Many of you know that I flew away (much like running away, but much more glamorous!) to my first girls’ weekend since having kids. That’s over a decade… and previous life was rice-and-beans bank account, so there wasn’t much traveling then, either! One of my nearest and dearest friends had been begging me for a weekend away, but my mom-guilt kept me from saying yes. However, once Veda turned two, I was ready and willing to leave for a few nights. (Yes, she’s still nursing. Yes, I had to pump. Yes, it was worth it.)
While we have traveled as a family, there is so much to consider when traveling solo. The mother-anxiety is strong. What if I die on the plane and my kids grow up without me? What if something happens while I’m gone?
Although, packing is fantastic. I had an entire suitcase TO MYSELF. I filled that thing with things that I knew there wasn’t enough time to wear! I didn’t care, I just wanted to fill it with MY THINGS. I packed heels, sneakers, sandals, flip flops, and flats. I packed pool dresses, multiple swimwear, shorts, dinner dresses, and running gear. I packed a sun hat, a straightener, a curling wand, and all.the.makeup. Why not, right?
Nicole and I are about 17 hours or so apart these days, and we both still have toddlers at home. We needed to find a great location that would be an easy flight. Scottsdale was an obvious choice. I had never been, and the resort looked like a slice of heaven. Little did I know just how heavenly it would be.
If you are considering a weekend away, JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback should be added to your potential destination list. From the moment we arrived, we were escorted on golf carts to our room, which had 360 degree views of the mountains. With a small balcony to sip champagne on, and a second (unbelievably large) patio with lounge chairs, outdoor tables, and privacy, and a sunset unlike anything I have seen. The sky is just different out there.
After popping champagne and locking ourselves on one of the balconies, we were rescued, got glam’d up and headed out to explore. We enjoyed ample amounts of wine – and had no one take care of for 2 days. The food on site was perfect, and the resort is large enough to spend days at without leaving for much.
I decided to wake up before the sun and run the few miles to the base of Camelback Mountain. It was a spontaneous decision that John had planted the seed for, as he has hiked the mountain and described it as a must-conquer experience. With people being helicoptered down every few hours, it was a bit intimidating, especially climbing alone, but once I approached the start, I knew I couldn’t turn back. There were other people hiking – some slowly, others at a pace that screamed ‘I do this every Saturday!’ I was in awe of all of them. The hike was something you need to experience. The views, the trail, the solitude (or company if you want to do it together) were all exactly what I needed on this trip. I had hours to focus on myself and where I am in life right now. I absorbed the moments hiking that mountain and had passing thoughts of:
- I can’t wait to do this with the kids when they are older.
- I wish John were here with me.
- This is too hard.
- This is freaking unbelievable.
- I am a badass.
And then I realized just how happy I am right now. I work hard. I mom hard. I wife hard. But my personal cup is constantly full, too. Life is not easy, but it is wonderful.
After running out, hiking, and running back to the resort, it was time to be pampered. Nicole and I settled on having honey and oats dripped and rubbed over us in our morning treatment. We retreated poolside with friends afterward, where we enjoyed the frozen peaches compliments of our amazing pool boy. (I’m not kidding) We drank, swam, chatted, laughed so hard that we cried, and drank some more. And then, Nicole and I walked (still sans makeup from our first spa treatment) back to the spa for Round 2! This time, we received massages that sent us into deep relaxation. Room service was in order for dinner after that experience. Can you imagine? I ran, climbed a mountain, and received detox massages all in the same day.
We slept like the queens that we are, in the most comfortable beds, with the doors open and the Arizona air blowing in. The weekend was too fast, but it was much needed.
Every mother needs to retreat somewhere at sometime. Even if it is a decade after becoming a mother. Even if it means anxiety creeps up. Even if it means you leave 5 kids behind and consider skipping your flight back home and extending the trip for another week, or two.