In May of 2013, we had a lot to celebrate. We had just marked three years of being contractually obligated to like each other. Hubs had just defended his dissertation and had a job all lined up outside New York City. I had gotten an internship outside Minneapolis. Time to celebrate! (And apartment hunt. But mostly celebrate.)
We divided the trip into two sections: apartment hunting and downtown Minneapolis. For apartment hunting, we reserved a really cheap hotel room and got what we paid for. (Our mantra of the evening: “This room cost less than fifty dollars.”) Going super-cheap for the first night let us start out where we were viewing apartments, and it didn’t matter much because we rolled into town late and checked out early the next morning. (OK, we checked out early because we didn’t want to spend extra time there, but whatevs.) That one night’s sacrifice also let us spend the next two days and nights in this room:
We stayed in the Executive Suite at Le Meridien Chambers in downtown Minneapolis. I loved everything about this room. (Ok, I didn’t love the bench at the end of the bed that claimed part of my leg-skin during a middle-of-the-night bathroom run, but I even loved the Cinq Mondes hotel soap.) And the room had a powder room. That officially makes it easier to live in than our current apartment. (At 600 square feet, it was about the same size.)
My favorite memory from this room (other than how much I loved everything about it) was our first night there, hanging out on the balcony. We snagged an $8 bottle of red wine on our walk home from dinner (Black Sheep) and stuck my iPhone in a glass with Pandora going. Once we had a good buzz going, we walked up to the hotel bar, which had an even better balcony patio (seen below). We ordered a white wine and a beer, then nursed them for an hour on the patio. (Biggest disappointment? We were right across from a recording of NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, but it was sold out. We checked. And we didn’t see anyone famous.)
We travel on a budget…so how did this swanky room work for us? We made it a priority. I’m going to live near Minneapolis for a year, so we’ll have lots of chances to see the sights, but this was our only chance to stay downtown. For this visit, we skipped museums and instead explored the farmer’s market and had my first YLS (local yarn store) experience at Bella Lana. I ordered marches on foot until we both got quite grumpy, then we found that public transportation is actually quite affordable in that area (note to self–always research public transit). We ate some great food, but we limited soda to once a day and alcohol to one night above. Even still, this room is outrageously priced. Right?
Not if you’re as patient as Hubs is.
He actually picked the dates of the trip based on when this room was at a price we could afford. See, Hubs loves a nice hotel. And he loves getting a great deal. So he does a lot of research before he books. And after this hotel, I’m (a) spoiled and (b) willing to do all the rest of the research for the trip…IF he can get me rooms like this! And I’m definitely willing to be flexible on our dates so that we can get the best possible room.