My Convertible Life

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday's 5: Local Places to Spend the Night Away

Before we had kids, my husband and I took romantic trips to places like South Beach (FL), Charleston (SC, not WV) and Paris (France, not Texas).

After kids? Not so much. In fact, I'm ashamed to say that my passport is still expired.

But even though it's been years since we took a big trip together, that doesn't mean we haven't planned a getaway weekend here and there. We've just shifted from focusing on the destination to simply being-together-not-at-home-with-kids.

In order to maximize our time away and minimize the time we spend traveling, we've taken some lovely overnight trips to such exotic locales as (are you ready for this?) Pittsboro, Chapel Hill and Durham. Yes, that's a whopping 35 miles (or less) from our house.

I know it sounds crazy, but just leaving the kids at home with the grandparents while we sneak away for 24 hours is a marriage-saving luxury. We eat out for lunch, dinner and breakfast. We nap. We sleep in. We (gasp) talk to each other. We finish WHOLE SENTENCES without being interrupted. We maybe go to a movie or do a little shopping. We even spend a some quality time being naked together.

Then we go home to our beautiful children, much happier to see them because we've been away. They're so happy to see us, too -- but they also get a great time with their grandparents. It's really a win-win-win for all involved.

So if you're in need of a getaway with your spouse -- or even just to escape on your own for 24 hours -- here are five recommendations of places that are close to home:
  1. The Fearrington House Country Inn: We stayed at the award-winning Fearrington right before Christmas when Junius was still an only child. It was my first night away from him in his whole 17-month life -- and it was  just what everyone in the family needed. The restaurant is fantastic, so you don't need to drive anywhere. Be sure not miss out on the afternoon tea. 
  2. The Franklin Hotel: We stayed at the Franklin in November 2009 -- and yes, we sing the beginning of Nick Jr's "Franklin" theme song every time we talk about it ("Hey, it's Franklin..."). Being a UNC alum (twice), I'm always happy to spend a weekend on the Hill. But more than that, the Franklin is a beautiful, classy place to stay. Plus there are great restaurants in easy walking distance, so you can leave the car in the garage and not deal with downtown parking.
  3. The King's Daughters Inn: We stayed at the KDI (as they call it in the materials) last weekend thanks to a Living Social Deal. Although I'd normally be a little jittery so close to Duke's campus (see double-UNC alum, above), I really liked the inn. Again, lots of great restaurants close by -- although we ended up driving to dinner because it was cold and rainy. More details in next week's post.
  4. Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel: I actually stayed at the Renaissance with a friend for a mom's getaway -- but it would be a nice place to go with my husband sometime, too. It's less than two miles from my house, yet I could have been 200 miles away given the bizarre feeling of freedom to see an afternoon movie, enjoy a leisurely dinner, wander around shops and visit with my friend. The Renaissance Hotels are Marriott properties, but more upscale than the average chain hotels.
  5. Front Street Inn: This is the only place on my list that's not in the Triangle -- but Wilmington is an easy 2-hour drive from Raleigh. With quirky rooms and a view of the Cape Fear River, the Front Street Inn is located in the historic district, offering easy access to restaurants, shops and antique stores.
So the next place on my list? The Umstead Hotel and Spa. I haven't even been inside yet, but everything that I've read and seen about it looks glorious. If we can't get back to Paris for our 10th anniversary this fall, maybe we can just pretend by enjoying the luxurious life at The Umstead and spending a morning at the NC Museum of Art.

How about you? What's your favorite overnight getaway location?

Note: As always, none of the places listed here offered me any sort of compensation for writing this post. However, I'm happy to accept a coupon toward my next visit if anyone would like to send one.

1 comment:

  1. My husband and I live in Massachusetts and our go-to getaway is Boston. We don't have in-laws who could handle our girlies for more than 24 hours. Or should I say, our girlies are difficult for ANYONE to handle for 24 hours. Anyway. Point being, I totally get what you're saying. Our last 24 Hr getaway was pure heaven.


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