For our first weekend away alone without children since we've been the parents of two, I would say our two nights on the island of Zanzibar (a 2-hour ferry trip from Dar) were pretty close to perfect. I traveled to Zanzibar by myself because Kristoffer got stuck in a meeting - and he joined me a few hours later. This was not all bad as I had a great meal, a great double G&T, some reading time and a little nap before he arrived.
The first place we stayed at, Seasons Lodge, was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Our cottage was great. Food was great. Beach/pool/gardens/view/staff were all great (seriously: our only complaint? Really lame toilet paper.). We loved it. We will rate it very highly on Trip Advisor and anyone looking to go to Zanzibar when they visit us here in Dar will get a strong recommendation to go there. Very personal and private, very unique. Beautiful. Romantic. No kids. Just what we needed. It looked like this (although really we didn't spend much time taking pictures, and the pictures could hardly do it justice):
For our second night we stayed at Pongwe Beach Hotel, which was also really lovely. It was not quite as amazing as the first place, (we had actually booked here first and used the other place for our 1st night because this place had no rooms) but was still really great. It was a little bit bigger of a "hotel" and the room was not that special. But the food was good. The drinks were good (and there was 1/2 price happy hour!). We had a romantic candle light dinner for two in the sand and were serenaded the most beautiful song by two Zanzibari musicians. The beach was really great, they had a magical "infinity" pool. Again, great staff. We were very spoiled (even though we couldn't sleep past 6:45 am!). And while the room wasn't amazing, the hammock was pretty darn nice.
We would like to make a quarterly pilgrimage to Zanzibar a new condition of our marriage. I'm not sure if that will actually turn into reality (can Farmor and Hans really come back that often to babysit?), but we do hope to return a few more times while we live here.
We did NOTHING touristy - no spice tours, no visiting historic Stone Town, no snorkeling or diving, no searching for the special monkeys that can only be found in the Jozani Forest, no butterfly sanctuary. NOTHING. I read one book. Kristoffer napped a lot and kayaked a tiny bit. We ate and drank a lot and well. We talked a lot (about things other than our children!). We swam. We walked on the beach, collected seashells for the kids. I actually had the opportunity to miss our kids for the first time, and we came home to two very happy little ones with very big hugs and many kisses. They were great for Farmor and Hans and I think we are all a little bit better off after some time apart.
Tomorrow is my birthday - I can think of so many gifts I already have in my life...what more could there possibly be? When putting Grace to sleep tonight she told me, "I'm so happy for you, Mama. Tomorrow is your big day!" I mean seriously...who says that?! But I am excited for my birthday if only because SHE is excited for my birthday (why else would I be happy to turn 32?!), and I feel relaxed and spoiled and refreshed and charmed by my husband and our Zanzibari break from reality.
Not a bad way to close out another year.