Here in Northern Virginia, we woke up to about another inch or two of fresh snow. Not much but enough for preschool to have a two-hour delay. And since the majority of the United States are experiencing colder-than-normal temperatures, it seems like as good of a time as any to discuss summer vacations. While Clay and I have had the occasional night away since having kids and we’ve taken quite a few family vacations, we haven’t taken the quintessential ‘just us’ vacation. Not unless you count our four-day house hunting trip to Lawton, OK back in January 2011. And I do not count that. Sorry Lawton.
In addition to our New England Extravaganza (as we’re calling our planned 2014 summer family vacation), Clay and I are planning a trip for just the two of us (cue Bill Whithers or Will Smith…both versions are equally annoying). The children and Lucy will be livin’ it up with the grandparents while we fly off to some exotic locale without having to worry about carseats, strollers, or kid-friendly snacks. There is just one small problem – we don’t know where we are going just yet.
We have a handful of vacation destinations that we’re planning to experience with the kids once they’re a little older, so places like Hawaii and Disney World are not in the running for this upcoming trip. And we’re ruling those places we’ve already been on a ‘just-us’ vacation pre-kids (Bahamas, Southern California, Montreal, New York City, etc…). We’re not swimming in a gold coin pool every night so we’re keeping cost in mind. And we will only have about 5-7 days for this vacation so we’re a little hesitant to fly somewhere in Europe with such a limited timeframe (and budget). Oh – and a cruise does not appeal to us at this time (or frankly, anytime). so that’s out too. So now that you know the places we don’t want to go, here are some vacations that we’re considering…
Juneau and Sitka, Alaska. When we visited Alaska (Anchorage area) in August 2011, we fell in love. Unfortunately, the possibility for us to be stationed up there is almost nil so it is resigned to a vacation destination for the time being. However, I am not sure if it will work with our timeframe and budget…we’ll see.
Banff, Alberta, Canada is also on the short list and one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. I’ve never been shy about our love for Canada and we’d love to explore a province that neither one us has been to before.
Napa Valley, California and Yosemite National Park. Wine and the outdoors? Yes, please. A day in San Francisco would be quite nice too.
Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. To be honest, this location is the current front-runner. It works with our timeframe and appears to be financially feasible. While hiking may not be everyone’s recipe for a perfect vacation, I can’t think of a better way to spend some alone time with the man to whom I am contractually obliged.
An All-inclusive Resort. This option is sort of like a record skip. The above options have the common thread of outdoorsy-type adventure and an all-inclusive resort is the complete opposite. But we do love the beach. However, I doubt this option will prevail.
So there you have it – our short list. If money and time were no object, we’d be going to Scotland or Ireland or France or Germany or (you catch the drift)… But unless there is some sort of Hail Mary miracle, I think we’re going somewhere in the US or the Caribbean. I suppose there is always next year. And while there is a small chance of us getting stationed overseas, with all of the defense budget cuts taking place (at this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if the government starts asking Clay to pay for the privilege of serving his country), those opportunities are becoming more and more of a pipe dream. C’est la vie.
What has been the best kid-free vacation you’ve taken? I am totally open to suggestions!