Traveling

Smart Travel: The Weekend Getaway

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Guest Poster: Smarty Pants Dada

I guess about a year and a half ago, our family started doing weekend getaways.  It was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

As a dad who works all week it is nice to get away from home for the weekend.  It doesn’t have to be extravagant to be perfect.  Our family getaways have run the gambit, from going to Disney and staying at the Grand Floridian to hitting the Florida Keys at a random Holiday Inn in Key Largo.  Although quite different in both experience and price tag, both hit the spot after an arduous work week.  Getting away with the wife and kids for these mini vacations gives me an opportunity to spend quality time with both, without having to worry about the grass being mowed or fixing whatever broke most recently.  Now don’t get me wrong this is not an every weekend occurrence, if it was I would probably have to buy a goat and leave it in the yard to take care of the grass.  However, we do try to do something once a month.  The key word above is try and sometimes other things come up and it is not possible to get away. Sometimes the bank account dictates that we hold off a little while, while sometimes there are no issues and off we go.

The key to a successful weekend getaway is to plan something that your entire family will enjoy.  For us with a preschooler, the beach is a great getaway.  Recently we packed up and drove across the state to Naples, FL.  Living in Miami some of you may think I am crazy for driving 2 hours to go to the beach when there is one just minutes away.  Let me tell you, the atmosphere on the Gulf Coast of Florida is completely different than the Atlantic Coast.  It is much more laid back and life just seems to float by.  Plus as nice as sunrise may be coming up over the water, nothing beats the sunset over the ocean.  It almost looks like the sun just gets put out in the waves, nothing short of breathtaking.  Plus, the Gulf tends to be much calmer than the ocean, making swimming with a child easier.  She can do so many more things on her own without needing help.  The smile on her face when she jumps over a “wave” is amazing.

On our most recent trip we stayed at the Naples Grande Beach Resort.  It had a great pool for the kids with a medium size slide that our munchkin, after her initial fear, fell in love with.  Standing at the bottom of the slide catching her as she came out and seeing the ear to ear grin made my day, perhaps more than it made her day to go down over and over again.  A short golf cart ride away the gleaming white sand of the beach.  As I mentioned earlier the water was quite calm allowing our munchkin to wade in all by herself, Smarty Pants Dada kept a watchful eye at all times of course.  The resort also has a kids club, to be honest we didn’t use this feature, but it seems like a great idea so parents can get some alone time in.  Being this was a weekend trip for us, spending time as a family was paramount.

I got to spend quality time with my wife (Smarty Pants Mama) talking about nothing in particular, relaxing on our beach chairs, or holding each other in the water.  All the while, playing with our munchkin.  I’m not sure if this is perfect for everyone but it sure is for me.  If something like this is not right for you, let me know what is!  We are always looking for new ideas for our next little adventure!

Until Next Time-

Smarty Pants Papa

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8 comments

  1. martha 3 August, 2010 at 10:34 Reply

    I’ve talked to my husband about doing the same thing. We do try to get away as much as possible. We just have to wait until he is done with his master’s next spring to get away more often. I did convince him to go away next week to the Keys. Which will probably be the last time we can just get up and leave because our oldest is about to start school at the end of the month.
    Naples is definitely one of our favorite places to go. There is nothing like watching a beautiful sunset on the beach.

  2. Yankee Belle 3 August, 2010 at 12:01 Reply

    Breaking away from the usual is always fun. Daddy being involved makes it extra special! Kudos on making lifetime memories.

  3. Rosemary 3 August, 2010 at 15:03 Reply

    Just the getting out of the house is important. In house means house jobs that always need to be done. When my girls were little we went into DC a lot. We always brought a bunch of sandwiches and had picnics wherever. We also did lots of hikes. The point is it can cost no money (some gas money) and can still have serious family time.

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