It is so true, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I was looking forward to coming home today. I love hotels but I had too many issues with the W Westwood. The place was lovely but something was missing. In San Diego they have this amazing beach bar area and adorable window seats. The W San Jose had a bathroom to die for *I took like 6 baths in 2 days* but this one didn’t have anything special besides the ice skating rink and these gorge purple orchids.
|I want this for our bathroom|
We took Liv on a walk around the grounds and every path lead to nowhere. We ended up in the employee smoking area. We felt confined to our room.
Usually, I am blown away by the W lobby but this one was tiny, dark and didn’t offer as much community space as others.
Why did it take me 2 days to figure out this Christmas tree spells out T-R-E-E!!
Sorry, they just didn’t do it for me. I can understand the sucky service during a busy holiday season but our room had the lovely view of a parking lot. An hour into our stay a light went out in our room. When I turned on the shower the showerhead fell off *Antz fixed it for me* and we requested housekeeping at 10am and they didn’t show up until 3:30. I also learned some travel essentials from this staycation. Our biggest error was forgetting to bring enough wet wipes for Liv. We had some in her diaper bag but I should have packed an unopened box. I also overpacked which I usually do so I have a variety of choices. I am learning from my years of travel, less is fine. I had ample shoes *4 pair for 2 days* and plenty of wardrobe options but what I needed was more lounge wear. We spent most of our time in our jammies and 10 minutes after wearing mine Liv planted a big boob stain from her raspberry snack on my tee shirt. I only packed one so I was stuck feeling yucky. This kinda was a dress rehearsal for our big Paris trip. I am putting together my Dos & Don’ts
|Finally was able to put the Missoni luggage to use|
DO pack in layers, I brought light weight skirts, blouses and dresses and if it was chilly outside I could add a sweater, scarf and leggings.
DON’T *Never* forget your toothpaste. I do not understand how hotels equip you with all your toiletry needs except toothpaste. I had a tiny travel-size one but for 2 of us to share, we needed more.
DO bring back up batteries. I remembered all my adapters and chargers but forgot the extra battery pack for the Canon. We took these photos with it but the battery died before I could upload them.
|Liv’s new big girl car seat|
|DON’T get a room with doors that lock from the inside only, we almost had a scare with Liv in the loo!|
|DO jump on the bed, this is a ritual I always partake in!|
DON’T forget to get change. Geez, this was tricky. We had cash for tips but only $20s. Everytime we had a bellhop, valet or room service I had to find someone to get change and they only give out $5 bills *of course so you don’t look like a cheapskate* so we were hanging out tips like the Rockefeller’s. I should have gotten singles from the bank.
DO pack gym clothes. I never plan to workout on vacay *defeats the purpose to me* yet late New Years day I felt compelled to stop by the gym to see how many folks we’re sticking to their resolutions when I found it empty. I spontaneously hopped on the elliptical for a half an hour but I was wearing my PJs and Ugg boots.
DON’T forget the things you say you won’t the night before. This one really applies to me. I tried to make a mental inventory of things we would need; toothpaste!, socks, plastic bags for Liv’s diapers *OMG Liv’s diapers– we made the mistake of putting them in the bathroom wastebasket and FUCK did I feel so bad for the housekeeper who got our room. This is why I was peeved they took all day to clean our room cause the smell was heinous* My biggest don’t forget item was our chalkboard signs. Every trip we use them and guess who left them? *this girl* I realized it when I discovered there was no chalkboard in our room so I was bummed we couldn’t use our own, Boo! Suck it up and make a checklist, there’s always something you’ll forget.
DO invest in shoe bags. How have I not used these before? Nothing sucks more than packing for a trip and having my dirty shoe bottoms touching my clean clothes. I love these guys, I fit 1 pair of shoes in each bag *but could have easily fit 2 per bag* and even had enough to put Livs shoes in one. No more messy, unorganized packing for me.
DON’T bring full size beauty products. I tried to keep my luggage down to 2 bags but with my purse, Liv’s diaper bag and 2 bags of Liv’s toys, snacks and drinks, it looked like I was moving out. I used my tote bag for my electronics but since I was sharing my suitcase with Liv, I had to put my flatiron, hair products, toiletries and my giant Marc Jacobs perfume in the tote too. This was not wise for 2 reasons; if anything spilled my camera, ipad or laptop I would be screwed. Then it made the tote weigh 50 pounds. I bought my Mac Air so I could travel lighter but with all my products, I was fighting a losing battle. My biggest problem is I’m a product whore, I am obsessed with this Neutrogena body oil and this is the smallest size it comes in so I will have to buy smaller travel containers and condense. Sucks
|My Loot! It takes a small arsenal to look this good, nyuk, nyuk.|
DO bring your own fruit, water and nuts. I finally scored one for the team here. At first I thought I was going the ghetto route but then I thought about it, the one thing I often regret from travelling is spending $9 for a $2 bottle of water. You with me now? I packed a 6 pack of water, bottle of juice for Liv, apples, cashews, oatmeal raisin cookies, champagne and grapes. This saved us about $60 in minibar charges. My only question is, will I be able to pack all this to Paris and it not get damaged in the cargo pit? I know you may be thinking they have water in Europe, Liz! but I am very particular about my water. Last time we went I didn’t drink a drop if it wasn’t Aquafina which isn’t readily available. I hope there is a fridge in the room at the W Paris.
So there you have it. I’m sure I will find more tips to add to this list but the most important thing I learned from travelling is this. Are you listening?
NEVER, EVER settle for a hotel with less than 4 stars!!! I am not saying this because I’m a snob *which I totally am* but hear me out… Antz, Aimee and I went to London and Paris to see Bjork and let’s just say we were on a major budget. We booked the cheapest room we could share with a travel agent and guess what Antz & I brought home with us?
If you haven’t heard of this gross, icky, disgusting disease, it’s like bed bugs but worse. I’ll spare you the nasty details *if you have a strong stomach you can read about it here*. The health code in Europe is far much more lenient than the US and I should have trusted my gut when I saw the bedspread and the *ahem* towels. So I learned the hard way and I am never staying in a roach motel again. If a hotel doesn’t have 4 star rating…RUN, Don’t look back…you will thank me later!!
When we got home I played with Liv while Antz put Christmas away. It’s good to be home even though we didn’t work on our bedroom due to Antz horrible migraine *which is subsiding thanks to the prescription meds and massage* I am still waiting for my list to go on sale but so far, regular price.
Am I the only person who is hesitant to use new lovely bedding cause I’m scared of wrecking it?
PS Some of the least suspecting folks can be jerks!
3 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home”
great post and tips. Happy New Year Liz, look forward to a year of your exciting stories and pictures!!
Baby girl is so adorable but not old enough, legally or for safety reasons, to be out of 5-pt harness and using seat belt yet.
We agree…she's back in her old car seat, facing the rear. She most likely won't use that seat until she's 3. Thanks!