My husband and I returned from our week vacation in the Pacific Northwest late last Saturday. And, as stated in the image in my last post, it was indeed both awesome and weird.
Ways in which our vacation alone was awesome!!!
• Getting up and heading out: On our own, we were able to wake up, take a quick shower, grab a coffee and be on the city streets in under an hour. There was no packing a giant bag full of diapers, snacks, drinks, toys. No pushing a stroller up those steep Seattle hills or waiting for a toddler who wants to do everything herself. We got out the door so early most days, that by 2 or 3 in the afternoon we had been out and about for over 6 hours.
• Parents’ Choice: It was so nice being able to do the activities that my husband and I wanted to do, many of which wouldn’t have been interesting or suitable for children. We strolled through the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum without worrying about little hands grabbing anything, embarked on a two-hour guided walking tour of Portland, and spent a long Sunday afternoon at a local beer festival.
• Afternoon rest time: Since we were able to pack so much activity into the early part of the day, we looked forward to heading back to our condo (rented through Airbnb which I highly recommend) before dinner. It was during these afternoon siestas that I read in its entirety my FIRST book since my daughter was born nearly two years ago. I am embarrassed that it has taken me this long to do, but at home the only time I have to read is at night and I am just too tired to focus.
• Adult meals and beverages: Beers with lunch? Why yes, I think we will. Hour wait for a table? No worries, we will hang out at the bar. Chef’s table seating at the counter? Sounds great! No kids menu? No problem! Our vacation was full of meals eaten at a leisurely pace that I could actually taste, instead of choking down to tend to someone else. Enough said.
• Couple time: My husband and I have always traveled well together and this trip was no exception. We both enjoy taking in the sights and being active, but also look forward to the downtime too. We had a great week of spending time alone together and we didn’t just talk about the kids!
Ways in which our vacation alone was weird!!!
• Missing our daughter: There is just one way in which our vacation was weird. We were without our 22-month bundle of non-stop energy. Throughout the course of the week, my yearning for her hit me in waves. At first it was hard to leave her behind at my parents’ house; I put sunglasses on to hide my tears as we pulled out of the driveway. Then it was exciting to realize our trip was finally here and that we were headed cross country to someplace new. But the toddler boy sitting in the row in front of us on the plane had me aching for my daughter by the time we reached cruising altitude. And so it went – I would be fine until I saw another child my daughter’s age and then the pangs in my gut would begin. She was having a great time at her Nana and Papa’s house, but when we would FaceTime her she would keep asking when she was going back to her house. I hoped that she didn’t think her mommy and daddy were just sitting at home refusing to come get her! The last two days of our trip hit me the hardest. We had driven down to Portland for the final two nights and I was really missing our girl. To make things worse, the street next to the one we were staying on bore her name and the couple whose basement apartment we rented had a one-year old baby. They were such lovely people but all I could do the whole time we were talking to them was stare at their son and be jealous that they had him to cuddle in their arms.
Overall we had a wonderful trip and made some great memories while celebrating five years of marriage. In hindsight, maybe we would have come home a day or two earlier, but we all survived no worse for wear. Picking up my daughter made obsolete the usual post-vacation letdown. I returned to my usual mom routine with gusto, at least for the time being. I am grateful to have my daughter to come back to and look forward to taking her on some travel adventures in the coming years.