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06.21.13 / Five Things

Last year was mine and HH’s tenth year wedding anniversary. We always thought we’d do something fun and new together to celebrate the big 1-0. Well, that fun new thing turned out to be the arrival of a surprise lil’ girl into our family. Don’t get me wrong. We’re head over heels for her and cannot imagine our lives without her but we weren’t able to seize the opportunity for a getaway anniversary celebration. Mabrey refused to take a bottle until she was almost ten months old. I was happy to breastfeed her until she was ready to wean and so our getaway was postponed.

Until now!

fontana lake

Next week, HH and I are headed to Bryson City, North Carolina for seven nights. WITHOUT KIDS. I am so excited but I have to say I am a little sad about leaving our boys and babygirl. They’ll be staying with grandparents and in good care so there’s really nothing for me to be worried about. An “adults only” vacation is unfamiliar to us. HH and I went away for three nights once when Everett was a baby and that’s it. Even before kids, we only went on one short vacay just the two of us. So, yeah, this is BIG. The mommy guilt has been plaguing me all week.

But HH and I desperately need some time together. He works long hours and travels frequently for work. On the weekends that he is home, he’s usually tackling a home improvement project while I watch over the kids. If you have littles, I’m sure you can relate to putting “us time” somewhere near “cleaning under the fridge” on the list of things to do. We’d really like to change this and this vacation is a start. Obviously, we can’t take weekly vacations {man, wouldn’t that be nice?} but we’ve talked about trying out monthly date nights for starters. We don’t want to be one of those couples who don’t know how to be together after the kids fly the coop.

We’re staying in a one-bedroom cabin in the mountains and, to be honest, I have no idea if it has wifi or not. That wasn’t a must-have. I may or may not be offline next week. Here are five things I will be doing:

*zip lining over the mountains on a two mile course {a first for me}

*white water rafting {another first}

*reading a book from start to finish {nowadays this rarely happens and if it does it takes me weeks or even months}

*eating locally {i.e., not cooking}

*mountain biking

And hangin’ out with my HH, of course. We’ve been to Bryson City, NC, once before. {You can read about that trip here and here.} It’s a great quiet place to just get away from everything. Phone coverage is spotty. The scenery is beautiful. Don’t worry. I’m taking my camera ;)

Tell me. Do you do kid-less vacations with your significant other? Or regular date nights? What do you do to keep the old flame burning?

image: City-Data



SO JEALOUS!!! We love Bryson City! It is such a beautiful area. Twice, my whole family (8 adults and 6 young children) have rented cabins in the mountains just outside Bryson City. You and HH will have the best time and this is a great time of year to go. We have done some great local hikes with great views. The Nanthala Outdoor Center is a fun, easy little stop. We also rented a pontoon boat once (to fit our entire crew) and went out on Lake Fontana. It was absolutely beautiful. There are also some great nearby towns that you can visit: Highlands (kind of a swanky area that a lot of people from Atlanta visit), Waynesville, and if you don’t mind a 90 minute drive, the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is amazing! That being said, I could easily spend a whole week in just the Bryson City area alone. You will have the best time and I know you will get some good relaxation in. Enjoy!


One thing I always did (until this year) when being away from my kids was feel guilty if I wasn’t missing them every moment. What I finally learned this year, and it applies to so many things in life, is that my feeling guilty or sad actually does nothing except make me feel bad, it doesn’t do anything for them at all, so what’s the point of feeling that way. I now resolve to always live in the moment and enjoy the person in front of me. This is all a long and complicated way of saying have fun, don’t have an ounce of guilt (or if you must, wallow for a minute and then move on) and don’t worry about your kids!


We took our first “adult” weekend last weekend and it was wonderful! My oldest is 3 and this was our first time being without either kid in tow. It was two wonderful days and nights where we were focused on each other. We definitely found it rewarding to spend alone time and have vowed to do it again sooner this time (not 8 years later!). Enjoy your time!


We’ve vacationed sans kiddos a couple times and honestly, I love it. Don’t get me wrong, I love my boys but there’s something so refreshing about being a real adult for a while. I know that our society tells moms that we’re supposed to feel guilty for everything (not breastfeeding for a full year, using disposable diapers, working, not working, sleep training, and on and on) but kids need to know how to function away from their parents and parents need to reconnect. You’ll be better parents if your relationship with each other is good. Have fun, sleep in, read a good book and watch a grown up movie!


Good for you! We’ve taken three–a week in Paris (when Max was 7 months) and a long wkd in Palm Springs (16 months) and NYC (20 months). Some made comments that sounded judgey-but the trips make everyone happy (especially the kids and grandparents!). I’m not anticipating any big trips for awhile after #2 and mortgage this Fall–though we are lucky to have lots of great locations to drive to for long wkds.


Last alone trip was to Nuevo Vallarta when our oldest was 21 months. 2 more kids later, another trip would be living the dream. This was us last year too – 10 year anniversary came up, we had our new surprise baby girl, and had just closed on a new house. My hubby was laying hardwood floors on our anniversay. Our celebration consisted of me swinging by the new house, 3 kids in tow, saying how great everything looked, and dropping off a bag of Red Robin with a kiss. What can I say, I pulled put all the stops last year. :). Hoping to make celebrating the 11th a little more upscale this summer.
We too are also thinking about starting a monthly date night. Hoping it will be easier now. Baby girl turned one last month and I finished nursing. I’ve since reclaimed my breasts back (or at least back for my hubby – hey now!).

7 Nights?! Soak it up and congrats!


My hubby grew up in Bryson City so we visit their quite frequently. Such an adorable little town! While you’re there, be sure to visit our good friends at La Dolce Vita Bakery (on Everett Street) for some amazing sweet treats!

Congratulations, that is awesome! We are hitting 10 years this summer, and forced ourselves to plan a trip (to Spain!) and to leave our two cuties at home. While we are totally thrilled about it, and totally worried about leaving our kids for over a week, I think everyone benefits from adults getting to have some quality adult time out of town and kids getting to spend time with other family. And being married for 10, or 11, years is a really big deal and certainly worthy of a vacation! Now go enjoy yourself!


We started planning at home date nights a couple times a month and a night out if we can get a sitter once a month. We are having an at home one tonight actually! Usually the at home dates are pretty simple like watching a movie we wanted to see or lighting some candles, enjoying a special drink and appetizer and having a grown up conversation without kids interrupting,lol. We’ve both said we look forward to the at home dates almost as much as the nights out. I think setting aside the evening just for each other and taking a few minutes to plan something different makes it kind of exciting compared to most nights at home :)


Tee hehe ;)


Sounds like fun! It’s our ten year anniversary too (this month) and we are planning a trip to Ashville later this summer. We might have to check out Bryson City too, since it’s right nearby.

Wow!!You are coming to my ‘neck of the woods!’ I live right down the street from Bryson City in Sylva {about 15 miles away} . Obviously, you will hit up Humanities :). I hope you have a wonderful time while you are here–enjoy!!


QUALITY time with HH needs to be your TOP priority next week, so unplug. We will all be here when you get back!!!! Enjoy & soak it all in!


Thumbs up on quality time together. I can’t do without it, so it is as high up the priority list as we can manage with a newborn. Even with kids, we both do our very best to put each other first as far as meeting needs. It’s so important.


Congratulations for getting in some couple time! As a SAHM of 2 kids, I know how tough it can be. Just last week I suggested we take a long weekend getaway without the kids. I don’t think we have gone more than 1 night away without them since my first was born 8 years ago!! Have a great time! And try not to feel guilty. ;-)


I live in nearby Asheville :) Love Bryson City!! If you like local beer, check out Nantahala Brewing. There is also a fantastic coffee shop on the corner of Everett Street. Everett Street also has a few cute lil antique shops. Have a blast!!!

Wow! How exciting! I’ve lived in NC all my life and I’ve never even heard about Bryson City…..I must investigate this place! Have fun!!

How nice! Congratulations on ten years and enjoy your time together!

We have our five year anniversary this fall and we’re looking forward to getting away together for the weekend. Can’t wait.


This sounds like too good to be true! What a beautiful place! I need to tell my parents about this secret spot in NC. They live in Charlotte and love going to Ashville for a quick getaway from the city chaos, and I know they would love Bryson City. My hubs and I are celebrating our 5 year this summer and we haven’t had a getaway since our honeymoon. Well–we did go to Jackson Hole, WY for a weekend but I was fighting morning sickness and we should have just stayed home. We are planning a 3 day cruise for the end of this year and I cannot tell you how EXCITED I am to go somewhere where I don’t have to cook, feed kids, clean, or tend to anything. Dream. DREAM! But then again, my dream is to just go to the hotel down the street for a weekend without kids, so going on a cruise is BIG TIME! Woo! Have fun!!!!!!!


Bryson City is a great place, been there myself and had a great time.


Good for you guys!! I can empathize (Quinn never took to the bottle either & was also dairy-sensitive) so the husband & I haven’t gone away together in a long time. Even the thought of a date night exhausts me, HA!

NC is beautiful (been to Asheville)!! Enjoy! Don’t have too much fun though, remember what happened the last time ;) #bowchickabow



What a great area some fun, relaxing time with no kiddos! My brother was a raft guide on the Nantahala for years. (He met his wife, another guide, there and they even named their first son Bryson!) The Nantahala is a good river for your first whitewater experience because it isn’t too wild and you probably will even get away without falling in unless you want to. The water is freezing, but you will get used to it. If you and HH are feeling brave enough to go without a guide, go down in a “ducky” (a two person raft/canoe). You can follow other boats so you take the right path through a rapid and it is such a fun ride! Like others have mentioned before, Asheville is totally worth a day trip. The downtown area is amazing…great shops, great food, great people watching. The Biltmore is nice, but I’d skip it for downtown anyday. The Blue Ridge Parkway is also worth a day drive. Lots of waterfalls and gorgeous scenery along the way. Ugh, I’m jealous! Have a great trip!


Someone (with 4 kids) told me it’s a ‘trip’ with the kids and a ‘vacation’ without. I liked that! I am a firm believer in adult only time away. Vacation, date night, going to Home Depot kid free is important. Have a great Vacation!


Dana, you’ll be in my neck of the woods! Our old farmhouse is very close to Fontana Lake and the Nantahala River. Be sure to dine at the newly expanded Cork and Bean in Bryson City. Treat yourself to ice cream at Soda Pops for dessert. Wishing you and your hubby a lovely vacation in the mountains. When Mabrey is a little older bring the kids to Bryson City for some summer fun and tubing on Deep Creek in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


You must go to Nantahala Brewing Company, right close to the train depot, and play giant Jenga. Its amazingly fun and very palm-to-the-forehead-why-didn’t-I-think-of-that. Have fun, that’s a beautiful area this time of year!


My husband and I took our first no-kids vacation with two other couples in the Caribbean last July , leaving our 3 and 1 year olds with grandparents. It was fantastic. And nine months later we welcomed a surprise baby girl :) So that’s probably the last kid-less holiday we’ll take for a while but it was worth it on all accounts!


That first picture had me sold! I’ve never heard of Bryson City, but it’s now on our list of potential places for vacation at the end of July, thanks to you! Even though your trip is without kids, do you have any suggestions for things to do/places to go if you have small children? Our little ones are 2.5 years, and 9 months old. Enjoy your vacation, and thanks for sharing!