Over the weekend of January 30th (also known as Ben’s Birthday), Ben and I decided to participate in a very lovely and very free marriage retreat. We traveled three long hours to a beautiful and relatively secluded resort in San Antonio. The trip consisted of 2 nights and 3 days in the Hyatt resort with all meals provided for FREE (paid for by the Army). Of course we had to sit through 8 hours of marriage workshops, but it is was well worth it, and due to my participation, I won us enough books to constitute a mini marriage library.
When we first arrived we were a little unimpressed with our sleeping arrangements not because the rooms weren’t nice or anything, but because we had a room with 2 double beds instead of one king size bed. Ben was all like “Well at least it is free,” and I was all, “I don’t care our bed at home is better, this is not going to work unless you want to sleep alone.” Turns out, when put like that he agreed with me, so I found someone to rectify the situation. We were able to move into a more suitable room once I explained to the facilitator that I didn’t think they wanted us sleeping separately on the marriage retreat because I certainly wasn’t going to cram into 1 double and let the other bed go to waste. Our new room even had a balcony with a beautiful view looking out over the courtyard.
When we weren’t in classes we found plenty of other things to do around the hotel since our goal was to not spend any money outside of gas and not use electronics outside of occasionally watching CNN and SNL (We don’t have cable at home). As a tradition the hotel allows guests roast s’mores in the huge fireplace in the entrance, which was pretty exciting. During free time we borrowed bikes from the hotel and went for a ride through the nature trail. We also spent time laying in a hammock, playing tether-ball, and chatting with new friends. Saturday night they showed Fireproof, which surprisingly enough turned out to be a good film on marriage and relationships*. Both nights we had plenty of free time, so I dragged Ben to the beautiful hot tubs despite his complaints of 50 degrees being too cold (What happened to my Chicago guy???). The hot tubs were huge and had beautiful waterfalls. I loved it.
I’m glad we went. Even though we didn’t learn a lot from the lectures we did get a few extra tips. Despite the fact that I think Ben and I have a pretty awesome relationship, we are always open to learning how to make it better. This retreat was kind of like a mini vacation and we love vacations. Vacations always do wonders for our own personal well being as well as our relationship. If you get the chance to go on something like this, I say take it. It is well worth it.
*I enjoyed the film, but I still had to put aside Kirk Cameron’s bad acting and the somewhat contrived religious message. It was a lot better than expected.