One time, when we were house sitting in an upscale home in La Jolla, I got to use the treadmill in the home-gym while watching television. It was hard to use the treadmill and figure out the TV, so I got stuck watching the E! channel and one of those countdown shows that hooks you in even though there’s like two thousand commercials for Maybelline and Pantene. This one was Ten Most Outrageous Celebrity Baby Nurseries or some variation. I know Kim Kardashian’s was on the list. They also mentioned how some of the celebrities got “Push Presents” such as a Rolls Royce SUV or a Pomeranian puppy with an 80 karat gold collar and its own iPhone.
When I first heard of the term “Babymoon” I figured it was an idea born from these same minds and wrote it off. No one I knew from any of the generations before mine had ever heard of a “Babymoon”, so during my pregnancy I focused on making sure all the thrifted furniture I purchased for the nursery was free of lead paint and forgot about it.
One day my mom said how she thought the “Babymoon” idea was a great one and that getting away, just the two of us, before Sprout’s arrival, would be a nice way to focus on each other while also celebrating this current phase of our lives. I thought about Oregon and how we skated the Portland skateparks together without ending up in the ER. I thought about that time we set up camp in the most perfect spot we’d ever seen only to be given the boot by a policeman ten minutes after we lit a camp fire. I thought about Yellowstone and sleeping in the car and Scott talking in his sleep about being trapped while I was worrying about bears attacking us because we had peanut butter and toothpaste in there. I thought about how this pregnancy has been better than I ever thought pregnancy could be, but that it was still like a marathon with the potentially hardest miles remaining. After all this thinking, I started looking into Babymoon getaways and that’s when I found the Glorietta Bay Inn on Coronado Island.
Since I was already in my third trimester, a staycation seemed like the perfect option and the Glorietta Bay Inn was not only steps from the beach and bunch of different dining and shopping options, it also specifically offered a Babymoon package including a feather-topped king bed, continental breakfast delivered to your room, a welcome basket with pickles, chocolate and gift certificates to the best local ice cream shop, and cookies and milk delivered to your room at bed time along with the turn-down service. Not to mention, the hotel is a historic mansion and had a heated pool.
The evening of our arrival, we walked to dinner at the Bluewater Boathouse. Scott got a Mai Tai and I could almost see his shoulders loosen and drop to a resting position. I left my cell phone in our room and straightened my hair for dinner. We were back in vacation mode together. After dinner, we crossed the street to check out the live music at the Hotel Del. The next morning we ate the breakfast that was delivered to our room, watched the X Games and then headed down to the pool. It was quiet and warm and I tried to read The Old Man and the Sea without getting too bummed about the dying dolphin part.
A family from Illinois stopped by on their way back from the beach. The son had trunks on instead of boardshorts. Usually that’s one way I can tell if someone’s from out of town before they even say it. He sat hands and legs limply dangling in the water listening to his father explain to Scott the reasons why it’s tough to be in the Navy. “Only two showers per 40 people on the ship and the bunks are spaced two feet apart! It’s like being in a coffin while you’re still breathing!”
Another lady stopped by the pool with her son and daughter just as the Illinoisans left. They were from Kansas. The son wore trunks with an elastic waist too and neither of the kids were allowed to swim past the 4 foot marker. I saw the boy try to and I immediately started scanning the area for the lifesaver since he looked like he was certain to drown if he went any further. The mother’s hair was as red as a Popsicle in the sun and when I came to swim in the pool along with them, the kids acted as if my pregnancy was some sort of disease and tried to get away from me. I thought about chasing them, but all I really had to do was swim to the deep-end where they couldn’t touch to give us all our own space.
Later that day, when we were practically falling asleep in a pile on the beach, a group of girls taking photographs for a Quinceañera seemingly chose us as their background despite there being 1.5 miles of picturesque sandy beach and dunes everywhere else. I took some pictures of Scott throwing up a peace sign as they jumped and spun and giggled for their photographer five feet behind us and we laughed like we were in trouble in school and wondered who was photobombing who.
On our way to the movie theatre that night, I overheard a little girl with two braids exclaim, “I’m never too cold for ice cream!” as she and her family arrived at the Moo Time creamery and I thought about our kid coming here and saying something like that to us someday. Then I wondered why I ever second guessed getting away, even if only for a day or two to somewhere close by, knowing that you always get good stories when you leave home.