J and I just returned from our first "real" vacation together in over four years. By "real" I mean "actual vacation for the express purpose of doing nothing other than sitting on a beach, rather than me accompanying J to Chicago on business, which --while fun! -- is, I'm sorry, not the same thing."
We went to St. Lucia with good couple friends, and we all had a fantastic time together. I was (naturally!) stricken with weepy momguilt as I packed up and kissed the kids goodbye, but after an uneventful flight, a scenic drive to the hotel, and this view to greet us from our villa, I attempted to get over it:
We stayed here, and OMFG, you guys, nicest hotel ever. Gorgeous, pristine, quiet, AND our place was literally steps from the beach. Even J -- who generally hates the ocean because he "doesn't see the point," on account of "all the sand" -- loved the location. (ACTUAL STATEMENT THAT HE HAS REPEATEDLY MADE.)
We spent a lot of time hanging out there, which afforded us the opportunity to pretend that we are Professional Computer Wallpaper Photographers:
Also, to pretend that we are Goonies, because, I'm sorry, are you going to sit there and try to tell me that this is NOT One-Eyed Willie's Ship? Are you? Why would you do that? WHO ARE YOU, YOU TERRIBLE PERSON WHO IS LYING? Are you after the treasure? Is that it? ANSWER MEEEE. And then do the Truffle Shuffle.
Speaking of ships, we also had a Dramatic Rescue at Sea. (I, too, am shocked that I got into the water in the first place, but the ocean was so calm and clear and blue that I told myself I would see the man-eating sharks coming, and...kick them. A sound, logical approach if ever there was one.) All four of us boarded a catamaran at the hotel, and...well, I will summarize our plight in two pie graphs:
Naturally, there was a bit of a disconnect, and we got stranded out in the water, thus necessitating the Dramatic Rescue at Sea. Which, yes, was simply another catamaran, piloted (steered?) by an employee of the hotel with actual experience, who was maybe/definitely cursing our collective idiocy, but I stand by my description.
All in all, it was an amazing trip; no one got sunburned or shark-eaten, J and I had a great time with each other, and with our friends.
It honestly felt odd at first to be...well, selfish, and to spend time completely relaxed; not waking up at 5:45, thinking about my office, planning dinners, or performing my in-demand Backyardigans bedtime song. The biggest issues I faced on St. Lucia involved this tiny lizard, and keeping one step ahead of his wily ass, and what to drink with dinner.
But my work was still there when I got back, our kids were truly fine without us, and the trip left me incredibly relaxed, happy, and all recharged. Even when faced with a barfing toddler not five hours after we returned. And hey, there's something to be said for that.