Tag Archives: hotel

Checking into Charleston

10 May

Charleston

We headed to Charleston last weekend for our friend’s destination wedding. My boyfriend once lived with the groom who was actually with him the night we met. I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with them as well so was very excited for their wedding weekend.

I woke up on Friday morning and resigned myself to packing because I’d been too “busy” catching up on Grey’s Anatomy the night before. Priorities, right? I had told my boyfriend I’d pick him up so gave him a call a little before to make sure he was ready. I called, texted, called, texted and finally got in the car and drove to his house. I banged on his bedroom window- my calling card. No answer. I rang the buzzer and his roommate let me in. When I went downstairs, he was sound asleep! Once that mad dash was finished, we went to the airport.

After an uneventful flight with great snacks (love Jet Blue!) and plenty of time to write all my birthday thank you cards, we were in South Carolina. We checked into the Francis Marion Hotel and were impressed by the historic lobby and comfortable rooms. It was built in the 1920s and was then one of the grandest hotels in Charleston at the time. It wasn’t too bad now either!

We dropped off our bags and spent the afternoon exploring the city. Our hotel was located on King Street- a busy street with lots of stores and restaurants. I was expecting quaint shops, but it was mostly a mix of stores you’d usually find on a posh street (think Gucci) or in a shopping mall (think The Gap). We meandered up the road and delved into the old part of Charleston. This was more like it! Cobblestone streets, trees arching over the roads and plenty of fun shops.

We decided after spending some time in one particular store, that from now on when we travel together we are going to get a Christmas ornament to remember the trip. I already collect postcards from places I travel and from friends who are away, but this would be another fun way to keep memories.

After we were walked out, we went back to the hotel and got ready for a dinner date. We strolled to Fulton Five, a restaurant we had passed during our afternoon and were drawn to- mostly because it was down a side street and had trees bending all around it. We sat at the bar, got an order of mussels, a bottle of good wine and spent a couple of hours enjoying some conversation. The bartender was the perfect balance of being attentive without being pushy. It turns out the restaurant was voted Charleston’s most romantic for the last 14 years. I can see why!

Our next destination was the married couple to be’s welcome party. They had taken a cruise for their rehearsal dinner and the plan was to join the wedding party and other guests for a cocktail reception on the boat. Unfortunately, when we arrived the boat was still at sea and we were told it would be another hour or more before they would return. The windy, rainy weather was keeping them from returning to dock. Disappointed but tired from the busy day, we headed back to the hotel and tucked in for the night.

It was an incredible Day One in Charleston. Have you ever been?

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Xenodocheionology… say what?!?!

27 Apr

Hotel in Monacco

Xenodocheionology means you love staying in hotels.

I suppose this means I am an  xenodocheionologist- I love staying in hotels. Well, I love traveling.

I’ve been traveling since before I could roll over. My first trip was to Bermuda, where my mom is from, when I was only a couple of months old. That was back when parents could just toss their babies in the overhead compartments while they smoked cigarettes and rang the flight attendants for booze. Now, it might not fly (pun intended- ha).

The couple of years I worked in Florida before moving back to Boston, I supported the state from a marketing and sales perspective for my company. This meant I traveled- a lot. I might have had pre-scheduled meetings to go to in Jacksonville, but then needed to hop a flight to Miami to work on a proposal that was due the following week. Luckily, every flight was only a short hour or so.

The security attendants in the Tampa airport actually began to recognize me and I always managed to park my car in approximately the same row in the parking garage, otherwise I would have constantly been losing it.

With all this traveling came lots of hotels. And I became a hotel snob. No free bottled water upon my arrival? Shame on you. No chocolate covered strawberries waiting next to the directory. You have got to be kidding me.

I scooped up all the free products and would bring them home. I accumulated a big shopping carrier bag full of shampoos and soaps from The W (oh Bliss products!), Four Seasons, Omni Hotels and so on. When I moved back to Boston, I dropped all these off at a local women’s shelter. I certainly hope they are enjoying the Bliss lotion- it’s my favorite!

All the hotels also came with some interesting experiences. I once was exhausted after a long day and grabbed my key from the turnstile for frequent guests in the hotel lobby. I sleepwalked up to my room and opened the door only to discover someone else was already in the room! Apparently, the hotel had double booked this particular room. It was nothing a quick switcheroo couldn’t fix, but it certainly woke me up. And it definitely made me grateful this person wasn’t in a compromising position.

Luckily, around this time of frequent travel I also had eight weddings to attend in one year- free flights and free hotel rooms helped my cause. Those are all gone now that I only have to run to the 7th floor to get a job done instead of across the state.

Now, staying in hotels is again a special treat instead of a way of life. I can’t say I miss the constant flights, but I do miss having someone make my bed for me every morning.

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