Sometimes, life gets to be a little bit overwhelming and it necessary to escape from it all. When you do not have the luxury of extended time off to travel to a warmer climate. For those of us who must live in the real world Monday to Friday, I would like to make the case for the staycation: a vacation in your own home town.
James and I have had the habit of doing staycations when we would have late nights out with friends or as spontaneous dates over the weekend. Lately, it has become a way of escaping the hectic week for relaxing time spent together when we have the time for it. This past weekend, we exchanged out Christmas presents with each other and decided to make a staycation out of it. We had busy holidays with out families and wanted something a little bit more private. We had made plans to go to dinner and exchange gifts there but it was just on good of an opportunity to pass up.
After leaving work on Friday afternoon, we checked into our hote. We stayed at the Radisson Blu at the Mall of America because it is close to home and near where I needed to be for work the next day. There is a restaurant there, FireLake, that also has a large bar area and was hosting a scholarship service for students all over the state. It is a sizeable restaurant and hotel so it is plenty large enough to accommodate parties such as these.
Before heading to our dinner, we each grabbed a drink at the bar to relax and wind down before the staycation began. It was the perfect entrance to the night and exit from the workday. After our drinks, we headed up to the room to exchange gifts with each other (Christmas after all) and got ready to leave for dinner.
For dinner, we went to St. Genevieve, a local French restaurant in south Minneapolis where we had gone for brunch before. We both had loved the brunch that we had there and wanted to come back to try their dinner. Based on our amazing experience previously, we ordered the oysters (they do an amazing job shucking them and they are incredibly fresh) and fought 60 % of the menu, including the caviar special. We love food so it was an amazing experience for both of us. Our server made recommendations for wine pairings (half glasses so as not to over indulge) that fit perfectly with the nuances of each dish.
Dinner was filled with recollections of the Christmas's we shared with our families as well as seeing some people that we knew and catching up (some we have not seen since our wedding). For desert, we shared an amazing dessert over coffee and prepared to head back out to the bitter Minnesota cold.
After dinner, we went spent some time wandering the neighborhood where St. Genevieve is located. It is a busting little area filled with smaller shops on the cusp of Edina. The streets we packed with parallel parked cars and people walking their dogs for the last time before settling in for bed. We decided to head back to the hotel for our staycation tradition: room service and watching HGTV. The funny thing about is that we do not watch home improvement shows at home at all. James is a Realtor and very involved with real estate, but it is still not something we are into other than when on staycations.
The food was amazing with our room service and we certainly loved the HGTV (as we always do). After a restful night, we woke up and made coffee while continuing to lounge and watch HGTV. It was a wonderful respite before I had to leave for work that day. After sleeping in and a few episodes of Fixer Upper, we headed to brunch at FireLake where we both had eggs, hash browns and sausage with a latte on the side (kind of my go to breakfast lately).
Once brunch ended, we checked out of the hotel and back into the reality of leaving for work and preparing for the week ahead of us. I have always loved staycations because they are an escape from the chores of the house without having to head out of town and spend or fortune. It is an amazing way to explore your own home town and just enjoy it, no pressure to respond to phone calls or study or work on presentations for the coming week. We all need time away from the daily grind and a vacation in your own home town is the perfect escape.
Take a look at the photos below for our wonderful room. The two features that I loved most were the images paying homage to the twin cities and the king size bed because it makes for a better night sleep. There is even a shot of my Christmas present from James!