We asked, and you answered . . .
Life can get so serious. Sometimes we need a good giggle. Stacy Samuels, Buffalo Grove, Ill.
Our husbands may scratch their heads at us, but there's no holding us back now. Maureen Ringenoldus, Mesa, Ariz.
When I turned 40, I decided I needed to go on a getting-my-groove-back trip to Jamaica, and I invited my best friend. That was 18 months ago, and we've gone every six months. Moira Pope, Portland, Ore.
Each year, we seem to find a little more time to spend having cocktails. Shirley Chase, St. Paul, Minn.
With 25-plus years of history, we never run out of things to say. One of our husbands was just amazed that we still have so much to say to each other. We told him it's a girlfriend thing. Joan Kindt, Hardwick, Minn.
The best part was that we didn't have to rush off the phone or go back to work from a lunch. We talked and talked and talked. I laughed till my ribs hurt. Linda Brinckerhoff, Fairfield, Conn.
You can talk or say nothing at all. Jaci Christman, Fargo, N.D.
We go home at the end of the weekend with a fulfillment that only comes from being with someone who's known you for 20 years and would never judge you. Chantel Kushner, Chesapeake, Va.
More on Why GGs Matter . . .
Our ages range from 22 to 72. You'd never know that there were 50 years between us girls when we go out and play together. Ilene Clayton, Richmond, Va.
What could be better than having three of your very best girlfriends by your side on your very first international trip--to Italy, no less? My best friends are steadfast, loyal, and true (and charming--I added that so they won't sound quite so much like golden retrievers!). Martha Allman, Roanoke, Va.
We're a lot crazier when it's just us girls. One year my sister was so wowed by the heart-shaped tub that she took a picture. When we saw the photo, we were all rolling on the floor--my sister hadn't thought about the mirrors around the tub and had taken the picture au naturel. Nancy Pucke, North Bend, Ohio
The most memorable trip was a cruise that I took with two good friends. Our best times were at night at the piano bar. Our singing wasn't the best, but we made friends, laughed, and sang with the crowd. Nancy Huber, Dublin, Ohio
Once, we shopped so much that we had to take the shoes out of their boxes so we could fit everything else in the trunk. Lenora Primus, New York, N.Y.
Everyone is allowed to pack as much as she wishes without reproach. Lori Knowland, Gainesville, Fla.
Here's what we do not bring: men, children, BlackBerries, laptops, business attire, business talk, gossip, attitudes, or umbrellas. One of our most memorable moments was in Miami, getting caught in a downpour of warm raindrops and taking off our heels to stomp barefoot in the puddles. Now that is living. Donna Williams, Redwood City, Calif.
In New Orleans, we renewed our friendship, shook off the corporate dust we carried in, and breathed a little again. Jennifer Betityen, New York, N.Y.
Our girlfriend getaways can border on wild, as there's always a winery involved. The twist: We're a faithful group and always look for a chapel to remind us to keep a good perspective on things. Maureen Paulett, Richfield, Ohio
Each year I get together with a group of women to do the Avon walk for breast-cancer awareness. We met in 2000 as individual walkers but have since become very close. We walk 26.2 miles the first day and 13.1 the second day, nursing each other through sore legs and blistered feet. We sleep in tents, always bringing decorations for our humble abode. This event has enriched my life far beyond words. Janice Farrell, Bay Shore, N.Y.
Last year we stole a sled from a neighboring hut and laughed for hours as we whizzed down a beautiful snow-covered hillside. Laurel Amsel, Boulder, Colo.
For two years, my friend Michelle was telling me to meet her for a weekend in Las Vegas. I'd always been too nervous, but last March--when my daughter was 5 years old--I thought, What the heck, you only live once! It was such a great weekend in so many ways. We were able to shop, walk, and reconnect. We ate, tried the nickel slots, and went to a show, and we laughed! I haven't laughed that much in a very long time. Cora Waschkowski, London, Ont.
So many places, so little time. We've simply got to pick up the pace! Mary Ann Borchert, Belton, Mo.