Don't despair if you're on a budget--"away" can be a state of mind. Remember when you first dated? It seemed like all kinds of places could be romantic just because you were together. Looking back now, you might agree that the setting or the cost didn't reflect the world's ideal of a romantic experience, but the memories were made and the romance was obvious.
When my husband and I were dating in college, one June night, we spent a wonderfully fun romantic evening at the semi-lit playground of a local elementary school. I remember how hard we laughed as we pushed each other on the swings and challenged each other to small-scale athletic feats. Believe it or not, we weren't the only adults there! When a couple from Omaha decided to try it, they left the oldest of their three children in charge and headed to a nearby playground that they enjoy as a family. They loved the peaceful rhythm of conversation that usually can't be theirs when the children are along.
Depending on where you live, one fun idea is to stop by the local airport, check in to short-term parking, and rush to gates with current arrival flights. Amidst all the joyful hugging, kissing, and reuniting going on, throw your arms around each other and say, "I'm so glad to see you!" "You look great!" On the walk back to the car (you're among the lucky who can skip the baggage claim), fill each other in on little details that get overlooked in the everyday chaos. Chances are you'll have as much to talk about as the travelers. And your only expense is the parking ticket!
Another getaway that can bring back sweet memories is stopping by the newborn nursery window at a hospital. You'll be hard pressed to find a place more quiet in which to whisper together. And you know how close you have to be to whisper...
For a couple from Cincinnati with two small children, daily romance usually means heart-shaped Post-It notes left around, but they also book Date Days. On these Fridays, they take a vacation day from work and relish a local daytime date. The kids spend the day at the normal day-care provider while the parents reconnect. We were amazed at how great a round of golf was for getting them reconnected! According to this husband, nothing is as romantic as a wife who golfs. After a long giggly lunch for two, he reciprocated the romantic gesture by shopping with his wife. Note: They compromised on 9 holes of golf and less than 3 hours of shopping.
For the less athletically inclined, try tucking into a quiet corner in your local library or bookstore, and taking turns sharing romantic poems you find for each other. Or try dipping those summer strawberries and fruits into some romantic chocolate sauce or fondue--and feed it to each other! Ordering luxury or gourmet items through Internet sites can add to the anticipation. If you aren't shopping together, leave intriguing notes around the house about the special mood-setter that will be arriving.
With a little imagination, you can create a romantic getaway in your own home, without any special accoutrements. Try cooking up a midnight pancake supper for two. Light some candles and eat in your jammies while the household sleeps. All it takes a little sense of adventure!
TAKE IT FROM ME
Swap child care with other couples for more opportunities to get a break.