Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Living the Island Life

A few years ago, while we were living in Italy, P and I got the chance to go to Paris for the weekend sans kids.  While we dated often (we aim for a date every other week), we had never left them over night.  We jumped at the opportunity.
Naturally, P had zero worries and was super excited to spend the weekend with me and I, while very excited, was anxious beyond belief.  I had zero worries about the safety of my kids but rather I was nervous that they would wake up to early, whine the whole time, and just basically make the weekend very inconvenient for the family that was keeping them.  Well, that didn't happen and WE. HAD. A. BLAST!

After that weekend, we made a promise to each other that every year we would take a weekend (3 nights) vacation.  It didn't have to be anything special but our marriage needed that one-on-one time to re-check ourselves and get a chance to take of our mom and dad hats.  In addition, every 5 years (convenient to the big anniversaries), we would take a week long vacation.  Something that we would save for little by little over the course of the 5 lead-up years and then be able to go all out and have a ball.
We made a deal.
A side note: Our weekend vacations are no less than three nights for a reason.  The first night away from kids, while I am enjoying my freedom, I am thinking about how they are doing, if they went to bed easily, etc.  By the second night, I am so tired after not sleeping overly well the night before and a full day of fun that I pass out and sleep great.  To have to get up and head home would be a drag.  I just relaxed!  So, that last night ensures that mom and dad actually gets a day or two to really relax and connect.  That last day is usually our most fun day and the day when we have our best conversations.  I know my kids are having fun and I am completely focused on P.
So, last week, was our first 5 year vacation and boy did we enjoy it!  I booked a 7night/8day cruise to the Southern Caribbean.  We had saved a certain amount of money so we could do whatever excursions we wanted.  Unfortunately, laying on the beach just isn't our thing, we love to DO things.  So we did.

One of the best decisions was our balcony.  Holy macaroni, I will never cruise on an inside or windowed room.  For just a little more money, we were in HEAVEN!

We cruised with Princess Cruise lines and it was GREAT.  During the whole cruise, I only saw maybe 10-15 kids and they had a great spread of ages.  The food was INCREDIBLE!  Well, maybe a little TOO incredible since my pants are fitting just a little tighter these days.  Anyways, our first stop was St. Thomas.
For the first time in years, I was going on vacation and was not pregnant!  It was awesome to finally get to do all of the things that I couldn't.  So, in St. Thomas, we decided to go Scuba diving.  We had never been before and it was awesome!

One of my most favorite things about Princess cruises is that they often "Movies Under The Stars" which means that next to one of the pools they show movies on their HUGE (think football stadium) screened all throughout the day.  I am not a 'layerouter' (I definitely made that word up) but I LOVE to watch movies.  So, while we were in Tortola, instead of doing an excursion, we planted ourselves in two lounge chairs watched a few movies, ate some ice cream cones, and had an awesome time!

The next day, we stopped in Antigua.  I was super excited about this stop because we were going ZIPLINING!!!  So cool!

The next day we stopped in Dominica where we went on an 'Off the Beaten Path' private tour with our tour guide Woody. 

One of my most favorite memories from this trip was stopping to speak with some of Woody's friends who have moved from the States down to Dominica.  They are building a home down there and living in tents in the meantime (they have a pretty cool set-up).  I got a chance to ask a lot of questions about their experience!  So glad we got to meet them!

As we got back on the boat that evening, we captured one of the coolest pictures!

The last port that we went to was Barbados.  We went on a thriller snorkeling trip.  We got to swim with the turtles, snorkel around a reef, and three ship wrecks.

You know that beautiful 'windblown' look these swimsuit models talk about?  Yea, this is mine!  I think I'm in the right line of work.

Our day at sea was an awesome one!  We slept, watched movies, hung out on our balcony, slept some more, got room service, and then slept a little more.  It was perfect.  For people who never get to lounge, it was the perfect day!

This vacation served us so well.  It gave P and I the opportunity to really recap last year and  talk about our hopes and excitements for this year.  We are starting a new budget, trying to buy a house, hopefully get a new job, and, dare I say, maybe getting pregnant with #4?  We got a chance to talk about the things that we want to work on and the things that we want to completely change.  Every year throws ridiculous curve balls but we are starting as a team.  As long as we're on the same page ready to support each other and our family, we're not scared about what could come.  We're excited to see where we are this time next year and the experiences and lessons that we have learned. 

So, here's to mommy/daddy vacations!  THEY ROCK!

1 comment:

  1. Jeanne, I'm so glad you guys had a great time :) Caleb and I have also made it a tradition to go on a trip each year and it's always such a time of renewal and fun and so much fun to plan! I'm so glad that your man is home and you guys definitely needed that time after being apart for so long. xoxo


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