Living in a house filled with boys can be exasperating. The relentless energy. The mess. The bathroom humor! When I feel like I’ve had about all I can take, it’s time to retreat from the testosterone zone. My perfect solution for getting my girly groove back is to reconnect with my daughter on a getaway for just us girls.
Even if you have no boys at home, a mom-daughter getaway is a powerful way to recharge your batteries while enriching your relationship with your daughter. It’s fun to introduce her to new activities while making memories for a lifetime.
Unsure where to go? In my years as a travel writer, I’ve found many spots that cater to kids. Here are two destinations that particularly suit moms and daughters as traveling companions. The first locale is a simple drive from the tri-state area; the other is easily accessible by plane. For good measure, I’ve tossed in recommendations for the fellas if they end up joining or, better yet, embark on a male bonding trip.
Equinox Resort & Spa, Manchester Village, Vermont, www.equinoxresort.com
For a close-to-home jaunt, drive up to the Green Mountains of southern Vermont. Tucked away in the charming Manchester Village you’ll find the Inns at Equinox. With a 200-year past, the resort feels historic yet upscale and produces a great vibe for mom and child.
A relaxing morning might include side-by-side manicures and pedicures at the spa, followed by a lazy swim in the indoor pool. Your afternoon might include a romp around the playground before an enjoyable hike (best for kids ages 7 and older) up the adjacent mountain. Sit on a big boulder perched high above the countryside and nibble on a picnic lunch as you ponder the meaning of life together.
A sure bet for spending a unique afternoon as a pair is to share a lesson at the British School of Falconry. Organized by the resort, the learning session teaches mom to handle trained hawks as her daughter watches in awe (or participates, if she’s at least 12 age). Also cool is an hour spent at the Southern Vermont Arts Center (www.svac.org), an intimate gallery with a wide range of interesting works of art that are perfect for exposing your daughter to fine art in a engaging way.
Because the food is spectacular at the Equinox, you don’t have to leave the property for meals. The homemade granola is a delight to awake to, and the lunches and dinners at the Marsh Tavern please simple and sophisticated palates alike. What’s a girls’ weekend without chocolate? Select an assortment of locally made European-style chocolates available at the Falcon Bar. Then head to the patio fire pit, the ideal setting to comment on the mouth-watering flavors of each confection as if you were seated at the Top Chef judges’ table.
If you’re shoppers, bop around the dozens of outlets that pepper the downtown village in search of funky and fashion-forward merchandise.
For the guys: Try the Land Rover Experience from the Orvis Fly Fishing School (www.orvis.com). Accommodating kids ages 8 and older, as well as parents, the one-hour lesson entails a wildly exciting but safe and guided off-roading adventure.
Atlantis Resort & Casino, Paradise Island, Bahamas, www.atlantis.com
A quick and carefree vacation may seem impossible, but Nassau and Paradise Island are a snap. This part of the Bahamas is a direct flight from New York, the locals speak English, and your U.S. dollar is all you need. Just don’t forget your passport.
Stay at Atlantis Resort & Casino for a heap of awesome activities. Being together as you explore the mega resort’s 11 pools, 140 acres of water slides, and gentle and high-octane aquatic fare is a recipe for nonstop laughs and thrills. Throw in the open-air aquarium stocked with marine life ranging from sea lions and rays to sharks and barracudas, and you’re set for entertainment. Walk hand-in-hand around the Dig, a recreation of the lost continent, and its 14 lagoons before wandering through the transparent predator tunnel. Here sharks swim over your head. Visit pools of baby rays and touch the scaly backs of sea and hawksbill turtles.
Enjoying special moments is easy because pretty much everything is family oriented. If you bond over a fascinating activity like swimming with dolphins, you’ll both remember it forever. Also pleasurable is going to the spa together, especially as the resort’s Mandara Spa offers a Generation Y menu of treatments for children ages 9 and older.
Need a few hours to read your beach novel on a lounge chair? Enroll your daughter in a Culinary Adventure workshop that caters to kids ages 6-12. Located in the hotel’s impressive children’s kitchen facility, the hands-on class has each kid return with a gourmet concoction like candy pizza or hand-twisted pretzels— and a smile.
For dinner, put on your favorite sundresses and take a relaxing stroll over to the Cove Atlantis for a Mediterranean-inspired buffet at Mosaic. Whatever age your daughter is, she’ll feel all grown up in this modern restaurant. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to encourage your princess to try new and exotic foods.
For the guys: Go rock climbing, swimming with stingrays, snorkeling and exploring among the resort’s amazing slides and attractions.
Happy travels and happy bonding.