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Fret Fret Fret. Also, Plan My Vacation For Me.

Last October, Chris and I spent three nights in New York for our tenth anniversary. It was the first time we had left town without the children for more than a couple of hours, the first time Owen had spent the night with anybody other than us, the longest I had ever gone without seeing my children. When we got home, we had less than 24 hours with the kids before Mia was checked into the hospital for three solid days of oxygen masks, IVs, major antibiotics, and even more major antivirals. We decided pretty much on the spot that we were never leaving our children again.

When Mia finally returned to school, I was chatting with one of her teachers about the experience and joked-but-not-really that I took Mia's illness as a sign that I should never take another vacation. Her response was to comment on how fortunate we were that it had happened when we were home, when we could hold her hand and care for her and just be there, instead of going out of our minds with worry while we spent hours getting home.

It was mostly an offhanded comment from her, trying to offer me a little comfort. But sometimes it is the smallest things you do that have the biggest impact, and I took that offhanded comment to heart. It is lucky that we were home. Our going away had nothing to do with Mia getting sick. And I suppose that is partly why I am taking two trips this coming October.

First, I am going to Puerto Rico. Without my kids. Without my husband. I am going with three other women and we are going to sit on the beach and tour the rain forest and drink fruity things with umbrellas in them and I have never done anything like this in my whole life. I'm equal parts thrilled and terrified, but I am finally at a place where I am willing to admit that I need a break from my all mom all the time life and it is good to do things that scare you.

Second, Chris and I are taking a long weekend. The babysitters are lined up, the relief babysitters are lined up, I have already started working on the grocery list and the extensive set of instructions I feel compelled to leave. The only thing that isn't totally arranged is where we are going. Minor detail, right? Maybe you can help me with it. We want to drive (it seems we are not totally over the events of last October) and stay within 3-4 hours of Washington D.C. We want to be somewhere with the option to do the tourist thing and see sights and eat at great restaurants, and also the option to hang out at the hotel and read and order room service instead. Anybody out there have the perfect place?

Comments (22)

Can I go to Puerto Rico with you? Please?

Okay, so no, on to your vacation, I think we emailed about this, but how about the va wine country? You can do wineries, hike, go horseback riding, and there are some amazing inns and bed and breakfasts.

Philadelphia, maybe? Is that close enough?

Love the trip to PR. ENJOY.

Recommendations for you & Chris for a long weekend (in no order):

1) Annapolis, MD
2) Philadelphia, PA
3) Baltimore, MD
4) Lancaster, PA
5) Charlottesville, VA

Williamsburg?

Your long weekend? No idea.

Puerto Rico? AWESOME!

No idea (being as I am the other side of the pond and my US geography is sketchy to say the least), but wherever you go, have a FANTASTIC time.

Good for you for getting away. We all need to hit the reset button every so often.

How about Cape May, NJ for your weekend with Chris? Even though it's a shore town, it's still very active through the fall. We're there all the time, so email me if you want some hotel and restaurant suggestions.

I was really excited to tell you about how much I loved Asheville, NC, how pretty the drive would be and how I thought it would a great getaway choice.

And then I found out it's 8 hours from DC. *sigh*

Hershey, PA? The Hotel Hershey is lovely and relaxing.

I was going to suggest Charleston, SC, but it's a long drive from DC. If you are willing to consider flying, the flight is about 1 hour and US Air has flights almost every hour.

You're terrified of beaches and fruity drinks in foreign lands? Yes. Those things are devastating. However, I'm confidant that with the right kind of willpower and boatloads of prayer to the god of your choice, you'll find a way to sip and relax.

I think Wilmington, NC, is around 5 hours from D.C. It's a great city on the NC coast with all kinds of downtown stuff and the good food that one expects from coastal towns. A few people have already thrown the 'Charleston, SC, by air' idea out there, which wouldn't technically qualify as a 3- to 4-hour drive, but y'know. Technicalities.

Have you been to Solomon's? It is nearby, quaint, water all around, you can walk everywhere, and it is scenic and fun.

Wilmington, NC is more like 6-7 hours from DC.

My suggestion is Staunton, VA. Lovely area, about an hour and a half from DC area.

I second Charlottesville. There are some really nice hotels and great restaurants and if wine is your thing, fun vineyards.

Puerto Rico is amazing. Lovely beaches, lovely surroundings, lovely people. You'll have a great time.

I second the suggestion of going to Annapolis. It's one of my favorite places to visit. I'll also suggest Chincoteague/Assateague Island on the Delmarva Penninsula. It is gorgeous down there.

How far is the Greenbriar in Lewisville, WV? It's a teensy bit expensive but devent rates are usually available on travel discount sites if you look hard enough.

Plus I've always wanted to stay there, so I could live vicariously through y'all.

I am thinking either Colonial Williamsburg area...the Colonial area for the tourist stuff and then there are awesome restaurants and shopping!

Or Lancaster, PA...also lots of tourist stuff, shopping and great restaurants...especially Stolzfus Family Style restaurant (YUM!).

Annapolis!

Staunton, Virginia. No question!!

www.visitstaunton.com

Come to Philly! I think it's great that you're also doing a ladies-only getaway. Nothin' wrong with a little "me" time.

Annapolis is nice, but fall is Boat Show time (check your dates), and it gets CRAZY CROWDED and I would avoid it at all costs. I went to HS in downtown Annapolis, and the town is seriously clogged during the two or so weeks of the boat show.

What about Williamsburg?

I went to Philly for a day with my best friend, sans child. Came away wishing we had two or three more days. It's a fun, young town.

Somebody mentioned the Greenbriar and I loved that place. It's kind of old-school cheesy, but very relaxing and you can take beautiful fall drives/hikes through the mountains.

Fallingwater will also be nice in fall, if you have any interest in architecture. I'm going in October; we might cross paths!

I second the suggestion of Charlottesville, VA. Stuff to see (Monticello! UVA! Montpelier!), stuff to do (Wineries! Restaurants! Live music!), and just a chill little city surrounded my mountains with an excellent downtown mall great for walking and perusing their many used bookstores, or sitting outside and enjoying a drink or meal.

Cape May, NJ is also great in the fall.

Have fun!

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So the Fish Said...

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