday night. We thought about going out again Saturday night. Instead, we just lounged on couches, played on our phones, messaged each other on Facebook even though we were close enough to reach out and make physical contact if we weren’t too lazy to move, watched Hoarders and Queer Eye and ate Cheez-its for dinner. It was perfect.
I drove my daughter to a two week program for high school students at University of Florida in Gainesville and spent a day and over night with one of my boys, part of a trio of guys I’ve been friends with since middle school. (The friend who owns the loft is also part of this squad.) He was in the middle of some girl drama, but we had a good time anyway. We walked around downtown Gainesville, where I had the best dirty chai latte ever at a place called Maude’s. I’m still dreaming of that drink. He let me play in his augmented reality sandbox (so cool!) as he listened to me ramble about my life for hours. Then we went to a yummy diner for breakfast in the morning.
Week 2: Couch surfing with a view
I went back to my town and spent a few days with one of my other best gals. In a guest room, not on a couch. Her balcony offers up a gorgeous river view. We had adult conversation while eating peanut butter toast covered in sprinkles that she brought back from her European honeymoon. We also dragged her husband bra shopping with us, hung out by the pool and plastered her cat all over Snapchat.
Week 3: Sarasota exploration
Then I headed across the state to the Sarasota, Florida area. My friend and her family went to Seattle for vacation, so I stayed at their house with their fur babies. I loved visiting with her and her beautiful family before they left town. Her backyard is a golf course. I had fun exploring the beaches, downtown area and restaurants around Sarasota. I’ll post about that separately.
I spent another night with my dude in Gainesville when I picked my kid up. There were cocktails and sushi that evening, along with so much talking. He and I should have solved all the world’s problems by now with all the talking we do. But we haven’t. Then there was an amazing breakfast at his friend’s restaurant, Daybreak Pleasant Street before I grabbed my girlie from the UF campus.
I brought my kiddo home to her dad’s house and then had another slumber party with my best girlfriend. We went back to the brewery and were able to score the three beers my friend in Utah asked me to get him. (Have I mentioned I don’t even like beer? But we dig the vibe at this brewery. Shout out to Walking Tree in Vero Beach, Florida.)
Week 4: Better than a hotel
I ended my nomadic July the same place I started it, in Orlando with my bestie boo, P. This time I stayed with him and his boyfriend instead of at their Airbnb loft. There’s nothing better than a week of sleepovers with one of your favorite people.
His guest room is better than a hotel. I have my best sleep when I’m in his space. I actually got a ton of work done this week, while sitting by a fountain and snacking on super healthy energy balls.
It was a great week that included yummy dinners out, a late night of dancing and a professional soccer game. But an afternoon spent running errands with my friend was my favorite part.
And that’s what a whole month of couch surfing looked like for me during my 40th summer. I am so rich in friendship. Roll your eyes at me if you want, but nothing sums it up better than #BLESSED.