Infertility sucks, I admit that. But sometimes, life without children isn’t necessarily always a bad thing. I figured it’s a long holiday weekend for most for the 4th, so it seemed appropriate to share a vacation story to illustrate my point.
Let me tell you about the Corvette.
Back in January 2009, Larry and I took a road trip from San Francisco to San Diego. Our airfare was paid for with credit card points – roundtrip. We had friends in the major cities along the way so we didn’t have to worry about hotel costs. And we even had a discount on our rental car. We we hoping to snag a Nissan 350z convertible. When we arrived at SFO, the rental car company had totally screwed up our reservation and informed us there were no convertibles on the lot.
Well… no convertibles except for the premium tier Corvettes.
|This really should be the preferred mode of transport for all California road trips.|
To which we said, “Um- yesplease.” And because the rental car company had screwed up, we got it at the same price as what we would have paid for the 350z.
When Larry put the key in the ignition for the first time and it roared – literally roared - to life, we started laughing hysterically at the absurdity of the situation. It was a hard top convertible and our luggage (two carry-ons packed to the gills) just barely fit in the trunk when packed down with the hard top. And lucky for us, the weather forecast was glorious for the next five days.
That car was a beast. We tore up the freeways and the Pacific Coast Highway was both terrifying and beautiful at the same time, as we whipped around hairpin turns at upwards of 40 mph with hundred foot drops into the Pacific Ocean just inches from our tires. When I wasn’t having height-related panic attacks, it was pretty damn incredible.
|The Pacific Coast Highway, just north of Big Sur.|
We took this trip just a few months before I was diagnosed. At any rate, I vividly remember turning to Larry at one point, the sun beating down on us, my hair in tangles as it caught in the wind and saying:
“I know I’ve been baby crazy lately, but there’s no way in hell we could strap a car seat to the back of this monster.” I mean, it was physically impossible: there was no back seat.
“Yeah, this is nice,” Larry agreed.
While life without children can be frustrating and sad, there are other times that Larry and I really take advantage of our childless status.
Take eating, for example. We don’t have to scramble to find a babysitter or load up Team Zoll #3 into the car anytime we randomly decide to go out to eat. Many of the places we go aren’t exactly baby-friendly either: Marliave, Les Zygomates, B&G Oysters, Highland Kitchen, the Lyceum here in Salem… Right now we’re looking forward to our reservation at Menton to celebrate Larry’s new job. We rescheduled our reservation from our wedding anniversary and we’ve been talking about it for months.
|Our insane multi-course kaiseki meal in Arima, Japan.|
While it’s totally possible to be a foodie at home, we love to go out to eat. Without children, not only do we have the freedom and flexibility to do so, but the extra money, to be quite honest.
Traveling is certainly easier. I can’t imagine 13 days in Japan with a small child, at least not with our itinerary. We’re planning another overseas trip sometime in the early fall, hopefully to the Bretagne region of France. Again – much easier to plan and do without children. (To be very honest: I have no idea how you even get a passport for an infant.)
And then there’s the random things: fishing for a few hours at a stretch in Rockport or Gloucester, like I did this weekend (and got the worst sunburn of my life). Now, if we had children, it’s very likely one of us would have to stay home with the little one while the other one gets to sit out overlooking the Atlantic with a bucket of bait and hours to kill.
|The first fish I ever caught off Burton Island in Lake Champlain.|
Or the spontaneous movie night decision, like when we saw The Trip last week (food porn galore, witty banter, but oh G-d, depressing as hell ending). If it wasn’t for our need for dinner immediately following the movie, we would have stayed to see the Conan O’Brien documentary playing right after, rolling home close to midnight.
For as painful as infertility can be sometimes, it’s just nice to have that freedom and flexibility as a family of two right now. That’s part of how we make this journey easier for ourselves too; we take advantage of that freedom because we know things will be very different once we have children.
A lot of that freedom will be lost so we’ll have to get creative to still maintain at least a smidgen of our current lifestyle. Maybe we don’t get out to Marliave so much and we end up cooking a little more gourmet at home. Maybe we don’t get out to the movies as much but that’s what Netflix is for. And traveling with small children is more than possible, but we’ll need a little time to figure it all out.
But until then, we’re going to enjoy our time as us, because sometimes life without kids is awesome.
|See? No room for a car seat behind us… and that’s okay for now.|