My husband and I just got back from an adults-only, recharge the batteries vacation to Vegas and Moab! This is the reason for my long absence, as I didn't have time to schedule posts before we left.
It was the first time our son has spent the night at another house without us--in fact, it was the first time we left him with somebody else for more than a few hours--yet this didn't stop us from making this first time last for five nights (mostly because this snuck up on us and we didn't have time for a dry run.) Luckily, our son is very easy-going, and he's very familiar with his grandparents, so we got through the trip without any nervous breakdowns--on any of our parts. It was bittersweet, watching my mother-in-law drive away with my son in her backseat, and I did come close to crying (though I tried not to, so he wouldn't get upset) but I knew that I was heading off for some much-needed time alone with hubby. I wondered whether, seventeen years from now when I watch my son head off to college, I'll remember the day we first left him with somebody else and feel a familiar pang of seeing my baby go away.
Being away from him for a week has really made me appreciate how big he's gotten. I swear he grew while we were away! ...although maybe it's just that it's easy to think of him as a baby when he's not present. He learned some new words while we were gone (truck, beep, stick, all right, and Grandma and Grammy.) It was uncanny to talk to him on the phone and receive appropriate responses: "Hi son." "Mama." "Yes, it's Mama." "Hi." "Are you having fun with Grammy and Grandpa?" "Uh huh." "Are they feeding you cookies for breakfast?" "...laughter..." Since when can he carry on a conversation? Since now, I guess.
Despite the separation pains, I was very glad we chose to leave our son behind. I couldn't help but feel sorry for most of the kids we saw on the Las Vegas Strip--especially those conked out in strollers at 11:00 at night. It was nice not to have to worry about keeping track of him and keeping him out of trouble, plus (apart from the m&m store) there wasn't anything we did that would interest a small child. There are some places in Vegas that are more family friendly (and we made note of them for when we have older kids: New York, New York has an extensive arcade along with the roller coaster, and the Flamingo has got an awesome pool) but Vegas really is an adult's playground.
A special we took advantage of is the Buffet of Buffet's pass from the Harrah's line of resorts. They offer a 24 hour buffet pass good at any of their buffets. The price is $45 full price or $40 if you're a member of their gambling program, but we got an even better deal. It was included in the hotel price, and averaged us about $30 per person (based on the price of the room without the buffet pass.) And for that price, we actually got four meals out of it.
In contrast, it was also almost midnight when we arrived at our hotel in Moab (we got a late start driving because we stopped to visit with an old friend of mine who lives in the area) and the streets were dead. I got the impression that the man who checked us in had been asleep for a while before we buzzed him. It was quite different.
We were sad to see our freedom disappear, but it was good to get back to our son. One or two phone calls each day just isn't enough when I'm used spending nearly every waking moment with him in earshot. He was very happy to be home (he danced all over the driveway and tried to play with everything) and we were all happy to see each other again. According to my parents, he was calling for us more frequently during the last day, so it looks like we timed the end of the vacation just right. He even asked me to sing more when I was putting him to bed, and that warmed my heart!