With the holidays upon us, mostly everyone is looking to meeting up with family and sharing quality time with one another. This time of year is one of my favorites. My birthday month (May) being number 1.
My mother jokes with me every year, because I am always super excited about gathering with family. Growing up, it was just my mother, brother and I. When my aunt moved to MD from Brooklyn, NY, she would have large family gatherings over the holidays. It was everything I always wanted. Cousins acting up, aunts in the kitchen and uncles playing cards or watching the game. Then things changed after she passed away from cancer.
While my fathers side of the family is extremely large, they are in Philly and Florida, so driving out so far wasn’t really what I like to do over the holiday. Then I met my husband who has a very large family, and I was back in my peaceful place. Surrounded by loved ones, and including my own family in their gatherings was the icing on the cake.
This year, I completely flipped the script. I chose to be alone over the Thanksgiving holiday. I wanted no parts of driving to anyone’s house, and eating with a bunch of family. It wasn’t a hard decision to make, just a hard decision to express to my loved ones without them taking it personal. I’ve been going through some things personally, and I’m also pregnant (read about the first few weeks here). Maybe it was my hormones and emotions clashing at once, but whatever it was, I felt convicted to abide by my thoughts.
I shared my plans with a few close friends who were actually jealous of the idea that I had my own “Me Day” ON A MAJOR HOLIDAY! When I told my mom, she was excited. I invited her to dinner with me, and we searched for restaurants. My husband didn’t say much and my kids didn’t even care. When they go to see their cousins, I’m never a factor once they walk thru the door unless they need me to make them a plate of food. My oldest did seem a little jelly and said she wanted to come with me, but I nixed that really fast.
I ended up making reservations for the buffet at Sequoia’s restaurant in Georgetown (Washington, DC). The buffet was AHHH-MAZING! Our waitress was so sweet, and the place was kind of packed. I don’t know why I assumed there would either be a bunch of tables of 1, or a bunch of single sex tables filling the restaurant. [shame on me for thinking that] The place had tons of people, from parties of 2 to parties of 12.
Did I walk into something that may have altered my Thanksgiving plans for years to come? NO more worrying about what I am going to bring? Or who’s hosting what? Possibly. I’ll have to ponder that as possibly an every other year tradition.
So after an awesome dinner, it was time to go where all the magic happens… my hotel room. It took me a good 3 days to decide on a hotel, and I finally found one using my Expedia mobile app, that gave me a $20 off coupon code, off the already reduced hotel rate. It was a definite win win for me.
I stayed at The Melrose Georgetown Hotel. The hotel stood out from the other buildings adjoined to it. I was immediately impressed when I parked (on the street because valet was $48!!!). Since it was a holiday street parking was free. I walked up and the doorman was soooo pleasant and welcomed me in. When you first walk in, there is a quaint bar to the left, and a seating/food area to the right. Nothing fancy, but very modern and simplistic. I loved it. Walking down the hallway, past a lovely spiral staircase, I was then greeted by the concierge. To the left was a beautiful lobby/waiting area. The pictures don’t really do this hotel justice. Every one was just soooooo nice and friendly. I did notice that most of the staff (from the doorman to the manager) appeared to be originally from some country in Africa. There deep chocolate skin hue and accents gave me that impression. This just made me smile even harder. It just felt like I was coming to stay with family, that just so happened to live in a hotel! LOL. Not sure if the staff is indicative of the ownership of the property, but it was definitely a pleasant surprise. They offered to carry my bag upstairs, and I refused! I only had a small bag since I was only there for 1 night.
The elevators were probably the smallest things in the hotel. It was actually weird how small they were. That’s probably why they asked to carry my bag. They were afraid I wouldn’t fit with my purse, let alone a small overnight bag.
The rooms were a decent size and I loved the little chaise in the corner by the window. The bed was sooo comfy that I almost dozed off as soon as my head hit the pillow. I was content. There was no noticeable hallway noise. I couldn’t hear the street traffic. It was really nice.
I dozed off about 10:30p and woke up at 3am STARVING!!!!!! Damn it!! The only downfall of this whole plan was not having a fridge to run down to and grab a piece of turkey and ham!! DAMN YOU HUNGERRRRRRRRR! I tried to fight it off. I was also dying of thirst, and I refused to drink the DC tap water from the sink (#JudgeYourMother) and their bottled water was like $4 from the mini bar. So since this baby of mine was NOT letting me go to sleep unless I ate, and I confirmed with the front desk that they didn’t have a vending machine, I got up. I dressed and googled the closest 24hour convenience store. I found a Walgreen’s a stone’s throw away and drove over there. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any parking near the store due to all the “Do Not Park” signs, so I chanced it and parked RIGHT IN FRONT of the store. I don’t know if it was the hunger or pregnancy, but I got an ice cream sandwich, some OJ, a bag of dried cranberries and some Cheez Its. I crushed the ice cream sandwich in the car, and snacked on the other stuff in the room. I tried to fall asleep but Lean on Me was on, and my brain was fixated on Crazy Joe.
I eventually did fall asleep. I woke up and left the hotel around 10:00am. Again, it was an awesome stay and besides the tiny elevators and crazy expensive mini-bar & parking, I’d DEFINITELY recommend this hotel to anyone in the area.
So, am I happy with my choice to sit Thanksgiving out this year. Ya Damn Skippy! Did I miss my family? Yasssssssssss! But I have slowly, but surely begun to realize that I need to take time out for myself. With my 4th baby on the way, that time is going to get smaller and smaller. I won’t always be able to get to a hotel, but I’ve been learning to take out at least one day ever other month to just DO ME outside of the house. I’ve started taking myself out to lunch. Window shopping. I even hit up some of the casinos in the area. I’m loving this freedom and STRONGLY encourage mom’s and dad’s to do the same! Don’t let these kids fool you into thinking that all your time needs to be devoted to them!