The past two weekends Darren and I were blessed with the opportunity to get away for a bit and relax a little. We started off in Vermont where Darren took in some great skiing at Bromley Mountain while I indulged myself at the Equinox Resort and Spa with a massage and a facial. We booked three nights at the same condo we rented last year and initially intended on bringing David with us. However with it being cold and flu season, we reconsidered and left him with Grandma and Grandpa Herman for a few days. They enjoyed his big smiles and cute sounds while we enjoyed some relaxation and a break from parenthood. In addition to the spa and slopes we had some great meals at Laney’s, Sherrie’s cafe and our favorite Sirloin Saloon. All of these places were obviously impacted by the downturn in the economy. Every place we went to was virtually empty aside from Saturday night when there seemed to be some influx of people but hardly what you expect. It was sad. In the afternoon’s after lunch we browsed the outlets in Manchester and they were practically giving things away. The only place that was hopping was the Spiral Press Cafe which we loved. It is a bookstore and cafe all in one. We bought some coffee and pastries and nestled into a table one afternoon where I read and Darren did some work while we indulged in our treats. It was a fantastic getaway and we loved every cold, wintry minute of it.
This past weekend was the second half of our ‘recharging our batteries’ tour. This time Grandma and Grandpa Kepner looked after the little guy and on Thursday morning Darren and I flew down to Grand Cayman. Darren was invited by WashingtonPost and Slate to attend their 2009 Digital Media Summit at the Ritz Carlton and I was able to join him to enjoy the Caribbean. We stayed at the Ritz which was beautiful and seemed to be the only hotel on Seven Mile Beach that was doing noteworthy business. As we strolled on the beach one afternoon we were shocked to see tons of empty lounge chairs especially since this is high season. Our taxi driver one evening said that tourism is way down especially for the Cayman Islands since they are one of the higher priced of all the islands in the Caribbean. The weather wasn’t so good so we didn’t have much tanning time but we did manage to relax by the pool one afternoon and played some chess. The winds were unseasonably cool as were the temperatures only near 70 for a high but it was far better than the 20s back home in NY. Darren’s conference was great and he met many talented people in his industry and I had another opportunity to indulge in some sleep and relaxation so we enjoyed ourselves. We had delicious dinners at Ristorante Pappagalo and A Grand Old House. The island is definitely the priciest of all the islands I’ve been to but the quality was there. By the time Sunday came we were really itching to get home. We missed our little guy so much that we couldn’t wait for our plane to land. On both trips, we looked at his pictures constantly and talked about him incessantly. We can’t wait until he is a little older and would make a better traveler. Right now, he’s just a little too little to schlep through the airports and on the plane with all the coughs and sneezes. Hopefully next year, he can join us…we’d love that!!!