7 Things Vacation Taught Me

Some of you my have noticed that I’ve been scarce around these internet parts in the past couple of weeks.  The cause?  My husband and I took a much needed vacation away.  Far away.  As in, all the way to another country.

Without the kids.

Yeah, you read that right.  I don’t type that out to spark jealousy, but out of pure awe and gratitude.

Awe that it took over seven years for Jon and I to take a vacation by ourselves.  Awe and gratitude that everything aligned to have grandparents available to watch our kids for six days while Jon and I remembered what it was like to eat outside the feeding schedule of a four year-old.  Awe and gratitude that nothing catastrophic happened while we were gone.

It was great to reconnect with my husband, to be able to sleep in a little and eat meals without corralling small people to eat just one more bite. The weather cooperated for the most part, I imbibed way too many fruity adult cocktails, and am now trying to assimilate to life back at home.

I expected to remember that I liked sleeping, that I liked sunshine, and that I need to be able to miss my kids every once in a while.  But there were some other things I learned on this trip, too.


Things like…

I don’t look that bad in a bathing suit.

Sure, I don’t look as great as I’d like (especially around all the firm, athletic 27 year olds that were at the resort), or as I used to ten or even two years ago.  But I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror when I ran to the bathroom without covering up the first day and realized, it’s not the horrible sight I have played out in my mind.


I can’t hold my liquor.

There was a lot of drinking on this trip.  No, strike that.  There was a lot of dranking.  Sure, neither of us got drunk or wasted or stumbled through the pool area to the swim up bar and set up shop.  But a steady stream of fruity cocktails, combined with the champagne the waiters seemed to pour freely when you told them you were celebrating an anniversary really got to me by the end of the week.

It got to the scale, too, but I’m going to pretend to ignore that for another week or so.


I still don’t like the ocean.

Yes, the Gulf of Mexico is far calmer and bluer than the Atlantic Ocean.  And, sure, it would have been romantic to frolic in my husband’s arms while on vacation in Mexico.  But I got as far as knee-deep and then noticed the strong undercurrent, the large waves crashing, and retreated to my margarita along the shoreline.


We need to keep the television turned off more.

In our home, unless it’s a weekend morning cartoon, a special movie night, or an important game, our television is usually off.  Until the kids go to bed, that is.  Then my husband and I plop down on the couch to catch up on our shows (usually with one or both of us on our laptops as well).  While on vacation, we plowed through not one, but TWO books.  And it gave us a well of new topics to talk about.  I’m thinking we need to keep the TV off, read more, and in general be less plugged in.


I like my husband.

Before you get all “ick, gross lovey dovey stuff”, let me explain.  Yes, I do love my husband immensely.  But this trip reminded me that I also really like him.  Like, genuinely enjoy being around him.  This time together brought us back to who we are as a couple, in all our stupid-joke glory.  And that after all of these years, we still get each other.


My kids are great kids.

The Catch-22 of getting away from your kids.  You can’t wait to be free of them, yet you think about them all of the damn time you’re away.  Seeing all those other cuties on the beach made me yearn for mine to be there with me.  WTF?  Clearly, I need to get out on my own more.

But all that time away from my kids gave me perspective.  As much as I let them get under my skin, they’re good kids.  They’re great kids.  Well-behaved, loving, and funny as hell.  And I love those little stinkers.


We need to get away more often.

I’m not talking about the two-hour road trips to visit family for the holidays.  I’m talking the “ship the kids off to family so we can be alone” kind of get-aways.  Seven and a half years is way too long of a time to wait to take a trip together.  Financially there’s no way we could afford to do this every year, or even every five years.  But I do think we need to make carving out time for just us a priority.

All in all, not too bad of a takeaway from a vacation, if I do say so myself.  Though, I could probably use a few more lessons.

Lessons that could be learned in, say, St. Lucia?



  1. I am on overload with all I want to get done for the holiday season. We just launched our new website and that brought a myriad of follow up tasks. I made a decision not to read newsletters, take webinars, or get distracted over the next few weeks from my tasks and YET, I opened your newsletter. So happy I did. I’m 74 and my 2nd hubby is 81. Your blog brought me back to that time and brought a smile of recognition to my face. Your experience warmed my heart. I hope you do weekend get- aways until that big vacation. We do. Monthly- 2 nights away and given that I’m a workaholic for my handmade online beading business, it keeps our connection strong. Your lesson I love the most is that ‘you still get each other’.
    Roslyn Tanner Evans recently posted…AppreciationMy Profile

    • Sounds like you have a ton on your plate! But I love that you make time to get away every month. That’s a great goal, though I don’t think that’s likely to happen, as the grandparents live 3 hours away. But I would settle for twice a year! Thanks for your wonderful comments.

  2. All I can say is “Jealous!!!!” This is not happening for us anytime soon. I am totally living vicariously through you, friend. Congrats. Sounds like it was beyond great!

    • It was great, I do admit. I feel grateful for being able to have done that, though now that I’ve gotten a taste of it, I want more.

  3. What a great idea! I think my husband and I won’t be able to get away for the next six years, at least. But you’re right, being away from home (even when you’re travelling with the kids), gives you a different perspective of things. I hope you make the next trip soon!
    Tarana recently posted…Guest post: The Anatomy of a Great Post CommentMy Profile

    • Ugh, six years? That’s sounds rough. Though who am I to talk, it took us 7 to get away by ourselves. I hope we get to take another trip alone soon too!


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