Last weekend was our annual marriage getaway. This is something Allen and I have done every spring for quite a number of years. If you don't take a time like this for your spouse, you are really missing out on something special. It is such a great way to connect in a deeper way and build those marriage bonds. Sometimes we just go and play for a few days or even a few weeks. (I would dare say every couple should spend some time without kids in Disney World. We had so much fun the year we did that.) Sometimes we use the time to strategize, plan and problem solve. And sometimes, like last week, we get some much needed rest and relaxation.
We usually have a tough time deciding where to spend our vacation. As of this time last week, we were still debating where to go. We were traveling with Winnie this year so that ruled out a lot of choices. Thursday night we at last booked a house at Deep Creek Lake. We live only a few hours away and have never been there. This is a terrible shame. We found it to be a fantastic getaway as a couple and I suspect our kids would love some time up there, too.
One catch in traveling on the East coast this time of year is the weather. It is so unpredictable. When we left home on Friday morning it was 85 degrees. When we got up Monday morning it was 39. In order to accommodate for cold, warm and rain, we end up packing more for a four day trip than we do for 3 weeks at the beach in the fall.
Elisabeth insisted Carmella use her princess suitcase. And she asked if she could pack. Ellie doesn't travel light to worship on Sunday morning, so you might imagine what she deems necessary for a four day getaway in the mountains. I gave her the clothes I insisted Winnie take and she folded and packed them. Then in went a boat load of toys and stuffed things. She was going to send Charlotte but I finally convinced her she might be lonely without her favorite pig.
Our kids are so great. We don't even worry about leaving them alone. We know that they will do well, stay out of trouble, take good care of each other and have the house clean when we get home. It is really such a blessing. They have come to have a lot of special fun when we are away and don't even seem to mind us leaving. So they all lined up to say goodbye.
Even the Winnie doll.
But they were really sad about Winnie going away without them. We managed to wrangle her away and get her into the car.
Well, okay. Something else did get her attention.
... she toppled herself right over.
When we turned the fan off, she went back to the bathroom tissue.
And we picked a sweet little bit for Carmella.
It was really a blessing, even though we would have enjoyed some outdoor activities. We have been going so hard for so long we needed the rest. We, all three, napped Saturday morning and afternoon. And Sunday afternoon, too. And we went to bed early. And Pa slept in.
In between we listened to the rain and watched it fall through the many windows.
I forgot about Carmella's second favorite plaything... the water bottle.
Afterwards, we stopped for another latte. It was the perfect morning to curl up with the paper and a honey vanilla latte in front of their huge fireplace. A funny little bit happened. Allen placed our order and then we had a seat. A few minutes later one of the employees came over to us and said, "Don't you want decaf?" I shook my head thinking she was just confirming. Then she explained that when Allen placed the order with another employee he didn't request decaf. However, the barrista had waited on us the two days prior and knew we usually ordered decaf. I am so particular about good service, a lacking thing these days. But this lovely lady wins the award for service, not to mention some kind of humanitarian award. I shudder to think of what might have happened if I had caffeine!
Here we were in the mountains, two hours from our home church. And yet, we were able to be part of the service. To me that is rather nifty in itself. But check this out. March is our missions month so many of our services have been preached by missionaries we support. This particular service was preached by a missionary from Pennsylvania that we support in his work to the people of Africa. So he was preaching via Skype from Botswana. Our church family watched on the projector and we watched Live streaming. Is it my small mind or does someone else find that very cool?
And that isn't even all. Our church's service ends at 6:30 Sunday night. We were able to join another church family we spend time with when we vacation down south via their podcast on the internet for their 7:00 service Sunday night. Technology has some good to it after all.
And of course there was a honey vanilla latte for the road.