Joe and I aren't able to see family for the holidays. We also have a very limited budget thanks to medical bills and my "temporary disability." But we set goals for ourselves individually and as a couple, and we reached a goal and earned the reward. One of our goals was to pay off our credit cards. We had made some adjustments to our expenses earlier this year and aggressively tackled our credit card debt. I am to blame for a lot of it, as I didn't always live within my means as a single adult. I am glad I learned my lessons before getting married, however, and adjusted my lifestyle. I'm also grateful that Joe was willing to marry me with my debts (I just wish I could magically make these student loans disappear!) when I've heard of that being a deal-breaker for some.
So, to celebrate paying off our credit cards, we put less money than we were putting into a monthly credit card payment into a mini-vacation. Babymoons, as pre-baby vacations are being called by many these days, are increasing in popularity. And when I realized it might be a while before we get the opportunity to go on a vacation after the baby comes, the idea appealed even more. So, we booked a hotel room in Ocean Shores, WA for a couple nights and eagerly looked forward to our trip.
Joe decided to take Friday and Monday off work. I asked him if he'd like a day to just do whatever by himself since I'm always around at home now, and he (kind of) took me up on that offer. We went to Sonic for breakfast on Friday and ran an errand in that neighborhood. When we got home, I spent a few hours reading a book in the living room while he watched some movies and spent some time on his computer in the family room. Then we watched a bit of TV together. That night, we went to the Moore Theater in Seattle to see Mike Birbiglia perform. We enjoyed the show, which was more like a story-time than stand-up comedy, but which provided plenty of laughs anyway. Then we came home and crashed.
On Saturday we slept in a bit before heading to Carnation, WA and Camp Korey for their fall activities. We went through a corn maze (and found a fire pit where we roasted s'mores in the middle of the maze), ate pumpkin pancakes, sipped on hot chocolate, and took a hay ride. It was enjoyable (and cheap). Our whole drive from here to Carnation (about an hour away) was rainy, but the weather cooperated the entire time we were there, which was pleasantly surprising.
On our way home, we stopped by the grocery store to get some snacks for our trip and some other groceries. Then we headed home, packed, and made the two-plus hour drive to the coast. The weather wasn't very cooperative on our drive there either, but it was a nice, peaceful drive without too many other cars on the road once we got through Tacoma. We'd been contacted on Friday because we had unknowingly booked a room that was handicapped-accessible to see if we were able to switch rooms as it was needed by another guest. Of course, we agreed, and were told we were actually getting a room "upgrade" to the "most popular room in the hotel." We spent the weekend relaxing as storms raged outside, playing games together, watching movies, reading, window shopping, and checking out local cuisine. We even managed to get a short walk on the beach in between showers (it started raining again almost right as we returned to the car).
We headed home yesterday and relaxed at home before going out to dinner to celebrate Joe's birthday. I've realized that while I appreciate getting away from routines and creating new memories, it's always nice at the end of those trips to come home to the conveniences and familiarity of home. I'm glad we were able to enjoy these various activities relatively frugally so we wouldn't have to stress about how we were going to pay for anything. And it was nice having that extra time to spend with my sweetheart creating memories that we'll cherish.