Do you see this man?
We’ve been together for over 19 years. We were on the cusp of adulthood when we met and here we are, old married folks with two kids. As our thirteenth wedding annivesary quickly approached, I knew I wanted us to get away to celebrate. We were planning to have a quick dinner out, but I had more in mind than two hours to ourselves.
I wanted a full 24 hours to focus on each other – to talk about life, our goals, our frustrations and yes, the kids. I wanted a few meals where no one yelled at us about how disgusting it was or how they didn’t want to help clean up. I love our children, but they can be all consuming and quite frankly, we were overdue.
I turned to my trusty FB feed and asked for suggestions on places to go, no farther than two hours away. We settled on Kinston after several people recommended we eat at the famous Chef and the Farmer restaurant. At only 90 minutes away, it was an easy choice.
So we dropped off the kids at G-ma’s and zipped off to the small North Carolina town in our Toyota Prius Prime , courtesy of Toyota, unsure of what was in store.
I was really surprised by how quiet the downtown Kinston area was. We stopped at The Boiler Room for lunch, where I had the most amazing burger and warm banana pudding and it was packed. But the streets outside were not. We hit up the CSS Neuse Civil War Museum afterwards, and maybe saw 14 people in two hours.
I managed to snag a 9:30 reservation for Chef and the Farmer (plan to make reservations a few months in advance!) so we had some time to kill before dinner. Several people had recommended we go to Mother Earth Brewery so that’s where we went. I’m not a big beer girl, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about a brewery, but it was awesome. The Weeping Willow Wit is what I went with – light enough for a non-beer girl with a hint of Blue Moon feel minus the strong citrus.
We spent about 2.5 hours there, including a tour of the facility, and talked. Uninterrupted conversation. It was delightful. We talked about EVERYthing. At home, we are together, but rarely have deep conversations. It’s a quick chat before he runs out the door, or over dinner. At night, we’re tired so unless something big is happening, we’re together but quiet, either watching TV or sitting together but doing our own separete thing with a book or on the computer.
Twenty-four hours doesn’t seem like a lot but it was the perfect amount of time for us to reconnect, to remind ourselves what we love about the other and reflect on why we chose to spend our life with each other to begin with. We ate amazing food, enjoyed each other’s company and had a nice, relaxing trip.
If you haven’t had a night away with your partner in awhile, make an effort to plan something. It’s totally worth the effort.
A few Kinston, NC tips
1) Plan in advance. The Chef and the Farmer has reservations booked out months in advance.
2) If you like gin, order the Lemon Basil Gimlet. It was AH-mazing.
3) Take the tour at Mother Earth Brewery.
4) Book a room at the O’Neal Hotel or the trendy Mother Earth Motor Lodge. I waited too long so we ended up at the Hampton Inn (which was fine) but these two hotels would have added a little more personality to our visit. Both looked really cool and I hope we can stay at one of these places the next time we head to Kinston.