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Great Escape: Girls' Day Out!

Plan a day with your favorite girlfriends. Not only will you have a great time, you may also enjoy added health benefits!

School is back is session, the leaves are turning and fall is just around the corner. If you have been too busy entertaining and spending time with your family, why not schedule a day-or even a few hours-with your BFFs? According to an article about "Girlfriend Time," written by Sonia Morrison, "one of the best things a woman can do for her health is to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends."

Here are five ideas to get you started, and you won't even need to travel far from home:

1. Mani/Pedi/Lunch-Start off at ,  or The Island Salon & Spa for some pampering. Then, enjoy a light lunch at I Luv Pho, Sushi Joa's, Yuzen, or replace lunch with a light and creamy dessert at Yo Mercer.

2. Walk and wine tasting-Stroll across the I-90 Lid Park, hike up the trails on First Hill or trek through Pioneer Park. After your exercise encounter, wind down at Cellar 46 or the Olde Wine Store for a flight of wine and some-likely-laughter.

3. Coffee and retail therapy-Drop the kids off at school, then meet your gal pals at Tully's or Starbucks. Walk over and try on the latest fashions at and . If you need any additional "therapy," carpool over to Bellevue Square to complete the experience.

 4. Take a class together-If you and your friends have talked about wanting to take a dance class or a cooking class-or any other class-why not take one together? Learning new skills can add another dimension to your friendship and it will provide you with additional topics for conversation. Check out the Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Fall and Winter Recreation Guide for a variety of options-from Hoola Hoop Dance to Sumi Painting classes.

 5. Yoga or Tennis and brunch-Start off stretching your mind and your body at Yoga Bliss, or round up a tennis match at one of the local outdoor tennis courts-on dry days only-and then stop for a bite to eat at Bennett's Pure Food Bistro. They offer brunch from 10am to 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

So, in the interest of better health-and a really good time-plan some "Girlfriend Time" into your schedule. Call, email, facebook or text your girlfriends and schedule a day-or a morning or an afternoon-out on the town. No matter what you are facing at home, at work or in any other area of your life, there's nothing quite like a little BFF therapy to make your day a little bit brighter.

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