Every now and then, we get the rare opportunity to go away for one night sans enfants. It’s a rare occasion. I have friends who get to go away for a week at a time. We are not this lucky as everyone who has mothers and fathers living in proximity to them. But we have had a few chances to get away on our own in the past year. I love traveling with the kids but I also love quality time just for us.
Last summer we dropped the kids off in Philadelphia with my sister and her husband and ran to Atlantic City. We booked a room in the Chelsea Hotel and had no idea what to expect. When we pulled up to the hotel, we realized we were staying in the trendiest hotel in town. No dice, no slots, no cards. Not your typical Atlantic City hotel which was fine with us. We were the oldest people in the lobby when we checked in and it stayed that way much of the weekend. We didn’t mind, however, it made us feel young and hip.
Our room was really modern. Flat screen TV’s, whirlpool bathtubs and an ipod dock are just some of the retro touches rooms at the Chelsea. It was also extremely comfortable.
The pools at the Chelsea are great. With two rooftop pool bars and the terrace lounge on the 5th floor, we were able to drink and watch guests dance in and out of the water night and day. It felt like we were in a MTV video.
The food at the hotel is really good, too. We dined atTeplitzky’s by the pool on the lower level for dinner and breakfast. They have a steak house on the top floor of the hotel, as well, but we’ll try that next time.
At night we ventured onto the boardwalk and into a few casinos. We actually won $300 playing roulette and left while we were ahead.
We had a great time – it was definitely not a weekend for kids and it was a great get-away for the two of us. By the way, the hotel has some amazing mid-week deals worth checking out here.
Another time, my mom came to visit from Atlanta and we went to Cold Spring, New York to stay at the Pig Hill Inn. Cold Spring has always been one of my favorite get-a-ways since I moved to New York. When I was single, I used to hop the train with friends and go for long hikes in the surrounding mountains. As a family, we often visit to take walks and go antiquing. The two of us needed some quiet time so we headed to this quaint little inn for one night. The decor at the Pig Hill is Victorian and offers a nice escape. It’s centrally located and we were able to walk to restaurants, antique shops and to the mountain trails. We walked through colorful leaves and majestic forests.
This past November, we went to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, not that far from Cold Spring. It was an experience I had longed to have since moving up north. It is the perfect place to slow down and think about life and the perfect getaway for a couple who never gets much time together.
When we entered the Mountain House, I was immediately struck by the impressive woodwork and old world feel and charm of the building. A walk through the main building leads to the outdoor covered porches that provide a stunning view of Lake Mohonk and the beautiful grounds and rock formations that rise from the edge of the lake.
A big highlight of my visit was the afternoon I spent at Mohonk’s spa. I put on a spa robe and slippers and entered the women’s veranda to await my facial, which was blissful. Afterward, I enjoyed time outside in the spa’s heated mineral pool and read a book in the window-walled solarium while I munched on grapes and sipped a pear elixir. I emerged feeling rejuvenated.
The morning of our visit we chose from a really long list of daily acitivities and decided to do a rock scramble/hike around the mountain house. We had a expert guide who led us on a 3-4 hour hike which challenged us all. His commentary was engaging.
The other activities at the hotel offered included boat rides, fitness classes, swimming, carriage rides, ice-skating and much more. Had we included the kids, they do offer a kid’s club and a whole slew of activities for them.
A few months ago, I celebrated my 40th birthday at the Four Seasons Aviara in San Diego. We dropped off our kids with close friends in Carlsbad and made our way to the Aviara for a peaceful 24 hours. It was exactly where I needed to be on this milestone birthday and was just what the doctor ordered.
We could see the hotel from the main roads. It’s perched high up on a hill. The drive up is dramatic, with dazzling views of the area and the Pacific Ocean. Like the rest of the city, the hotel’s architecture is Spanish colonial and is decorated exquisitely. Our lush room had a private balcony overlooking the pool area which is smothered in palm trees.
My best friend graciously bought me a facial for my birthday so I headed to the spa first. The treatment was perfect and I was glowing when it was all said and one. While in the spa, I partook in the jacuzzi and steam room.
We had champagne in the room and then headed to the lounge for dinner where there was live music. A highlight of our meal was when when a set of twins aged 3 came in to the dining room, walked up to the guitarist and started to ballroom dance. We loved their response at the end – a simple “Bravo!” Gotta get my own kids better cultured….
The next morning we woke up and went for a run down by the lagoon located around a golf course. We had a light breakfast overlooking the golf course. We ran back to the hotel, put on our bathing suits and ran to the pool for the warmest swim ever. We topped off our visit in the jacuzzi and decided life could not get any better.
When we returned to the kids, our son had a complete melt-down but I refused to let it get it to me. I had my time in the sun.
There is nothing as good as being with the kids except being without the kids, when it’s for a quick 24 hour period to revitalize and recharge your energy. I highly recommend it and am planning my next “without kids” trip in the back of my mind right now…