Friday, November 23, 2012

Good Thing I’m Not a Travel Agent

Wednesday we went out of town, but we didn’t really go out of town. Whatever does she mean?? I’m so mysterious!

The best way to miss the hassle of travelling over the holidays is to do a staycation where you go on vacation where you live. Or, as defined by the Urban Dictionary: a vacation for cheap asses.

We drove 45 minutes down the road to Denver. Our plan was to take the kids to a nice hotel, out for a nice dinner and to view the city from a tourist rather than local point of view.

We got there and I realized I had booked us in the wrong hotel. There are two Hyatts in Denver – a nice one and an older/used up one. Ken had said, “Let’s go to the nice one where we take our dumps before the Denver Marathon!” Guess where I booked us by mistake? Yes, that is right. Dumpsville. Everyone tried to pretend  it was okay, but it wasn't. Let’s put it this way – hotel #1 was fine, but kind of old and used. They are renovating the whole thing and you could hear construction throughout. Hotel #2 was the same price and much more grand and modern.

After we had valet-checked the car and checked into our blasé and dark room I had a mini fit about how I can never do anything right and I suck at planning staycations (which is too bad because I was going to become a staycation un-travel agent). I talked Ken into seeing if they would transfer us to the nicer Hyatt. He sighed a really, really big husband sigh that means I am on his last nerve. That’s what he gets for marrying a high maintenance wench.

Hotel #2? Much better, definitely worth the hassle. What do you think?

                                   Thing #1                                                                                   Thing  #2

We had drinks up on the 27th floor.



                                           Thing #1                                                                                          Thing #2


Guess which drink is mine? Hint: it doesn’t have a strawberry or a head or ice.


Yes, I took this picture. The Hyatt will be contacting me to get a copy for their brochure.

Then we  headed out for shopping, more shopping and a nice steak dinner. Ken and the kids got in the hot tub while I fell asleep in a lounge chair at 8:00 pm. Staycations wear me out. Or maybe it’s being a cheap ass that wears me out.

I got up early to work out in the awesome fitness center:


The night before Ken had written on the treadmill waiting list and it was still there:


He’s funny.

When we left they had just put up a tree in the lobby and it was the perfect family photo op, which my family HATES.  Some dude offered to take our picture, letting us know that he used to live in the mountains and take pictures for so many tourists all the time so he is really good.


Definitely the best blurry picture I’ve ever seen.

My daughter said, “Well it is  Christmas Vacation now!” No, honey. It is Christmas Staycation, which stars Chevy Chase’s much less funny younger brother.

That’s all she wrote. Staycation 2012 DONE.

Costs a 1/4 of travelling somewhere else
Quick drive from home
Know our way around

We live here. It didn’t feel like a vacation. Duh.

Did you travel this holiday?

Ever try the whole trendy staycation thing?



  1. No travel for us this holiday. We just moved to Colorado 2 weeks ago so we are staying put for the holidays as we settle in.

    The Ryan Hall comment is funny :) Something I'd do.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving! Your recap was funny, and it looks like you guys made the best of it. Could you give me another clue about which drink is yours?
    Last week I was trying to take a pic of my daughter in a really cool yogurt shop and the owner offered to take a pic of us together. Said she was a "professional" photographer - even handed me her card. Worst cell phone photo ever! I don't think I will be using her services any time soon!

  3. Fun fact about Thing 1 hotel. It used to be the Adam's Mark (I'm sure you remember) and I worked directly across from it, and we could see directly into the hotel rooms if the curtains were left open. Every single Monday and Friday there was a couple "going at it" at lunch. Every. Single. Monday and Friday. Not that I'd watch, mind you (ahem) but someone would loudly announce, "They're here!" to which we'd casually walk by. The guy always waved.

    I wonder if you were in "their" room! :)

    Sounds like a great staycation and the perfect Thanksgiving!


  4. I love staycation! But then, I live in a tourist destination. I bet if I lived in Random Town in Arkansas I wouldn't love it.

  5. We did a staycation a few years ago. We live about 25 mins drive from the beach. We "won" a beach hotel for 3 days at a Chamber of Commerce auction, so we could enjoy the beach for real, without using a public restroom and driving home to shower. We started out spring break with 3 days there, and then did 3 days at Disney. So it became half and half. I thought it was the best of both worlds, but my family did not like having to pack up and switch hotels in the middle of spring break.

  6. My family did a staycation to Boulder last spring. Most boring ever. I know! It's Boulder! But...we live here. so...we were bored. Yeah, we won't be doing that again.

  7. This would pretty much be a my nightmare. I'm our family's travel agent, and I cater to a rough crowd. It's hard to do. I think it was good of you to drag Ken into the mix.

    We've never done a real staycation where you do a local hotel but we have played tourist a little bit...sort of. Walked over the Golden Gate Bridge, went to Muir Woods, went to Muir Beach all in one day. Did the Academy of Sciences and wandered around Golden Gate Park on another day. Pretty low-key tourist Pier 39 or Chinatown or Mitchell Brothers.

    1. I live in Oakland, so I know what you mean. When you are lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, every day is a staycation. How lucky we are!

  8. We only travel to where we can drive to, so our most recent vacation/staycation was in a place about an hour from my in-laws, so they could watch our daughter while we enjoyed a cabin at a secluded resort in the mountains. So much better than the stress of flying or extended travel!

  9. No travel for us. Unless you count walking next door for Thanksgiving dinner -- and guess what? I was still 20 minutes late. We do staycations in DC (about a 30 minute drive from home) a couple of times a year. So we can pretend we are urban and cool. No one buys it -- including us. It's fun anyway.

    1. Sounds fun. We live in VA and I'm thinking of doing a staycation in DC too. Any recommendations? I suggested we go to DC on Saturday but everyone groaned that I only think of that when its cold. Its true. Teresa

  10. My 2 teenage boys and I did a Ferris Buehler thing this summer (we live near Chicago), opting not to stay overnight, because I am too cheap to pay for a hotel so close to home. The weekend before we went to a Cubs game, so we left that off the list. We took the train downtown, went to Sears (aka Willis) Tower and took pictures on the skydeck, ate lunch at Harry Caray's, and strolled up Michigan Avenue to shop. We met my husband at work and rode home with him. So not really a staycation, but we played tourist in our home town and it was a blast!

  11. Ha ha "Ryan Hall"! We stayed home this year and enjoyed our house and no travel. We travel so much throughout the year we've now kind of re-claimed Thanksgiving as our own time to rest. Plus, all that eating, Turkey Trotting, we sent the kiddo to a sleepover at the grandparents and enjoyed some quiet time. Now THAT I call a vacation, ha ha! Sounds like you had a nice family one too without too much hassle, despite dumpsville. :)

  12. We do the staycation as we live 45 minutes from Monterey/Carmel. Love staying in a hotel on the beach, nice dinner, walk around the shops on Cannery Row, couples massage. The next day we hit up Trader Joes or Whole Foods on the way out of town because we don't have those stores in our town.
    Love the blurry family picture;) Perfect.

  13. Your family is so funny!
    I haven't done a staycation in forever. Sometimes we've gone up to Park City, Utah (about 25 min away) and stayed overnight. Guess I don't need to give you a jingle if I need help in planning, eh? Hahaha

  14. We did a week-long staycation a few years back when the kids were really little. Trying to save money instead of our annual trip to the beach, blah, blah, blah. Did a bunch of day trips to DC, Baltimore, VA. To be honest, for me, it really sucked. I need to GET AWAY. Not come back to the house at the end of every day, picking up the mail, checking work email, etc. Never again. Maybe if we had gone to a hotel it would've been different, but then I would have felt guilty for spending the money on hotel rooms when our own home was so close. Gah!

    1. Yeah I think I agree. Would rather save up the money and just GO somewhere for real.

  15. Why do we ask the husband to see if they can get something better? I just did that very thing yesterday. We went camping 90 minutes away from home. The campsite I picked out sucked, no table and next to 2 trailers full of people that were already drinking and cursing at 3pm. I asked/sent the husband to see if he could get us a better camp site, which he did!! The camping was fun but cold and I was blocked from the Black Friday frenzy, which is a good thing for me.

  16. I do love to get away. But I haven't figured out why we never stop to see the sights between here (Richmond VA) and my parent's house in WV. Lots to see, but we make it up over the mountains (mini mountains to you!) as fast as we can!

    No, we didn't travel this holiday. We stayed away from sick family and stayed home to stay well!

  17. We spent Thanksgiving in Fresno with family, but added a trip to Yosemite yesterday. Only 2 hours away - got in an 8 mile hike and enjoyed incredible scenery. Might have even burned off some pie.

  18. Got to go to the Washington DC / National Harbor for Thanksgiving with family! Traveling is expensive and sucks, but running the monuments made it worthwhile. Even the part where we got on the wrong train in Baltimore and they made us get out at the next stop in a sketchy area!

  19. You know, if I was tending bar, and Thing 2 came up to order a drink, I'd give it to him.
    Is there anyone that thinks Chevy Chase is or was funny. Wait, is he even still alive?
    I love stay cations. Preferably in our house, where we are on good terms with all the other creatures in the house. Never know what's living in a hotel room.

  20. OMG! hahah what a fiasco! But the Ryan Hall, genius! Sometimes you just gotta do a vacation over a staycation!

  21. I dont care for staycations. I still have to cook dinner at night and that just SUX. I love going on vacations and not having to cook for a week straight! Whoever came up with the staycation idea should be shot. ha ah ha ah h haa

  22. CON: it didn't feel like a vacation.

    I hear ya! Ang and I stayed at a super nice resort in Del Mar which is 20 mins from our apartment. We thought it would feel like a luxurious vacation but I felt like I was just having a sleepover down the street.

  23. I am looking to book a trip to Dallas for the holidays. Since you are a staycation un-travel agent can you hook a brother up? The nice hotel too please!

    Seriously though that is a great idea. I wish I could see you in that picture to confirm you actually went.

    Was that dude still in the mountains when he took that picture?

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