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Great Escapes and Guilty Pleasures

I’m in the middle of my latest favorite guilty pleasure. It’s Monday. The kids are in school. I have the day off, and I’m hanging at Bob’s Diner, indulging in a veggie burrito and listening to Queen on the jukebox as I write. There’s no champagne or pate on the menu, and I’m not likely to blow through 17 rolls of film recording it, but my Monday mini-vacations are fast becoming great escapes.

Once upon a time and for a few years, the Big Guy and I were DINKs (double-income-no-kids), and we loved every minute of it. We ate out. We went to movies – at an actual movie theatre. We took our time wandering through museums, and we watched rated R videos before nine o’ clock. It was one long date.

We knew kids were in our future, and, while we looked forward to that time, we had enough friends with school age kids to know we didn’t want to take our freedom for granted. Eventually, we got tired of just enjoying other people’s kids and decided it was time to have one of our own. Before we embarked on that journey, however, we decided to take one to Europe as a last hurrah with just the two of us.

So for two weeks, we skipped around Spain and prowled the streets of Paris. Letting serendipity steer us, we eschewed schedules. Spain and Paris were already sultry in April. We consumed art in the mornings and tapas and sangria in the afternoons. We wandered gardens and sampled chocolate concoctions with our afternoon tea. It was an escape filled romance with just a bit of hedonism, fortifying our marriage with fun before a third person came into our family.

Fast-forward fourteen years, and our future is here and full. We’ve added two the family roster, and there are no waking moments when one of us isn’t busy playing chef, referee, chauffeur or tutor. Reality is everything we hoped for when we fell in love with the idea of being parents. It’s also very much what we anticipated, and, while the memory of sun and sangria still makes me smile, sipping a soda, uninterrupted by email and household eruptions is the ultimate great escape.

What’s your favorite great escape?