Ever since the birth of our daughter, Rayen, time alone with the wife has been rather, how should I put this, scarce. I think I’m safe when I say that any parent can empathize with me on that one. In order to allow ourselves that much needed alone time, we have adopted a “rule” – have one family trip and one mommy/daddy trip a year. Pre-child era, we traveled some. It’s nothing to brag about but we simply liked to get away from time to time having gone to places such as Florida, California, Quebec, Ontario, Montreal, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Paris, Barcelona, Rome – to name a few. The plan was to take an all-inclusive trip to the U.K. which would have brought us to Ireland, Scotland, and England. We searched and searched for great deals and we finally found a great package. The plan was set for later that year. Then, we got pregnant!
Everything came to a screeching halt. Make no mistake, news of my wife’s pregnancy was extremely exciting and thoughts of traveling to the U.K. fell by the wayside as news of my wife’s pregnancy was now at the forefront, without a doubt. So, a few things were “sacrificed”, namely our trip to the U.K. but it could certainly wait. And, it did. We took one final trip, just the wife and I when she was reaching the tail-end of her pregnancy. We went to Rockport, Maine where we stayed at a beautiful Inn just along the coast which provided a spectacular view of the sunrise over the Atlantic. On that same trip, we made a pit-stop in New Hampshire. It was the first time I ever had lobster – when in Maine, right? Technically, our daughter was already there with us so we started her off pretty early. I guess you can say it was our last hurrah before the wee-one manifested into this world! A few months later, she was here.
We knew we couldn’t just pick up and go anymore like we had previously done on our trip to Quebec. Although the trip was planned we decided, on a whim, to just pick up and go in the middle of the night towards Canada and stop at a random hotel in northern New York to rest before we made it across into the great white north (Note: when doing this, please don’t skim on quality hotels for the sake of saving a few bucks).
We were younger then and simply cannot partake on such “shenanigans” any longer, well not until the little one is old enough to fend for herself. Still, that didn’t mean we were to deprive ourselves either. Our solution was not to leave her with my parents or her parents while we had our fun and explored “uncharted” (to us) territories. No, we just brought her along and made it a family affair. These were smaller trips that did not require the use of boarding a flying, aluminum bullet with wings but, rather, “local” destinations for weekend getaways and the likes that had us venturing into places such as Lake George, NY, formed about 10,000 years ago when a melting glacier blocked an ancient river bed that headed south from the Northwest Bay Brook to Bolton to the Hudson River and another river flowing north from the Narrows area into Lake Champlain¹. Bet you didn’t know that! (neither did I, I just looked it up) Then, there was Washington D.C. where we visited the temporary home of the President of the United States and had dinner with the first lady (kidding, of course) and on to our first trip to Springfield, Vermont where we had a semi-creepy encounter of some kind (you can read about that here). After that was our trip to Newport, RI where was visited what felt like countless splendid mansions, Boston, MA and a few excursions into Connecticut and the Poconos in Pennsylvania.
When my daughter was 2.5 years old we gave her the “pleasure” of experiencing her first flight when we took a trip to Orlando, Florida to visit the enchanted land of Disney! That wasn’t why we went – no, we went to visit family out there and figured, why not, lets just take her to Disney. Will she remember 10 years from now? Probably not, but there’s always pictures and my memories of the trip.
Then, we went to the Dominican Republic and finally our overseas trip to London to cap it off earlier this year. We try to expose our daughter to what we can of this world we live in. But, we also like to explore the smaller things on our own.
We started with Vegas two years ago. It was a trip I was excited for being that I always wanted to make it to Vegas. I don’t gamble but, still, Vegas was on my bucket list having seen it on film and television on many, many, many occasions! It was our first trip without the little one and, although, we missed her like crazy, we had one of the best times together that we’ve had in such a long time! Plus, we got to see the most anticipated show of Vegas, a show that I have been itching to watch for years – the highly acclaimed, award-winning show, Evil Dead: The Musical! Holy crap was it awesome!
About a month ago, my wife and I decided we needed another mommy/daddy vacation. Work has been hectic for the two of us and we needed time to decompress and just hit the pause button, take a deep breath and enjoy nature. Sometimes it’s hard to do any of this, let alone just stop and breath without having life getting in the way. Again, local was the key and Vermont was on the top of the list. We fell in love with the green mountain state when we were there a year ago and wanted to head back.
Once again, our hearts were re-captured by its beauty. It felt so good to take in the fresh air and the magnificent colors of of the NorthEast. We went hiking for the first time in what felt like years – probably because it has been years! The best part? The hike was – I say that with heavy sarcasm. My legs were wobbling all over the place by the time we reached the top. Funny thing was, it was only a half-mile hike! Can you say, “out of shape”? Well, I certainly can. Still, when we reached the top it felt like an accomplishment. Here I was, alongside my wife, reliving a past life where hiking and venturing to and fro was “our thing”. The feeling was amazing as it brought us both back to a different time when life was not as heavy as the present.
We went to a nearby town to enjoy browsing through quaint shops and eating at local venues, all of which had food that was simply amazing, in particular, Mr. Darcy’s Bar and Grill where I fell in love with “The Farmhouse”, a burger topped with Vermont cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and apple wood smoked bacon with a side of Parmesan truffle fries and a glass of pumpkin beer. Just thinking about it makes me salivate at the mouth. In fact, in was so good that we went back the night after for the same thing!
The next morning, we stopped by another local eaterie, Vermont Apple Pie and Cheesecake Company, a quaint, little hidden gem (literally) that served an abundant, and hearty, breakfast. The place is operated by a husband and wife team – she cooks, he serves. The place certainly left an impression with us.
Then, finally (sadly), our brief stint in Vermont came to an end. Memorable to say the least. My wife and I got to talking and we are seriously considering buying some property out there some time in the future – a place we can visit on more than one occasion throughout any given year and make sort of a family tradition for us to enjoy, get away and just enjoy the company of each other. Yeah, that sounds good – it sounds really good!