Travel

A Weekend Getaway (Without Kids)

Joanna Goddard and Alex Williams

Every year, Alex and I try to take a short trip alone — no noisy children allowed. :) So, this past weekend, while my mom stayed with the boys, Alex and I went to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was such a treat to spend a few days relaxing together. Here are a few photos, if you’d like to see…

A Weekend Getaway at the Jamaica Inn

We stayed at the Jamaica Inn, a lovely old-school hotel (Marilyn Monroe and Winston Churchill went there) with a pool, snorkels, kayaks and a sandy beach.

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

On trips, I usually want to run around and explore, but after settling in with a Red Stripe and a book, I remembered the mind-clearing magic of… just chilling.

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

On the meditation app Headspace, my friend Jenny heard a great analogy: Think of your mind as a glass of muddy water. Let it sit and do nothing, and you’ll get clarity. Rings so true, right? Alex is naturally laid-back, so he got right to it. :)

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

We were psyched to find that our hotel room had a gorgeous terrace right on the water. It felt like being on a boat.

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

We settled in and just hung out the whole time — swimming, chatting and playing Gin Rummy. The beach bar was run by Teddy, a sweet man who had worked there for over 50 years (!). He still rode his bike to work every morning, and when I asked about his favorite drink, he said, “I’m not picky, I’m not picky at all.”

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

Another evening, we chatted with a lovely woman, who had worked at the hotel for 18 years. She told us about some of the weddings they’ve hosted over the decades. “Has anyone ever called one off?” I asked, since I had recently read this article. “Well, a groom once called us and told us to cancel the whole wedding,” she told me, “And then five minutes later he called and said, no, wait, it’s back on!”

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

The hotel also had a dog named Shadow, who would walk around the grounds and play catch with a mango.

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

Needless to say, Alex fell head over heels for her and launched yet another campaign for us to get a dog, haha.

A Weekend Getaway to the Jamaica Inn

It was a really wonderful, relaxing few days, and such a treat to do absolutely nothing with Alex, who made me laugh more than ever. And we were so grateful to my mom for taking care of Toby and Anton! When we got home, they showed us this very cool photo series they had created, featuring cars around the neighborhood…

Brooklyn cars

Brooklyn cars

Brooklyn cars

Brooklyn cars

Brooklyn cars

THUMBS UP, BOYS!

Thank you so much for reading. We love you, Jamaica. xoxo

P.S. Another awesome Jamaican hotel, and our first getaway without kids.

  1. Gina Dwyer says...

    Ohmygosh, that car photo series is so great – your boys are so cool!

  2. molly says...

    YES to adopting a dog (I like the idea of an older/senior dog, bc puppies do require a lot.) it is basically free therapy for the entire family. There is nothing better than having a pet to understand each and every member of the family and giving them exactly what they need in their own way. Yes, its more work. Yes, its more expensive. Yes, there are way more logistics. In return, they give unconditional love and a sense of responsibility for the kids while you give a loving home for a dog that would otherwise be put down. #myanswerishellyes

  3. Patricia says...

    Your little guys posing by the cars made me laugh, they are delightful! And so glad you and your husband were able to have a little vacation for yourselves, it’s something all parents really need from time to time for sure!

  4. YOUR CHILDREN. Omg. I love them. xo

  5. Jilla says...

    This whole article just made my day (heartsandflowers!). I must add that I am officially backing Alex in his campaign for a doglet. Also? Watch out for those male models…sassy!

  6. Sarah says...

    Those boys! Amazing.

  7. Your trip looks so easy and wonderful! Glad you could get away and truly let that mud settle :)

    Re: the pup situation. One thing I hadn’t anticipated (but so appreciate and love!!!) was the amount of exercise a pup would inspire. My husband and I are always taking our golden retriever Tate for walks, playing frisbee, running laps around the yard at 8pm to make her happy! And, when short for time, doggy daycare/walkers are always there to rescue you.

  8. MG says...

    What a fun trip! You guys seem to like to take weekend getaways to friends homes and airbnbs, consider that when talking about a dog. It’s a pain to ask people to bring a dog to their house and if you don’t have a loyal friend or family member who will regularly take them you are pretty house bound. We ran into that a lot with our dog and spent a fortune boarding her which made all of us sad!

  9. Tiffany says...

    The photo series!!!!! Love it

  10. Michelle says...

    Oh, please get a dog! :) Your life will never be the same- for the better!

  11. Heather says...

    I was having a bad day but those pictures of the boys just turned my mood right around. Thanks Tobi and Anton for putting a smile on my face!

  12. Caitlin says...

    The boys’ photo series just made my day!! Their poses are hilarious!

  13. I love this so so much! My husband and I try to do the same, and last year we went to a similar resort in Puerto Vallerta and had the most wonderful time just relaxing! We recently moved to France and this year while my parents were visiting we decided to spend 2 nights at a nearby famous hotel, Hotel Cap du Eden Roc, and we had an AMAZING time! It’s amazing how refreshing it can be to connect with your partner without the kids, and sleep in together :) Glad you two had fun, you look so relaxed in the first photo!

  14. Meg says...

    Don’t get a dog. Due to my urging, my family took on a puppy last year. Oy! Puppies are terrible….so much chewing, requiring so much supervision. And forget vacations. If they aren’t pet-friendly road-trips, you’ll wind up paying the cost of an airline ticket to board your dog. And also going anywhere involves a timeline so that we can get home to get the dog out of the crate. We love our pup, but miss being care-free and pet-free!

    • Karen says...

      YES!! Love my dog, but boy does logistics/finding the right caretakers get complicated.

  15. Emma says...

    The photo series KILLED ME! How adorable.

  16. Nichole says...

    Your boys win the internet today. And your mini vacay looked wonderful, too.

  17. ccb says...

    Hi. What type of camera did you use for your Jamaica snaps? 📷

  18. Silvina says...

    Shadow!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 And your boys!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  19. Melinda wold says...

    Family lobbied years for a dog…. I started to cave and said “little dog” (I grew up with a St. Bernard but we now live in town) while husband voiced, “medium-sized” dog. Then a rescue min-pin ended up at a friend’s vet clinic. He’s been ours for three years and we are all so smitten. Even the cat. Get a dog.

  20. Karen says...

    The boys made me laugh out loud! Nice trip, too!

  21. Elizabeth says...

    Love you guys, but Toby and Anton totally stole your thunder!

    • Jeannie says...

      I was truly enjoying Joanna’s recap, and then I squealed/laughed out loud at the boys hilarious poses. Thunder stolen!! <3

  22. Talia says...

    Your boys are adorable! Kudos to your Mom for finding such a great way to entertain them. Very cool!

  23. Your trips makes me want to go to Jamaica!

  24. Jan says...

    Girl your boys take some mean pictures!!!
    (Vacation is Latin for to be unoccupied)

  25. Katie says...

    Life’s short. Get a dog!!!

    p.s. you won’t regret it!
    p.p.s. adopt, don’t shop :-)

    • Ariane Monfrais says...

      +1

    • K says...

      Yes, yes, yes!!! Just imagine how many “wife points” and MOM POINTS you’ll score.

    • t says...

      I absolutely regret getting a dog as a mom with young kids. I feel the unnecessary stress of the dog has pushed me over the edge with very little positive return. It just makes me resent the dog. Not fair to me or the dog.

  26. Celeste says...

    Sending my husband the link to this blog right now…

    And I was dying at how cute that dog was, but then your boys! Are you kidding me?! That series is the best and had me cracking up. Excellent poses.

  27. Audrey says...

    ahhh so jealous! Dying to get away with my husband. Looks amazing and such lovely photos! Sorry to jump on the bandwagon… but YES for team “Get a dog!”. One of my favorite parts of being a mother is watching my 18-month old son’s relationship with our 2 adopted dogs. He thinks he’s part of the pack and chases balls, drinks from their bowls (this is actually gross..), and wrestles with them. My 2 cents ;)

  28. Christina says...

    Ha! That’s my motorcycle! Love seeing you guys around the neighborhood :)

    • Rachel says...

      Amazing!!

  29. Esther Schwartz says...

    I love this! Way to live life!!!

  30. eliz says...

    I agree with the poster about getting an older dog. There are lots of dogs that need homes. An older dog is more chill, doesn’t chew everything, is already housebroken, AND extremely grateful to have a new loving home. Also an excuse to walk every day (no matter the weather).

    • Christina says...

      YES, Eliz! I’m much braver and stronger after bundling up each day for a walk with the dog, no matter the weather, and I always feel so refreshed afterward. I think we get more exercise in winter than in those sweltering summer months! I love my adult, chill, easy, loving, rescue dog.

  31. Your boys are hilarous!
    Thanks for sharing your holiday with us, lovely!

  32. Lindsey says...

    Aw I’m trying to work up the nerve to go away from my little (16 months) with my husband for his work trip in December. We’d be flying to Boston, which is quite a ways away from where we live (Alabama), but one of our favorite cities. It would be such fun to have dinner with my husband and roam the city while he works. But it seems unthinkable to go so far away without my little shadow! My husband keeps saying, “There has to be a first time.” Ha!

  33. Ha ha…the photo series. What a treat to come back to. The Inn and the view look to be just perfect!

  34. The Mustang pic slays me. What characters.
    And I’m on team “get a dog”. I know you’d referenced earlier that you’ve got some challenging things going on, but having a dog has brought me a lot of joy. And I think the boys are old enough to help participate. Consider a grown dog, not a puppy, to cut down on your workload. Although you were saying you still had a bit of that baby fever. ;)

    • Cait says...

      Second on the “get a grown dog” – you can find 2, 3, 4 year old dogs in shelters that are great because they are often times already house-broken and leash trained. They also have exhibited their personalities so you will know if you’re getting a super high-strung dog, a shy dog, etc. And they are very loyal because they understand that they have been rescued :) (Not that puppy rescues are not – my own dog was a puppy rescue but house-breaking her in an apartment on the 12th floor nearly sent me over the edge.)

    • Caitlin Lee says...

      Team old dog too! We rescued a seven year old mutt. He is such a riot. He’s still kicking and he’s supposed to be eleven this year, but I swear he acts like a puppy still. I think the dog adoption agency got his birth year wrong! Kids and dogs are just made to go together.

  35. Lisa says...

    No way – we stayed at the White Suite at Jamaica Inn last week to celebrate our 15th! It was so wonderful and it was funny to see your photo and recognize it as I am an avid Cup of Jo follower! It was the perfect place – we loved that there were no tv’s and the old world feel was truly magical. And the staff made us feel so special – props to Sherlene, Kirk, Sadie, Christopher and the whole crew! Did you go on any outings? We never left!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, the white suite was incredible! we saw it one day when we walked around the hotel with the manager (she let us peek into different rooms!). we planned a bunch of outings but then cancelled them all and stayed put :)

  36. Your mom is the coolest grandma ever!

  37. Maia says...

    Oh, Antoni <3
    I live continents away, but Anton's House Plant story is my favorite kid story and I have caught myself narrating it to people, and laughing, every time I do. Lovely pics of Jamaica, but your boys, they have all my attention.

  38. K says...

    Alex with the dog is adorable.

    But then— the photo series Kids with Cars! Are you kidding? So cute and funny. You’ll have to make that into a photo book for sure (giving one to your clever mom, of course).

  39. Alison says...

    Question: do you have any good ideas on how to show appreciation for your mom taking care of the boys? My parents are taking care of my little one for a weekend, and it feels too formal to pay them or give them any kind of cash, but we’d like to do something to let them know how much we appreciate a whole weekend of babysitting! Any thoughts?

    • Julie says...

      Great great question! Would love a post about thank yous for over and above help like weekends away.

    • eliz says...

      Photos of the kid, artwork by the kid, a thank you card from the kid. (if the kid is a baby you can do a handprint gift instead of artwork). Gift card for their favorite restaurant, store.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s such a good question! for us, we leave some cash for them to do fun things while we’re away (rent a video; order pizza; take cabs, if my mom is tired) and then we give my mom presents when we get back — this time, we gave her a book and soap. plus, a gazillion bazillion thank yous.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      PS a massage is also a sweet idea, after a busy weekend!

  40. amanda says...

    It looks like a beautiful get away, but I bet coming home to those two gorgeous boys was the best part! ; )

  41. becky says...

    You should absolutely add a dog to your family. The Sato Project is amazing. I follow them on instagram. I love hearing how these fur babies get a second chance.
    My husband and I are traveling home from Cobble Hill. We had an amazing time in the city and I wish our dog was there with us!

  42. Your pictures are great, but the boys, oh my! They can re-create them as adults! I’m always so nervous to leave my two littles (4 and almost 2) but whenever I do, they have so much fun!

  43. Ok A. How are your boys SO STYLISH????? B. Seriously think about getting a dog :) I know it seems like more work, but honestly they’re the best little guys ever. They make every day better, and when the kids start venturing out more often, you’ll still have a little one at home.

  44. I would love to go to Jamaica with my Hubby, SO relaxing. I was there once, but didn’t have a date or husband at the time. BMW Anton is great!

  45. Oh my gosh that little photo tour at the end! What a great way to entertain some kiddos :)

  46. Bethany says...

    Your perfect beachy hair! Between that and your content smile, you’ve never looked more beautiful!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you’re so sweet, thank you :)

  47. Summer says...

    Ohmygosh, your boys are adorable! I just laughed out loud at my desk! :)

  48. Megan says...

    Little boys are so funny.

  49. Colleen S says...

    With that water right there by the hotel room, I’d be spending all my time with my legs dangling between the balustrade and my feet in the water.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      {googles “balustrade”}

      yes! it was so lovely out there. you could watch the little fish too!

  50. D says...

    This is so great and I cracked up at Toby and antons poses! Anton has a way cooler wardobe than me- jealous of his sweet green jacket!

  51. E says...

    No offense Joanna, but the boys totally steal the show here. Their attitudes and pouts!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha, i have to agree! :)

  52. Amalyah says...

    You guys should totally adopt a dog!! Or you could foster one until you decide if it’s working for you or not. Worst case scenario, your foster dog gets adopted by another family and you get your home back to yourselves :)

  53. S says...

    This looks perfect! I’m pregnant and I got all teary eyed. It just looks so super great, haha! Love Jamaica too! We were married there…..in Negril!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how fun!! i’ve never been to negril, but it looks awesome. i’ve heard a lot about rockhouse, which seems like an amazing place there!

  54. amy says...

    The boys are getting so big! Great photo shoot!! They are the coolest kids around

  55. Caitlin says...

    I almost bought that book the other day and decided not to, although I’m not sure why not! I think I’ll go back and pick it up after all….

    Those photos of the boys KILL. ME. They are just too cute!!

  56. Lucie says...

    Is this sponsored by Red Stripe!? ;) hahaha the boys car photos have me DYING… oh, my, god. SO GOOD. 11/10

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha red stripe was definitely a major part of this trip :)

  57. Lindsay says...

    Hurray for kid-free trips! While your photos are lovely, your boys steal the show with their car photoshoot :) Glad u had fun

  58. Abbie says...

    The photos of the boys!!!! Made my entire day better seeing that. Hope the trip was wonderful :)

  59. Callie says...

    Your boys are hilarious! They are just the best. :D

    Looks like such a beautiful trip! Good on you and Alex for taking time as a couple. (PS- Best beach reads of the year? I have a trip planned soon too and need something to really fall into.)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oooh, good question!!!! i loved girl on the train if you haven’t already read it — so much fun to get immersed in a thriller on a trip. jessi klein’s book of essays are also hilarious if you want something funny and light: http://amzn.to/2y1fWvY

      i’ll keep thinking!!! so many of the books i’ve read this year were pretty heavy, and i’m sure you want something more fun/breezy for the beach!

    • Lara says...

      Callie, I highly recommend Elena Ferrante’s napolian tetralogy if you haven’t read it. It’s the perfect travel read, promise.

      A friend took the 1st one to France and texted me how she looked forward to going back to the hotel to read, haha

    • Caitlin Lee says...

      I just devoured Louise Penny books! I highly recommend! Think Agatha Christie, but modern. The perfect mystery book. The characters are wonderful too.

  60. Rachel says...

    Looks very chill! Love that book and your hair!!!