Well, my fantastic husband Josh just turned the big 3-0. Yup, he’s now 30 years old (this means we have been together exactly 1/3 of his life and even more of mine!) To celebrate, I took him on a surprise trip to New York for a long weekend alone. This was after much debate as I knew NY would be cold in November (turns out bone chillingly cold) and I know Josh’s ideal vacation is to lie on the beach in the sun. BUT, I also know he is an ocean snob, the Atlantic is pretty much a no go, and we were already on the west coast once this year. But one thing I do know is, he loves the Gulf of Mexico. So when I started planning this trip in early summer (yes, I know, but I’m a planner) the gulf was going to be it. Then, BP happened.
And I panicked.
So, I threw in the towel on that idea, unsure if the beaches would be sparkling or sticky come early November and changed plans completely. I decided it had to be New York. We had been there before and in my opinion the trip was miserable. We stayed with one of Josh’s friends in his smelly Brooklyn apartment that he shared with, 4? 5? 6? other people. Gross. Anyway, that trip had some fun moments but for the most part, we needed a re-do. I knew the city had more to offer than my bad memories. So off we went.
Well, it wasn’t quite that easy. First we had to leave behind Wes.
Who is this Wes you ask? Only the most amazing, brilliant, hilarious, charming little kid you’ve ever met…In other words, our son. And let me tell you this was hard.
This was the real present to Josh, my real sacrifice. The “alone” part of the long weekend alone. This kid is like an extra appendage to me. An appendage that can sleep in the other room, but that’s about as far away as he gets. In his 2 years and 3 months of life I have never spent a single night away from him. Sure, I work and we go out alone, but never over night. Never have I been STATES away from him. But, at some point you have to cut the cord, right? At least that’s what I kept telling myself. Or tried to. Besides, I am pregnant again and who knows when the next opportunity for a vacation alone for just Josh and I would present itself?
So, I decided I could do this, for Josh. Plans were made, flights booked. Wes would be staying at our house and my sister Abby would be staying there to watch over him. I couldn’t have done it without her. She has been there for Wes since the day he was born. She knows him inside and out. She has arranged her schedule to watch him one day a week since he was born and sees him at least another 2 on top of that. She would do anything for this kid. I like to call it tri-parenting.
Anyway, she’s the best. obviously. (Also, she had the added task of feeding and caring for our two animals, one of which has breath akin to the penguin exhibit at the zoo)
So off we went to New York, and let me tell you, this trip was anything but smelly. We ate ourselves silly at the finest restaurants New York has to offer. Eric Ripert made us lunch…ERIC RIPERT, people! We stayed out late, saw shows at the Comedy Cellar and UCB. We saw great works of art at the MET, we saw Elizabeth Banks shooting a movie on the ledge of the roof of the Roosevelt Hotel. (Ok, so we could only tell it was her if we looked through our telephoto camera lens). We ate chocolates and saw a movie. We explored the west village, east village, and saw the set of SNL. It was awesome.
I couldn’t wait to get home…
Alright, I’m exaggerating. The time away with Josh was really great and much needed. But, I can’t compete with those New York ladies. They somehow managed to look stunning in 30 degree weather with whipping winds and a side of hail. I have no idea how they do it. I had to listen to conversations over brunch where people used words like “dreadful” in normal conversation. In other words, it wasn’t reality. At least it’s not mine.
So when Monday rolled around and we found ourselves headed back home to Akron I couldn’t wait to get there. We arrived after midnight and Wes was already fast asleep. We chatted with Abby for a few minutes and soon she was headed home herself. I crept up the stairs and into my sleeping son’s room. He looked like a perfect angel, all rosy cheeked and warm in his bed.
I slipped my arms around him and carefully carried him into our room to sleep with us. Josh and I lay there with him between us and looking down at our perfect little creation I thought to myself, this is the life. Vacations are great and it’s fun to get away for a little while, but there really is no place like home. You can keep all the fashion, money and great restaurants, New York’s got nothing on this kid.