By DARREN HANDSCHUH
It seemed like a dream at first - just me and my wife driving down the highway, listening to music, laughing with not a care in the world.
But it wasn’t a dream, it was sweet reality.
The event was many years ago after our first child was born and it was the first time in 18 months we had gone on a road trip with out a kid in tow.
Normally there would be a squeaky little human in the backseat we had to tend to, but this time Junior was with grandma and we were free.
Our destination was a hot spring resort in the Lower Mainland. Our mission was to kick back and relax. We had two whole days and two whole nights to enjoy life as it used to be – kid free and carefree.
We pulled into town and headed straight for our hotel. After being frantic first time parents for more than a year, there was something we both desperately wanted to do without fear of interruption.
We checked into our hotel and all, but sprinted to our room.
I shut the door behind us, dropped our bags and looked my wife lovingly in the eyes. I pulled her close before saying those words I knew she wanted to hear, “Let’s take a nap.”
And we did. And it was good.
We lounged for a while as we decided what to do next, having already accomplished the most needed part of our excursion.
We took a leisurely stroll around the park, stopped in little stores and went places only fools would dare tread if they were being followed by a shorty.
We went into stores stuffed with glass trinkets with no fear of having to buy half the stuff in the building because Junior grabbed something shiny. If we did hear a crashing sound, we could rest assured it was not our kid who caused such havoc.
The stress was being shed faster than money from our bank account.
The following day we decided to hit the beach. We each carried a towel and I had a small pack – that was it.
As we rested on the warm sand, I noticed a couple heading our way with a small child in a stroller.
I nudged my wife to look and we both shared a laugh.
The dad was juggling about 36 bags while mom carried several more. They had a playpen, umbrella, food bag, diaper bag, survival bag and just about everything else needed to build a temporary outdoor nursery.
Once they picked a spot, they began to set everything up. It was like watching the Red Cross set up in a disaster zone with blankets, water and food being strategically placed for easy access.
I was getting tired just watching them, so I stopped watching and went back to resting and relaxing.
I have never appreciated grandma more than I did at that exact moment. If I could, I would have put her in for saint hood.
For the remainder of the trip we went where we wanted, when we wanted. We ate when we wanted and, you guessed it, we napped when we wanted.
All too soon it was time to head back. With reality staring us in the face I briefly thought about taking the long way home - like through Mexico.
I’m sure granny wouldn’t mind and we would only be gone 10-15 years. I floated the idea past my wife and for a brief moment I could tell she was intrigued, but we both knew what we really wanted was go to home and see Junior.
On the drive back the stress of being new parents didn’t seem that bad, it appears a couple days away does the heart and mind good.