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.