Okay, all this “my kids had so much fun in Aruba” talk is nice and all, but now it’s time to talk about the night we abandoned them to the feral iguanas and had a grown-ups’ night out.
Fine. I made up one part of that sentence.
But seriously. A NIGHT OUT. ALONE. The holy grail of family vacations. Especially family vacations that involve stuff like airports and airplanes and one shared hotel bathroom.
(DEAR WESTIN HOUSEKEEPING: I AM SORRY. MY SONS ARE ANIMALS WITH TERRIBLE AIM.)
The Westin Kids Club offers a Parents’ Night Off on Thursdays, where kids get a movie and pizza dinner while Mom and Dad can like, table-dance in the lobby bar or whatever, but 1) our trip did not include a Thursday, and 2) it’s limited to ages 4 and up anyway. Never mind! So we arrived assuming we’d be on 24-hour parent patrol duty the whole time.
But behold! Ask and ye shall receive. At the merest mention of our desire for some alone time — and the chance to eat at Azull, the Westin Aruba’s special sunset-on-the-beach-for-two restaurant — the concierge and Kids’ Club team had us lined up with both a last-minute reservation AND a wonderful in-room nanny for the night.
(Disclosure: Our dinner was comped as part of the Babble sponsorship; we paid for the nanny ourselves, around $22 an hour for three children.)
As you can gather from this photo round-up, my kids played hard all day and were pretty much zonked by dinnertime. (And note that our “dinnertime” was usually happening around 5 or 6 pm, about as early as we could manage, and yet their little heads were still hitting the table before dessert.) So I really didn’t feel too guilty about leaving them to a night of room service and Nickelodeon. They’d be asleep most of the time, honestly. Plus I admit I don’t really have that trait or gene or whatever it is that makes some parents uneasy about using new babysitters. I’m more like: BYE KIDS I’LL BE HOME LATER-ISH LOVE YOU BUT DEAR GOD DON’T DO ANYTHING THAT WILL REQUIRE A PHONE CALL TONIGHT, OKAY?
(Turns out the nanny was also well-versed in the LEGO Ninjago universe, thus immediately earning my children’s admiration and trust. She was a professional, full-time nanny from a local agency and was really fantastic.)
And so we ate a glorious dinner (Aruban seafood chowder, surf and turf, some ridiculous chocolate concoction for dessert) out on the sand. A little windy before the sun went down (we did lose one glass of champagne which was promptly replaced), but then…the sun went down. And the night was ours.
For a couple hours, anyway.
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