26 January 2010

home suite home

I travel frequently for my "real" job, and as I have written before, I will make bizarre concessions in order to make travel as comfortable for myself as possible. This sounds reasonable enough, except that my definition of "comfortable" is in this sense a little peculiar.

For example:
  • I will take a 6 a.m. flight to my destination and a midnight flight home (meaning a 20+ hour day), all in order to avoid staying in a hotel and sleep in my own bed.
  • I will drive or ride extravagant distances on the ground in order to take a direct flight and avoid connecting.
  • I will take flights at odd hours in order to get a window seat in economy plus (sadly, United is the only airline that offers this, so I am helplessly chained to them).
  • I will spend hours packing to figure out exactly the right configuration of clothing and shoes that will fit in my carry-on luggage for any given itinerary, all in order to avoid checking bags, and similarly...
  • I will take up a good chunk of my already-sparse luggage space with fitness clothing, shoes and gear and sacrifice valuable clothing space to do so, in the hopes that I am motivated and have enough energy while traveling to exercise. (Not the case this morning!)

And now my bizarre comfort preferences extend to hotel choices.

I'm spending the week in D.C., my firm's headquarters, and had a pretty full selection of Georgetown and West End hotels to choose from, including several within easy walking distance from the office, and several that are quite nice for the price. But, I decided, "I'm here for a full week, so I want to have a reasonable amount of space, and I want to be able to cook so I don't have to eat carry-out crap all week."

Of course, that means getting a full suite. And getting a suite on the company dime is not exactly the most career-savvy thing to do, especially in times such as these. So that meant getting a cheap suite. The answer: the Washington Suites Georgetown, about a mile from the office and right across the street from a Trader Joe's. Though I could be staying in much nicer places for the same price, I'm staying in a spacious though slightly ghetto suite with a full kitchen (homecooked breakfast every day!), a sitting room (one area that can stay uncluttered with luggage), a desk area (great since it's a jam-packed work week), and a big bathroom (all the better to lament the slow progress on our bathroom renovations back home). Sure, it smells a little, um... something... but it's better than staying at the Hilton, eating Chinese and Lebanese take-out every night, and having to buy restaurant lunch every day (instead of my slightly healthier lunches culled from TJ's fare).

This dated little kitchen is worth the trade-off of sleeping on 100-count sheets that smell a little funky

 It ain't luxury, but this week it's home.

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