Unfortunately, my extreme pregnancy sickness prevented me from taking very many photos... I just looked back and counted twelve total from the entire trip, with ten being of flowers/buildings/waterways and other nonsense. There is this one gem.
Not entirely sure why I had to have a pic with hub and a pirate statue, but glad there is at least one human photo to remember the trip by. There are no photos of the two of us at all! Granted, I was throwing up about 5x a day and did not feel super attractive. But STILL.
Now that I go back and really look, I have very few pics from the entire pregnancy (did I mention the nausea lasted six months?), other than my baby showers. The only really acceptable shot I have of the two of us is this one we took in the under-construction nursery. I love how I am dressed in my low key work attire. And how young we look!
SO, the point of that whole story was to say that we never could have imagined that trip would be our last alone vacation for the next 8 years. We never could have imagined any of the things that came with Avery's birth, of course. After she arrived and went through brain surgery after brain surgery, it was so hard to think of ever leaving her alone with caretakers that didn't minutely understand all of the special things she needed. Not to mention the fact that she had a strong distrust for non-parental units in her early years. And so we put it off and put it off.... and then Baby Bub came along and it got pushed even further off the table.
This isn't to say we didn't travel as a family. Avery had traveled with us to Rhode Island, Arizona, New York and Florida by the time she was three. We've taken family trips now to California and Hawaii as well. I'd say that our children are well-traveled bubs, actually.
Dreaming about an alone trip has been a constant though. I think we started talking about it seriously when Avery was three, but the realities of her challenges always made it seem insurmountable. Every year I would tell myself that THIS would be the year that we would get away, and every year we failed. Now, of course, she is seven years old, fifty plus pounds, almost as tall as me, needs total assistance for mobility, is quirky as ever and having more seizures than she's had since her surgeries AND NOW WE ARE FINALLY GOING TO GET AWAY!! Not because it is the best timing in the world, or any of the logistics are going to be easy, but because we need this break to recharge and hopefully pave a way for future getaways.
This feat will take no less than five caretakers for Avery (not including all of her teachers at school), a few more to help with Maddie, and medicine/meal/clothes/transpo plans like you have never seen! But it will be worth it. It will be worth it when I get to sleep here:
and look out here
and relax here
and walk along here
and chill here.