...before having another "just us" vacation, would I have been able to stand it?
(responding to a challenge from Brian, as I return to the OS fray)
BACKSTORY & TIMELINE:
1994-7: met Brent (for the second time), moved in together within 6 weeks or some fool thing, enjoyed life as a couple for 3 years before I
1997 : got pregnant, had what would be our last vacation together that summer, gave birth to Serena in the winter, and then there were 3.
1998: got married October 31, my brother Pierre died the next day.
2001: gave birth to Morgan, thus completing our Millionaires family.
2002-2008: worked, loved, laughed, cried...did things together
March 2009: took our first holiday together as a couple in 12 years.
UNDERSTANDING THE WHY OF THE TRIP:
To be frank, we don't make the kind of money necessary to allow for taking trips beyond the likes of camping. Hubby has a small 3-man computer services company, I teach cardmaking & scrapbooking while being affiliated with a direct-sales company that sells the supplies. We live a pretty modest life in an expensive city, but we get by and we're happy.
The thing is, I've done surprisingly well with this company and have consequently earned their annual incentive trip for the past 5 years in a row. We're talking all-expenses paid trips : cruises to the Mexican Riviera, the Panama Canal, and Bermuda. The 2009 trip would be a week's stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, 62 acres of Paradise, and I just KNEW that could be the honey-moon we never had.
In previous years, we'd saved and scrimped to pay for the kids to come along -- after all, there was no one who could watch them for us if we'd wanted to go alone. But Fate stepped in when my mom retired last summer -- oh my! Finally there was a grownup would could keep the kids for a week! I begged & pleaded for them to stay with her so that we could finally get away for an adult-only vacation.
She said"yes" and the plans began in earnest. We kept on with the scrimping and saving, but this time it was so that we could enjoy whatever came our way without feeling guilty at the money being spent.
March 21 - SAN FRANCISCO
Flight arrangements were made, and we ended up with a 5hr non-stop from Toronto to San Francisco and then another 5.5 hr flight into Kona. We decided that rather then deal with the grueling travel all on one day, we'd split it up by staying in San Fran overnight, and then travelling to Hawaii after. I'd never been to the Bay Area before, so we took the BART in from the airport, booked ourselves into a lovely suite at the Hotel Majestic and spent the drizzly afternoon wandering the streets, playing tourist and taking many many goofy pictures.
We passed the most enjoyable day and evening together - eating, walking, loving... and I didn't miss the kids one bit.
Garlic is your friend! And garlic ice cream at the Stinking Rose ROCKS!
March 22-29: HAWAII
Hawaii was... magical. There's simply no other way to describe my experience with it.
I have oodles of shots of the lush scenery, of the fish we snorkled with, of the massive quantities of food we ate, everything that tickled our fancy (and believe me, we were easily tickled).
But what I love most are the dozens and dozens of pictures of us grinning our fool faces off.
The reality is that I came home filled to the brim with fabulous memories simply infused with love. Sexy love, warm soulful love, playful and capricious love, found-my-best-friend-and-soulmate-all-wrapped-into-one love.. truly, delicious NON-PARENTING love.
In answer to Brian's question: did I miss the kids? Truthfully, no. I love them tremendously and I know the trip would have been great with them around, albeit a very different type of trip. But I knew as I watched the families around me on the resort that I was very very glad that we'd made this decision... for the two of us.
And while the monsters WILL be cruising the Southern Carribean with us in 2010, I can guarantee that it will not take another 12 years for us to return to Paradise, wherever we might find it.