Vacationing in a city where you used to live

We’re spending a few days in January in the Washington DC area.  I lived in the DC area from 1998-2002 and still have some friends there, so it’s nice to see them from time to time.  Plus, we don’t have to buy three plane tickets for all of us to get there, so it’s cheaper.

The last time we went, we stayed with our friends who live in Frederick.  We love our friends that live in Frederick and we’re definitely planning to stay with them one day, but Frederick is about an hour north of DC and it felt like we spent most of that trip in the car.  So we’re getting a hotel this time.  And I used Priceline for the first time!  It was very exciting.  We’re planning to go down on Wednesday, stay in hotels til Saturday, then stay in Frederick Saturday night.  I played around with the settings a bit and found out that there was a significant increase in price between staying two nights in a hotel versus three.  

Ben suggested that we get a cheaper hotel for the first day.  So for the first night that we’ll be there I did the magical thing where you select a geographical area and you get a deep discount, but they pick the hotel for you.  WHAT?!  I’m getting lack-of-control shakes just thinking about it.  

It was pretty cool to sort of wait while they “found” me a hotel and then told me where it was.  I wish I were brave enough to do that for the rest of the trip, but I’m too particular, and the geographic area was unsatisfactory.  So I did a second reservation in Arlington for the next two nights where I picked a particular hotel.  It is about two blocks from where I used to work – so while the area is not super fantastic at first glance, I know good restaurants close by, and we’ll be close to the Metro which is the most important thing anyway since we plan to take advantage of free Smithsonian activities for much of the trip.

Now that I’ve made two non-refundable hotel reservations I’m certain that we will have a blizzard that weekend and not be able to leave our house.  If you live in the Pittsburgh or the DC area I would recommend stockpiling groceries in advance of January 23.

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