Remember when Brad got back from Africa and the Army sent us on two "reunification retreats" to the Great Wolf Lodge? One of the chaplain's stressed the importance of investing in your marriage. He suggested: a date night - once a month, a weekend get-away - once a quarter, and a week away - once a year. I might mention that this chaplain had no children so that makes his suggestion much less complicated for himself.
Still his suggestion has stayed with me. Thankfully our church offers Parent's Night Out once a month. Its like a little reminder to make time for one another and a gift to make it easier for us. We try and take advantage of it whenever we can. But a weekend away? That just seemed like a crazy idea, with lots of difficult things to figure out.
Sometime this fall, it occurred to me that I had made time for a weekend away with PWOC. But a weekend away with my husband seemed too hard? That was an uncomfortable realization.
So, finally, this weekend, we got away. The boys stayed with the Clements, so it was like a retreat for them too ;)
We stayed downtown Montgomery. We had a hotel reservation and no other agenda.
We arrived at our hotel in the evening, and knew we wanted to eat pretty soon. There was an Oyster House across the street so we thought we'd give it a try for dinner. While waiting for our buzzer (we were told an hour and a half wait!!!), we walked a few blocks around. We found the Court Square Fountain, which was dyed pink for a breast cancer awareness campaign.Naturally, we took a self-portrait by the fountain.
From where we were standing in front of the fountain. We could see at least 5 historical markers. Montgomery has such a dynamic history. There was a marker directly across the street where Rosa Parks had gotten on the bus after work back in December 1955. Down the street from that marker, there was a marker about the Slave Trade Market Square. Behind us there was a marker in front of the building where the telegram was sent that started the War Between the States. In that brief walk up the street waiting for our dinner reservation, we decided we might just spend some time exploring the town on Saturday.
Here's a picture of our hotel:
And here we are before we headed out to go exploring on Saturday. Somehow my curling iron was still at Fort Benning, but I made do with what I had ;)
OH! And of course, I must tell you about this... When Brad went to check in, he said he noticed this sign while he was waiting. Then the clerk told him he was the "Guest of the Day." And handed him a bag with bottled water and some candy and a little note of appreciation. You know me, I was thrilled that we had "won!"
We had a really great time. We walked all over downtown Montgomery. We went to the Rosa Parks museum then walked up to the State Capital. We walked past the church that held the meeting to organize the bus boycotts where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to a crowd of 5000. We wandered around to the old train station by the river, and ended up touring the first White House of the Confederacy which is just blocks from the Civil Rights Memorial. There is so much history in that city!
For whatever reason, there were very few other people out walking around town. A few times, it felt like we were the only ones out and about. The weather was perfect for exploring.
We also stopped in at the RV show at the convention center. We found a couple 5th wheels that we were interested in and bought a $205,000 motor home, it was a good deal with only a $1400/month payment for 20 years. How could we pass that up? Oh, I kid. We are waiting to buy it for a 10th anniversary gift ;)
We had a great time. I don't know when we will retreat again, but I hope we can make it a regular thing, maybe not every quarter, but at least often enough to recharge and stay focused. We are so grateful that we were able to do this. Thankful that God has given us great friends that love our boys so well and thankful that He laid it on our hearts to be intentional about spending time with one another.