When I asked women about their experiences during the first trimester of pregnancy, some proudly recalled how they had no trouble at all while others shuddered remembering the severe nausea that had set in. In comparison, I could place my morning sickness meter between mild to moderate. However, whatever irritations I faced during that time seemed to dissipate into thin air as the second trimester began. I had read online about this being the perfect time for the parents-to-be to take a ‘babymoon’. This is a vacation that the couple or even a single parent takes to relax and later escape to in their mind when, in a few months, they are bound to be surrounded by sleepless nights, soiled diapers and a howling little creature demanding their whole and soul.
I found the concept of a babymoon very enticing and those online articles backed by paid hotel advertisements proved to be successful in planting the seed of temptation in my brain. However, I could not immediately translate it into action due to some hectic changes in career and thought less and less of it as I eased into the sixth month of pregnancy. After things had quietened down a bit in life and while I was in the midst of waiting to start a job at a new employer, the hubby brought the subject up and enthusiastically went ahead to plan our babymoon at the picturesque wine country of Santa Rosa, a two-hour drive from where we live in California. Turns out, it was the best decision taken at the perfect time!
Fall in California cannot be compared to the vibrant colors on the East coast or other areas in the United States, with one exception – wine country. The transition from a cool color scheme to a warm one looked astounding there. Lush green vineyards now resembled carpets of yellows, reds, oranges and browns climbing over hillocks or stretching out luxuriously under the warm California sun. Persimmon trees hung thick with plump orange fruit, roses pushed their pretty faces through gaps in fences and shiny, pink throat-ed hummingbirds thrummed their tiny wings to produce surprising grunt-like powerful sounds. We drove through the countryside and along inner roads, enjoying the blur of colors in the vineyards passing by and occasionally stopping for photo-ops with me holding my bulging belly. The signboards inviting visitors for wine tasting were of no use to me although, pregnant or not, I do not drink anyway. Nevertheless, I drank my fill of the unique architecture and landscaping at each winery.
For the duration of our trip, we stayed at Windrose Romantic Cottages in the town of Windsor. Turning in at the gate brought us to quaint, lemon yellow cottages with white trimmings clustered together like decorated cupcakes, available in different styles – English, French and Italian. The bed and breakfast place felt as cozy on the inside as it appeared on the outside, with simple yet stylish interiors, a warm fireplace and adequate amenities. Since the theme of this mini-vacation was for us would-be-parents to relax, we casually strolled about in the town of Healdsburg nearby, window-shopping through its downtown area and later got a soothing couples massage at a spa in Santa Rosa. The day was topped off with tea and snacks while lounging out in the patio of our cottage under a patch of sky resplendent with sunset-tinged clouds. This was followed by a sumptuous dinner at an Italian restaurant. I like to think that the baby inside showed her contentment as well in the gentle rolling movements I felt from time to time during our short yet memorable babymoon!