Tag Archives: vacation

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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Expecting a Little One? It Must Be Time For a BabyMoon

We’re going on a babymoon. “A wha?” you may ask. A babymoon, you know kinda like a honeymoon but you do it before the baby arrives. It’s so you can have one last hurrah before life as you know it drastically changes.

On a bicycle built for two in Door County, Wis.

When I was pregnant with Logan we had one, well two actually, but those where in different economic times. We couldn’t agree on what to do, Hubby wanted to do a road trip in the two-seater. I wanted to lie on a beach, which was tricky because I also didn’t want to be the beached whale surrounded by a bunch of hot sexy bods.

We took a five-hour road trip to beautiful Door County, Wis. We had a cabin a stone’s throw from Sister Bay and it was great, the cell phone coverage was just enough to eek out a 911 call if we needed it and that was it. So very relaxing. Weeks later, we hopped on a plane to Richmond, Va., rented a car, drove down the coast to Kill Devil Hills, N.C., where we rented a condo. Now *that* was wonderful, fresh seafood, walks on the beach, quiet small town. The whole nine. I remember being excited to lie on my belly again because I dug a hole in the sand for my basketball and napped.

On the beach in Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

Now that we’re preggo again, naturally we want to do another “last hurrah” before Bean arrives. Nevermind the other trips we’ve taken lately, oh no, for some reason in my Hubby and mine’s crazy minds, those didn’t count. Camping Trip No. 1 was his idea, Camping Trip No. 2 was my idea to make up for Camping Trip No. 1. And the recent visiting of family and friends in other states didn’t count either.

This trip has to be a trip just for the family for the expressed purpose of being together as a family of three. I know, I know, we get to be a family of three every day, but not someplace *else* where there’s no errands to run, phone calls and emails to return, other mind-numbing responsibilities…

What can I say? My Hubby and I have always been the work hard/play hard kind of people and I’m determined not to let my kids slow us down too much. Besides, Logan seems to love our adventures.

And honestly I’m not really sure that our next trip constitutes “playing hard” as we decided to take a swing up to the lovely, family friendly Wisconsin Dells. To the very same hotel/water park that Hubby took us after Camping Trip No. 1. But I’m excited, the place is great, the suites are awesome, I’m going to go to the spa, they deliver yummy food to your room, there’s fun activities in the area, the water park is a blast and the people who are there aren’t shaped like Hollywood starlets so I don’t mind rockin my bikini with my big ol’ belly.

You don’t hear people talking about babymoons like you used to, again, it’s the economy stupid, but the want is still there. Before, there were chats of trips to Europe, Club Med, short cruises. Now, if moms and dads take a babymoon, it’s more modest: indoor water parks, a couple nights at a nearby hotel, having grandma come over so mom and dad can spend a night away. All of this is totally fine, I’m always going to advocate that people take a break from their daily grind to simply enjoy life a bit more. It creates new memories, strengthens bonds and helps you keep focused on what’s really important: each other.