By a miraculous stroke of luck and timing, my husband and I were able to get away last week for a 6-day retreat to the Maya Riviera. My husband is a teaching artist and I'm a writing painter, so we don't usually have the means to travel for sheer pleasure. When we realized that we might have the ability to make it happen, I asked for help from my smart, savvy travel agent friend D'Lane of D'Lane Maselunas Travel.
We ended up staying at the Valentine Imperial Maya near Tulum, Mexico. My husband and I have never stayed in a resort and this was our first brush with an all-inclusive accommodation. The Valentin was immaculate and completely gorgeous in every way.
The service was so good that at times I felt embarrassed. The level of care provided by the Valentin staff rivals the kind of attention and pampering I imagine is experienced only by royalty, babies and the 1%. I'm so used to taking care of myself and my family; so accustomed to making all of the meals, planning all of the activities, overseeing household budgets, attending to my sons' many needs, not to mention managing the health and well-being of my special needs child. It's difficult to let someone else do for you what you know you can do for yourself. But after some adjustment, I was able to fully relax and allow the week to unfold.
The best part of this vacation was that I was with my husband for long stretches of uninterrupted time. We weren't burdened with the care and feeding of our real life, which meant that we could celebrate our little victories over the past few years (years filled with an unusual amount of grief and strain) and talk at length about our future plans. We were also thrilled to enjoy some serious reading, a favorite pastime for both of us. My husband read "Moonglow" by Michael Chabon and I read "A Book of Silence" by Sara Maitland and "Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith" by Anne Lamott. We recommend all three! Anyway - I'm so grateful to have had this once in a life-time opportunity to get away.
Here are some snap shots from the trip. The hotel was nowhere near full, so we were able to enjoy many of the spaces in private. The weather was windy and spotted with rain showers and the ocean was too wild to swim in. But it didn't matter. We had the most wonderful time.