Trip for Two

We finally did it. It took 17 months, but Dave and I finally got away just the two of us. Originally the plan was to book a big house in Hawaii and go with several other families but it didn't pan out. With how squirmy the boys are at this age, we decided that we'd avoid taking them on the plane as much as we could, and therefore would wait until Florida. Dave and I still wanted to get away and September worked great for many reasons -- kids are back in school so it's generally a better time to travel, it's always nice to take a trip around my birthday and we felt that the boys were finally at a stage where they're somewhat manageable to those who aren't with them all the time. They don't need to be shadowed so much at the park, are fairly independent, are eating and sleeping well; now was as good of a time as any.

So Dave and I decided we'd do our first trip away from the boys, though each of us has been away separately, we've never both been away from them before.  We felt good about it, especially since W&G would be spoiled by both grandmas all week, while still having the routine with Jessica each evening. We decided to go Monday to Friday, just four nights away, so that Dave could have time with them before and after the trip before having to go back to work. I'll do a separate post on the boys' adventure (spoiler: they did great and had so much fun with the grandmas!); this is all about our week.

Really the trip came up pretty fast, though I knew it was coming, I was so busy with various stuff that I didn't really have much time to think about it, let alone plan. Yes, you heard me right, I did about zero planning for the trip. In fact, I called the hotel concierge several days before we departed to see if there was anything I needed to set up, but in the end, once we stepped on property, we realized we didn't want to leave.

We flew out around 10am on Monday morning, easy flight. I watched 2 movies on the plane (The Fault of Our Stars, yes I was crying by the end, and The Other Woman which was entertaining enough). I started a book and before I knew it, we had arrived.

Once we got to the hotel, vacation officially started. We decided since this was the first trip away for so long, and it was going to fairly short, that we wanted to do it right, so we chose The Four Seasons resort on the Big Island. Ah-maz-ing.

Despite my tendency to recap every moment, for such a relaxing trip, I don't think that's necessary. Basically we lounged by the pool (where they come by and clean your sunglasses, will charge your iphone for you, bring you sunscreen or aloe, fresh fruit in the morning and homemade alcohol-popsicles in the afternoon, etc., etc.), swam in the ocean and dined at the resort's restaurants, where the food was excellent every time.

Some additional highlights:
  • We loved our room. I spent a lot of time on the phone with the res lady before deciding on the room. We went with the Ocean Front room and it didn't disappoint. It was so centrally-located to everything on property and had a great little pod we could relax in, not to mention, a private outdoor shower in the back.

  • Spa day with Ashley. Ashley and her family ended up booking her last minute for a trip for their anniversary (she had no idea Dave and I were staying here so it was a fun coincidence!) After the guys played golf in the morning, we got away in the afternoon for a spa treatment, relaxed by their serene spa river and did the sauna, steam, plunge pool.

  • Dinner with Ryan and Ashley at Merriman's. I was so excited to dine here after my friend told me is it THE spot to eat at on the Big Island, but totally disappointed when they called me a few weeks later and told me they were going to be closed for renovations. Well, apparently their plans changed and I only found out when Ryan said he had a reservation for us there. We had such a fun night and the food lived up to the hype.
  • Meeting Rob Thomas (again). Dave is great at spotting any celebs, especially from the music world, so on the third day of our trip, Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20) and his wife sat in the lounge chairs next to us. I told Dave that I actually got his autograph after a concert when I was 17. Of course we wouldn't say anything to him, but then when we were talking to the concierge immediately after the pool, they ended up waiting right behind us to talk to the concierge. Dave saw the opportunity and went for it, telling them my story about the autograph. Mortifying. They were so nice, introduced themselves, etc. Then we continued to run into them for the res of the trip. At dinner, Rob was on his way to the bathroom and said hi, then on the way back, stopped by our table to see what we were having and how it was. The next day at the pool he told me he went with my recommendation and loved it. Dave was sure that if we had been staying any longer, we would have been dining with them ;)
  • Night Dive with the Manta Rays. We were in total relax mode and didn't even talk to the concierge to book the dive until about 1pm on the day we wanted to do it. It almost looked like we wouldn't be able to go when everything seemed to be booked, but luckily we finally tracked down a boat that had availability. We didn't have an underwater camera this time, but I'll never forget the experience. We were only 35ft down, crouching on the sea floor as manta rays swam, flipped and and even bumped my head. The head diver said the average manta ray count is usually 4 or 5, we had 20 that night! We watched them do their dance around us for about 45 minutes, so, so cool.
Manta Dive (photo source: The Book of Travel)
  •  Seems mundane, but reading 3 books in 5 days was an absolute dream and there's nothing better than reading while listening to the waves, the sun beating down on you, a drink in hand. Heaven!
It was so special to get away just the two of us and have no distractions.  It was a good week to go as many weeks I have 2-3 meetings to attend in the evenings and that particular week I didn't miss anything and it was easy to be away as far as limited emails coming in that needed attention, etc. Dave had one 2-hour call he had to take, but otherwise he was able to escape as well. While we of course missed the guys, we both agreed that one more night would have been great. Since this was our first time leaving them, I don't think we would've considered going any longer, but since everything went so well on both sides, we'd love to be able to do five nights next time.

Sad to leave Hawaii, but happy to see the dudes

Gotta end with my new favorite tumblr.

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