Kids are not the only ones who need a break from the school routine. Today’s post is about empowering you with 11 Tips for an Unforgettable Couples Getaway. (because seriously parents, you both NEED IT and DESERVE IT!)
For the longest time, I didn’t realize how much we needed it. After all, Brian and I parent together, work together, cook meals together, go to church together, and he loves to add, “We also vacation together”. Needless to say, Brian and I are together a LOT! The only thing we don’t do is fly together! (We say it’s for the kids in case anything happened, but it’s really because I get upgraded all the time and feel guilty when I end up in First Class with a gin and tonic, and he is stuck in the back sitting in a middle seat.
As a result of all this near-constant time together, you would think we wouldn’t need to getaway together —especially with how much we travel for work, and yet we do. Or maybe you are the couple who rarely gets to see each other between work commutes and carpooling the kids. You need that unforgettable couples getaway TOO! Once you have found the dates to escape, follow these 11 tips to make it an unforgettable! (For all those photo lovers who want the camera details, every photo was shot with the SONY NEX 6 —best travel camera EVER!)
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1. Visualize Your Ideal Destination 1 of 11
When you think about your life right now, what type of location sounds the most refreshing? Napping poolside in the hot sun or walking the long stretches of the Oregon Coast? Take that image and then consider how much time you have to get away. Even though we knew the Oregon Coast often means tons of rain, with only two nights to spare, this seemed like the perfect solution for the vision of what we needed. Space to breathe, rest and exhale. (This was the view from our room. Breathtaking right?!)
2. Find Lodging that Fits Your Vision 2 of 11
There have been times when Brian and I didn't care much about the lodgings because we knew we were going to be out and about exploring most the time. But for this trip, we knew we needed a peaceful, restful, cozy lodging. There's nothing worse than being on vacation on the beach, getting to your hotel and finding yourself in utter horror. The type of horror that causes you to tell the kids to NOT take off their shoes EVER. That type of ocean lodging wouldn't do for this romantic getaway. There were three details that I was specifically searching for to determine the perfect lodging. 1) A fireplace was a MUST. The forecast said rain was coming, and a fireplace makes the rain romantic! 2) Cozy chairs to read by the fire — definite MUST (not the cheap, plastic furniture you see in so many hotels. 3) Lots of window light for when the rains came, not negotiable. The Ocean Lodge room in Cannon Beach had ALL three and way over exceeded our expectations!
3. Become Treasure Hunters 3 of 11
I LOVE treasure hunting through different vintage, antique stores. Even if we never find any thing to buy, conversations are always sparked by what catches our eye--like how the light illuminates colored glass.
4. Capture Your Love (with No One’s Help!) 4 of 11
Brian and I have the COOLEST camera app. We use it with our SONY NEX 6 to capture the two of us with no one's help. (That's how we captured the photo of us in the Ocean Lodge room.) You can see more fun photos and learn how to use this fun app on a post I wrote called "How to Use Your SmartPhone to SmartRemote your DSLR". In essence, this app allows you to see what your camera sees on your smartphone. And then you can take the photo with your smartphone. So you can set your camera anywhere, like at the table across from you. And since you don't feel rushed in asking someone to take the photo, you can take as many versions of your coffee time as you want! For real, it is sooooo fun. Techy husbands that tend to resist being in photos....ummm, they'll pretty much go crazy over this app. And you'll end up with the sweetest photos that you've been wanting (without having to pay a photographer to accompany you on your getaway! :)
5. Discover Something New Together 5 of 11
Carve out time during your getaway to discover something new. Anything new that you discover or learn breathes new life and energy into the joy of your marriage. Look through the local tourist guidebooks and magazines to see if there are any fun attractions nearby that can help make this happen. It can be any thing from a walk on the beach at low tide, to wandering through local galleries, to listening to an author talk about their newest book. For example, I never knew that Starfish pushed their center out when eating meals! What a sight to see!
6. Get Silly 6 of 11
Daily pressures, responsibilities, meals to make, bills to pay, ALL of it drains our ability to be silly. As you escape with your love, make sure you allow yourself to get silly, to make a scene, to do something unexpected to the other, to spin on the beach and try to take photos at the same time. Let the photos be blurred. Being exact and clear is such a big part of parenting. It's time to let life blur and silliness abound.
7. Be Intentional: Write a Mission Statement 7 of 11
I LOVE how the beautiful people behind the Happy Family Movement wrote a Manifesto — a mission statement for who and what they stand for as a family. So inspiring! Brian and I bought the book TOO because it gives you all these wonderful writing prompts on how to create something beautiful together. We spent some time working on our own Manifesto, and even though it's a work in progress. I LOVE that we are in progress.
8. Take Time to be the Tourist 8 of 11
I've been to Cannon Beach a handful of times, but I've never visited the popular Ecola State Park until this last trip. Sometimes my heart is longing for adventure, and other times I want the tourism board to tell me what I should do. If you're going to a place you've been to many times before, take time to look into a tourist attraction you haven't ever seen to make it feel like your first visit.
9. Make Sure You Splurge 9 of 11
Have you ever experienced a Japanese Foot Massage? OMG! After hiking around Ecola State Park, we decided to end our day by splurging on a foot massage. First time for us, but definitely not the last!
10. Discover New Perspectives 10 of 11
One of the things I love most about photography is that there is always another perspective that can be found. Finding a new perspective through the lens inspires me to find new perspective with other parts of my life. Whether you have a DSLR or smartphone, take time to do a photo walk together and capture things that catch your eye. But once you take the first shot or two, look for another perspective that you didn't see at first. Then share your photo results with each other! It's always fun to see how Brian and I can look at the same moss covered rocks, and yet shoot something totally different.
11. Fall in Love Again 11 of 11
Being intentional about taking time together, away from the kids, is all about falling in love again. Brian and I have been married for almost sixteen years, and I'm more in love with this guy than ever before. And yet, it's so easy to not see him in the craziness of life. It's so easy to take him for granted. Escaping together takes me back to when we first fell in love, before the kids, business, and bills. When we laughed easily, freely, and talked for hours. That's what an unforgettable escape is all about.
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13 Ways to Engage the Photographer in Your Kids (from Me Ra and her two kids!)