I have three or four drafts of posts I need to complete that actually AREN’T Marriage Monday posts but I’ve just returned from vacation and wanted to check in briefly. I traveled to Michigan with Evangeline for ten days, visiting various friends and family and let me tell you, after being primarily E’s sole parent for 10 days I feel like I ACCOMPLISHED something -I managed to make sure she got all of her meals and snacks, provided a reliable bedtime and enjoyed a dozen different experiences with her, from learning how to play in a sandbox to swimming in Lake Huron. It’s one thing to manage a toddler at home with all of our creature comforts and another thing entirely to hit the road with one, but we had a great time and arrived home with minor chest colds, sun on our cheeks and bellies full of homemade wild blackberry pie. S. showed up now and again – he arrived a few days later, left a day early and spent the middle portion of the trip at our family cabin – which was our agreed upon plan from the beginning.
It turns out some of friends have been rather horrified by our laissez-faire approach to vacation, claiming they would never want to take a week’s vacation and not spend it with their spouse. S. and I have taken vacations together and separately throughout our marriage, sometimes out of necessity and sometimes out of desire. At heart I am fundamentally a beach/boat/water kind of girl – there is no where I would rather be than on a beach, swimming in the lake or ocean, boating, etc. I feel most like myself make-up free with sand beneath my feet. S. is fundamentally NOT a beach person. He doesn’t like deep water and he burns easily regardless of how much SPF lotion he lathers on himself, but he does like the Great Outdoors and hiking, especially on cloudy days or beneath canopies of trees, both of which I tolerate but don’t love. However, we both love cities large and small and we are always able to construct a great vacation by choosing a city (say, New Orleans) and then exploring the world outside of it as well. We are also incredibly fortunate that my family has kept the cabin my grandfather built in Northern Michigan decades and decades ago, which rests on a private lake and is only six miles from a beach, offering an endless array of hiking, swimming and fishing opportunities to satisfy both of us. I’ve long since come to terms with the unlikelihood that S. and I will ever spend money to lounge around the beaches of Jamaica or Mexico but I comfort myself by remembering that S. loathes the idea of cruises as much as I do so I’ll never have to get on a cruise ship, at least.
For the most part, we travel well together. We both like drinks, snacks, naps, long walks and a little unnecessary shopping. Our biggest moments of tension occur in the actual preparation for the trip and occasionally, the travel home. We have very different ideas about what constitutes an appropriate time to arrive at the airport, for instance – his idea being substantially fewer hours than mine. We fluster at different obstacles and are usually able to talk one another out of any potential freak-outs so vacations and holidays are almost always enjoyable. S. tends to stay up later and sleep in later than I do, but this is the only signicant difference I can think of that is highlighted by traveling together.
Do you and your partner travel well together? Have the same idea of what constitutes a good vacation? How important is traveling well together, do you think?