Yay Hot Tubs!: Keep a Thriving Marriage While on the Road

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Let's not hide from this fact: parenting whittles away at your marriage in tiny, tiny chops at a time - only because (I think) the duties of rearing, feeding, bathing, disciplining, piggy-back-ride-giving, book reading, and entertaining take up so much time and even more energy.  Spend your days slaying dragons at the office, sitting in traffic on the way home, then doing your part to be a parent, you'll totally forget about enjoying your marriage.

Or am I making a big nasty confession here?

Plopping on the couch and agreeing on a television show to watch after the children are in bed just doesn't quite have the same OOMPH as when you used to go out for a drink at the downtown brewery before you had children.

OOMPH.  You need OOMPH. Once in a while. (Define oomph for yourself, you sicko...)

Then take this parenting stuff on an adventure road trip.

Think about that.  Yeah, it sounds like a pain.  The whole family living in a tent or, in the very least, spending most hours of the day within an arm's reach of one another.  Truthfully, it cultivates a family bond that you just don't get (or we don't get) from staying at the house over a three-day weekend.  Instead, an adventure road trip remains a good source for decompression.  We laugh more, we relax more.

After a week, or two days, or ten minutes of road-tripping, the weather, or whatever, gets to you after a while.  So do the duties of parenting-on-the-go.  Keeping up with health and happiness for the kids just - and I don't know how to say this any differently - gets old.

Ultimately, you and your spouse require - I'll say it again, "require" - some good time alone.

So check this out, go ahead click the pic to get in nice and close.  But oh, there's a story . . . :

Chloe was just 11 months old when we drove over Cinnamon and Engineer Passes in Colorado.  We'd been traveling for over a week already (from Jackson, WY to Moab, UT) endured snow and wind and rain as well as short nights and cold meals here and there.  Sure, we were making memories and having fun along the way.  But some parts of the whole experience of living outdoors for a several days straight just wore us thin.  Chloe, naturally, was fine with it.  Brooke and I, naturally, are tainted.  We know what a hot tub and a glass of wine are.

Up there at nearly 13,000 feet we declared, after envisioning the process of setting up camp again, that it was time to find us a little inn at Ouray.  Just as the afternoon rain came, we found a vacancy at The Matterhorn Inn; complete with the charm of a steep-sloped roof. The lady at the counter recited the usual rules of the inn, which we smiled and nodded but thought only of laying down on a real bed.

Then she snapped us out of our stupor, ". . . and the hot tub is open until 10:00 pm."

Brooke grabbed my arm and squeezed.  Hard.  I could feel her heart racing and then she whispered, "Mark, go get a bottle of wine.  I'll put Chloe to bed."  I winced, and agreed.

The lady handed me the room key and pointed out her window. "Your room is right there."  We could see it, just down the hall from the hot tub gate by about 30 or 40 feet.

POP QUIZ, dear reader: Can you take a guess as to what that meant to us?


Johnny Utah
+2 / 0
# Johnny Utah 2011-05-05 12:44
Quiz answer: Schwing!
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0 / 0
# Mark 2011-05-05 20:45
That's one way to put it.
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0 / 0
# Mark 2011-05-05 20:46
Hey wait a sec. Is this THE Johnny Utah from Point Break? What an honor!
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+1 / 0
# Seth 2011-06-03 18:34
Good reminder. Balance is everything these days...
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0 / 0
# Mark 2011-07-12 10:05
so true, so true.
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