Tag Archives: Lake Geneva

A Little Norwegian Help On Taking A Vacation

My husband complained to me that it’d been too long since we’d gone on vacation. I thought he was being ridiculous since we last had a weekend getaway in November. Then I remembered ah yes, it’s the Norwegian in him.

The view of Lake Como.

Hubby was born in Norway and moved here when he was 19. In his “muthaland” as he calls it, the law requires that workers have at least 25 paid vacation days and there’s 10 public holidays.

In the U.S., employers are not required to provide any paid vacation and usually large companies allow for 15 vacation days and 10 paid holidays, according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting. The Center for Economic and Policy Research found that the U.S. was dead last when it comes to the world’s richest countries. Twenty of the richest countries require companies to provide paid vacation days. Not ours.

I don’t mean to bore you with statistics, but wanted to give some perspective on our different viewpoints. Our trip in November was the last hurrah as a family of three and my seven-month-pregnant-self rocked a bikini at a waterpark in Lake Geneva, Wis. (Me to hubby: “You can tell I’m pregnant and not fat right? <insert eye roll.>)

This past weekend we went back to Lake Geneva. We like the area because it’s close to our home, yet the culture is so different that it truly feels like a getaway.

Our cabin at Duffy's.

This time we returned to a privately owned batch of cottages steps away from Lake Como. It’s called Duffy’s and Hubby and I were excited to go back because we had a great time there with Logan two years ago, plus across the street from the cottages is Duffy’s pub, so being the lushes that we are, we were happy not to have a designated driver.

We left on Friday early afternoon and came back Monday afternoon. We didn’t do anything fancy, but we enjoyed ourselves. We grilled yummy grub, went on walks, stayed up late, played board games with Logan, and after the boys were down Hubby and I talked.

It felt so good just to talk about nothing with him. We’re so rushed with responsibilities and pressed for time that our conversations can seem task-oriented and feel more like a business meeting. “I’m working late on Wednesday and Thursday this week.” “I’m going to the store, what do you need?” “The bathroom sink is wonky again.” “It’s time for an oil change.” “Logan has soccer on Saturday…”

And it was a good vacation. We got away from our To Do lists, focused on our family and we’re all better for it. We all recognize the importance of getting away, but all of us can’t, won’t or just plain don’t do it. I’m glad I’ve got a Norwegian to help me to stop and enjoy life.

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Because You’re Worth It

I blogged a couple weeks ago about going on a babymoon and how great it is to get one in before your child is born. I was bound and determined to go on that last vacation as a family of three and it seemed like destiny was equally bound and determined not to let it happen.

Story time at Timber Ridge Lodge

First Hubby and I had trouble finding a weekend that worked for us, he was traveling and I had my own work schedule conflicts. Once we settled on a date, all of my friends decided to do something fun that weekend.

A good friend from Philly was visiting Chicago, a great gal pal was having a birthday party and my best friend who lives in suburban St. Louis was coming to town. I wanted to cancel our babymoon.

Then Logan got sick. So sick he stayed home from daycare for two days, which *never* happens. My kid’s hacking up a lung, has a fever and I really wanted to cancel our babymoon.

Finally, it became clear that I’d have to work late on the Friday that we’d planned to leave. I proclaimed our babymoon was cancelled.

But we never picked up the phone to scrap our reservations. Largely because deep down we knew that we needed a break. We needed to hit the pause button on our crazy lives so we could catch our breath and for us that’s not possible unless you get out of Dodge.

Nevertheless I kept telling myself it was a mistake not to break our babymoon.

Friday night came and I was running even later than anticipated. After racing home, rushing through dinner and finishing off the packing, I was wound so tightly that I didn’t want to go anywhere except for bed. But I stuck with it, we were having this babymoon.

After an hour’s drive to Lake Geneva, Wis., we got to the Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark at 10 p.m. and Logan thought it was the greatest adventure ever. He was bouncing off the walls, the couch, the bed, everything. Finally, he passed out on the bed, Hubby went to the store to fill the suite’s kitchen and I sat on the couch as I felt the stresses of the day melt away.

The next day, we had a blast at the waterpark, spent some time in the cozy downtown area and enjoyed story time in our PJs in the hotel’s lobby with about 50 other kids. I even got a few hours of peace and quiet alone in the bedroom and that was heaven.

All in all it was a tough road to get to our babymoon, but the biggest hurdle was in my mind. And that’s how it is for many of us, we have to push ourselves hard to take time to get away. Often we decide there’s just too many other things that need taking care of, so we neglect ourselves.

Honestly, that weekend the laundry didn’t get washed, the grocery shopping wasn’t done and the house wasn’t picked up. Yet we came back feeling more rested, ready for the upcoming week and even a little closer as a family.

I’m so glad we took a break to be with just each other and I blog about this since I’m hopeful you will do the same for you and yours because you’re worth it.