Last week Josh and I had the chance to do something we have NEVER done before...
we left all the children behind and headed on a trip, just the two of us!
I have never been away from my kids for more than a night or two at a time and usually that has been for girls camp or youth conference so it doesn't really count as a vacation.
So when my amazing mom (she really is incredible) offered to let us use some of their time share points for an exotic (ok, not really) getaway we jumped at the chance. Not only did she volunteer her time share points, she also volunteered to take our kids for the week (which is no small feat). Josh's parents were willing to watch the kids a couple of the days as well so we knew no one would end up dead, and that sounded good enough for us.
We booked a condo in St. George, packed up our stuff and headed on our very own personal adventure.
On the drive to very southern Utah we passed fires that were still burning in the mountains.
The kids would have loved to see that...but they were busy elsewhere and as much as we adore them we also adored their temporary absence.
Josh had come straight home from three days at youth conference (a pioneer trek in Wyoming) so he was exhausted during the drive. We had a it of trouble finding the place (there is construction in St. George at the moment so a bunch of the roads we needed were closed or demolished which made things interesting). After a call to my dad and some last minute instructions we managed to find the Villas at Southgate.
We walked up to our condo just after midnight and were greeted by two cockroaches and a toad on our doorstep. Josh smashed the cockroaches and I caught the toad (which was adorable, but I let it go). We entered our room to find this...
Yup, the seventies up and deserted their place in history to instead come and reside at a condo in St. George. We were not impressed, but it was late and we were tired so we decided to complain about it in the morning. I did a quick scan to check for signs of inside roaches (there were none the whole week which was a huge relief) and we went to bed.
By morning things looked much better. Everything was still sevenitesesque, but it was also comfortable and quaint and the kitchen was well equipped (more so than many condos we have stayed in). The pool area was beautiful (both the adult pool and the family pool...and we NEVER get to go to an adult only pool so we felt special), the ground were immaculate and we decided maybe we could like it here.
We spent our first day just sort of relaxing and getting into the "no children to worry about and manage every moment" mode. We walked, drove around the city to get a feel for it and just enjoyed the quiet of two people (versus eight). I spent some time on our balcony reading...
and the enjoyed a beautiful sunset out there as well.
Early in the week we went to the local strip mall to try to find a prize to take home to our children...but we came home very soon because Josh got sick. He spent the rest of the day just like this. Poor guy, he was pretty misearble and nothing I did seemed to help. He just needed to be able to rest.
I felt really bad for him, but then I felt bad for me too because it is no fun to be on a vacation for two when it suddenly morphs into a vacation for one. Sooooo, I wandered the nearby neighborhood which after a mini hike to the top of the development offered a very nice view of the city.
I hung out on the comfy retro couch and watched some tv (shows that included zero cartoon characters and even the occasional swear word which my children would never stand for).
|(Cactus covered in cockroaches....just kidding, they are bits of|
rock and leaves and stuff.)
I wandered around the grounds of the resort and tried to climb a really huge tree (only to find that I am not nearly as limber or nimble as I used to be and I bet I was pretty entertaining to watch if you happened to be looking out your window at that moment). I did not make it into the tree, so I sat under it which was not nearly as good, but it was better than nothing.
Also I read a book and cooked dinner for the two of us (did I mention that while shopping we accidentally bought WAAAY too much food because we only know how to shop for eight people, not two).
Thankfully, Josh soon felt better (I hate it when he is sick, poor guy) so we were able to have a great rest of our trip.
We spent one day in Zion National Park and LOOOOVED it. There are few activities that I love more than hiking. I wish we would have hiked to Angel's Landing (my field guide listed that as a very strenuous hike and I wasn't sure how out of shape these thirty somethings were so we didn't do it only to find out from friends later that it really isn't all that bad).
Instead we hiked to the Emerald Pools and we had a great time there. It was beautiful.
|Not an emerald pool, but still nice.|
|Me on a rock by the highest of the three pools.|
While we were there we found ponds stuffed with tadpoles in varying stages of transformation into frogs and we found another toad (a much larger one that was trying to camoflage itself into the crook of a boulder) and that made the think of my kidlets and how much fun they would have had there. So I missed them for a minute.
We wandered the canyon s'more and then headed back to the condo.
On the drive back I made Josh pull over and stop at this little beauty. What a wonderful thing. I wanted to add my shoes to its tendrils, but Josh frowned at me and I didn't really have any more shoes to replace them so I didn't. Sad. Josh was not nearly as impressed with this shoe tree as I was. Sometimes he can be too practical for his own good.
We visited the St. George temple and spent a few hours there doing temple work (what a great thing to do on vacation).
We also went to Cedar City to watch Les Miserables at the Shakespearean festival one night an another night we drove back to have dinner with some good friends (it was great to see the Nielsens again).
We spent a couple afternoons meandering through antique and consignment shops and met the cutest little guy at one of them (if you are ever in St. George you should stop at his place, Annie's Vintage Garden on 7 north main street). We found all kinds of treasures and came home with a couple inexpensive ones.
We swam in the pools, saw "Brave," took walks, took drives, chatted with locals, chatted with other visitors, explored the town square, found a Nielsen's Frozen Custard (which Josh grew up loving in Bountiful and I have learned to appreciate) and just had an amazing time together, just the two of us.
All too soon it was time to pack up and head for home (although, to be honest, we were excited to see our kids and sleep in our own bed again).
We packed up our stuff, kissed the place good bye and hit the road. Together. Just like always.
We had a great time together and I strongly recommend doing something like this if you haven't already (we've been married nearly 13 years and this is our first so I think maybe we are a little slow). It was wonderful and difficult to come home. I love being around my sweethearts but I didn't really miss their fighting and messes. However, I'm not sure I could have gone much longer without tucking them in at night and kissing their scrapes all better.
More than anything else it was incredible to spend an entire week with my best friend. It was so much fun to goof off together and snuggle on the couch together and hold hands while we walked everywhere. Josh is my perfect match. He is such a blessing in my life and it was wonderful to be able to be reminded all the little things that I adore about him that sometimes melt into the gaps of everyday life. I think I'll keep him around for a good long time...like maybe forever.
Anyway, two thumbs up for our St. George vacation. I hope we can do this again sometime.