Our First Weekend Away: Niagara-on-the-Lake

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After months of talking about this, and a few failed attempts that meant we were all sleeping at nonna’s house, it finally happened; my husband and I took our first mini-vacation. While it was really hard to leave our little man (getting out the door took about an hour) and planning his meals was a bit stressful, the time together was something we truly needed.

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This past weekend we booked a last minute getaway to Niagara-on-the-lake; a place close enough to home that we could go for one night, but far enough away that we felt like we were on vacation. As we walked along the main strip the smell of caramel, chocolate and freshly brewed coffee filled the air. We followed our noses to Victoria Teas & Coffees and were so happy to share a cup that we were immediately transported to London, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and France; places we’ve travelled together in the past. Those first few hours together were all it took to remind us how much we enjoy each other’s company. So we decided to buy some beans to take home with us (a little daily reminder of this experience). The lady at the counter told us all about the beans, a few ghost stories about the old town and assured us that taking the time to get a away together is something we should try to do as often as possible. It’s the simple things that remind you that even though everything around has changed, we are and can still be, us.

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As new parents there are a lot of things that change, the big one being alone time and time to enjoy each other’s company. Like most things, I did not have any concept of this before it happened, in fact I can honestly say I had no idea that this was going to happen at all. No one prepares you for how much your life will change. I could always picture children in our future, but I had no idea what it would be like to be married with children. It’s completely different! There is something beautiful about sharing all the joys of being a new parent with someone you love, but it can also be incredibly difficult. You truly have to learn how to be a couple again, because it is so easy to forget about this part of your lives when so much of your attention is on the taking care of your little one.

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This past weekend was short and sweet, but when you are used to only an hour or two of alone time (most of which is spent half awake after putting the little one to sleep) 24 hours felt like a weeklong vacation. If becoming a new parent has taught me anything, it’s to allow yourself to savour the moments of calm. We spent the majority of our weekend walking the main strip and eating together, something we both love. We aren’t really big on over planning when we go away, so our meals were a bit spontaneous, which meant a late night pub-style dinner at the Irish Harp where we enjoyed traditional Guinness stews and some live music in a laid back setting. We ended the weekend with some relaxation massages at the Pillar and Post’s 100 Fountain Spa, a place we both wished we could escape to once a week.

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If we think of our lives as a series of moments; and as a new parent I see these as moments of chaos along side brief moments of calm, I have to say that my favourite moments are always spent enjoying food with the people I love. Yes, I love food so much that I greet most mornings with thoughts of coffee, tea, breakfast and dinner ideas. I literally map out my day in meals. But there really is something about pausing three, four or even five times a day to sip, savour and enjoy that make the chaos that is life manageable. And enjoying these simple pleasures: savoury snacks, warm drinks (cool drinks) and sweet treats with someone you love make it all worthwhile. After this brief but blissful getaway, my husband and I were reminded of the small pleasures that bring us together and hope to make little trips like this an annual thing.

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