We have almost finished the first week of school and it seems like the morning routine is going to be much smoother. We are off to a good start, and, yes, I realize that we are all invigorated and that ultimately we will begin to backslide, but I am optimistic. I set my alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than I set it last year and Christian made the decision that he actually did need to get up no later than 7 in order to make the mornings work. So far so good.
But, there have been a few mornings this week where I wanted to stay in bed and dream about my two nights of incredible luxury while I was out of town last week. I suppose that the combination of timing and the economy resulted in some jaw-dropping hotel rates that we were able to take advantage of.
While we were in the LA area we stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Ray for a song. It was as beautiful as you would expect a RC hotel to be and the location was lovely. We had time for a run to Venice Beach and I got to put my feet in the Pacific, which made the trip for me. I loved checking out the architecture along the beach, beautiful old wooden houses interspersed with unique, contemporary numbers. Fascinating. The people watching was great too - no ladies in bikinis on roller skates though.
Here are some photographs of the hotel:
The most beautiful part of the hotel is this huge veranda filled with sofas, tables and chairs. It is where I met Charlotte and Adele for dinner. We watched the sun set over the marina and enjoyed the incredible temperature. I wonder if 72 degrees ever gets old. I can't imagine.
Our next stop was Scottsdale and I had very little time to actually explore the hotel, sadly. We spent the night at the Fairmont and it was incredible (and cheaper than my last room at the Hampton Inn in Richmond, Virginia). The hotel is located in a sprawling area outside of the city. There is literally nothing around but the hotel, yet there are hundreds of things to do. I could have spent hours just lounging around in the luxurious hotel room but, realizing that I shouldn't waste my time, I checked out the spa and gym and ambled around the hotel grounds a bit. I got lost a few times and was always directed back by one of the uniformed, totally accommodating staff members. The only slightly irksome thing about the place is that the staff members wear bolo ties and I have always found them to be somewhat creepy looking.
I am looking forward to a return trip to both places with the kids and Christian and hope that the timing of the trip and the economy work in my favor again, otherwise I will be down the road at the nearest Hampton Inn (and this is no jab at the old Hampton. I love them, they are consistently quite comfortable, but you know).