by Lesley on June 19, 2012 · 9 comments

in cancer,travel

When people get married, they often look forward to a honeymoon as a way to recover from wedding planning stress and revel in the romance of their new union.

When couples prepare to welcome a new baby they partake in a somewhat new travel tradition known as the babymoon, which serves a similar purpose of rest and romance before the wee oneĀ interruptsĀ all such things.

And when a guy gets cancer, and a girl has a baby, and they spend a year getting through all that stress and change…well… they celebrate with a cancermoon. I know, I know. You’re so jealous right now and you’re trying to figure out how you can go on a cancermoon too! (Note: sarcasm.)

We took our cancermoon to Monterey last weekend and it was everything we’d hoped it would be. And despite the fact that I can no longer sleep-in past 7:30am (sigh) I did return very rested, as did Jonathan.

On Friday we left town early, stopping at Ettore’s for breakfast. (side note: I thought I’d cry when we left Anna, but I held myself together and only talked about her every 30 minutes or so for most of the weekend.)

We got a huge fireplace room at the Pacific Inn–just a few blocks from the water. It was 75ish degrees all weekend… a huge difference from Sacramento’s 105+ degree weather. We picked a good weekend to escape.

Funny story: there were all sorts of fancy tourist traps on the pier but when we stopped there for lunch on Friday, Jonathan chose a total hole-in-the-wall. I thought his choice was odd until I realized I’d been there before as a kid. It warms my heart that Jonathan chose the same restaurant my dad did all those years ago.

Our friends Mark and Stacey recommended we check out Dametra Cafe in Carmel. We did- and loved it. Rich food, big glasses of wine, and live entertainment from the kitchen. It’s one of those places where you’re crammed in like sardines but you don’t mind because everyone is clapping along, singing along, and making friends with each other. Here’s Jonathan pretending to act like everything’s normal as the restaurant chef sings Besame Mucho in his ear. Good times. Even better? Listening to Jonathan sing “Desame Mucho” all the way home from the restaurant.

Two things you have to do if you ever visit Monterey/Carmel area: the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Refuge. The Aquarium was spectacular. I couldn’t stop ooooing and aaaaahhhing over the jellyfish and the seahorses! (And neither could all the kids around me.) I loved hearing all of their little squeals and can’t wait to take Anna someday. In fact, seeing so many families and babies made me miss her a lot.

Usually when Jonathan and I go away for a weekend we do a lot of relaxing, but it’s rare for us to do something like a museum or aquarium tour. I realized how fun it is to learn and discover together, and to share the wonder of seeing something like a hammerhead shark. I’m so glad we went! I’m also so glad that we followed our aquarium tour with a trip to Refuge.

Refuge is a “co-ed relaxation spa” (their words, not mine) in the Carmel mountains. We spent almost four hours there on Saturday afternoon trying out their steam rooms, sauna, jacuzzis, zero gravity chairs, and lounging by the outdoor fire pits. Their thermal cycle concept is ultra relaxing. If you’re ever in the area, you HAVE to go. Even my husband, Mr. Active, liked the experience.

We came back on Sunday to spend the evening with Jonathan’s parents. We celebrated Steve’s 29th Father’s Day, and Jonathan’s first Father’s Day with ribs, corn-on-the-cob, and all sorts of other yummies.

I’m incredibly grateful for the time away, and so thankful that I also looked forward to coming home.

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