For my husband’s birthday (in March), I gave him a mystery trip – a night away with activities planned by me and, the big deal, our first night away from the baby. (yeah, I feel like I should have a drum roll in their or something – psshaw, like I’d have any idea how to pull that off!)
So Friday morning, we got up early and dropped the munchkin at her Grandma’s and hit the road while I teased my husband about where we MIGHT be going. He’s generally not a great a guesser when it comes to these things. He thinks I’m a good guesser (to the point that he’s suggested I’m psychic), but it’s because, being a bad guesser himself, he sometimes REALLY gives it away with his clues. I think this runs in the family. Before the monkey was born, his Mom told us that she “knew” what the baby’s name was. She just had decided it and was sure. As, at 7 months pregnant, we did not actually “know” what the baby’s name was (I think we were narrowed down to 3 possibilities, but I was still swinging widely between favorites), we asked what it was. We told her it could save us a lot of time and trouble! She wouldn’t tell us, though, insisting that could change the outcome – but she promised that she’d told my father in law so he could confirm if she was right. We begged for a clue and asked what letter it began with. So she said, well, it could be one of 2 letters.
So work with me here – if it’s one of two letters, we’re seriously narrowed down. It’s basically got to be a vowel (most likely A/E, but I guess there might be other options), C/K (seems the most likely possibility in the bunch), F/Ph or C/S. So I said that. Her face froze on C/K and she said – ok, you’re too good at this! No more clues! Now, I knew that she’d intended to name my husband Kathleen if he was a girl, so it wasn’t too hard to get to a likely guess here (I didn’t voice it then, as she seemed a little upset that I’d “figured” so much out, but that was her guess. By the way – our daughter’s name is not Kathleen.)
OK, back to the present. You see where I’m going on clues. So when I told my husband, it was a little north of Richmond. It was a day totally focused on fun (I didn’t go so far as to say “amusement” – I thought that might be too much). And he’d be “king” for the day as it was his birthday present. I didn’t worry at all that he’d guess King’s Dominion (an amusement park just north of Richmond). If you didn’t guess either, don’t feel bad (esp. if you didn’t grow up near DC) – I wasn’t trying to make it too easy (though I thought king for a day was a risky giveaway) and he got other clues (like, you’ve said you wanted to go here since the baby was born. You’ve been here before, but not in a lot of years. Etc.).
I think my favorite part of the day was watching his face light up when he realized where we were going. His friends/coworkers all knew we were doing some sort of mystery trip, but guessed that he was going to end up at a bed and breakfast somewhere. Now, I have to admit – I’d considered that, but eventually discarded it for 2 reasons. First – this was HIS day, not mine. The B&B would be something I’d love, but while my husband would enjoy it, it really wouldn’t be an exciting surprise for him. And second – the B&B involves “breakfast,” right? Something they generally want you to get up for - early. So why on earth would I plan our first night away from the baby – our first chance to sleep in in 15 months for a place with a wake up call for breakfast by 8 or 8:30?! That’s crazy talk!
Anyway, more on the amusement park in another post, but overall the day was great. We actually didn’t stay till close, as after riding countless rides and screaming for hours (and getting up early to head out!), we were pretty well beat at the end of the day! So we headed to the hotel and got cleaned up for dinner, but FIRST – we flipped channels!
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it here, but when we moved we never renewed our cable subscription at our house. We were thinking – it tends to be very expensive and how much do we ever really use it? I mean, there’s usually NOTHING on tv and we really don’t want the monkey watching much tv. So instead of cable, we figured we’d just go with broadcast tv. Except there’s pretty much no signal at our house… Oops. So, instead we’ve got the laptop hooked up to the tv and we watch a lot of netflix instant and we catch our favorite shows on hulu. So, in the end, we really more just watch stuff we actually WANT to watch instead of just zoning out with what’s on. 95% of the time this is a bonus. But about 5% of the time, we just jones to zone out with the nothing that is on all the time! Oh, and we don’t catch enough news this way. We get our news online, but I felt like I really missed the constant weather updates during “snowmanji” (aren’t we supposed to be glued to the screen watching accumulations at those times?).
So anyway, a hotel room with TWO TVs was like a resort for us! And yeah, there was still NOTHING on… So we went to dinner, fell asleep early after our long day and then… oh, wait for it, wait for it… SLEPT IN. To quote (or probably paraphrase), Office Space, I did nothing and it was everything I hoped it would be.
We headed down to breakfast (hot breakfast served till 10 – now that’s a more reasonable wake up time! OK, we woke up by about 8:30 anyway. Our internal clocks are just broken now!) and then decided to head to Richmond to tour the Confederate White House before we headed home.
Yes, we did miss the monkey. But we actually really enjoyed ourselves – and truthfully, that thought did not consume me the way I worried it might. We did check on her quite a few times, but she was happy and well cared for and she and her grandparents had a ball!
What was your first get away without your children like? I’m guessing most people don’t spend it at a kid centric place like a theme park! What’s the longest time away you’ve gotten? Did you do well the first time or just worry about the little ones throughout?