Monday, March 30, 2009

decisions, decisions

Ryan and I are having a hard time making a decision. We're dancing between things we want to do and things we should do and the lines between those are not so black and white.
So I want to know what you would do.

Not that I'm looking for someone to tell me what to do, I'm just curious as to the decisions other people would make. Who has more practical personalities and who might be more inclined to throw practicality to the wind and go for the fun.

So here's the lowdown:
My parents are coming for a visit and they're going to be here long enough this time that Ryan and I should take advantage and get away without the kids. We've done this a time or two with grandparents in town, but for some reason we always end up with a "group getaway" or to visit friends. When we lived in Michigan we took a trip (with Sawyer in tow) to Nashville to see friends and their toddler. A year ago we got a condo at the lake and ended up inviting and sharing the weekend with the Laughlins. This past winter we got away to the lake again, but this time it was a fabulous six-some. No kids, but no real just us couple time either.

So this time we said, this is it. I really cannot remember the last time we went somewhere on our own. Honestly. Somehow we always end up being more practical (making it a trip to see someone we want to visit) or more inclusive (hey, who wants to join us for a fun weekend away?!). I think the only time Ryan and I took any sort of real vacation, just the two of us, was seven years ago on our honeymoon. We don't have the opportunity very often, without family in town to help us out with the kids.

So we've been looking at places to go. We (I) wanted it to be somewhere different... we've gone to Chicago, we've been to the Ozarks. I'd love to see some new city I've never been to, but city usually equals spending more money... shopping, eating, shows, etc. So I was leaning more towards making a longer drive (and we don't mind the drive, we like road trips) down to the Gulf Shores or maybe to a cabin in the mountains in Tennessee or South Carolina. Or the east coast. And we can find good places to stay... right on the beach (or by a lake in the mountains) for less than $100 a night. So it'd only be a few hundred dollars. A few to five I'm guessing.
Or. Our other thought was to go to Las Vegas. My sister lives there and we thought maybe we could find some cheap flights. Yeah, not really. It'd cost us more to fly there, plus then there's the tourist in a city costs... in about THE most expensive city. And then again, that's visiting/staying with other people.
And our favorite thought... the one we keep coming back to... the one that my mom would probably kill me for if we did... is heading back to Portland for a long weekend. It's cheap to fly from here to Portland right now ($99 each way), and we'd have a few days without the kids to visit with dear friends we miss, see my sister pregnant, meet the niece we've only seen pictures of, and get to spend some time in our old stomping grounds without having to drag the kids around or worry about them splitting family time so much while we're there. But again, that's not so romantic. And like I said, my mom would I'm sure kill me if we attempted to make a trip to Oregon while they were here.

Anyway, that's not where we really trip up. It's not just a matter of deciding where to go.
We both keep thinking of that $500 we would be spending to go somewhere and while we could afford to use it for us, for fun... all the other things we should be using it for won't stay out of our heads.
-My laptop has been on it's last leg for a few months now. I honestly am surprised each day I find it still running. Barely, but it's running. It's a source of frustration and cuts to my last ounce of patience almost daily. We could buy a new one with that $500.
-We really want a deep freezer. I've made great progress in my meal planning and stocking up on great deals with the warehouse stores and sales around here, not to mention the produce co-op and I always find myself thinking, if we just had an extra freezer, it would be even better. We have some friends in the neighborhood who's family owns farms and specifically produce beef and pork. It's a great opportunity for us to stock up on splitting portions with our friends at cost, stocking up enough meat for essentially the whole year. If we had the freezer space. But it's buy a $200 freezer or take a trip.
-We want to replace our stove someday soon. It still works, but again, it's probably not too far from deciding to quit. And it's ugly.
-And there are plenty of other little things around the house that I could find and add up and think, yes, that money could be better spent here. Gah.

So what would you do?
Would you forget about grown up, practical, responsibilities (that aren't exactly needs at this point, but pretty big wants in the big picture) for a minute and take some relaxing time out with your husband for the first time in seven years? Or suck it up, maybe take a nice night out somewhere close, forget about a romanticized getaway and be smart with money put to a better use.


K.M.L said...

Go on a smaller trip, closer to STL (like Kansas City) with just the two of you and then use the extra money to buy the freezer or laptop! ;)

Anonymous said...

travel is something we put a high priority on, as well as spending time alone together as a couple. so i think i'd for sure go for the alone trip together. we try to take at least one long weekend away as a couple once a year, if not more/longer than that. i can't imagine going seven years without one (i realize, especially without grandparents nearby, that it is a lot harder for others, i'm just saying that for ME that would be such a long time!). as much as we save up for practical things, we make sure to save and spend on vacation as well. a freezer isn't going to provide you with memories when you're old. :)

Nicole said...

Trip! I say trip. I agree with Kim... memories! I'd say take a road trip.. get a few places in mind you might want to head toward (sight seeing) and see what you find along the way.. :)

Tracy said...

I would definitely say TRIP!! It's obvious you guys don't take trips together much (7 years...holy cow!!!), and it's special time for just the two of you ALONE. I would recommend Vegas, though you are right it can get expensive there, but there is so much sight seeing to do and lots of things you can do for cheap...also there is always lots of buffets to eat at ;)

Gabe and Heidi's P.A.D. said...

I bet you can guess what my vote is!
You and Ryan need some adult/couple/alone time. It's best for everyone in the long run.
Having never explored the midwest and east coast, I would think there would be lots of fun and romantic places to go. Just make sure it's warm and sunny! A little summer preview.

Peggy said...

Hi there- I never comment on your blog, but I couldn't resist this time... I vote with everyone else... go on a trip. Even if it is small! :)

ALISON said...

Good morning dear.
If it were me - I would spend a couple of days on ebay or craigslist looking for good cheap used stuff (which is incredibly abundant these days as so many people are looking for quick cash.) Then, after I satisfied everything I wanted/needed I'd tally up what I had left and then decide where to go. And if it truly is couple time you're craving...hole up somewhere in a town nearby and simply wallow in it for a couple of days. Like a weekend in Seaside - remember Seaside??!!
And honestly - if you came back to Portland WITHOUT the children I would be oh - so - sad.

Anonymous said...

I would FOR SURE take the trip. Sounds like the perfect opportunity for it with your parents in town, and if you haven't gone away alone together just the two of you in seven years, I'd say you're about due some couple time!

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