Our Sweet Escape

It’s took over 61/2 years but my husband and I finally did it, we left for an adult only vacation, our first since the birth of our 2 wonderful daughters! Don’t ask me why it had taken this long, it just had… so right around the holidays I just had ENOUGH!  I was so tired of hearing about so and so going away to Hawaii or someone else going somewhere else warm so I shrieked to my husband that WE needed to plan a trip somewhere so we could at the very LEAST, have something to look forward to.  We both had been working so hard on our new businesses combined with parenting our girls and becoming active in our oldest daughter’s school, we were BURNT!  We are also always on a budget, that’s why it’s taken us over 6 years to even attempt this, so we both knew exactly where we could head to…

Just over 2 years ago, our favorite couple who we would double date with quite frequently, moved down to the Napa region of California so that the husband, Lionel, could pursue his dream of becoming a chef by attending the Culinary Institute of America (CIA).  Although we were sad to be losing our double date partners, we were excited and astonished to see our friend change careers mid life like that, just pack up all they could and drive down to a region they barely knew except for the fact that the CIA was there and San Francisco was about an hour plus drive away.  Our friends are unique in that they are about our age ( Judi is in her early to mid 30’s while Lionel is just over 40) but they still have NO children!  They actually met and married just 5 years ago and they are the couple my husband and I dream of being.  When they lived in Seattle they lived right downtown in a condo on 1st Ave just a couple of blocks down from the Pike Place Market,  a dream of mine when I eventually empty my nest, and now they live in the small town of Calistoga on the edge of a farm!  Although I’m a city girl, I could really get used to living right next to a farm if it meant getting fresh produce, fresh enough that high end restaurants also frequent this farm!  They live in a really cute town home with friends for neighbors that they dine with at least 3-4 times/week…sigh if it weren’t for the fact that my dear friends live 40 minutes from much of anything, although I did inquire about the state of the schools in that area.  Like I said though, it’s the ideal place WITHOUT kids, so for now I will just have to look forward to possibly living there when I’m retired OR I could just visit frequently!

My husband and I could only be gone for a little longer than a weekend so I arranged and carefully orchestrated for us to leave Thursday afternoon just after 2 pm so I could still hold boot camp that morning.  The morning routine with the children stayed the same with my husband Brent taking our oldest daughter to school and me dropping off our youngest on the way to boot camp.  I had instructed my mom (Poh Poh, Cantonese for maternal Grandma)to do afternoon pickups and gymnastics that afternoon, then she was to feed them dinner( that we mostly prepped for her) and sleep over at our house with our girls.  Friday was going to be a breeze for her as I had arranged a ride to and from school for Cameron so my mom just had to get McKenzie to school and then take both girls to ballet that afternoon.  My mother in law, Grandma Ellen, and her husband, Grandpa Jim, were then slotted to do dinner and sleep over Friday night with the girls so as not to tire out my mom!  I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by the LACK of phone calls made by either myself or the grandparents which made our vacation all the more relaxing.  The 2 times I did check in with my mom she sounded a little irritated that I was even calling so I stopped after the 2nd day of being gone!

My husband and I had a blast with each other and our friends on our trip.  We had literally forgotten what it was like to NOT be responsible for anyone but ourselves, it was revitalizing!  It was so refreshing to wake up when we wanted to and not have to rush and make breakfast or lunch for anyone.  We were in wine country,  so we did our fair share of wine tasting and we ate really great food too.  The first night we ate in the city of Napa at Morimoto, which was so great because we both LOVE sushi.  It was decadent to be in such an adult setting, starting off with cocktails in the bar then switching to wine with dinner.  Some of Lionel’s coworkers joined us for dinner so the vibe was really festive, it actually always is when we’re with our friends, Lionel and Judi!  I had already told myself that on this trip I was going to eat whatever I wanted to, since normally I try to stay away from dairy and gluten, we rarely vacation so I wasn’t going to be a damper when it came to ordering or eating.  That was a wise choice since we went to San Francisco the next day and indulged in delicious sandwiches and afternoon Irish coffees.  We even got some fantastic focaccia bread from a very infamous bakery that I ate with dinner and as a late night snack!  Lionel was going to cook us a fabulous dinner but we ended up spending to much time being tourist in San Francisco but he made it up the next morning by making us breakfast complete with homemade pancakes and some of his Uncles homemade Portuguese sausage straight from Maui.

Our first trip was truly a sweet escape.  The weather was great, always 70 or above which felt almost like summer to us as we were coming from gray, 40 degree weather.  The company was fun and easygoing, just the way my husband and I like it, a light schedule that got us going in the mornings but no feeling of being rushed.  Plenty of time to hang out in our favorite part of our friends town home, a little enclosed sun room that was just off our bedroom and also accessible through the living room, complete with shutters and screens on the window so no bugs could bother us.  My husband and I spent plenty of time in there when we would wake up in the morning, reading books or magazines, drinking coffee, just relaxing in the sunlight.  This enclosed sun room WILL be recreated in our home, there is no doubt in my mine, it just makes sense for Seattle.  An enclosed room complete with doors and roof that can let fresh air and sun( if available in the NW)  but also be used in not such great weather as an extra seating area, possibly with a heater of some sorts.  The best thing of all is that we did miss our kids and that we saw how easy it was for us to slip away with the help from our parents.  I think stepping away from our hectic schedules really gave a sense of appreciation for everyone in our lives, and we WILL be doing it more often and quite possibly SOON!

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