How To Choose A Babymoon. Beach, Mountain, or City Escape?
There are two moments during a pregnancy when the realization hits you that a baby is on the way. The first is the second ultrasound when you learn the sex. All tests up to that point are just blobs on a screen. This is the cheerful realization. Finally, there’s proof that you made a human. It’s a tearful moment filled with hope and anticipation for the arrival of that little buddle of joy.
The second realization is when you’re filling out the baby registry. Those heartfelt feelings of hope and anticipation are replaced with fear and anxiety as your shopping assistant walks you through the aisles and points out everything needed to properly welcome that crying and pooping new member to your peaceful duo and not feel like a negligent parent.
“What do I need that for again?”
“How much does it cost?”
“Is there anything in this store priced under $50?”
“How am I going to save for college when the first year is bleeding me dry?”
“You’re kidding me! We’ll go through how many diapers a day?”
I was completely overwhelmed, and we’d barely gotten started. Suddenly, being a parent didn’t sound like much fun. I looked at my wife and could see she felt the same way, except worse. Earlier in the day she read the section of that fear mongering book What to Expect When You’re Expecting on the weeks after childbirth and was rightfully traumatized. We needed a vacation. Thank goodness we booked our babymoon.
Yes, I’m going to call it a babymoon. That’s what it is after all. A chance for the parents-to-be to spend one last moment away together before life, I’m told, changes for the better. It’s also a chance for the couple to rest before not only the arrival of the newborn and the sleepless nights that lay ahead but also the preparation that takes place before said arrival.
How to Choose a Babymoon
There’s a tendency to plan a babymoon that looks like regular vacations prior to pregnancy. This is an easy mistake to make as not much appears to have changed for the mother-to-be except perhaps morning sickness (at least from the man’s perspective). Her size hasn’t changed. Her energy levels are still up. She may not even be peeing a lot yet.
The problem is that the babymoon is not taking place during those early, easier weeks. Many babymoons fall at mid-pregnancy when other considerations need to be thought about. Will long distances be comfortable for the mother-to-be? Will she have the energy to hike or explore a city? Will there be too many things she can’t eat or drink? How much time will there be between potential bathroom breaks? Will it be too hot for her?
These are just a few of the questions we asked ourselves as we planned our babymoon. Sure, we would have loved to have gone on the Culinary Adventure in France that we originally planned prior to pregnancy, but the long flight was more than Mrs. G. thought she could handle at the midway point of the pregnancy. I’d also felt guilty for indulging in the many treats in front of her that she wouldn’t be able to enjoy like wine and unpasteurized cheese (and I’d enjoy them, too). Thus, we decided to stick closer to home and not visit a wine region.
We also eliminated the idea of a weekend city escape (we normally go on one a year). The idea of trudging through hordes of tourists to view the monuments in Washington, DC or walking the streets of NYC hunting famed restaurants sounded like too much of a drain on energy. She wanted to return relaxed, not exasperated. To all the men reading this, please pay attention to that last statement. She wanted… While you will both benefit from the babymoon, this trip needs to be about her. We can barely understand what our spouse is going through. She gets to call the shots and decide the trip.
How We Decided on St Lucia and Fond Doux Plantation
Mrs. G. wanted to escape somewhere exotic, yet not too far from home, to relax. Given that we’re both foodies, she also wanted to make sure there was plenty of good food to summon whenever a craving hit. We began a search that island hopped throughout the Caribbean and even included a few destinations in Mexico. All locations that weren’t too remote that a medical emergency would be an issue. Doctors and a hospital had to be nearby.
Finally, we decided on St Lucia, an island that sat towards the top of our bucket list. We’ve been attracted by the island’s diverse and vibrant beauty for quite some time. From the soaring peaks of the Pitons to the drive-in volcano to the rainforest and plentiful beaches, the island was sure to provide a tropical environment for relaxation with the opportunity for adventure should Mrs. G. desire it.
Once we decided on a destination, Fond Doux Plantation became the natural choice for us. The resort has everything we desire in a vacation. First and foremost, Fond Doux (which means sweet valley and not the cooking method involving boiling oil) appealed to the gourmand side of our travels. The resort specializes in a “Plantation to Plate” concept with most of the produce grown onsite in organic gardens. Even more interesting though is the working cocoa plantation that the hotel is attached to. The entire chocolate making process from harvesting to rolling can be witnessed.
There is also a uniqueness to Fond Doux that we just weren’t finding elsewhere. Fond Doux is a boutique resort nestled into the rain forest on a 250 year old working plantation. Accommodations are a series of 15 cottages privately dispersed throughout the garden and woods. Each building is a century old French Colonial wooden buildings slated for demolition elsewhere on the island that the owner of the resort bought, dismantled, and reassembled to provide guests with a unique vacation experience. Each cabin is uniquely decorated and has a balcony with a view and an outdoor, private rainforest shower. The resort is also a member of the Green Globe for its efforts in creating sustainable, environmentally friendly tourism. Fond Doux has been green since before it was trendy.
Overall, the resort appears to deliver the tranquility and escapism we were looking for. This is our time to reconnect and talk about our philosophy of raising a child. What better place to do it than a private balcony out from the hillside. And when that talk gets boring, we can nestle into the hammock and begin our summer reading. Occasionally, we may even venture out to find one of the three swimming pools or the organic spa, Mamma La Terre. That sounds like a perfect five days to me.
For live updates on our babymoon, be sure to follow my Instagram account @brichwrites.
All photos courtesy of Fond Doux Plantation.