Laura Rennie

you can't always get what you want

Laura R.Comment

My family didn't travel all that much when I was growing up. We went to the beach nearly every summer and that was always our big vacation — the highlight of each year. But when I was 11 we flew out to Colorado to spend some time with friends and then spent a week and a half driving through Wyoming, Utah, Nevada and Arizona. We stayed in inexpensive hotels and ate bread with cheese and summer sausage in the car to avoid the cost of eating out for every meal. I don't remember what my siblings did to pass the time, but I listened to books on tape and daydreamed about cowboys, turquoise jewelry and living on a houseboat on Lake Powell.

being catapulted into Lake Powell by my brother and sister
family at the Grand Canyon
Mesa Verde
My young eyes were opened to new places and spaces, and I wanted to see more. My horizons especially expanded when I hit college. I've had the incredible blessing of visiting Alaska, Ireland, England, Korea, Uganda, Hawaii and islands in the Bahamas and Caribbean. In between those big trips have been relaxing vacays to the beach with family or with bunches of friends. It's all been amazing.

But.

A couple of years ago it started to really bother me that Andy and I hadn't taken a trip just the two of us since 2008. Other opportunities always seemed to pop up, though, and we never wanted to turn down time with family or friends. As much as Andy likes to vacation, I'm the one with the travel bug. It didn't bother him that we weren't planning private get-aways, because we were still going places together (which certainly is a valid point, and we do always manage to sneak off and do fun things on our own).

I kept telling myself next year we'll go. Last year I was especially sure something would happen in 2013, because we'll celebrate our 5 year anniversary in May. In the past, we've kept our celebrations low key in order to live it up on those milestone anniversaries.

Today Jo from A Cup of Jo posted about the babymoon trip she took with her husband to St. Lucia. We booked our anniversary/babymoon hotel last week. We're going to... drumroll please...

Pittsburgh.

Hehe. So, clearly, this isn't my dream vacay. I figured we could snazz up the trip by booking a nice hotel, but every hotel we looked at within the city had rates of $250 and up. Yeah, that just ain't happening after buying a house, flying to Hawaii, going on a cruise and then finding out a baby is on the way. (2012 was a crazy, wonderful year!) We ended up booking a hotel outside of the city and settled for a room with two queens because a room with a king-sized bed would have cost an extra 60 dollars. For some reason, it was that perfectly practical decision to nix the king bed that made me lose it. I cried.

"This just isn't what I pictured," I explained to Andy.

You know what, though? God has given us MUCH. I don't want to compare our getaway to everyone else's. I don't want to be reckless with the money that God allows us to have, and I certainly don't want to be ungrateful.

I'm embarrassed to tell you what a struggle this whole thing has been for me. I feel silly for crying. It's good to admit we don't have it all together, though, so whoop, there it is.

I gotta say, I am pumped that we are FINALLY going to eat at one of the restaurants featured on "Man Vs. Food." You've probably been wondering why we even picked Pittsburgh in the first place, and the three reasons are 1) we can drive there, 2) our friends rave about it and 3) we've seen the Pittsburgh Man Vs. Food episode at least three times and we're dyyying to try Primanti Brothers. Basically, we're going for a sandwich.

Other than pigging out on sammies piled high with meat and fries, we plan to see the Pirates play the Nationals, browse The Strip and check out a few museums. Got any suggestions for a romantic outing while we're there?