The Man-Cation


So a few months ago, I got a random text message from my brother mentioning the fact that he is thinking about going to Mardi Gras.  I took it as an invitation, and started to do a little digging into prices and flights and my vacation days.  Turns out all the stars aligned and I was able to use flyer miles and could afford it and really needed a getaway.  Most importantly, I got not only my wife’s blessings but she said she thought it was a good idea for me to get away from some of the daily stressors for a few days away.  So my brother and a few friends packed up and left our wives behind for a 4 day getaway filled with beer, great food and lots of laughs!

Let’s start off by saying that Mardi Gras in New Orleans is not what most people who have never been think it is.  In the 4 days, I only saw one woman flash and it was because we decided to go to Bourbon Street at 1am for pizza.  We watched more parades that I can remember and consumed far more adult beverages than I’m proud of.  We spent time with some friends that we know down there, met others that we see there every year and met new friends.  A lot of the time was spent getting little jabs in on each other and making fun of ourselves and each other but mostly just laughing and relaxing.  We caught so many beads, doubloons, cups, frisbees, footballs and stuffed animals that we couldn’t bring everything home with us.  The kids and even the dog loved all of the goodies that I brought home.


I believe that it is Murphy ’s Law that everything that can go wrong, definitely will while I am gone.  My wife had a very rough week while I was gone but she never let on while I was gone to allow me to enjoy my time and I am so thankful for that.  My son had the flu, my daughter started to get sick, my wife started to get a scratchy throat and she had to take the cat back to the vet and now has to give her IV fluids on top of feeding her through a feeding tube.  She even told me afterwards that if she had to put the cat down, she wasn’t going to tell me until I got back to make sure she didn’t ruin my trip.  She used to do this when I was deployed and shoulder all of the stress and then I hear all of the stories when I get back.  She actually told my mom this trip that she is so glad that I went on the trip because I really needed it, putting me first which really went a long way.

I think that this kind of trip is required for us to keep our sanity.  I’ve written before that when my wife and I travel without kids brings us so much closer and is necessary from time to time, well this is no different.  Being able to go out with the guys and be disgusting, eat wherever we want, whatever we want and drink all day long seems to create a sort of balance.  This kind of balance is different to the balance you get from working out or catching up on your sleep.  It reminds us that we are people outside of who we have to be at work, or even at home.  I think we slept in each day, stayed out late watching the parades or hitting up the food trucks for a corn dog or nachos at midnight, we even got to hit a few food places that didn’t have chicken fingers (I actually ordered chicken fingers one day).  The first night, we tried to hit the casino bar when we got in around 11:00 at night only to find that all of the bars were closed and we would have to gamble to drink anything so we decided we are getting old as we went back to the hotel room and ate cupcakes.  This trip provided a lot of inside jokes that will live on for years and years, from surprising light up poo hats, to the closet, to yelling no dinner for you and finally Vamanos; these will cause us to get a good laugh and recall the great times!

Before anyone jumps on me for being selfish, I am beyond grateful for everything that my wife does and fair is fair, I have no issue with her taking a long girl’s weekend or spending time away from us.  It is so important for us to have some alone time and as a SAHM, I know that she doesn’t get a lot of it without tiny humans chasing her around or asking what she is doing.  She went on a few horse riding trips and I only don’t agree to a trip for her when there is good reason.  I really hope that we can make the event a regular one and look forward to some more guy time in the future as well as catching up on the family time as well!

Stay strong out there dads, and try to relax!

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