Prior to having a baby, when I thought about my maternity leave it was like a big black hole in my previously overbooked calendar. I knew it would be immediately filled with baby things once Owen arrived, and I had no idea how much of anything else would fit in. So I didn’t plan anything. And for the past 7 weeks (ohmygoodness it’s been 7 weeks — where did the time go?!), it’s been about 99% taking care of the baby and 1% anything else. That’s not entirely true (we’ve seen lots of friends/family and taken a road trip and hiked with the dog, etc.), but my brain has been allocated that way. Slowly but surely, I’m beginning to feel the ratio shifting. I’m planning more things in advance (weddings! dinners! get togethers with friends!), and thinking more about how I can best take advantage of this amazing time off I have from work.
Yesterday I had an epiphany: I want to take a vacation.
And then my brain went into overdrive thinking of all the reasons that would be more difficult with a little one.
Am I crazy? Part of me feels like for the first time in a long time I could take a vacay without worrying about counting days off of work and having work projects pile up while I’m gone. And frankly, we haven’t taken a vacation in a very long time. While we were trying to conceive, it never crossed my mind, and I was always tracking cycle days and needed to be available to be monitored by the reproductive specialist we were seeing. And then once we got pregnant, I didn’t feel great in the 1st trimester, and then was mentally scrimping pennies and working so much I barely even thought of it. But now? Now my days are like one long “weekend” (you know, except for the fact that I’m a stay-at-home-mom…). And I dream of uninterrupted time with Benjamin and Owen somewhere lovely and relaxing — aka not my living room, where I’ve spent the last 7 weeks.
Traveling to this dream location is trickier with a baby, for sure. Benjamin’s not great on long car trips (although I kind of like them, especially in our rockin’ minivan!). And taking Owen on a long flight scares the bejeezus out of me (all those germs! what if he cries the whole way? what if our flight is delayed and we’re sitting with an infant in an airport for days?).
Also, the fact that it is fall is slightly problematic. We live in New England and go to New Hampshire often for weekends, so any driving destination is going to be chilly, and not all that different from where we already spend our time. Europe and other countries are probably out just because of the added logistical complications (customs, passports, travel time, etc.), so we’re looking at the best places to visit in the U.S. in the fall.
Thoughts so far:
- Napa? A wine country vacay sounds pretty perfect right now, since I can finally drink the nectar of the Gods again 🙂 And frankly, we won’t be able to take a wine country vacation once Owen gets older, since that doesn’t sound very fun for a three year old. Great wine and fabulous food are a recipe for my favorite trip, but what’s Napa like in the fall?
- Portland, Oregon / Vancouver? This may seem sort of random, but Benjamin has a job he may be working on in Portland, so we could coordinate work and pleasure very conveniently. I’m picturing hikes in crisp fall weather with Owen in the Baby Bjorn and strolling the streets of these adorable cities with pumpkin spice lattes in hand. Sounds great, no?
- As far South as we can get in an attempt to have some sort of beach/warm weather vacay? How warm is it in Florida in the fall? Do sand and infants mix? When is hurricane season?
Have you taken a vacation with a wee one? Where did you go? Did you think it was worthwhile/relaxing/all it was cracked up to be? Suggestions on incredible places to visit in the fall?
Sidenote: Something REALLY exciting happened yesterday. Benjamin, Owen and I were recognized by a reader in the mall! I was just about to begin nursing when Hillary came up and said hi. It was the first time anyone recognized us from the blog alone, and it was in such a random spot!
Hi, Hillary! It was so great to meet you. You made my day. I couldn’t stop smiling all night 🙂
If anyone else out there sees us out in the real world, say hi!