Monday, August 11, 2014

This Post Is Not About Huang Kids

For the first time since we left for China to pick up a little baby girl almost 9 years ago, Amy and I had an evening to ourselves with no kids.  And it was divine.

Jada is off at sleepaway camp again, and Amy's brother and sister-in-law graciously invited Aaron to sleep over, so we took advantage of the freedom (and a free hotel voucher) and booked a room at the Inn at Penn, which is on the Penn campus.  It was so close we walked there!

It was simply grand to luxuriate in our temporary childless existence.  A few snippets for my remembrance:

(1) At least three or four times, I told Amy that we have to do this again.  And it's true.  She and I work so hard, not just at our jobs but also with kid stuff and house stuff and other stuff.  We really ought to make more time for each other.  When we went out to dinner not long after getting to the hotel, we realized we hadn't even gone on a date since before summer began.  I'm going to try to make sure we spend more quality time together from here on out. 

(2) One of our evening stroll stops was the American Apparel store, which I've passed by a lot but have never gone inside of.  I think Jada's body type and fashion style will land her here when she is older, and I can't say I'm comfortable about this.  If you're not familiar with American Apparel, I'll just say that when we were in the store, I said a few things that will make me sound really old.  One is: the 80's are back.  Two is: that's a lot of tummy to show.  And three is: is that see-through?

(3) Speaking of pop culture, one of our splurges when we stay in a hotel is cable TV, which we don't have at home.  Let me tell you, there is pretty much a show for everything.  Even though I was reading most of the time, I remember seeing shows about pawn shops, Brazilian butts, tricked-out RV's, and houses on frozen-over lakes.

(4) Speaking of reading, which is one of my favorite vacation activities, the book I'm reading is a history of vacations in the US from the 1800's to World War II.  It is fascinating to see how leisure evolved over that time, in relation to things like the Protestant work ethic, gender roles, and labor issues.  It also felt very meta to me, to read about vacations while on vacation.  To complete the experience, I also spent some time planning our next vacation while on vacation.

(5) Thanks to our free hotel room voucher, we ended up spending barely $100 on our little romantic getaway.  We went out to dinner at a reasonably priced restaurant, pigged out on candy bars at the nearby Wawa for dessert, and then splurged on the fancy breakfast buffet at the University Club the next morning.  And that was it.  After all, since we were recreating in our city, we didn't buy any souvenirs, although that would've been fun. 

(6) Our vacations have gotten much saner once we both realized that exercising is an important part of our daily routine, even when we're away.  So whether we're in the Poconos or at my parents', we've found places to lift and swim and run and bike.  No different at the Inn at Penn, where we found a top-notch fitness center open 24 hours.  I'll confess to spending far more time ogling Amy than concentrating on my own reps. 
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