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My wife and I recently celebrated our eight-year wedding anniversary, and instead of the usual (and frankly, expected) exchange of gifts and a nice steak dinner downtown we decided to get away for the weekend. About thirty minutes away. The Umstead Hotel and Spa, located right off of I-40 in Cary, NC, had always been on our bucket list of places to experience. It’s well-known, highly rated, and the website makes it seem like the ultimate getaway no matter where you’re coming from.
There are many advantages of a staycation. We were able to maximize our time on the property since we did not have to travel out of town, and it relieved a little bit of the stress of leaving the kids knowing they were not far. And although The Umstead is luxury experience and is priced as such, we did not need to spend money on food while traveling or much money on gas.
We took advantage of one of their special packages. They include “The Umstead Experience” (the top of the line), and various other arrangements that takes advantage of the onsite spa and fine dining restaurant, Herons. We chose a package that included a one-night stay in a lake view room and an 80-minute couples massage in the on-site spa. Upon arriving on the property, I instantly knew it would be something special.
From the decor to the attentiveness of the staff, The Umstead was easily the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at. We lounged by the pool, where a wait staff ensured that we always had a bottle of water and adult beverage in our hand. The spa experience was the main attraction, and lived up to our expectations of being completely relaxed and transported to a place far away from the grind of our daily lives. And although we didn’t dine at the fine restaurant, Herons, we were more than satisfied with the offerings from the bar kitchen.
The takeaway: you don’t need to spend money on travel expenses to have a truly romantic and relaxing escape. During our all-to-brief stay at The Umstead, there were several times when I forgot I was in Cary. Indeed, I felt hours away from home even though I was right down the street.
Will Klinger- is a fellow Stay At-Home Dad and member of the Triangle Stay at Home Dads, the Chapel Hill/Carrboro Dads and SODU Parents Posse.