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Posts from the ‘travel’ Category

Back to my roots

First and foremost Happy Father’s Day to my fabulous father and all others out there! Secondly, considering my blog is named in honor of my love and life passion of hotels and I can’t think of anything to whine about for once I figured it might be time to actually talk about travel. The first lesson I bestow upon you is the concept of bleisure travel. It’s a silly name but a great concept of adding some leisure time to your business trip. Side note I love the term bleisure. For me 2 days is perfect to take in enough of a city to then determine if I should return. It’s also the exact amount of time I can be alone before I go insane. Since I’ve now done this precisely 3 times (bleisure trips not gone insane) I’ve got some fantastic tips on making the most of your time. This particular list is for international travel.

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  1. Make sure that you stay up through your entire overnight flight. It is imperative to take advantage of all the free house red wine and as many newly released movies as possible and will ensure you arrive unrested and pleasant at your destination.
  2. Ensure you arrive to your hotel prior to any reasonably early check- in time and doubly ensure your room will not be ready by omitting your arrival time on all correspondence with your hotel prior to arrival.
  3. Serious tip- this actually works well to ensure you stay awake and do something in your new destination since you can’t take a nap…
  4. Drink at least 4 beers on no sleep to ensure that you absolutely fall asleep in public… Perhaps at a restaurant… Perhaps into your goulash
  5. As soon as you can check in to your hotel take a long enough nap to guarantee your first night of sleep is ruined along with your chances of quickly acclimating your body to its new time zone. 3-4 hours should do the trick.
  6. $50 is absolutely a reasonable price to pay for a club sandwich if someone delivers it to your bed
  7. Speaking of room service: currywurst and a minibar Berliner 100% counts as experiencing the local nightlife
  8. Try not learning any of the local language as a cute game. Even if you type up some key phrases such as “where is the nearest bar?” And ” can I please pay with a credit card for this 5 euro novelty mug?” Disregard this list and just obnoxiously assume everyone speaks English. All locals love this and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in local culture!!!

    I’m clearly being sarcastic and I think that’s enough of that for now, but be a pal and take your vacation time and share your travels on social media!

    Love and safe travels-
    Hotelie Blogger

 

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Talking to strangers

I’ll be the first to admit I have a Hallmark Movie problem. I can’t help it. I don’t like surprises and they have perfected a Marissa approved movie format that I just can’t get enough of. I love the clichés. I love that romance is always the answer and most of all I love that there will be a happy ending. Recently, as I embarked on my third consecutive film, I was chuckling to myself at an overtly cheesy scene where a complete stranger spews incessant unsolicited inspirational anecdotes on the main character, which then propels her along the remaining plotline of the movie. I laughed at the idea that such a peripheral character would approach another and impact that person so profoundly. Or at least as profoundly as Hallmark can accommodate.

That’s when I was struck by the memory of a woman I met when I was traveling this past spring. I was in a very bad place in life. In technical terms I was “completely freaking out”. It was ‘crying on the subway on the regular’ bad and I knew I needed to take action. After I hung up from a call with my dad, during which he alluded to the fact that I should avoid sharp objects, I took up conversation with a woman to my right at the bar. She too was at a crossroads, haven taken a new job and was uncertain about the risks. We only spoke briefly, but both shared our fears and it felt surprisingly natural. Despite the fact that I credit this mostly to the desperation we both felt, I remember feeling a little bit better after our chat.

meadows make me pensive.

meadows make me pensive.

I boarded my flight home and fortunately everything all worked out. I made some changes and was able to shift gears in a way that has allowed me the ability to survive a subway ride without tears. That moment in the airport wasn’t the most pivotal by any means. There were many more compelling conversations, but I do think it was an important one. Misery loves company I suppose, but more than that it was comforting to feel a little more connected to a seemingly random universe. It was nice to be reassured by someone who wasn’t actually obligated to support me. Not that I don’t love that reassurance as well, I will take as much support as the world is willing to lend my way. Anyway, the point is that is why I will continue to interrupt and annoy perfectly innocent strangers in airports. Fin.

Somehow I got old and out of touch with reality.

As I stood in security at JFK this past Friday to attend a good friend’s wedding and a reunion with some beloved college friends, it occurred to me that I forgot the one thing I actually needed that weekend – my dress for the wedding. I was also 2 hours delayed, present-less, and on the brink of a nervous breakdown.

At least I remembered to pack undergarments, a shoe, and this cat.

At least I remembered to pack undergarments, a shoe, and this cat.

So when I frantically plopped myself down at the closest bar I could find I was pleased to be sandwiched between two sophisticated businessmen, clearly older and more established than myself. Sometimes when one is at one’s worst it is nice to be surrounded by stability.

I happened to notice the gentleman to my left was rather handsome. We begin to chat and I imagine our own impending nuptials He is a suit, in some type of nebulous banking pharmaceutical industry and clearly far more stable than some chick who is delayed without imperative luggage.

We share beverages, laughs, stories, and within five minutes it is revealed that he is also a recent graduate. From college. And I am old, a cougar, and a borderline rapist. Not to mention a lost soul teetering on the edge of unemployment… but alas that’s for another post. 😉 When did I become older and less established than most bar dwellers? When did my concept of age reality go so awry? Is my judgment that far from accurate? Deep thoughts…. mission get my life back on track commences now!

My Summer Story

I have been MIA, but it’s summer so I will blame it on the fact that I have been traveling. Actually, I have been informed summer is in fact now over and I need to start working a full day on Fridays, but alas. If I could sum up my summer story in a word, it would be magical. There were some parts of the summer that were exquisite, some painful, but as an overarching sentiment, I will opt to go with magical. There were so many moments throughout the summer where I sat back and reflected, or more aptly said aloud to myself  “This was more fun than I could have possibly imagined”. Maybe it’s the fact that I have started to anticipate mediocrity in order to accommodate my high expectations, but I doubt it, because who can truly lower expectations? Not this girl. So I’ll start with a round up (or two, who knows how long this could take).

BJ- Suitcase

BJ always tries to join me on my travels.

Summer started with a family trip to St. John. It’s been a family destination for years and one of the final places my mother wanted to be laid to rest. So we obliged. Days were filled with old favorites like happy hour at an island “dive” Woody’s intertwined with the new (ish) Fatty Crab, Virgin Islands edition. With poolside painkillers at The Westin St. John and swimming in the ocean with my beautiful niece, in addition to that I spent the week communing with starfish and sea turtles on nearly deserted beaches, it was both a perfect beginning and end.  Since St. John is so hilly, the views are obscenely gorgeous. If you don’t get St. John, you just don’t get it.

St. John View

So that was hard to top, but fortunately I had a lot of plans this summer. I had a nearly perfect birthday, a pretty gorgeous Fourth of July, and I already told you about Montreal.  One more thing I will add about the hospitality at Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, one way to win over this American is with a welcome ritual involving molecular gastronomy and booze. And rainbows never hurt.

Montreal

The next magical memory of summer was a trip to North Fork to celebrate one of my favorite brides. We toured three wineries, Lenz, Bedell, and McCall. At each we tasted fairly delicious wines, most memorably the Roses. Maybe that’s because I love all things pink, but I am fairly certain it was because they were crisp, floral, and not too sweet.  The wineries were beautiful, rustic, and charming and I was able to pet horses. It was a good day, but mostly because of the deep soul soothing laughter that comes from a weekend with your favorite girl friends and Cards Against Humanity.

North fork

This is getting lengthy; I’ll do a part 2 so your eyes don’t bleed.