Private getaway without the kids
You don't need a holiday or special occasion to focus your attention on doing something special for one special someone: your life partner.
You should consider a gift that will benefit you both. No, not sexy lingerie, unless you want to throw it in as an added bonus. I'm talking about a weekend getaway. Now is the ideal time to start planning at least one no-kids trip this year.
Bed and breakfast inns offer intimacy
Don't think too much about where to go on your couple-only getaway. Instead, concentrate on where to stay. Regardless of whether you head out to the coast, up to the mountains or just down the street, one of the most romantic places to stay is in a bed-and-breakfast, otherwise known as a B & B.
"I love the intimacy of a B & B. There's none of the sterile feelings of a motel,' said Robin, writer and mother to one three-year-old son. "A bed with a down comforter, heated mattress pad - which you need on the coast - too sweet and romantic for words!"
Silvana, a writer with two children from Northern California, said she and her husband chose to stay in a B & B in the wine country of California¹s Napa Valley because of the romantic atmosphere.
"The surroundings were beautiful, and since we were only staying one night, we wanted luxury and a more personal touch than a hotel can give," she said.
Robin and her husband, Tomas, have stayed in a few B & Bs, but not since their son was born. In fact, that was a common refrain among the people I interviewed.
It wasn't because they didn¹t enjoy themselves. On the contrary, they all recounted very positive experiences. Judith, a mother of five and a writer from Utah said she¹d absolutely stay in a B & B again.
"Our 15th wedding anniversary is this year," Judith said. "We aren't in a position to leave our children more than one night, but I'm hoping to find a B & B in our area."
Reconnect as a couple
Judith and her husband have the right idea. Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have to take your kids everywhere you go. It's time to hit up the grandparents or aunts and uncles to spend some time with your children. Or trade off with close friends, asking them to watch your kids in May in exchange for watching theirs in August.
Without the kids along to distract you, you have the time and inclination to reconnect as a couple. You can reminisce about what it was like B.K. (before kids), and create new memories to keep you going through the daily routines of sleepless nights and diaper changes, or soccer practices and ballet lessons.
"The first room was amazing," Robin recounted about her stay in Mendocino, California. "It had an antique bed, and a secret passage behind a bookcase from the kitchen where the staff would sneak in to bring breakfast."
Judith remembered how quiet and personal it was at the central Texas B & B where she stayed. "We could sit on the porch and enjoy wine, cheese and fruit that were provided in the late afternoon. There wasn't the bustle of a hotel. The room was not large, but that was not an issue as there was a wonderful sitting room and porch to use during the day. It was very cozy."
Splurge and enjoy all the amenities
Some of the differences between staying in a B & B and staying in a hotel might be considered disadvantages. For instance, Robin wasn't thrilled about sharing a bathroom in one of the B & Bs, and Silvana had this to say, "You almost feel like you are a guest in someone's home, rather than a person purchasing a product. I felt the need to leave things extra neat, worried a bit about making noise, and felt a lack of privacy."
The main reason cited for not patronizing B & Bs more often, however, was price. But, as a gift to yourself and your significant other, you should splurge to take advantage of all the benefits a B & B has to offer.
Imagine an antique four-poster bed with a lacy coverlet and matching curtains. Envision a private room with a view of the gardens and fountain outside, treated inside to rooms filled with fresh flowers, home-cooked gourmet meals and a claw-foot tub, which you can luxuriate in together.
"With kids, you need to stay in an impersonal hotel," Silvana said, "but when you are alone and want a quiet retreat, a B & B is a nice place to stay."
Locating a B & B
Here are some links you can use to find the perfect bed and breakfast for your inimate weekend getaway:
Canada's complete bed and breakfast web server.
International Bed and Breakfast & Inns
Worldwide directory containing 1,400 bed & breakfasts, inns, hotels, cottages, vacation rentals.
South Australia Bed & Breakfast Town and Country
Over 200 unique accommodation options are offered on this site.
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