Earlier this month I went on an overnight getaway. The purpose was simple, to have a little escape to look forward to, a break from the everyday routine. We ended up going to Ohio where we stayed at a hotel I had always wanted to visit. It was about a 2.5 hour drive from Pittsburgh-not terribly long but being in the state’s Amish country (i.e. extremely remote), there was no easy way of getting there. It literally involved making turns every couple of miles for almost two hours which was a bit obnoxious since I as the navigator had to be alert the entire time, especially since once we were in Amish country and rural roads became the norm, signage became a lot smaller or in some cases, non-existent.
Once we were there, I had a lovely time. The hotel room was beautiful, our dinner at the on-site restaurant, fabulous. However, the day we arrived, it rained just about non-stop. And we were leaving the next day. The shortness of our visit, combined with a rather stressful drive back (we tried a different route home and while it was better overall, we also had two mishaps which resulted in extra time driving), just left me feeling disappointed once I got home. I was let down by the fact that I didn’t have time to do more at the hotel (there were some lovely sounding walking trails on-site) or explore more of the area in terms of shopping and eating pursuits (although maybe in regards to the latter it’s for the best). The first is always a problem when check-in is so late in the day (4 PM in the hotel’s case) and check –out is at 11 AM.
Personally, I’ve always considered getaways, no matter the length, to be a good thing. But as I get older, my time more limited, my weekends more precious, I don’t know if I can necessarily say the same about overnight getaways, especially when they’re more than an hour’s drive away. You spend so little time at the actual destination. My overnight stay at Tara last year was still enjoyable since the drive itself wasn’t that bad and the purpose of staying there was for the venue itself, not necessarily what I could see and do in the area.
I’ve found when it comes to trips that involve flying, three nights is the optimal amount of time. Although I lucked out on my two-night trip to Montreal when all four flights were on-time (I have to connect to just about ANYWHERE flying from Pittsburgh’s airport), I failed miserably when I traveled to Savannah last year as my connecting flight from Atlanta to Savannah was horribly delayed. Atlanta, Boston, and Seattle were all memorable trips as they were three nights and they didn’t feel so abbreviated, especially the first two since the flight times were nominal and the no jet lag factor even better. For me and driving trips, it seems like two nights has become the preferred amount of time.
A getaway is still a getaway, don’t get me wrong. But I almost feel that a day trip or a stay-cation is almost preferable to the overnight getaway, and a practice I plan to adopt moving forward.
What are your thoughts on the overnight getaway? Would the distance to the destination not deter you? Is a change of scenery all that you need sometimes?