Life Audit

Honeymoon Redux


All their travel has been with family, for business or for weddings, and now the Douglases want some good, old-fashioned alone time.

“We’ve had fun on those trips, but there’s always been family around or our daughter is with us,” says Christine. “We have not had a selfish vacation where it’s just the two of us having fun.”

But getting away just isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. The couple’s daughter is 2 years old now, and they also have a dog, both of which limit the amount of time they can be away from home.

A long weekend could be just the solution for them, Christine says. Not only would it be easier to leave their daughter for a shorter period of time, but it also makes getting away from their respective law practices easier.

But she wonders whether a long weekend would fill the second honeymoon bill. In the past, long weekend getaways for her and her husband have meant trips to close-by cities like Chicago or Cincinnati or a trip to a family cottage in northern Michigan.

This time around the Douglases yearn to go someplace they have never been before. But they also want a destination with plenty of options. Both seek some downtime, but they also want to have the ability to golf, hike and sightsee. “Neither of us can sit on a beach for a whole week,” Christine says. Good restaurants also are key. The Douglases love their daughter, but they can’t bear the thought of one more meal at a chain restaurant with an Elmo placemat.

And don’t forget a little romance. It’s supposed to be a second honeymoon after all. Life Audit travel expert Laura Powell says there are plenty of long-weekend options that can hit everything on their wish list.

For the typical three-day weekend, Powell recommends limiting travel time to maximize the actual vacation time.

The Douglases are fortunate to have the world reknowned French Lick Springs Resort & Spa a short drive from their Indianapolis home. The historic grande dame offers every amenity they’re seeking, from a spa to lush gardens to golf and tennis. The re­sort also houses the famed mineral springs where visitors can take a soak and enjoy its reputed rejuvenating powers.

More Options

If the Douglass can steal away for another day or two, Powell advises them to head north to Wisconsin. A four- to five-hour drive will land them in Kohler, home of the AAA Five-Diamond Ameri­can Club. Because the resort is owned by the same company that makes the well-known bathroom and kitchen products, guest rooms are done up with the latest luxury bathroom fixtures and accessories. The resort also offers gourmet restaurants, two 18-hole golf courses, a new spa and a large fitness center and racquet club. Guests can also take advantage of nearby private nature reserves and state parks. A few more hours in the car (or a plane ride and a shorter drive) will get Christine and Charlie to the Midwest’s only Relais & Châteaux property, Canoe Bay. Powell says the adult-only resort is much pricier but definitely worth it. “The 280-acre property, located in the rolling hills of northern Wisconsin, is beautifully secluded on a private glacial lake,” she says.

Breakfast is delivered each morning to the guest quarters in private cabins. The resort offers a range of nature-oriented activities for guests including kayaking, fishing and hiking. The locale also offers spectacular vistas in which to watch birds and observe other wildlife. Nearby areas feature shopping and tourist attractions such as rice paddies and cranberry bogs.

If the Douglases can extend their long weekend to four or five days, Powell also wants them to consider flying to a destination, especially Canada. The trip is longer–it could take them half a day and two planes to get there–but the strong American dollar makes the country a relative bargain.

High on Powell’s list of picks is Quebec City with its encompassing walls. Called the cradle of French civilization in North America, Quebec City offers a host of charming boutique hotels, and bed and breakfasts. The shopping, dining and nightlife are first-rate. Plus the surrounding mountains, forests, lakes and the St. Lawrence River offer myriad outdoor activities.

Quebec City also gets high marks for ambiance from Powell. With its narrow winding streets, graceful architecture and cozy cafes, the setting is ripe for romance. After all, isn’t that what second honeymoons are meant to be about?

Our Expert

Laura Powell Nationally recognized travel expert Laura Powell has written about travel for more than 15 years and created the TravelGuide television show for CNN. Vital statistics Christine and Charlie Douglas Position Christine is a solo practitioner at the Douglas Law Office, Indianapolis; Charlie is an associate at Riley, Bennett & Egloff, and Indianapolis. Goal A romantic weekend getaway.

Life Audit HOT TIP: KEEP TRANSIT TIME SHORT

Nothing ruins a long weekend getaway more than spending too much time in a car or plane. Life Audit travel expert Laura Powell offers this rule of thumb: If you plan to drive, select a destination no more than five hours away from home. If you plan to fly, pick a nonstop destination with a maximum three-hour flight time.

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