He Said/She Said: Our First Vacation Together

This love train continues to steamroll ahead, flattening my former single girl life in its path and chugging into serious couple territory. After only a month of living together, a few pre-planned events came to fruition all in the same week – getting our puppy, meeting his parents and escaping to the beach for our own spring break. Sponsored link: Spark the romance. Pamper yourself. Book your romantic spa getaway today. You deserve it! Click here to discover a great deal.

Driving from the upper tip of Manhattan to a remote town in Western Pennsylvania, our road trip began with buckets of rain and bumper-to-bumper traffic. But the clouds lifted as we pulled up the breeder’s driveway to meet our baby pup. J. shifted nervously in the passenger seat; “What if he doesn’t like me?” he asked. We chattered like nervous parents about to adopt a child.

I had heard stories of women getting a puppy to test their man’s innate parenting skills, but this was not my idea. J.’s wanted this puppy for years and had been waiting for this particular litter. So by default, I have become baby mama to Cosimo, a Cane Corso who is 15 lbs going on 150.

Cosimo slept for most of the ride as we treaded south towards our second stop – J.’s parents in North Carolina, who I was meeting for the first time. When we arrived, I busied myself with unloading the car even though we were just staying the night. What if they didn’t like me? I held Cosimo and told him this was scary for me, too.

Before I could even put my bags down, his mother scooped me into her arms, gave me a warm hug and told me J. better run me a bath, because I must be wiped from our 10-hour drive. I liked her already! The next morning, I met his father who smiled and said, “Hey, c’mere and give me a hug!” Southern hospitality is not a myth. They gave us some beach chairs and dog toys and we left for the third leg of our journey – a further trek down south to Hilton Head.

When we arrived at the condo six hours later, we collapsed on the beach with margaritas in hand and Cosimo lying in between us. This was my first spring break since graduating college. No drunken karaoke. No swarm of sorority sisters. It was just the three of us.

We spent the next few days walking the beach, riding bikes with the pup in a baby trailer, enjoying a beautiful sunset dinner by the lake and trying to get Cosimo to walk. He wanted to be carried everywhere.

One night in a romantic gesture, J. filled the Jacuzzi and placed tea lights around it. Cosimo came up and with one quick paw swipe almost set the place ablaze. I reminded myself that he’s a baby and to treat him as such, and to not let dog poop or whimpers sway us from couple time. It didn’t stop J.

On the way home, we drove with stretches of comfortable silence, turning the Sirius stations from ’80s and ’50s tunes (me) to Hip Hop and Howard Stern (him). As the odometer turned, I found it comforting that we were going home together – as a family, sometimes a hard thing to find in a city like New York.

So, I’m sharing some more insight into our burgeoning love arrangement, and he has sent in his thoughts separately. Check out our He Said/She Said…

On Packing Everyone knows that the majority of men are severely incompetent at folding clothes and packing for a faraway destination beyond their own castle. I am no exception. “What do you mean I need more than one pair of boxers?! The condo has a damn washer/dryer doesn’t it??” Needless to say, I left this crucial task in her hands and a wonderful job she did. I had enough fashionable outfits to withstand every conceivable climate for at least seven full weeks and all I had to do was carry the suitcases down the stairs. This was the first time I ever shared a suitcase and/or packed for a man. But as the laundress of the house, I knew exactly where his flip-flops and swimming trunks had been hidden, so I acquiesced. In hindsight, I could’ve saved myself the effort; he lived in his blue Adidas gym pants for three quarters of the trip. And he is probably wearing them as I type this — I’m going to have to enact sexy time just to get them off him and into the wash!
On The Road Trip We had ventured out east to the Hamptons numerous times last summer and had to enjoy/endure each other’s company for 2-3 straight hours on the open road. This, however, was a 16-hour road trip down south which was broken up into two long stretches. Thank God we took the Escalade and not the midget-mobile Mercedes SLK is all I have to say — THAT would’ve been an utter nightmare. Listening to her sexually-charged romance novel by Alice Hoffman on CD also made the ride quite interesting… Grandpa would not move the needle above 55mph. I begged J. to pull over and let me drive. When he finally caved, he moved to the backseat with the puppy and watched “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale,” a DVD his mom had given us. I glanced in the rearview mirror at my two babies, and then stared happily ahead doing a virtual replay of previous failed relationships. Besides the lessons learned — the wait was well worth it.
On Meeting His Parents S**t, I forgot to tell them I had a gal pal before we showed up on their door step! Just kidding … All went very amicably and they loved Rainbow. Mom was concerned the exhaustive road trip would bring out the worst in me and that would be the end of our relationship. I called her after we returned to NY and proudly boasted that we were in fact still happily together. I’ve been called the “Rainbow creature” by one ex’s mom and another’s would never make eye contact, always looking at some object mysteriously hovering above my head. So to be hugged repeatedly and pampered by J’s mom touched me in a way he didn’t know. When she called “bulls**t” on some tale he was telling, I smiled to myself, knowing why he sees so much of her – in me. His parents are adorable, married for over 30 years, and they made sure I knew I was the first girl he had brought home in years.
On Taking Care Of The Puppy Cosimo, the Cane Corso, will unfortunately not be a “pup” for long; being a mastiff-breed, he will end up weighing more than Rainbow in about a year’s time. She says that he is not allowed to share our bed and still doesn’t know what we should do with him when “getting frisky” with each other. He’s only nine weeks old and has already brazenly introduced his red rocket to my blonde roommate’s right calf. I guess he did witness Rainbow and I in the act one of those nights! Having grown up surrounded by fluffy, purring cats, I’ll admit training a pup is foreign to me. Apparently it’s foreign to “The Dog Whisperer” — aka J. — too. At Petco, I was tempted to buy Dog Training for Dummies but passed as J. had sworn he knew “how to do this.” I should’ve listened to my instincts. Puppy doesn’t like to walk. Puppy wants to be held. Puppy pees on floor unless walked every two hours. On the plus side, puppy sleeps through the night. Puppy licks my face goodbye when I leave for work in the morning. Puppy is a new reason I can’t wait to get home at night.
On Their First Vacation Together I suppose this was our first “real” vacay together — like I said, we had been out to the Hamptons and Montauk several times last summer, but had never travelled out-of-state, except for a romantic one-night getaway to Philly. We had a fantastic time and believe a nice vacation done right can invigorate any relationship (especially for newbies). Looking forward to hitting up Hilo and Honolulu in the summer with her! We had taken overnight trips before, but this was our first full-blown, inseparable for days, driving for hours, destination away together. I loved that we woke up early every morning, keeping to a routine and not wasting the day.
Favorite Moment Of The Trip The last night we were in Hilton Head. We relished one of the most memorable dinners I’ve experienced in a long time. The sun was dipping into the Calibogue Sound, the live band was singing one of her favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, the chilled Riesling was delish, and the food was phenomenal. Life was perfect that evening. Do I get some sponsor money for enthusiastically endorsing The Chart House? I’m so glad I picked it out — she had originally wanted to go to a place that looked like it was trying to win Michelin stars based on the number of senior citizens it served. I loved riding bicycles on the beach with Cosimo in a baby trailer, shocking passersby when they peeped inside to find a pup – not a human. My favorite memory though will be our cozy lakeside dinner, as we watched the sun disappear into the horizon. With a blazing fireplace beside us, fresh seafood in front of us and a live band strumming tunes outside, we laughed into the night, never letting our eyes stray from one another. I could’ve never guessed that the shy, tall, cute guy at happy hour would become such a fixture in my life.

Catch this couple next time as they share their thoughts on transitioning from cabin fever to spring fever together under the same roof with a growing pup and three other rambunctious roommates.

This article is sponsored by “Romantications” at Royal Palms; however, the article is independently produced by The Frisky and the opinions and views expressed by the writers are their own.