I just got back last night from a lovely weekend away. The first two days were spent at my parents’ house in Muskoka, but it’s currently black fly season, which meant that my attempts at doing anything outside quickly turned into wild swatting and dancing around on the spot. So I mostly sat on the sofa, read voraciously The Secret Life of Bees, baked a gigantic batch of banana chocolate chip muffins, and ate my sister’s amazing wood-fired pizza.
Then, on Saturday morning, something really exciting happened. Jason and I left for a night away without the kids! We’ve never left both of them before and the last time we were away together was for our honeymoon, when A. was 13 months old. That was almost three years ago — too long.
Our romantic adventure began in the morning when I said goodbye to my babies with a surprisingly joyful heart and hightailed it out of there, eager to explore Haliburton County for a few hours before checking into the resort. We hiked alongside Buttermilk Falls, a spectacular, gushing torrent of water. We wandered through the little town of Haliburton, checking out cute shops and sharing a pot of French-pressed coffee outside the beautiful Heritage House Café.
We visited the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre, where a pack of wolves roams in a 15-acre enclosure. There’s an indoor observatory with one-way glass where visitors can watch the wolves playing and eating. They’re fed on a randomized weekly schedule, each chowing down on 15 lbs of beaver, deer, or moose in a single sitting, which is meant to resemble their natural hunting pattern. Unfortunately we didn’t spot a single wolf, which was disappointing, but I still learned a lot about them. Fascinating animals!
Later in the afternoon, we checked into the resort. It was everything I’d hoped for — rustic yet elegant, comfortable, cozy, and just beautiful. Somehow we ended up with the best room in the place, with a private screened balcony overlooking the lake where I spent some very happy time reading, uninterrupted. Dinner was fantastic: grilled tiger shrimp served with hollandaise and greens to start, followed by a grilled Romaine and garlic aioli salad. Jason and I shared a bison striploin and a marinated duck breast for the main. Dessert was my all-time favourite, crême brulée, with a maple twist. I stumbled out of the dining room, stuffed to the gills and very happy. We spent the evening playing ping pong and Scrabble in the bar, accompanied by fantastic live music, then visited the sauna and water spa before bed. Then, joy of joys, we slept in together until 8:30 a.m., which we haven’t done in years. It was pretty much perfection.
The next day, after returning to reality, and to our kids (who’d had a blast without us), a family friend congratulated us on getting away. “My parents just celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary,” he told us. “Whenever anyone asks what their secret is to being so in love with each other after all these years, they say it’s their regular marriage enrichment weekends. They raised five kids but insisted on getting away for 48 hours every single year. It does wonders for a marriage.” I’m more than happy to make this an annual tradition. I feel a sense of deep inner relaxation that’s both exhilarating and calming. We’ll definitely be doing this again.