These days everyone’s talking about “Self-Care,” which I fully support and practice! However, I don’t hear that much about “couples care.” Sure, there’s talk about “date your spouse” and “practice regular date nights.” However, what about those exhausted parents of young children who are always on the go? By the time you put the kids down for bed and you’re ready to spend time with each other, you both end up dozing off on the couch before the movie starts. Or, if you do make it out of the house for date night, you have a great time, enjoy a good meal, but then don’t want to stay out too late because you know 6 am is just around the corner, and that means the littles will be up early and, of course, will get you up too. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone, I’m definitely part of that tribe, and this, with all of its joys, laughter, and exhaustion, is our current season of life.
My husband and I DO practice regular date nights. However, after the busyness of the holidays, we needed a more substantial break together. We needed some genuine “couples care!”
We headed to our new favorite weekend getaway, Broken Bow, Oklahoma. If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, I shared our Broken Bow Staycation with Kids last summer. It was a great family trip, and the kiddos had a blast. This past weekend was our third trip to Broken Bow and our second with just the two of us. Let me tell you that it did not disappoint, and as I write this post on the three-hour drive back, I feel rested, relaxed, and just in a better space mentally for myself and my marriage.
WHY BROKEN BOW?
So first off, you may be asking, Why Broken Bow? When I tell people I’m going to a cabin in Oklahoma, they often have some completely different thoughts in their minds. The truth is, this underrated spot is perfect for so many reasons:
- Drivability. It’s about a 3-hour drive from the Dallas North Suburbs, making travel easy and accessible.
- Broken Bow is beautiful and scenic. All the cabins we’ve stayed in have been surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife.
- The cabins are AMAZING. Let me preface this by saying I am not a “rough it” kind of girl AT ALL. However, there is nothing “rough” about our stays. The luxury cabins we’ve stayed in have all been fully equipped for ultimate relaxation and have all the amenities.
- Affordability. When comparing a luxury cabin in Broken Bow to what we would pay at a high-end hotel or resort, hands down, our entire trip is a lot less expensive and closer to home.
THINGS TO DO:
I’m not going to lie; we use this time to reset and restore. That means we really don’t leave the cabin outside of enjoying the amazing porch and deck, and maybe a hike if we were up to it. However, I know that’s not how everyone gets rejuvenated, so here’s a list of things that we do during our staycation and some links to tons of other activities in the area:
- We veg out. That’s right, all of those yummy things we don’t eat during the week due to calorie content, and all of those things we rarely make because our kids say “ewe yucky” we enjoy while on our trip.
- We catch up on movies and TV. We hear about all of those shows on social media that our friends are “binge-watching” that we never seem to have time for because our TV is stuck on kid shows we watch during our stay. The cabins we’ve rented all have smart TVs with majority streaming services so that we can catch up on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even HBO +.
- We get couples massages. There’s a mobile massage place called A Servants Hands Massages that will come directly to your cabin and give you and your spouse a couples massage. This is always a treat, and I try to plan it for the day after we arrive to get our bodies fully into relaxation mode.
- We enjoy the hot tub. Most luxury cabins are fully equipped with a hot tub on the deck, which is a great relaxation treat.
- We go for a nature walk. This is a great time to talk, enjoy the silence of nature, and just breath in the fresh air.
- We sleep. Do you ever reflect on your younger years, before you had children, and if you were tired, you took a nap? That’s what we do! We sleep in, wake up, veg out, and if we are tired, take a nap.
- Read a leisurely book. This is more me rather than my husband. He enjoys catching up on sports or smoking a cigar outback. I like to take a completely unrelated book to personal development or anything that requires work, something a hundred percent for leisure that’s entertaining to read.
If this isn’t how you recharge and are looking for more “to-do,” check out the activities in my post on Camping with Young Kids, which includes more activities you can do in Broken Bow as a couple or with kids.
WHAT TO BRING:
As I mentioned, most cabins come with tons of supplies, so you don’t need to bring much. In addition to a full kitchen, most are generally fully stocked with the small kitchen appliances you would have at home. Such as waffle makers, toasters, microwaves, hand mixers, slow cookers, etc. If you need a specific appliance for your stay, reach out to the owner or property manager and see if they have one there. That way, you don’t end up overpacking unnecessary items.
- Food & Beverages– You will need to provide your meals when you go. There are some grocery stores in Broken Bow. However, they are small, so if you have a particular brand of item you want, I recommend bringing it with you. We do meal prepping in advance and pack everything ahead in a cooler. I will speak more about that below.
- Hiking Boots – Even if you don’t plan on going for an actual “hike” the terrain is fairly rocky and hilly, so I highly recommend a pair of hiking boots or tennis shoes with ankle support.
- Loungewear – I usually pack comfortable loungewear to wear around the cabin—Maxi dresses, comfortable pants, rompers, etc. I pack for my husband sweat pants, shorts, and comfortable shirts.
- Jeans and a cute top – I always pack one “nice” casual outfit for the both of us if we choose to go into town for a meal or wine tasting.
- House Slippers or Cozy Socks – most floors are hardwood, and with temperatures cooler in the winter months, the floors can be cold, even with the heat on. We pack both house slippers and cozy socks to be comfortable as we walk through the cabin.
- Swimsuit/Trunks – be sure to bring a swimsuit to enjoy the hot tub if your cabin has one!
- Device Chargers – make sure you pack your charges for all the things! Cellphones, laptops, any additional devices you may bring, be sure to bring chargers.
- Your Standard Toiletries – anything you would typically travel overnight with, toothbrush, toothpaste, if you have a preference of soap, you may want to bring that as well. However, they will likely have something there.
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU STAY?
This depends on every individual couple and what your plans are. However, for us, three nights is usually perfect. We leave mid-day on a Friday and come back Monday morning. This gives us time to break away from the busyness of life, honestly, but it isn’t so long that our kids will miss us too much.
WHAT DO LUXURY CABINS NORMALLY PROVIDE?
You can check with your local rental cabin to get a complete list of what’s provided, but in general, here’s been our experience:
- Mini Toiletries
- Dishwasher Pods
- Laundry Detergent
- Small Appliances – slow cooker, microwave, waffle maker, hand mixer, etc.
- Kitchen Supplies – pots and pans, dinnerware, glassware, barware, etc.
- Smart TV
I meal prep before all of our Broken Bow trips, as I mentioned above. This is not a “Must,” but since I like to spend time there to relax completely, I don’t want to spend a lot of time at the local store or in the kitchen, although we do want delicious meals!
Prep in Advance
I usually start preparing for our trip a week in advance. Meals that can be frozen and reheated, I prep, freeze, and heat when we are ready to eat them.
I make all fresh items the night before or the morning of our trip and place them in zip-lock storage bags.
Here are some examples:
- Fruit – Fresh strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. All rinsed and cut, and placed in storage bags.
- Salad – I wash all salad ingredients and make a large salad in a bowl. Once the salad is thoroughly mixed, I place it all in a storage bag (leave out any toppings that may get soggy, like croutons or bacon bits, and wait to add them when you serve your salad).
- Tuna Salad – I make the tuna the night before and place it in a disposable storage container that I can dispose of once the tuna is gone.
- Lasagna – I pre-make lasagna in a foil deep pan with a lid.
- Enchiladas – I pre-make enchiladas in a foil pan with lid. I make them the week before and freeze them. I bake them at the cabin. (Add cheese and olives if you use them after you’ve baked it)
Place perishable items in a cooler
Before we depart, we place all of the perishable items in our large cooler with ice.
If you’re not sure what meals to plan, here’s a list with some ideas of what I usually prepare in advance if it’s just the two of us:
- Orange Juice
- Turkey Bacon
- Biscuits or Waffles
- Tuna Salad and Crackers or
- Homemade Charcuterie board
- Texas Toast
- Salsa and Guacamole
By starting my prepping a week in advance with freezable items, I don’t feel overwhelmed at the last minute or in a panic to get everything done before we leave. I try to do as much as possible in advance so that I’m not in a frantic mood when it’s time to go.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST LUXURY CABINS
There are multiple ways to look for available cabins. Typically, cabins are privately owned or owned by a group, and they rent them on their websites. However, I find that you can get the most variety by using a site like VRBO to search for them. VRBO usually has the best cancellation policy, but you also may be able to find better rates directly on the sites of the local rental companies so be sure to do your research!
Cabins we’ve loved:
The two cabins that we have stayed at that we’ve fallen in love with and would highly recommend are:
Whatever you choose, be sure to check directly with the owner or management company on any questions you have on what they provide or their amenities. I hope you and your spouse can take the time and have a couples getaway. Whether in Broken Bow or just about anywhere, time together is time well spent.