The Last Hurrah

Sean and I went down to Palm Springs last weekend for a little last-minute R&R before the baby is scheduled to arrive in six weeks time. We wanted to get away, just the two of us, for a few days of not talking about the nursery or labor breathing or paternity leave, and to just enjoy hanging out with each other as a couple before we begin the rest of our lives together as a family. Yeah, I could call it a "babymoon," I guess, but then how could you ever take me seriously again? 

At eight and a half months pregnant, all I really wanted to do was float in a large body of water for the majority of the day, and that is exactly what I did. I didn't change out of my bikini for 48 hours and I went to bed with my hair smelling like sunscreen every night. I ate lime popsicles by the pool, read one and a half chick lit novels on a sun lounger, and spent the evenings watching the sun set over the mountains from the deck while my water-wrinkled fingers and toes slowly returned to non-prune status. 

After careful consideration and lots of research, I chose a hotel called the Del Marcos for our stay, mainly because the pictures online made me think I'd feel like Megan Draper while I was there, but also because I'd read that it was small, quiet, centrally located, included breakfast, and had really good bath products.

All of this turned out to be true, and as a bonus there was a water dispenser by the pool with cut-up oranges and limes in it. I am easily pleased, turns out, and an endless supply of ice-cold spa water in 105 degree heat will do it for me fairly easily. 

We both took Monday off work so we could make a long weekend of it, and that morning we drove out to Joshua Tree National Park. It was hot as blazes and yet we somehow decided that taking off the roof of the convertible we'd been persuaded into getting—did you know you could bargain at the rental car counter? We weren't even trying but the guy kept coming down lower and lower like he was selling us a fake Rolex from the back of his trunk—was a good idea. Something about feeling the wind in our hair or something? Not like our hair actually moved at all in the end, seeing as it was so glamorously plastered to our necks in the heat. 

The entire time we were away, we kept saying to each other "this is the last time we'll do this without Hamish!"—except sometimes we actually used his real name, which oh yes, we finally agreed upon this weekend! Never underestimate the power of a change of scenery to get those big-deal decisions made; it was like a corporate off-site without the trust falls!—and trying to imagine how different it would be to travel with a kid.

I mean, I know you can do it, of course—particularly at first, when they're about as portable and inert as hand luggage—but travel, like anything, is bound to be a different experience when you add a small child to the mix. And so we tried to make the most of our alone-ness, our just-us-ness, our freedom to devour entire books in the sunshine all day and head out to dinner at 9pm and take a late-night dip in the pool and rent a convertible without worrying about car seats, because things are going to change soon, and they're going to change completely. That new just-us is on the horizon and it's barreling towards us fast. 


This makes me so happy for you guys.

Jun 19, 2013

Lovely lovely shots and words, as always - We were just in PS about a month ago and had THE best time, we also really enjoyed the wind in our hair as well. Side comment: Is it just me, or has Sean been working out and getting giant Dad baseball-throwing type muscles? You look WEE and delicate next to him, a peice of lovely English china in that pretty dress! :) Can't wait for the next installment :)

Jun 19, 2013

That hotel lobby looks just like my grandparents place back in the 70's.
All the best for this exciting time in your lives.

Sarah Brown
Jun 19, 2013

I didn't realize these were also my qualifications for a hotel, or just vacation in general, until I read this post.

Just think how much Hamish will love these pictures one day.

Jun 19, 2013

Such a happy-making post. As usual, your writing makes everything wonderful. Also, I LOL'ed at the 'just like a corporate offsite' comment. So true!! Holidays make everything clearer.

Jun 19, 2013

I dont mean to sound creepy but I was thinking the exact same thing as MrsViolet in #2. Sean looks really... buff! All the stronger for holding babies, I guess :)

Jun 19, 2013

I'm so glad you two got to take this last trip together as not-yet-parents, and that you had a lovely time. The spa water by the pool sounds glorious, and the hotel is so pretty! Also, since other people said it I don't feel like a total creep saying Sean is hot. And you look gorgeous. And as a hardcore name nerd, I'm so excited you chose a real moniker for Hamish on your trip!!! I can't wait to hear it. Enjoy your last few weeks of anticipation/preparation/relaxation before his arrival!!

The Girl Who
Jun 19, 2013

You look beautiful, as per usual, but daaayummn - has Sean been working out? Can't wait to hear the real name!

Jun 19, 2013

The amazing thing is - you know how happy you are now? IT GETS EVEN BETTER! I'm so excited for you and looking forward to reading about your new life. : )

Jun 19, 2013

Hahahah great post, but Im so happy to see I am not as stalkerish as I thought, and that all I could think was Holy Crap! Seans arms just tripled in size!

Looks like a perfect place for a last getaway

Jun 19, 2013

Just remember, once you have (a) kid(s), it's no longer a vacation; it's a trip. Which is not to say it isn't fun; it's just not very relaxing. Good thing you had this last hurrah!

Jun 20, 2013

Add me to the list of 'holy crap, Sean is looking buff in a non-stalkery way' commenters. You look gorgeous and it looks like it was an awesome pre-Hamish break. Any chick lit recommendations from your one and a half books? Chick lit is my not-so-guilty pleasure :)

Anna Louisa
Jun 20, 2013

You in that last picture = every lady's hope for what they'll look like pregnant.

Jun 20, 2013

Holly, I know this is supposed to be all about you, the pregnancy, Hamish (I'm still voting for Hamish as the real name), and all, but...


Photo of your toes peeking over the horizon of planet Hamish - best pic EVER!

Jun 20, 2013

That hotel does look like the entire cast of that show should greet you in the lobby! Love! I'm so excited for you guys!

Jun 20, 2013

You look so lovely and happy and like every other person who commented on Sean- dang!

Jun 20, 2013

So traveling will be more...involved. But it's only super duper involved for the first 2 years. Once you start sloughing off baby/toddler gear (strollers, pack n play, carriers, diapers, ahhhhh!) it's like someone lifting the world off Atlas's shoulders. Round the same time, baby begins his ability to reason slightly and move without being carried. My point is, traveling will never be the same but the benefits are priceless and after that much change, the return to "easier" is appreciated just that much more. Congrats and welcome to the other side!

Jun 20, 2013

omg! What´s the name?! :D

Jun 20, 2013

Just a lovely, lovely post.

Jun 20, 2013

Awwww, you guys -- such kind words, thank you. Sean will be thrilled to hear that his efforts at the gym are apparently paying off!

Jo: I read The Mystery of Mercy Close by Marian Keyes, an Irish writer (all her books are nice light, enjoyable reads!) and half of the new Jennifer Weiner one (can't even remember what it's called, but probably has a pair of pink shoes on the front), which is just sort of eh so far, but passes the time adequately.

Jun 20, 2013

This is fantastic. One last trip before adding someone with needs they can't meet themselves into the mix is so wise. I was nervous about traveling after we had kids, and while our first trip had a few bumps as we figured things out, I can say that I honestly adore traveling with my family. Lots of things are harder, but lots of things are better, too. I just took both of my girls, ages 6 and 16 months to New York City, and I can't wait for the next trip we take together. I think you will love traveling with Hamish.

Jun 20, 2013

That toe picture is my favorite picture of all time. I thought the baby's name was Hamish! (And yes, what Marcheline said about the guns. )

Jun 20, 2013

Thank you! I love Marian Keyes and didn't realise she had a new book out so will hunt it out immediately :)

Jun 20, 2013

These are lovely pictures and make me regret not taking a weekend away to Charleston back in April as we had planned. Maybe we would have decided on a name if we had done that!

Maybe you'll be like me 6 weeks from now...still wanting nothing more than to be floating in a pool because now you know it's "any day now" baby will be arriving and suddenly it got very very real. :) Cannot wait to hear how it all goes for you, I cannot believe it's coming so quickly!

Margaret M
Jun 20, 2013

I live 5 minutes from JTNP! My husband and I like to drive through at least once a week, take some pictures, and have a picnic with the kids. Glad you enjoyed your last hurrah!

Pretzel Thief
Jun 20, 2013

Hahahah, I had the same sort of thoughts à la the other commenters, i.e. "Hot DAAAAMN the guns on Sean...!" But seriously, dude's workout has been paying off big time, hee!

You look beautiful and glowing (I know everyone says "glowing" for pregnant women and the overuse probably induces eyerolls, but you ARE glowing and I'm not just saying it), and I'm rapt you guys got to go on this trip BECAUSE DUH.

So excited for you guys!

Jun 20, 2013

I've said it before, and I will say it again: your writing is just... the reason I love to read. Period. I gobble up every word you write, often over and over again.

I also can't help but think of Hamish one day, albeit quite enviously, as he gets to read these wonderful pieces that so perfectly capture your life, thoughts, hopes and fears while pregnant with him. What a gift. So happy for you and Sean and so glad for the tidbits of this journey that you choose to share.

Jun 20, 2013

Gorgeous!! thank you for sharing your delightful pics! Holly - where on earth is that fabulous dress from in the last pic? my bump will be just ready for a great dress like that by summer's end. I'm so at a loss for what to wear these days. You look darling. I hope you are feeling well (and peeing less). Best wishes!!

Jun 20, 2013

The thing about traveling post-baby: it IS different, but I think (I hope) that you'll be pleasantly surprised by it being less difficult than you anticipated. You'll mostly just find that you now have two different travel "bucket lists". There's the "Family Trips" list and the "Grandma Baby-sits While We Go Away and Try Not to Spend the Whole Time Talking About the Baby" list.
My son is 15 months old and we have done way more travel than I anticipated. We've done road trips and plane trips. Nothing international yet, but we counted the other day and realized the little guy has already been to 13 different states plus DC. Not bad for someone who doesn't even talk yet!
If you want travel to continue to be a priority, you will figure out how to make it work. True, it involves a lot more schlepping of stuff and tiptoeing around hotel rooms trying not to bang into mini cribs, but it's still good.

I love watching your pregnancy progress, and I can't wait to "meet" Hamish (and learn his real name!) soon.

Jun 20, 2013

You look adorable and I love the belly/toe picture! The white & blue dress is great too, is it maternity?

I love Marian Keyes (especially the Walsh family books), but I once made the mistake of taking "This Charming Man" on a tropical vacation and it was not nearly as lighthearted & easy to read as her others- just to warn anyone picking out a Marian Keyes beach read!

Nothing But Bonfires
Jun 20, 2013

Okay, I know it's probably the hormones, but you all are making me cry! Particularly you, Mia! Stop!

Lindsay: The dress is from Old Navy. It's this one and it's on sale! I also have it in plain black and I wear both constantly. Just go with your regular pre-pregnancy Old Navy size.

Sensibly sassy
Jun 20, 2013

Oh man, how I enjoy your writing.
I cannot wait to read what you write about being a "mum".

Jun 21, 2013

Umm Sean's physique sure looks different! He's supposed to get a bigger belly when you're pregnant....not biceps!

Jun 24, 2013

I am so excitedly happy for you two (three!), and this getaway, as a last hurrah or not, sounds absolutely perfect to me. Can't wait to "meet" Hamish and find out his name!

Jun 28, 2013

That´s hilarious. Just discovered your blog thanks to a german blogger who mentioned you. And living in Denmark, this is around a few corners to get to you. And how funny, we were at the Del Marcos last year on our big California tour and looooved the place. So nice to see pictures form there again, would go back in a heartbeat. Hooked on your blog already, nice summer holiday reading...

Oct 09, 2013

I love Palm Springs

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