Single Mom Family Getaway: A Little Bit of Everything Made For The Perfect Trip
You know the drill. You have the highest hopes for your vacation. You pack the car with bathing suits and down jackets, soccer balls and kitten heels hoping to do it all in the 3 days you’ve stolen from the drudgery of everyday life (especially corona life) to get some me time. Then you come home with unpacked hiking boots and untouched books feeling a little bit like a failure. A little bit like you somehow wasted your vacation.
You told yourself to relax, not watch the clock, not be so strict about a schedule. It’s your time to unwind after all. But when you get there, you’re snapping at everyone to get out the door and enjoy themselves (god damnit) and you return as stressed and tired as when you left.
You actually come home feeling like you need a vacation. How messed up is that?
How did this happen?
Though my plan was loose and I was bringing 2 six year olds into the wilderness by myself with no partner and no help, I’m convinced the reason why we had an amazing little getaway this past week was because we did a little bit of everything from our packing list and got all of our pressure points activated. Instead of sleepwalking through the days, we stayed alert to the time and got the most out of it. Here’s what we did:
We Took Peaceful Morning Walks
Before breakfast, we walked our dog up a mountain road and stopped in a clearing to watch and listen as a breeze combed through the undercarriage of every tree at once releasing leaves in a cascade of light clapping sounds.
I brought bacon and eggs and yogurt and granola and made breakfasts for us while my kids played in the cabin’s loft with a window overlooking a creek. They got their free playtime and I got quiet time cooking for us before we started our day.
We Made Time for Challenges
The campgrounds boasted several trails but all of them were marked moderate to strenuous other than a walk around the campground past tents and people.
We found a way to do half of a more adventurous trail by skipping the part where we’d traverse roaring creeks and instead made our way through underbrush to go see a waterfall deep in a forest.
I’m not going to lie. I was scared the whole time but we did it.
We Stayed Connected to Our Environment
There were no two well-placed trees near our cabin to hang up the hammock but when we went down to a watering hole after our hike before dinner, instead of standing there just waiting for them to be done and not relaxing myself, I found a spot nearby to hang the hammock and watch as they splashed around giggling at the darting fish with lifejackets on still getting a little time to rest and appreciate them with a bit of distance.
We Spent Quality Time At The Most Scenic Spots
We drove to the highest mountain east of the Mississippi and didn’t just park and look nor did I drag two six year olds into a strenuous 5 mile trek. We found a pristine mile-long nature loop and marveled at the lichen and algae of the forest floor and the ancient fallen trees.
We visited a 90 foot winding waterfall, albeit full of tourists and we left our masks in the car, but it was pretty breathtaking and an immensely satisfying way to end our trip.
Baseball Practice, S’mores, and Downtime
What else is in the trunk? We used our toys! In our down time, we did things like take the foam bat and ball and went outside and did some ‘batting practice’. We had to go to Walmart to get some supplies at one point. Yuck but necessary. We sometimes were fully absorbed for hours like a hike and other times we did things for an hour then stopped but we made sure not to sit and scroll phones or stand in in-decision for 40 minutes.
By the time we left, we’d ticked basically all the boxes of a weekend away with plenty of nothing time. We even watched a stupid tv show the last night before bed and after s’mores. I didn’t end up writing but I had time alone to just breathe while they played or look up at the trees and think about how I was doing this all alone and it was more than okay.
A year ago I went camping with my ex-boyfriend and his kid and without getting into details, it was a pretty scary. I was so hell-bent that I needed a man, a partner to go into the woods with, but now realize I do not unless that human is 100% additive and positive — and that the company of my kids, the testing and trying and sampling was just what we all needed to refresh in a trying time and reset for Coronatimes chapter II.