As the Summer winds down, I’m reminded of how much we’ve enjoyed some relaxation and self-care time. I decided to share some of our Couple and family trips with you.
The spring and summer months of each year is my favorite time of year because of the opportunities to explore different adventures with your significant other or your family. When I was younger, I loved the Spring, because of the mild and sunny weather and my birthday month is in the month of April. Now that I have a family, I’ve become more excited about summertime. It allows more time to take vacations, absorb some vitamin D and enjoy longer evenings.
Hubby and I love to travel-domestically and internationally to new locations. However, with a young family, it’s easier and cheaper to take short road trips and spend time with the kids. These summer road trips allow us to create fun memories and laugh and stay up later than bedtime. The creation of these memories allows me to reminisce about the summer vacations with my family growing up, and honestly they were good for my soul.
The Summer is also a happier, healthier time for most folks. Clearly, more time in the sun increases Vitamin D and those good feeling endorphins. We all tend to be more active with walking, running and swimming outside. As this is national minority mental health month, it’s noted that travel and taking time off are helpful and beneficial for depression and anxiety. However, too much stress with planning and stretching your wallet too thin can cause the opposite, negative effects. Make it easy and plan a couple of short road trips that don’t cause an arm and a leg.
Here’s what the Swiner Family has up to, highlighting some of our close and favorite travel spots:
Just the 2 of Us:
Couple’s Getaway to Asheville, NC
Hubby and I enjoyed a couple’s get-a-away to Asheville, NC, to the mountains. We usually stay at Grove Park or one of the local hotel chains. During this trip, we decided to get adventurous and find an Air BNB. It was fantastic! If you’ve never tried one, do it. It was a large home with 5 bedrooms, and we rented a master bedroom and bath and shared a living room and kitchen area. One or 2 more families came through for the other rooms, said hello, and we all went our merry ways. We were able to saved money on accommodations and spend most of our time and money at Grove Park Inn—the most popular, 5-diamond hotel, resort and spa on this side of the Blue Ridge mountains. We lounged in the main lobby there, with 2 immensely large fireplaces and rocking chairs and bar. We had cocktails brought to us while lying on comfy couches.
Then the spa—Good Lord! If you’re a spa lover, this is the one to do in the Southeast. Imagine being underground in a cave-like setting. It has multiple heated and regular pools, near stalactites, both inside and outside. The massages, facials and body treatments are top notch, and you can do them by yourself or as a couple. Phenomenal!
Food places to check out in Asheville: You can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants at Grove Park Inn, but we particularly loved the Edison, which has a new outdoor patio section where you can see the beautiful sunset over the mountains. The hushpuppies, shrimp and grits and cocktails are on point. If not at the resort, our favorite spots included Asheville Pizza and Brewing Co., Tupelo Honey (the sweet potato pancakes are to die for) and Curate’. Worth the Google and the visit.
Our last day in Asheville was spent golfing at one of the municipal courses, and you can’t beat 18 holes surrounding by rolling hills, green grass and mountainous back drops. Great exercise, especially if you walk most of the course and not drive the carts. Wear your fit-bits!
All About our Kids:
Exploring the Beaches of Charleston, SC
-We spent some family time my hometown, Charleston, SC, and decided to vision one of the popular beach in Charleston (Folly Beach). Interestingly, I’d only been here once growing up, but it worked out well that my cousin, Kori, and her family were spending time at a beach house. For my 6yo’s birthday, we spent 2 days wading in the water and basking in the glory of the sun. We ate pizza, had birthday cake and enjoyed the sand and each other. Perfect spot for young families and singles, with a great strip with live music, restaurants and diners. Go visit, as a welcomed alternative to Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head.
A Staycation in Winston-Salem, NC
Most recently, we spent time with friends at their mother’s home in Winston-Salem, NC. This was more of a staycation as it’s only about 1.5 hours from Durham, but who knew what a beautiful, quaint, country-like feel existed out here. First of all, Mimi (our gracious hostess) has a home on 13 acres, so that’s not fair to begin with. It was a set up for a glorious time, with multiple windows, decks, rocking chairs and room for the kids to run. Most of our visit with our family, kids and our friend’s family and kids was spent in the shade, playing outside on the slip and slide and eating wonderfully home-cooked foods. When we did go out, we made it out to Sweet Potatoes and Dewey’s for desserts and ice cream, where the bread pudding-style French toast and pink lemonade cake squares will make you want to stay forever. We will definitely return soon, if Mimi will have us.
So, all in all, take time to be quiet and still or adventurous in a different environment for a couple of days. It’ll make those days at work a little less treacherous and stressful. Happy traveling!
Main Image Photo credit: Matthew Campbell