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.
My wife and I are planning our next trip. I have been thinking lately about how much work it is Just to even start your trip planning, nonetheless actually plan What you are going to do when you get there. It really boils down to the 5 W's (Who, What, When, Where & Why?). I took out How, because the 5 W's & the 1 H doesn't sound as cool. I may also talk about them out of order as well, but here has been my thought process for our upcoming trip to Boone/Blowing Rock.
Why?: This may be the most obvious question. To get away. We are going to try to get away at least once a quarter. If not for my job, then also because its healthy and can be a lot of fun!
Who?: Not sure if anyone read it, however I did a blog article a little while ago that was all about traveling with friends. So, we wanted to make it happen. So, for this next trip we have reached out to some friends and we think its going to work out.
Where?: Already did the beach thing this summer with a family trip to Carolina Beach. Btw, if you would like a list of recommendations for Carolina Beach, I can send pre-done recommendations to you for $25. So, living where we are living, quick trips are often decided between beach and mountains. So, Mountains it is! Now, I've heard great things about Tweetsie Railroad. So, we are looking at using VRBO to rent a cabin near both Blowing Rock and Boone.
When?: I quickly did some research and found out that the weekend of October 7th is the best weekend to go to the Boone/Blowing Rock area for the Fall colors. Then, reached out to our friends and they are free too!
What?: As in what are we going to do when we get there. Well, that's my next research project and it could benefit you too. You can have this trip's pre-done research to, after its done. Also, remember that I custom plan trips for anyone, if they are interested. All I ask is a meeting and the ability to give you a quote for my time.
A friend recently told me, “We are stressed out right now, we need to travel.” This got me thinking about how important traveling is to me, my family and the people that I love or even like :). I whole heartedly agreed with him and it sounds like he was able to encourage the rest of his family as well. So, good for him.
This got me to thinking… “Why do I (specifically) travel?” First of all, I’m fortunate that I can travel. But, if I had to some up why I enjoy it so much I would probably narrow it down to these Top 3 reasons: 1. That’s it typically relaxing. 2. That you are creating new Memories and 3. That it’s an amazing break in the routine. Now, this probably comes as no surprise to you-but, maybe I can give you more ammunition to use with the rest of your family or whomever you are traveling with?
Last weekend, my family and I went to a friend’s lake house. It was so Chill. It was awesome to have such few worries in the world for once. I’ve noticed that despite how the trip goes, I am definitely way less stressed after a trip/vacation then I normally am. Not that I am typically high-strung, but there is something about a vacation that relaxes me.
You may have noticed from my website that I love taking pictures. Sure, a lot of people do. True. Many of the best memories that I have growing up are from our vacations. I know that most of my favorite pictures are those taken from vacations. Plus, we still talk about the trips we’ve taken as a couple/family.
I am a variety person, so taking a trip is also a great break in the routine. To quote Office Space, “Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day.” I am always a little sad after a great trip, like the trip to the Lake House this past weekend, but I know that that means we are doing something right on our trips.
Hope that I can somehow help you with yours?