Do you fantasize about hanging out in a luxury hotel room with all white linens, watching something besides Disney Jr. and dining at restaurants with nice wine lists and no toddlers in sight? Do you want to catch up with your lady friends that are now scattered across the country *without* chasing your children around or worrying if your husbands will hit it off?
You may be feeling a little *ahem* mature for the girls’ trips of old that included staying out until 3am and sleeping until noon, nursing hangovers on the beach with a fruity cocktail, and getting all glammed up to do it again night after night.
Enter the Ladycation. We’ve grown up, ladies and now it’s time for our escapes to grow up, too.
Do it for yourself. Do it for your friends. Do it for your children’s and husband’s physical safety (kidding, mostly). Do it for sanity’s sake.
Step 1: Pick a reason to celebrate. “Hey, ‘soandso’ is [pregnant/getting married/getting divorced/losing her mind] and we’re planning a little getaway to celebrate!” What husband can turn this down? Even if there is no *real* reason to celebrate, find one. This is an integral part of the plan. Celebrations warrant extra spending money, upgrades in hotel rooms, special treatment at restaurants, and dessert at every meal.
Step 2: Plan ahead. Duh. This is no mystery when you have children. While escaping at the drop of a hat would be glorious, we all know it’s just not realistic at this point in our lives. The more ladies involved, the longer the planning stage takes. Jobs, kids, husbands, flights; the list of potential scheduling roadblocks goes on and on. Agree on a date and then give yourself several weeks to plan around this. This also gives you time to schedule massages at the best spa, grab tickets to shows you want to see, and research the most important item on the list: food.
Step 3: Don’t forget to schedule downtime. I’ve graciously omitted photos of our scheduled rest period during our recent ladycation to Chicago, but this was one of my favorite parts of our trip. Put your feet up, watch some non-toddler TV, eat some junk food, and maybe have a glass of wine in bed (read: all the things you can’t do or feel guilty for when you’re at home).
Step 4: Remember who is coming when planning activities. Is half of your crew pregnant? Maybe don’t plan a visit to a brewery or winery. Lots of early birds? Scope out some breakfast spots near your hotel in advance. Someone *hate* the beach (blasphemy)? Perhaps skip the trip to the coast and opt for another locale. We planned for a little bit of everything: shopping, a tour of Chicago architecture on the river, spa treatments, and a little bit of sightseeing, too.
On our Chicago trip we were “celebrating” my pregnancy (and a few other life events for the other ladies that shall remain unmentioned at present :)). I could spend weeks in Chicago and not run out of things to do, so paring down the list was difficult. Some of our favorites included the “Original” architecture boat tour with Wendella Boats, Deja Vu at Second City, shopping at Macy’s in the old Marshall Fields building, a quick trip to Cloud Gate (AKA, the Bean), and of course a visit to Dylan’s Candy Bar on Magnificent Mile. And if you find yourself in Chicago celebrating a pregnancy, you must check out the prenatal massage at Bliss!