This is the third post in our series about ME time, sponsored by domain.ME.
I've just returned from spending a long weekend with my mom, during which it was startlingly clear to me that quality time with her — and the other important adults in my life — is different when it's kid-free. I'm so glad to have invested this time spent with her, because she's not just Grandma Jackie, she's also my mom, and we both deserve the payoff of enjoying a holiday together that celebrates our adult relationship.
I flew to the John Wayne Airport in Orange County from Oakland and we spent two nights at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.
Our attempt to kick off our weekend with culture was thwarted when we arrived at the Orange County Museum of Art and it was closed.
I was especially disappointed because while an art museum can be enjoyed with kids, I can hear my Art History-buff mom better when they're not around.
We headed to the fancy shopping center to drown our sorrows in the shoe department of Bloomingdales. My mom treated me to a pair of sparkly ballet flats and I added a bunch more shoes to my wishlist.
Having no deadline to get back to my kids, to prepare a meal, or make any phone calls was truly blissful. We ate at a restaurant without any concern for what time it was or which food on the menu would appeal to my kids. True Food Kitchen does not serve quesadillas or pizza, and I like it that way. (I hope they open one in the Bay Area.)
The next morning we went on a guided kayak tour of Upper Newport Bay. Again, while outdoorsy adventures are kid-friendly, it is relaxing to be on an adult level, zipping no one's life jacket but my own.
After lunch and massages at the hotel, we relaxed in our room for a while, reading our Kindles and showing each other things on the Internet, like patio furniture and hotel reviews from Sunset magazine. This is exactly what you cannot do when you share a hotel room with children.
After dinner, we attempted to seek out a local favorite dessert. It was a failure and we ended up with mediocre chocolate chip cookies. The next day I came to understand that frozen bananas are the hallmark treat of the area, especially Balboa Island, and we headed there. Arrested Development fans may have been one step ahead of me on this knowledge of Orange County.
My mom and I instantly became obsessed with vacation rentals on Balboa Island and stopped at every real estate office to study the listings in the windows. This is forty, I suppose.
We rented a duffy boat and took it out for a spin. We were pretty pleased with ourselves for driving and tying up a boat on our own.
I'm sharing this experience in hopes of inspiring you to take time with a mom, step-mom, or sister away from your household. The treat of enjoying culture, nature, food, and adult entertainment (we watched three episodes of Grace and Frankie on Netflix) is immense. I'm so glad to have made new memories with my mom at this stage of my life.
Other ideas for me time with parents and siblings:
- Guerneville/Russian River – Fancy food and easy-going boat or rafting adventures
- Scottsdale – Easy-to-fly-to destination to meet up with cross-country family. Great for pool and spa enthusiasts and photography buffs.
- San Francisco – Zero travel time allows more time for shopping, museums and theater. Arrange solid childcare so you're not running home, just because you can.
- Paso Robles/San Luis Obispo – 3 hours south of here, wine tasting in Paso, hiking outside of SLO
This post was inspired by “ME Day,” an international day of enjoyment created by domain.ME, celebrated annually on March 16th. This day promotes the values of diversity, tolerance and freedom, as well as self-appreciation, work/life balance, and the importance of taking care of ourselves.
Thanks again to Domain.ME for sponsoring 510Families.com today; all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. (ICYMI: Heather's round-up of her favorite East Bay ME time spots for herself and my faves for ME time with friends in the 510.)