Somehow we’ve been married 5 years this year….I’m not quite sure where that time has gone, but gone it has! Anyway because of that fact, the husband and I felt it was only right we book a trip away just the two of us (because we needed an excuse!) With grandparents and friends kindly on board to look after the kids, it was just down to us to pick a place to go.
It turns out when given the chance to go away, kid-free and not in school holidays, its really hard to decide where to go! We wanted to make sure we maximised our time away whilst also getting the chance to relax. After hours of trawling package holidays on TUI, Thomas Cook etc. we actually had a cheeky look on the Virgin website – after all we seem to have been collecting air miles for an eternity! Our very good friends moved to the States a couple of years ago and as fate would have it, Delta (and Virgin) had just started selling their first direct flights to Portland. We could use some of those magical air miles to get us there! And almost as quickly as that, we decided to go on an adventure, not just up the road without our children, but 5000 miles away!! (I’m not quite sure I appreciated that at the time of booking!)
The trip finally came round and after spending a couple of hours writing cheat sheets on how to look after the girls (I don’t know who I thought I was kidding!?) we jetted off on our flight to Portland.
First up….the flight itself. Well its been a long time since I’ve flown a) without kids or b) without being pregnant so it was actually a really enjoyable flight! I proudly watched 9 films if you count both legs of the journey, as well as getting a good old nap in too! I also love airplane food…someone has to and that someone is me! Its one of the things I look forward to most when I travel, because I really am that sad and love the fact that it all comes in separate little containers and on a tray…..as I said, I really am that sad!! I try to kid myself that its just my subconscious reminding me that if I’m eating airplane food then there’s at least a 50% chance I’m going someone on holiday, but let’s face it, that’s not really why!
Once we had arrived, it started to set in that there is in fact a rather large time difference between the UK and the West Coast of America – 8 hours to be exact. This meant it was actually quite difficult to keep in contact with home whilst we were away as generally as we were going to bed, the girls were getting up and vice versa. Despite this, and with the wonder that is the internet, we managed to FaceTime the girls a couple of times which generally made me feel a bit better.
Without going into too much detail, we had an absolutely incredible time. Should you ever get the chance to go to Portland, or even Oregon, definitely make the trip. It is one of the most beautiful places that I’ve visited which came as a real surprise to me. We managed to take in trips to the coast, snowy mountains, forests, lakes and waterfalls as well as do a spot of shopping and generally relax with our friends. It’s not often that we’ve got to hang out with them since they moved so more than anything we were so glad to get the chance to do that. We’re already thinking about our return trip when we brave taking both girls on a long haul flight!
However, what I came away with more than anything from this trip was the fact that I am a very different person to who I was 5 years ago when we got married. Not in the personality sense of different – in fact, in lots of ways I have very much stayed the same. But in the sense that I have very different priorities nowadays. Gone are the days where I could spend a whole day by a pool reading a book (I’m sure I’d soldier on through it but…) I struggled in those quiet moments when at home the girls would have naturally filled my time; I felt as if I was constantly forgetting something, only to realise that I wasn’t having to sort out 2 children as well as myself; I realised that I’m not used to having to entertain myself anymore! We had the best time away, and we both felt really revitalised as adults when we got home (in spite of the jet lag!), but I think we both under-estimated just how much we would miss our two little monkeys. I’m sure we will take trips away just as us, without the kids, but I also remembered just how incredibly lucky we are to be on this adventure with our two girls. They actually bring a lot to the party and I can’t wait to show them this huge exciting world we live in. And on that note, bring on the family holiday to Portugal next month!!
Have you taken a trip without the kids? Is it something that is important to you as a couple? How else do you make time for you and your partner as adults rather than Mum and Dad? Let me know – I’d love to hear your thoughts!