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When I was 18-weeks pregnant with Big Girl I got an assignment from Yoga Journal to write about Thai Yoga Massage. As a result, I found myself alone on a press trip at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. It was, by far, the best trip I have ever been on. I grew quite a bit emotionally on that trip.

It was the first time I had ever been away from home all by myself. Sure, I had gone on press trips before, but always with others on staff. So even though I had my own room at night, I was hanging out all day with other editors, and taking dinner meetings and having drinks at night. Kripalu, with its then-Spartan accommodations (it wasn’t until June 2009 that the beautiful “Annex” opened up), and focus on the self, I actually had to start focusing inward. Even breakfast, which I took in the silent dining area, was a time for introspection. Anyway, I look back at that trip and Kripalu as my ultimate happy place. And now, as we head into the end of the year, I have been seriously thinking about getting another visit in. Especially since we haven’t been away in almost a year since my husband wasn’t working, and he was having operations every few months. I’d like to get away, recharge, and relax a bit without having to worry about packing a school lunch, changing sheets, or teaching religion.

But I can’t just book a few nights at Kripalu. We’ve got other travel to think about that may trump my bucolic getaway. For example, we’ve got points from 2009 in our Disney Vacation Club bank that we need to use by March 1. (Use ’em or lose ’em, that’s the DVC motto!) And next year we have 300 points that we’ll have to use since I banked this year’s points. Oh, and there’s Woodloch. We always take a trip during February and March — usually with a few of our couple friends — to do tubing and other winter games. This year we’re also considering a trip to the Rocking Horse Ranch over winter break. Again, with a big bunch of friends and their kids. We’ve never been, but the place sounds amazing.

So, do I slink off alone for a few days and then just work super-hard when I get back? Or do I put off Kripalu for another year? I’m trying to figure out a way to do it all, but there are only so many days we can take off, and only so many dollars in the vacation fund. Now that Little Girl is no longer classified as a lap child, we actually have to buy her a seat on the airplane, for example, so our cost for any airplane trip goes up about $500.

Hmmm. I guess I will just have to start pitching a lot of travel stories…

How do you handle vacations? How often do you go away? What’s your “happy place” as a single person? As a family? More important: Have you ever been to Rocking Horse Ranch, and was it any good?

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