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The Babymoon

Ashley Fraxedas

30w1d- Jason and I have always wanted to take a babymoon. One last hurrah before two becomes three. And then all the sudden 30 weeks had passed. It was Thursday night and we realized — If we don’t leave tomorrow for the weekend, we aren’t going anywhere until after the baby. Oh how time flies when you’re making a human.

 It hit us like a ton of bricks. We only have 10 weeks left! (And possibly less — if she’s a gun jumper like me, she’s coming early.) The next two weekends are filled with baby showers, thanks to awesome friends and family. The following weekend we already paid for a childbirth class. Then it’s Easter and then I’m 35 weeks. My doctor, who is very nonchalant and easy going about most things, has pretty much told me not to travel after 35 weeks. (Maybe he knows something that I don’t…)

 Did I mention that it was also our 3-year anniversary?

 So I furiously jumped on Priceline to bid on a hotel room near Sarasota, Florida, one of our favorite places to run away to for a weekend. It’s just a two-and-a-half hour drive, has perfect beaches, amazing restaurants and is just an all-around beautiful place. Never crowded. Lots of character. Not sure why we don’t live there… Normally, I dominate William Shatner (Priceline’s spokesman), and have been known to get 5-star resorts for a quarter of their rack rate. But of course, when I’m pressed for time, good ‘ole Bill totally failed me with his negotiating skills. Even crappy hotels were booked and/or more than $300 a night!

 Pretty much everything seemed to be rooting against us going on this trip. Even if we did find a reasonable room, the forecast had sad-faced lightning bolts projected for both Saturday and Sunday. But I was bound and determined to make this happen, rain or shine, rip off or not.

 I ended up finding and booking a wonderful hotel on the bay in downtown Sarasota, just about 5 minutes from the beach. Jason and I both had crazy busy days Friday. But once we got in the car together, everything fell into place. Sure, we hit terrible traffic (why can’t people drive in the rain?!). But we were together and we were going on an adventure. I felt great.

 We went to a nice dinner in St. Armand’s Circle Friday night, talked about how ridiculously excited we are to meet our daughter and then passed out pretty early. Poor Jason had so much going on at work that I was just so happy to see him get to relax and get a really solid night’s rest. We woke up Saturday feeling refreshed and happy. I even had my first dream about our daughter! I should have written it down when I first woke up because of course now I can’t remember it. But I do remember that she was super sweet, happy and healthy.

 We went to an awesome breakfast place, sat outside and talked about how ridiculously excited we are to meet our daughter. The food was amazing and the coffee just outstanding. But I started getting really nervous as I watched the morning sky get darker and darker. I couldn’t help but think this whole trip was centered around the beach and good weather. Luckily, I was completely distracted as an older couple talked to me about having kids. The greatest part about being obviously pregnant? Everyone wants to talk to you about it. “We have 4 kids. With our first, we went to Virginia Beach before the baby was born,” the husband said. “No, that was the second kid. For the first, we went to Miami,” the wife interjected. As they bantered back and forth, I realized rain or shine, this was one of those trips we’ll be talking about for as long as we live. “You’re right. It was Virginia Beach. Anyways, you look wonderful, and it only gets better from here. Look the sun is coming out,” the wife finished.

 The weather could not have been more perfect for the rest of the day. We went to the beach for a few hours, got some much-needed sun and talked about how ridiculously excited we are to meet our daughter. Jason even carved a sweet lounge chair into the sand to help my back. And when we realized we left our water in the hotel, Jason walked at least 2 miles (through the Sahara, as he recalls it) to get me a few cold waters (and a well-deserved beer for him).  I sat in my sand-lounge chair, reading the greatest book about raising confident girls and just took it all in. I even sported a bikini (gulp!). I figured I wouldn’t see anyone I knew :)

 The afternoon brought an awesome lunch, a great Gator basketball game at a beach bar (it was the SEC tournament), more talk about how ridiculously excited we are to meet our daughter, a killer nap and a beautiful sunset. We went to dinner, grabbed dessert and then watched a movie.

 It was the perfect day. It was simple, low-key, relaxing, fun. We didn’t need a fancy resort or expensive meals. We just needed to be together without anything else on our minds. We just needed it to be us.

 I’m so glad that we forced ourselves to take a babymoon. Don’t skip it. It might seem daunting or expensive or unnecessary or bad timing. But it’s a weekend that you and your significant other will always look back on with fond memories. It’s one of those, “Remember when we…” weekends.

 Did you take a babymoon? Where did you go? What’s one memory that you’ll always remember from it?

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