Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Recipe for a Get-Away (when you have 7 kids)

Z's job always gets a little hectic this time of year, so we've made it a habit to try to run away together before things get too far out of hand.  We also have a get-away in six months (March) for our anniversary.

Before now, we've had good friends with whom we've traded kids for an entire weekend, but now that our kids are older, we leave them to take care of each other and fend for themselves for just one night.  We could probably still do a whole weekend, but I'm not willing to push it that far with a thirteen-month-old in the house.

Here's how we work it out:

First, we go to the calendar and find a good day when not too much is scheduled for anyone.
Second, I take a little trip here.  We don't stray far from home, and there really is so much to explore here in our own backyard, that we choose to bid and do it in an area close to home.  I start by clicking one area and putting an almost indecent price the first time I try; I also put in for the highest quality accommodations I can get.  As they reject my bids, I click more areas, lower star levels, and then start putting in higher bids.  There was one time the Hilton downtown took my low bid and we ended up on the top floor.  It was great!  This time, I bid $50 and we ended up here:

Portland Marriott Residence Inn RiverPlace

It's a newer hotel down on the waterfront in Portland.  We had to pay taxes, so all in all, I think it cost us $65.  We were on the 7th floor in a really nice room that looked like this:

It had a kitchenette to the left in this picture.  We also slept in a king-size bed, which is a must with a husband who's 6'6".

The only thing about bidding on priceline is that once you bid, and they accept that bid, you're committed.  They go ahead and charge your card, so I always tell them that I want a 3-star place or better, but I guess it also depends on how desperate I am to get away.

This hotel had a wonderful breakfast--better than continental.  They had warm food as well--waffles you make yourself, hot oatmeal, biscuits and gravy, eggs, and sausages, along with all the other stuff you'd expect from a continental breakfast--fruit, juices, toast, bagels, cereal, etc.

After we finished breakfast, we went back up to our room and packed up, sat and watched a little bit of TV and headed out to board this:

From the hotel and all around downtown, it's free to ride.  We ended up here:

Portland Saturday Market
Like I said, there is much to explore.

Other resources I use when doing one of these trips are this to find what others rate as the best restaurants and things to do in the area and this to find coupons to get meals at better prices (when you sign up, they send you emails when they have promos; you can sometimes get $25 gift certificates for $2 with the right promo code).

I am a firm believer in running away for a romantic weekend with one's spouse.  The kids'll eventually move out and start families of their own, but your spouse will hopefully be there forever, and I have little doubt this'll help us get there--to forever that is.  It's also a great opportunity for your kids to see that you make each other a large priority in your life.  Someday, maybe they'll follow your lead with their own spouses.


Chris and Hay said...

That looks so fun! I'm glad you guys were able to get away and have a fun weekend together! Good luck to you guys as everyone heads back to school! Loves for the whole family!

Tonya said...

Romatic get-a-ways with my hubby is one of my favorite things! And I am also a believer that that time with just you and your spouse is so important. Gotta keep those fires burnin'! I love that you have figured out how to do it on a budget as well. very cool.

Tiff said...

What a great idea just to get away! Even if it is for one night I would have to bet that it is bliss! Thankyou so much for coming over to my little blog and leaving such a sweet comment.
Thank you again!

Anonymous said...

i SO TOTALLY agree Julie!!!! Romantic Getaways are Very Important!!! :) :)

Darilyn said...

*sigh* this would be nice. Thanks for the great tips.

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