A few weeks back, Dave and I talked about about how working from home has trained us to think about work all the time–even on the weekends when we’re supposed to be relaxing. It’s one of the drawbacks to freelance work. While it’s great for flexibility, it can wreak havoc on your mental health.
When your home is your office, there’s no physical/mental escape. No sanctuary. No threshold that says once you cross it you’re officially “off duty.”
And it’s hard to take time off from freelance because, if you don’t hustle, you don’t get paid. It can be relentless and you find yourself believing you don’t deserve a break.
But a break is what we needed. Dave’s been traveling a ton and all of us were out of sorts. We needed to reconnect as a family. The problem was I knew we’d all just fall into the same old patterns if we stayed home. So we ran away for the weekend.
If you’re unfamiliar with Maryland, the Chesapeake Bay divides the state into two parts: the part where most everyone in the state lives—along the 95 corridor (on the west side of the Bay)—and the Eastern Shore.
On our side, it’s all hustle and bustle. But once you cross the Bay Bridge, you’re in Eastern Shore territory. There’s more farmland, wildlife, and everyone seems to have a deep connection to water. It seemed like the right place for a weekend getaway.
So we checked into the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina who offered us a room for the weekend. The kids flipped out over the hotel. Seriously, you’d think this was their first time in one. I guess it was the arcade, the two outdoor pools and the one inside that showed movies. Also, each night the hotel lights a big fire in their outdoor fireplace for guests to roast marshmallows for s’mores. Jonah said, “You can write a great review and you don’t even have to lie!” The kids care about my integrity.
While there’s more than enough to do at the resort to keep everyone happy for the weekend (mini golf, boating, pools, waterslide, arcade, arts & crafts activities, etc), we opted to explore the surrounding area. We went bird watching at Blackwater Wildlife Refuge—famous for Bald Eagles. We also talked about Harriet Tubman and how she ran a portion of the underground railroad in the area. We stopped at landmarks like the historic Stanley Institute, a one-room African American schoolhouse, and discussed how easy it is for our children to receive an education and how it was denied to so many children for so long.
While we were driving along, we spotted a farmhouse off the road. It had some kind of grassy crop in front of it that made it look like the scene from Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World. So naturally this had to happen.
During our stay we split our meals between the hotel and a few local restaurants. One night we let the kids order room service just to have the experience. Ellie kept the tiny condiment jars because she thought they were adorable. The kids ate and watched The Hobbit while Dave and I had a dinner date at one of the hotel’s restaurants. Can I tell you how nice it is having older kids now?
If you go, I highly recommend a visit to the resort’s spa. I got a massage and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxed and happy. There’s also a sauna and steam room you can check out while you’re there. And I didn’t get a facial but I overheard guests raving about them.
We headed back home on Sunday. It was a great weekend and a reminder that sometimes you have to step away from home to see and appreciate the fullness of your life. I think that’s one of the things I love most about traveling. It offers clarity. And you don’t have to go that far to get it.