By Holly Hester
Okay, so you’re so pregnant you can no longer see your feet or even remember what shoes you put on. You have no memory of having ever worn a belt in your life and your house looks like Babies “R” Us exploded inside it. You and your partner spend fretful evenings poring over baby-name books and trying to figure out an interesting twist on a celebrity baby name—East West for a boy? Purple Ivy for a girl? Choosing a name your child will hate can be very stressful.
That’s why I’m suggesting you take a vacation before the little ankle biter pops out. It’s known as a “babymoon,” and it will mark the last uninterrupted conversation you’ll ever have.
Look, I’m not going to be one of those annoying people that tells you that once the baby arrives you will never take another vacation again and that life as you know it is over—because that’s simply not true. There are plenty of people that travel all over the world with their babies and children. In fact, I am one of them. I have three kids, and they all not only have their own frequent flyer cards, but their own airline neck pillows, which they enjoy hitting each other with on long flights.
But I will tell you that taking vacations with your children is not romantic—at all. There is no sleeping in until room service knocks on the door at 10 a.m. There are no strolls down beaches unless you like wads of sand hitting your back and wails of “Why are we walking sooooooo far?” And of course, there are no romantic bubble baths unless you are willing to ignore the small person wearing goggles and making loud submarine noises who’s in the tub with you.
I suggest that you take a babymoon locally. Babies do come out early sometimes, and do you really want to show off your naughty bits to a bunch of penguins while on vacation in Antarctica? Here are my five picks for the most romantic babymoon getaways in your own backyard.
1. Stanford Inn Eco-Resort, stanfordinn.com
You’ll find yoga classes, Ayurvedic treatments, and an all-organic vegetarian restaurant at this little Mendocino sanctuary. Choose to either paddle around in a kayak or just lie in bed listening to crashing ocean waves. Love each other while still loving the Earth—it’s a nature three-way!
2. Hotel Healdsburg, hotelhealdsburg.com
This hotel is located right in downtown Healdsburg, which is packed with fabulous not-kid-friendly restaurants and boutiques. Take my advice—go here while you can! Browse an antique shop! Sip a decaf latte! Live amongst civilized people before it all slips away!
3. Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, fairmont.com/sonoma
I went to this Sonoma gem right before our third child was born and let me tell you—their pregnancy massage is to die for. Plus, the food is delicious, and the rooms have huge bathtubs. You’ll basically never want to leave.
4. Indian Springs, indianspringscalistoga.com
This hotel, within walking distance of downtown Calistoga, has a great spa and a gigantic, warm, spring-fed pool where the two of you can drift on cushy floats for hours. Sure, you’ll look like a bloated whale, but who cares? There are no harpoons nearby, only ice-cold lemon water.
5. Palace Hotel, sfpalace.com
This is one of my favorite hotels in San Francisco. It was built in 1909, and it’s absolutely beautiful. But the best part about it is the afternoon tea. You and your partner can feed each other buttery scones, tiers of chocolate-covered strawberries, and mouthwatering bite-sized tarts. After you’re both full to almost bursting, you can then waddle over to the farmers market at the Ferry Building and continue eating. See who passes out first at this take-no-prisoners couple’s eat-a-thon.
Have a wonderful babymoon!
And remember, babies make life better. What you lose in romance, you gain in love.
Holly Hester lives in Sebastopol and writes about life on her blog, Riot Ranch. Find her book, Escape from Ugly Mom Island!, on Amazon.