Moms, I think we can all agree that we love our kids more than life itself. We'd be lost without them. They're everything! But... sometimes... we need a break. Am I right?! A break from the monotony, from the pressure to be doing everything for everyone, from the whining and fighting. Basically, from being a mom. Needing a break doesn't make you a bad mom. I would argue in fact that taking a break actually can make you a better mom!
This break can come in the form of an hour at the gym, a mani pedi at the salon, or a kid-free lunch with some friends. Maybe you already do this regularly, maybe not, but if you're ready to take it to the next level, taking a full day and night away (or a full weekend, or gasp, a whole week!?), you might just find yourself fully recharged and ready to embrace those kids and your many duties at 100% again. Not just that, but getting away and out of your typical setting can give you a real chance to reconnect with yourself, to remember who you are beyond "mom", "wife", "domestic engineer". Remember when you actually had interests and hobbies, before they were taken over by your duties of meal planner, butt wiper, laundry doer, and booboo kisser. It's time to find and nurture those interests again! Let this blog post serve as your inspiration and motivation, a little nudge to treat yourself and plan your own mom getaway!!
I became a mother just over 7 years ago. It took me 5 years to take my first night away. I know... crazy! Our twins had just turned 2 years old, my husband was alwaysssss working, and I was so overwhelmed and stressed out. I had a mini breakdown (mommy tantrum??), got some amazing advice from my twin mom squad on Facebook (love them!!) and decided to heed that advice by booking a night away!! I went solo, to Atlantic City (weird destination, I know, but Tropicana hosted me and it was amazing - read about that trip and watch the video here).
Fast forward 2 more years and I was more than ready to do this again. Except this time, I didn't want to go alone. I wanted a relaxing but FUN momcation!!! So I reached out to the oh-so-amazing Crystal Springs Resort, because we had visited as a family over the summer and luuuuuurved it (see that blog review & video here), but I was itching to go back without kids! They offered to comp my stay again, in exchange for me covering my wonderful momcation! I invited one of my best mom friends, Rhianon of Brooklyn Boy Mom (together we have SEVEN CHILDREN!!! Me 3 and Rhi 4). See how much fun we had in this video and keep reading for more details!!
Why Crystal Springs for your Momcation?
LOCATION: Just a 90 minute drive from NYC, you'll find yourself in the beautiful northwestern New Jersey foothills at Crystal Springs Resort! It's not a bad drive either - I hadn't driven in over 6 years and was terrified but totally did it - easy peasy!! The hotel and grounds are simply beautiful (no wonder they host countless weddings, reunions, and conventions year round!).
Both times I've stayed at Crystal Springs Grand Cascades Lodge, we've been provided with a Suite, which I highly recommend. Having a full kitchen and living room is so nice and makes lounging around and being lazy at your home away from home a terrific option! Go out to one of their many restaurants when you want, or order pizza or make your own meals when feeling lazy. We stopped at a grocery store on the way up so that we'd have stuff for breakfast and snacks and what not. Our Suite had 1 king bed room, 1 huge bathroom (with L'Occitane toiletries - niiiiiice!!!), a pull out sofa in the living room, a fire place, a balcony, washer and dryer, and a full kitchen (well, minus a microwave - oops, we had to take our popcorn home!!)
They have many options to choose from, whether looking for quick and casual or fine dining for a special occasion. Between the visit with my family and this more recent momcation trip, I've eaten at every one of their restaurants except for their seasonal farm-to-table al fresco Chef's Garden (I'll be back next summer for that one, to be sure!!) and they're all outstanding! You can't go wrong!
Since we couldn't go to their 4-star Restaurant Latour last time (no kids under age 12 allowed), I wanted to make sure to check it out this time (reservations recommended, so plan ahead). Boy oh boy am I glad we did!! Their head Sommelier led the wine tour we took at 3pm, so we were even more excited to head over that evening and request the wine pairing menu ($55) with our 4-course meal ($115) . They also have 7-course, but despite each course being fairly small, we were stuffed by the end of our 2 hour dining experience!!
I'd never done a wine pairing before, and basically know nothing about wine. I actually hadn't a clue that wine choice can either make or break a food. Making the wrong pairing is comparable to drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth - yuck! The sommelier will choose the perfect wine for each of your courses (guests choose courses independently, the table doesn't have to agree), coming over to the table personally to explain about the wine and pour it for you. It was such an incredibly luxurious treat for me, who is more of a 2 slices of pizza and a hard seltzer once a month kinda gal. Because I'm not used to this kind of gourmet dining, I have to be honest that the menu was a wee bit intimidating, but our waitress was the sweetest thing and helped make us feel at ease while handling all of our many questions!
I'm sure the menu options change frequently, but for an idea of what to expect, here's what I ordered and the wines they paired for me (everything tasted as amazing as it looked!!!!):
Course 1: Roasted Crones (gnoccheti, fermented garlic, sunchoke) with Grgich Hills (Fume Blanc, Napa Valley California 2016).
Course 2: Venison (creamed turnip, preserved wild berries, juniper) with Cascina Fontan (Barbera d'Abla, Pieomonte Italy 2017). This was my first time having venison, and you never know what you're going to get with "gamey" meat, but it was absolutely delicious! To my unsophisticated palette it was like an extremely soft and delicious piece of steak.
Course 3: Rohan Duck (chestnut, persimmon, black seed vinaigrette) with Stokes' Ghost (Petite Sirah, Monterey County California, 2015). Talk about a piece of art, how about this plate!?
Course 4: Chocolate Ganache (coffee, buckwheat crumble, hazlenut), with l'Abricot wine and a platter of Turkish Delight! Yum. Just, omg, yum.
Oh, and we can't forget the most amazing and visually pleasing bread basket everrrrrr!!!! Hello activated charcoal bread, like, what!? So neat (and soft and yummy!!), with spreads like beet and garlic - ohmahgerrrrrd y'all!!!!!
We ended up doing 3 days and 2 nights at Crystal Springs on this most amazing Momcation. We stayed up "late" (still asleep before midnight), slept soundly without being pulled out of bed in the middle of the night to escort a little one to the bathroom, binged Netflix in bed, ate amazing food without hearing our kids whine about how disgusting it is, lounged poolside, sweat it out in the sauna and jacuzzi, cuddled with rescue puppies while kinda doing yoga but really just wanting to play with puppies, and even did our first TikTok ha!!!
Arrived home to a shockingly neat and tidy and quiet household - so impressed that my husband got laundry done and got the kids to clean up before I came home!! The kids were so cuddly and sweet, didn't throw a single tantrum for a whole hour after I arrived hahahaha!!! Seriously though, I feel so friggin' refreshed and ready to be the best mom I can be!!!! But I also can't wait to go on my next momcation...
So, are you inspired to book your own Momcation yet!?!? You really can't beat Crystal Springs for the destination - no matter what you're looking for, you'll find it there! They have really fun packages too such as "Robes & Rose Girlfriends Getaway", "Mom's Midweek Spa Day" and more! So get on it - gather some friends and get you on a mom getaway!! Be sure to check back in to let me know how it went (better yet, shoot me an email and maybe I can join)!!!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!