I might not be going to St. Louis this year, but I couldn’t stay away from the Arch! The Conrad Miami is located inside the Brickell Arch building, and has become my absolute favorite hotel (and I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels). The Brickell area itself is fantastic; there are plenty of restaurants within walking distance and there are always people out and about. That being said, I did spend a lot of time just enjoying the hotel. I’m hoping to stay in the Conrad Chicago next May and can’t wait for the experience, because this hotel is definitely an experience.
I’m flying home this evening, and my next stop is Chicago! I always love visiting my hometown, in spite of the hours I will spend crawling on the highways.
In Atlanta, I always stay in the Galleria area as it is most convenient to where I have to work. I’ve ended up at the same hotel three years running, the first time recounted here. I decided to try this hotel again last year because I knew the renovations would be complete, and that the jackhammers from hell were probably being used to keep some other unfortunate soul from napping. Renovations aside, I don’t spend a lot of time in hotel rooms anyway and now that everything had been upgraded, it was a pleasant place to sleep.
Fast forward to today and imagine my surprise when I pull up to park and am met with orange cones in front of every space. I always try to stay in places with minimal to no parking charges, but sometime between last year and today, the lot had been converted to valet-only parking. Valet-Only. For the entire parking lot. No spot is farther than 500 steps from the front door.
I must have looked dumbfounded when the person working the valet told me there was no self-parking option. As he was explaining how to request my car, I asked if I could just get the keys from him and walk to my car when I needed to leave. Honestly, that would be faster.
The explanation I received for the ridculous parking situation was that with the new Atlanta Braves stadium down the street, they had to keep fans from parking at the hotel. I could think of a few other ways to do that, but I guess I can’t really complain with a price of $12 per night; hotel valet parking typically costs at least $30, or even more if you’re in Chicago. But, it is entirely possible that I will request my keys to walk to my car anyway, just to see if they let me.
One of my travel quirks involves swiping all the soaps in my hotel each day. I never pack shampoo or soap to take with me; I always use what I find at the hotel and bring home the rest. I build up quite the collection of soap, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion and it turns out, these are great items to donate in a crisis. They’re free to me, and easy to transport. I’m sure those who were soaked in flood waters overnight would put them to good use if they can get access to a shower.
I’m off work for the entire week while the city continues to feel the effects of Harvey. Of course, that does not mean I’m not working at all, but it seems like I’ve received almost zero emails since this disaster began. None of my fall travel is impacted by the closures of our two major airports, but for both of our airports to be closed until at least Thursday, I’m sure the rest of the country is feeling the pain of flight cancellations or other interrupted travel plans. We are supposed to be on a flight to Seattle the middle of next week for a wedding, so we will see if air travel is back to normal by then.
Houston is resilient, but of course anything you can give helps. You can text HARVEY to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross, or donate to the Houston Flood Relief Fund, organized by the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt. He’s already raised over 2 million dollars since Sunday and upped his goal to 3 million, which I’m sure we can surpass. The rain is about over, but recovery has a long way to go.