Us Time - Why time away from our kids makes us better parents

There's a story that a new father asked his father (the new grandfather) how to be a good father to his children.  The grandfather responded - love their mother.  It's easy to get caught up in the chaos of life with children plus work plus the household and run out of time for each other.  It happens to us all the time - we're exhausted by Friday evening and know that we have a full weekend of family time that will be great - but tiring. 

My husband and I try to get at least one weekend a year alone.  Last year, we managed a full week - but it was our 10 year anniversary, so we felt entitled to splurge.  I remember my parents taking a week vacation every year just to have fun with each other.  It's a good model.  Someday, if we do our job well, our kids should move out and make their own lives - we'll still be with each other (G-d willing).  And staying connected, romantic and in love for the 20+ years of raising kids takes effort.  I worry about my friends who tell me they haven't been on vacation alone with their husband for 4, 5, 6 years. I don't have any data, but instinctively that just feels like neglect to the couple relationship.

My favorite spots for a 2-3 day parent getaway (from the Bay Area) are:

  1. Las Vegas - shows, restaurants and lots of price points for the hotels.  Whether or not you gamble, it's easy.
  2. Napa/Sonoma - drivable from the Bay Area and truly another world.
  3. Steamboat Springs - direct flight from the Bay Area and beautiful skiing
  4. Cabo - if your passport is in order, this is a lovely spot.
  5. San Diego - beach, ocean and pretty hotels.  The gaslight district is a pretty walk.

What are your recommendations for your part of the world?