J and I were the lucky winners of a weekend getaway – and by winners, I mean we funded/planned the trip…but you feel like you are winning whenever you get a small parenting break (anyone with me?).
If we are being honest, it was a really unproductive trip. I was trying to think of what to write about from our trip…and I came up short – but maybe that was the beauty of it. When I think back to our four-day stay away from home, I remember some of the little things, the conversations, the way an exact bite of food tasted. Having less busyness gave me more space to remember the meaningful moments. So here are a few of those highlights!
Let’s do this (in no particular order…do not get the feeling like these build up to an explosive ending…).
- This trip would have been (financially speaking) impossible without a super generous friend that agreed to let us stay in her home. When you stay in a hotel, there is a certain level of distrust I bring into that experience. Did they really REALLY wash the sheets/towels well? Did someone vacuum this floor? Will I find stray hairs in the shower? Sorry for planting those questions in your mind – nevertheless, my point is that when you stay with friends, you enter the experience with a major level of trust. Her home was welcoming. She left lights on in our room for us. She gave us giant hugs when we bombarded their house in the morning. And you guys…they have 12 chickens that were so cute! And lemon trees! It felt like our own tiny resort – and it provided us the exact calm we needed on this vacation.
- This is a no brainer to most parents in the world – but we had our first experience with the Dohm noise machine. On a couples getaway / baby moon, you look forward to quality sleep – and this noise machine did not disappoint. We are currently buying one on Amazon.
- When in California, do as the Californian’s do…which translates to “eat at In-n-Out as many times as possible.” We were staying near Pasadena where they have the most adorable In-n-Out – our first night we sat out on the patio eating our burgers / fries (animal style) / shakes. It was a slice of heaven. Our other trip to the burger joint was of equal joy.
- My friend suggested a local breakfast joint called Lincoln – and I’ll be honest, I’m married to someone who places a lot of importance on the first meal of the day. The guy could live on breakfast food. So naturally, he ordered their daily special – the Notorious P.I.G. This was the most delicious breakfast experience of my life – bacon/cheddar pancakes with salty caramel syrup and almonds. Yes, SUPER crazy food combo, but literally…it was so good we went back the next morning.
- We went to Santa Monica – we walked the massive beach – we put our feet in the ocean for 0.05 seconds because it was an ice bath. And there was this lady chasing birds on the beach with the biggest smile on her face. It went on for minutes on end. Pure / free entertainment.
- Before our trip, we talked about what each of us wanted to do with our time away from home. We agreed that we must go to a movie. We have not been to a movie since I was pregnant with Soren (sidenote: we saw Unbroken and I had contractions during most of the movie b/c it was so intense). We saw La La Land and I (re)fell in love with Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and movie theater popcorn.
- Did I mention my friend’s home (or as I’m now referring to it, our “resort”) had a pool? I parked myself on a chair in the sunshine (it was 62 degrees and yes I was in a bathing suit because #minnesotawinter). And I read. And I read. And I read. And guess what? No one interrupted me.
- J and I wanted to spend time on our marriage this trip – we by no means have the perfect marriage (mostly because that doesn’t exist) but we both want to continually work on it, learn about each other, and make progress to be a better wife / husband. A good friend of mine shared a list of topics with discussion questions. Sounds super intense – and it kind of was…but we took one section at a time – usually at meal time or in a long stretch of LA traffic. We had great conversation about our communication style, we had tough conversations about expectations and where we are falling short, and we talked about our hopes and dreams looking forward. You guys, take time to have these conversations in your marriage! It is worth it!
- On the middle day of our trip, it was pouring rain. We found this a good day to road trip to the desert…but…halfway to said dessert, we said, “What are we doing? We would rather be lounging around and go to a movie.” So we turned around and went home. It was an insane waste of our time – something that would normally irritate me – but my mantra going into the trip was to be relaxed and live in the moment. We changed our minds – and we made the most of it. Plus we had great conversation in the car and listened to some amazing ’90s throwback jams…so really…no time wasted!
- Gosh…you look forward to vacations because you just.need.a.break from your kid, and then you get on vacation and find yourself staring at pictures of your kid on your phone. It’s real. If you are not yet a parent, just wait. You’ll do this. Getting home and seeing my boy squeal when I picked him up was honestly one of my top moments of the year.
And now we are back home and getting ready for baby boy coming in June!