Do you ever take staycations when you don't have time to leave town? I'm a new convert—even one day outside of your normal environment can feel like a real vacation. We lead such busy lives that we have to take advantage of any time we can get to relax! May I suggest some guidelines for your (and our) next staycation?
1. Get away from it all.
You may be staying in town, but you don't need to be anywhere near home, or the office, or your commute. Mix it up and explore a neighborhood you don't know very well! We stayed in the Meatpacking District, somewhere we never go (and, I might add, where we were drastically less hip than the other inhabitants). It's only 2 stops on the express train from Columbus Circle, but we felt transported.
2. Stay somewhere swanky.
There's no point in getting a hotel room if the bed isn't going to be an improvement on the one at home (this is one thing that prevents us from staying in Houston hotels—I can't imagine a more comfortable bed than the one we have). We splurged on a room at The Standard—SO decadent. We loved all the mid-century modern detailing in our room. And the view from our room was incredible.
3. Eat well.
This one's important. Eat somewhere special, which doesn't have to mean expensive, but somewhere you don't go regularly. CM was especially excited that Blue Bottle Coffee was in the neighborhood. It's his favorite whenever he goes to San Francisco, but I had never been. We made sure to get creamy cappuccinos there…twice. Then we ate dinner at The Spotted Pig (our first Michelin-starred restaurant!). They don't take reservations, so we put our name in (they take your cell number, as all restaurants should) and headed to Vin Sur Vingt for wine flights. When we were done we took a short walk, and then our table was magically ready! We ate gnudi and incredible burgers. Highly recommend. After dinner, we stopped by the Biergarten at The Standard to soak up the atmosphere (and the beer).
4. But get a little bit of exercise.
We actually planned to visit the hotel gym while we were there, but we weren't quite that ambitious, so we settled for a brisk morning walk on the High Line. Neither of us had been in ages, and it's such a lovely walk (especially in the morning before the weekend tourist crowds descend). Walking around in the cold made us feel like we had earned our lazy magazine-reading time and our delicious burgers.
5. Don't check your work email.
This one might be the very most important. You probably can't get away with it on a two-week trip, but for one Saturday night into Sunday afternoon, the world will not end if you don't check you work email. It's a rare occasion that CM and I can both turn off work brain for any length of time, but I'm starting to think it just might be the key to happiness.
Or it might be room service breakfast, I'm not sure.