Spring break, for me, has never meant bikinis and Coronas. I don't state that with a shred of regret. If I'm being honest, a cozy fireplace and a copy of Anne of Green Gables entices me much more. But, apart from taking a few family ski trips in my childhood, I rarely looked forward to Spring Break mostly because I never had a good excuse to escape.
Well, my friends, my long overdue reason has finally arrived: crazy children. And, for the first time in forever (yes, cue the Frozen soundtrack here) both my husband and I actually get a Spring Break from school and work, AND we have a perfect excuse for a trip! Josh is in one of his best friend's weddings this weekend, so we are flying to Los Angeles today for a weekend getaway.
I woke up early to write this blog, because frankly, it sort of feels like Christmas morning. That is to say, we've known this day was coming for a long time. We've saved, planned, purchased, packed, and made extraordinary arrangements so that everything goes without a hitch (well, one hitch if you count the wedding, anyway). We will only be in California a mere 40 hours (plus about 10 hours total travel time) and I'm determined to milk every second of fun and relaxation out of it.
Couples - you gotta get away. I'll admit that if my husband wasn't in the wedding, we'd find every excuse not to go. It's expensive, inconvenient, time consuming, and involves leaving my children with other people which is stressful and guilt-ridden. BUT, while I've been fighting the dread of anticipation and worrying about how my children will do for the two days their out of my care...I've also been gearing up for a much-needed break away and giddy with romance to spend it with my husband.
This break couldn't come at a better time. After months of living one of the most insane years of our lives, Josh and I can't wait to be away together. We've crossed a lot of milestones this year (moving across the country, me starting grad school, buying our first home together) and kept up with the daily grind of work and caring for two lovable hellions along the way. It's taxing, and we're in the life stage when stress is at its highest.
I'm looking forward to the 4+ hour plane ride in silence. Not having to worry about whether my child is the screaming banshee everyone gives the stink-eye to on the plane. I'm looking forward to the hotel. A posh setting at the ACE Hotel in downtown LA where I'll be writing an upcoming review so everyone can get a sneak peek at why it's worth splurging on your stay away. And I'm looking forward to seeing and hugging some of my dearest soulmates on the planet whom I miss terribly. I know it will only last a flash, but there's nothing like actually being back in the presence of people who love and know you well.
And I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my spouse over things like coffee and SkyMall magazine and hotel slippers and fixing his bow tie...instead of just half-telling a story through interruptions of yelling at our kids, fixing dinner, folding laundry, and the girls incessantly talking/screaming/humming/dancing/singing/askingWHY in the middle of it all. Ahhhh. Deep breath.
Yes, this is going to be wonderful. And, while I've stressed about parting from my girls as every mother would, I'm incredibly grateful to live near family who is willing to take them in for the weekend and keep them alive and well while we are gone. Honestly, the girls are thrilled and couldn't pack their bags fast enough! Hey, maybe they are equally ready for a break from their parents! Haha.
Leaving the house, beyond just a regular date night, is not an easy thing to do. I know it has taken me months to coordinate everything so we could make this happen. But, I can't encourage you enough to start planning some kind of trip with your spouse. People will watch your children and keep them alive. Hotels and flights will have sales that won't break your budget. Work will wait for you when you get back. And if you're in a life phase like we are where the majority of your time is spent on nurturing others or looking outside your couplehood, then you truly need to set aside some time/money/energy to invest focus on the foundation of your home: your marriage.
You don't have to stay at the ACE Hotel (though after my review next week, I hope you do!) or fly across the country to create your escape. But, however you two can manage to pack a couple bags and look at each other's faces longer than just asking for a diaper change or a refill on a sippy cup, you gotta do it. Maybe you can even use a wonderful excuse like we are - someone else's wedding - to turn it into a weekend away instead of a family affair. Too often I feel like I have to wedge my children into every corner of every part of my schedule...but, the reality is, it's perfectly okay (good, in fact) to allow them their own space as well. This short break away is worth more in the long run than anything I could offer them in the next two days.
And, when we return, ready for hugs from our girls and with stars in our eyes for each other, I'll know we've given our family a great big dose of security and love that nothing else could provide. A weekend reboot on sanity and romance is not only a fantastic way to spend Spring Break, but it's one of life's necessities for sustaining a solid relationship. Here we go!
How can you escape with your spouse this Spring Break? Can you look forward to planning something now for the Summer or Fall?