As working women—and men—with our careers and lives so tightly wound, sometimes you just need to fall apart for awhile. For me, hiding from society on the weekends has become my must-have reprieve and if I don’t get a break, I feel like I’ve shared too many secrets with strangers. When I reach this point, I piece myself back together by sitting still and letting time wash over me, preferably on a beach. And as a new wife, I’ve learned the joys of ignoring all of humanity with The Husband because let’s not talk to anyone else together.
For the moments when your couch or bed aren’t enough of a getaway, here are a few spots to turn down for your sanity because these destinations either have nothing happening or you and your boo can pretend there isn’t anything going on by strategically sidestepping, say, King of Diamonds.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
One fall I visited Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa where there was nothing to do, and I mean nothing. At first I was frustrated because what was I supposed to write about? The gigantic crab claws at dinner? Walking by the local restaurant called Y.O.L.O., which rumor says inspired Drake and silly teens everywhere? Neither of these options tickled my fancy but then I realized the beauty of Fort Lauderdale is the nothing. Doing nothing quietly just outside of Miami is the entire point of the city and I was a fool to fight it, so I just laid back on a pool chair, ordered some french fries and a drink with one of my favorite travel buddies, Jenny Block, because I was there for the sun and a nap, right? This Marriott also has a cadre of personal trainers in their Fitness Center with whom you can arrange sessions to not only relax your mind but keep—get?—your body on track, which is the perfect balance for a couple like The Husband and I. Work out and then lay out is the motto.
Unlike its sister island Trinidad where Carnival is the big dance, Tobago is made simply for liming, which is local slang for doing not much at all. Amid the beautiful beaches and delicious food, there’s also gorgeous wild life hidden in the Tobago Forest Reserve, the oldest protected Reserve in the Northern Hemisphere. During my first trip to Tobago, I enjoyed a rain forest tour in the Reserve and saw one of the biggest spiders I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t have arachnophobia so the insect and I got along fine; he stayed in his dirt cave and after I snuck a peak at him from a distance, we parted ways amicably. Take a tour and when you do, rent the mud boots, you won’t regret it. The annual Tobago Jazz Festival in April is also an option if you want to get grown and sexy. This year, Jennifer Hudson, Miguel, Jill Scott and Kool & the Gang are headlining the outdoor event, which is a mix of gentle turn up and your mom at the club, but the local reggae, calypso and soca artists like Machel Montano and the iconic David Rudder are the real stars of the show. For food, make sure you and your boo try coo coo and callaloo (a veggie based dish that’ll keep you regular), curry crab and dumpling, and roti, which is sort of a West Indian burrito best ordered with shrimp and lots of pepper in my opinion.
After one week stretching out on beaches like Englishman’s Bay, you will have adjusted to Tobago time, leaving you late for life on the mainland but isn’t that the point? Oh, and while I didn’t get a chance to stay at the Blue Waters Inn, a hotel that began as a diving school just over 100 years ago, you should! I went for lunch and the view is just miles of ocean as far as the eye can see—ignore the pool.
Let’s be honest, flights to Miami from anywhere along the eastern seaboard are pretty reasonable so it’s tough to pry Florida’s star city from your heart during winter and the reluctancy of spring. But I have a way to make turning down and Miami work in the same trip, just check into the Sense Beach House. Located on Ocean Drive, it’s close enough to the water that you can see and smell the ocean and feel the breeze but you’re not inundated with tourist madness—you know, those people in tube socks carrying wildly over-sized drinks or wearing string bikinis for shirts and clear heels at 2 p.m. Nope, at Sense Beach House, it’s all about your room’s cushy bed, high-pressure shower, art deco decor and gummi bears. And if you and your boo’s plan is to hide in your room and barely leave the premises, that works too thanks to Sense’s rooftop pool and their restaurant just off the lobby, where I enjoyed dinner, drinks and dessert because, turning down for your sanity means tasting everything.
In the coming months, The Husband and I are planning are number of trips and I’m aiming to make at least one these the ultimate turn-down-for-your-sanity voyage where we do nothing, talk to no one and barely leave our pillows.
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