[caption id="attachment_2533" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square, New Orleans; photos by Colleen Seto"] [/caption] I took my first real kid-free vacation last week. It was actually a kid-and-husband-free vacation as I went for a girlfriends' getaway to New Orleans. My husband and I have gone a night or two away from our two-year-old daughter, but never together. Either he goes or I go. We haven't been able, for all sorts of reasons, to take a kid-free vacation together. But no matter. It was a wonderful time where I wasn't responsible for anyone but myself! FREEDOM!! And New Orleans was the perfect city for me to enjoy myself in. The city itself radiates such a wonderful energy unlike any other I'd ever experienced. Anything goes here! I ate delicious beignets with abandon; I took naps in my luxurious hotel room at Hotel Monteleone; I walked Bourbon Street with a hurricane drink in hand enjoying the wild spectacle of it all and attended an amazing live jazz performance at Preservation Hall--all without having to yield to the demands of a toddler! I was able to eat at nice restaurants (check out Emeril's Delmonico or Muriel's in Jackson Square) and just poke around the French Quarter at my leisure. Never mind just the simplified task of flying on my own without all the hassle and stress of lugging all the kid extras along and making sure I could occupy her for the whole flight. [caption id="attachment_2534" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Delicious beignets from Cafe Beignet"] [/caption] [caption id="attachment_2535" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Lobby of the historic Hotel Monteleone"] [/caption] Of course I missed my little monkey, but I didn't really get how necessary it was to give myself this space and time until I did. I take my "me time" at home, but it's always in bits and pieces--30 minutes here and hour there. Never four full days! Once I got home, I was so excited to see my daughter and soak up all the hugs and "I missed you, moms" that ensued. A few days later, we're back to our regular routine and it was like I never went anywhere at all. Except that I did. And it gave me that extra bit of renewed energy to tackle all the mundane things moms have to do, and to catch up on my freelance workload that somehow piled up while I was away. So I say take that kid-free vacation. My husband is on his as we speak. Every parent needs it and I believe we're all better for it. Now, if only my hubby and I could sort out taking one together.