In December of 2014, my husband (then-boyfriend) and I decided to take a babymoon. I was four months pregnant; destination: Miami.
There were several goals of this trip: to be able to have one last travel experience before baby arrived, to have defined romantic alone-time before baby arrived, to spend some money on ourselves before baby arrived, and, ultimately, to just relax.
We stayed in Miami Beach for the first three days of the trip, and then in Fort Lauderdale for the remainder of the week. Each morning in Miami, we walked to an amazing, hidden bagel shop, and had the most delicious bagels with homemade cream cheese and smoothies. We would then go to the beach at the resort, where we'd lay on lounge chairs in the sand, and I'd slather my growing belly with sunscreen and read "Not That Kind of Girl" and listen to music. The weather was actually not perfect; it was beautifully sunny every day, but a little cooler than expected, around 70, and very windy. Still, we made it a priority to go to the beach. I watched another young couple come sit next to us, blasting rap music about cocaine and acting generally carefree, and I could both see myself in the girl and see none of myself in the girl. At the same time, I wondered what she thought of me. I wondered if she could tell I was pregnant.
Our last evening in Miami, we took an Uber to Joe's Stone Crab, home to delicious, unique stone crab, a million tuxedoed male waiters, and ten thousand tourists. The walk back toward the hotel, through South Beach, was more memorable than the restaurant itself and we happened upon an Eastern European grocery. My husband saw lots of things he recognized, and I saw one of my favorite desserts: baklava. We ordered a few pieces, a tiny bottle of rose champagne, and Fanta Shokata (the best Fanta option, from Bosnia; it's elderflower- and lemon-flavored!) and headed back to the hotel.
On our last morning in Miami, we woke up extra early to eat cereal on the beach and watch the sun rise. After we ate, we walked along the beach, in the surf. The sand was littered with seaweed and Portuguese Men-of-War, little bird tracks, and shells. It felt like we weren't in Miami, but somewhere else, exploring the unknown. I felt a little bit like a child again, excited by this world around me and all of these things to discover.
Later that afternoon, we took an Uber to where we would stay for the remainder of our trip. If the hotel in Miami was trendy, upscale, and modern with its splashes of electric colors on stark white walls, then the hotel in Fort Lauderdale was traditionally decorated, classic, but luxurious with deep mahoganies and golds. The bathroom was maybe the most beautiful bathroom I had ever seen. Creamy marble lined the floors and walls; a simple glass box surrounded the shower. And, yes, there was a jacuzzi bathtub. The last two pieces of baklava I had saved were consumed in that very tub during a romantic bubble bath later that night.
In the mornings, we would eat muffins and croissants and cappuccinos on our balcony, watching the sun rise higher in the sky until it blanketed us, watching the shipping vessels venture distantly beyond the waves, casting their shadows on the horizon.
In the evenings, we ate lavish meals. Oysters, glasses of prosecco, the best steak with chimichurri sauce you ever had, roasted mushrooms, crispy brussels sprouts with lardons. We went to the same restaurant two nights in a row because it was so damn good. We would watch the sun set over the ocean as we clinked our glasses to our coming year, exchanging looks at each other, then at my belly. I looked at my husband and felt this overwhelming adoration for him. I remember thinking, as the waves crashed on the shore and the candle flickered in the salty breeze, "This is exactly where we are meant to be."
I knew we likely wouldn't have a honeymoon for a couple of years, so the babymoon was our opportunity to really celebrate our time together. But it was also an opportunity to look forward to all the amazing things coming our way, and to take a break from the everyday, to reflect on those amazing things and be thankful that we're in all of this together.