Monday, August 30, 2010

Can't Take a Vacation? Got 24 hours?

"Come to me and I will give you rest--
all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke." 
Matthew 11:28

Enter twenty-something Courtney, our petite fashionista and owner of a fashionista clothing boutique.  After only one year in business, her custom designs are flying off the shelves.  She exceeded her first year financial goals by 50 percent.   Wait, did I just see her put cream and sugar in her vegetable soup and dunk her bread in coffee.  Danger Whilemina Robinson, you need a vacation.  

Kiki, here... miracles and blessings  to all of you over-worked, exhausted iCafe Woman Moderne divas... will you excuse me for just a minute?  I've got to stop Courtney from chowing down on her sweet and creamy veggie soup.  Sounds familiar huh, then you too need a vacation or at least some staycation tips. 

What do you mean you can't.  You're not planning a trip to the moon.  What's that?  Your bills are high and your funds low.  You can't afford it -- you can't take the time off  ... blah, blah, blah.  No really ... I get it.   You're worried your 9-to-5 will have to file for bankruptcy without you planted in your cubicle for a week or two.  

Like Courtney, you're a busy entrepreneur determined to make your dream a profitable success.  She wants to hit that lucrative celebrity market so fourteen hour days are the norm. I've got one word for you.  Chill.   Yeah, I said it.  Will you chill already?

Everybody has bills and money that sprout wings and fly away at the mere thought of taking a vacation.  So clip their wings and take off for a weekend or a day.   iCafe Woman Moderne will be happy to do a vacation/staycation intervention, just let us know.

Everybody needs a day or two to re-charge even petite fashionistas surviving on Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey and Starbucks coffee.  Think of how productive you'd be after a day of riding waves at the beach, or screaming your head off through roller coaster loops with the family.  You remember them, the people you share your Fruit Loops with.   

Or trot along on a horse and carriage to a picnic spot in an historical area; staring at the stars in a Planetarium -- or imagining yourself swimming with the dolphins at your local aquarium. 

Yes, a trip to a museum and aquarium constitutes a vacation day... a day of fun.  You remember fun.  It's that thing that makes you grin and giggle.

Don't you deserve at least a mini vacation ... a staycation ... a day away from the daily grind?  Heck, yeah.  Wait for it ... wait for it ... and 3... 2... 1... there they go. Our iCafe Woman Moderne regulars, Angel and Sabrina just descended on Courtney and sat her in front of a free internet cafe pc.  They ignore her protests and search our cyber directory for vacation alternatives she can do in a weekend and even an afternoon.    Surprise ... surprise... her eyes perked up at these suggestions:

A.  Find a Bed & Breakfast in your own backyard for a weekend or overnight.

Here are some winners of the 2009-2010 Awards. 

Best Bargain  for an Urban B&B

1. Jersey City B&B - only one mile from NYC.  
442 Mercer Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Phone: +1-551-697-5549
Phone: +1-201-217-0014
Cellular: +1-201-937-6661

Rates start at $39 per night (one person) $49 (two persons) per night.  A room is still available for 8/31 or 9/1 for $29.  Also, Sept. 6 is only $19 for one and $29 for two.

Full Breakfast.  All rooms have free /WiFI; private bathrooms, a free phone too & over 25 other free amenities in every room including a microwave, stocked refrigerator with free soft drinks! 
FREE PARKING too! Easy & quick access to NYC by public transportation is always available 24 hrs a day; 7 days a week.

2. The Intown Uptown Inn
4907 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011
Phone:  1-202-541-9400
Fax:       1-202-318-8361
Rates:  $100-$189

"Wysteria: Your dreams will be whimsical in the Wysteria Room. The eclectic decor and queen size pillow-top mattress are sure to put you into a deep sleep."

"The wrought iron canopy bed and furnishings were selected to excite the imagination. Enjoy your private bath with a double Jacuzzi tub surrounded by a bay window and separate spa-tiled shower. We assume the risk that after staying in this room you won’t want to leave, but you will have to go home eventually!"


3. Best Beach B&B - Florida Bed & Breakfast

Harrington House Beachfront Bed & Breakfast
5626 Gulf Drive
Anna Maria Island
Holmes Beach, Fl  34217
Phone: +1-941-778-5444
Fax: +1-941-778-0527
Toll-free: +1-888-828-5566

"Tropical surroundings and serenity top the list of amenities.  Savor a new breakfast selection every day from our collection of recipes prepared by our own professional chefs.  Relax in the living room, a gathering place where visitors become friends. 

All rooms have private baths, color cable TV, air conditioning and free wireless internet.  Many of the rooms have French doors leading to balconies, overlooking the pool and the Gulf of Mexico."

Private bathroom with tub/shower
Cable TV with VCR
CD alarm clock radio
Free wireless internet access
Hair dryer
Iron and ironing board
Free local phone calls
Voice mail
Air conditioning
Smoke detector
Complimentary full breakfast prepared by our Chef
DVD/VCR in Room
Iron / Ironing Board
Complimentary Full Breakfast

4. Best Overall B&B - California Bed & Breakfast
The J Patrick House
2990 Burton Drive
Cambria, CA 93428
Phone:  1-805-927-3812
Fax:  1-805-927-6759
Toll Free:  1-800-341-5258

J. PATRICK HOUSE, a Cambria Bed and Breakfast Inn, is an authentic log home and charming carriage house in a garden and forested setting.

• Country Elegant Accommodations
• Wood-burning Fireplaces
• Private Bathrooms
• Hosted Wine Hour
• Complimentary Concierge Services
• Beautiful gardens and sitting area
• Dial-up Internet Access
• Bedtime Killer Chocolate Chip Cookies
• Exquisite Breakfast:
   Homemade Granola
   Chef-prepared Hot Entree
   Fresh Baked Bread

Forgot to plan ahead? No problem. Find an available room within 24 hours of your stay and enjoy a special rate of $159. Please call to book: 800.341.5258.

At 5:30 each day enjoy the company of guests and hosts in the cozy living room of the log cabin. Your choice of homemade 
hors d'oeuvres are complimented by fine wines.

B. Turn Your Home into a Bed & Breakfast by hiring a Chef to Serve You a Gourmet Breakfast or Romantic Dinner for Two. A Personal Chef Can Create "Gourmet Breakfast Recipes," and "Gourmet Specialty Foods," and pass them along to you.

From Flipkey
"For the same cost as a restaurant meal, a professional chef will work with you to tailor a menu to your taste, do all of the shopping, and come to your kitchen to prepare a five-star meal for you to enjoy in your own dining room. Sound impossible? 

With companies like Simplicity Chef in Boston, it couldn’t be easier. Simplicity Chef’s Joe Letteri will create a four-course meal in your home starting at only $85 per person. 

Most in-home chefs cater their menus and ingredients to your preferences and budget, so don’t be afraid to set limits and hire a cook on your own terms.
If you love eating at home on vacation, but don’t want to have a cook in your house everyday, then you can also explore the option of hiring a chef to prepare multiple meals in advance. 

Services such as In-Home Dining by Marie design menus, do the shopping, and create a week’s worth of meals that you can store in your kitchen. To keep things free and easy, they even provide detailed instructions for heating everything on your own."

Your personal chef for the day can also create quick and easy dinner recipes for kids you can use for the future.

Staycation Tips...

C.  Take a Staycation -- Spend a Day as a Tourist in Your Own City
Here are some staycation ideas from
  • Explore the rail trails in your area by bicycle. Most communities have rail trail projects connecting larger cities by walking and biking paths. Explore your area by riding in five miles sections each day.
  • Go to the local tourism office or website for a list of historic sites and museums to visit.
  • Spend a Saturday touring farms and farm markets in your region to find out what is grown locally, and get a fresh delicious taste of the local flavors.
  • Pick a nearby town on the map, and spend the day walking through the whole town, antiquing, eating in local restaurants, and getting a real sense of the history and culture of the place.
  • Take an art, music, or acting class. Do something you always said you would do if only you had the time.

For example, perhaps you live in the Chicago area ... take a combination  tour that combines Chicago's most interesting and historic sights by mini-bus with a mesmerizing Chicago River/Architecture boat tour starting at $58.  If you need to save a few bucks, then enjoy a one-hour cruise of the historic Chicago River that showcases over 40 landmarks of modern American Architecture for a little over $20.
5. If staying on land is more your cup of tea, spend an afternoon with girlfriends at a British high tea.  Maybe chocolate floats your boat more, then Google a popular chocolate cafe in your hometown and spend your next free afternoon there enjoying fair trade chocolate brands.   The more the merrier.  Perhaps you'll discover the best dark chocolate in the world.

Check these out:

1855 Northwest Blvd. Columbus, OH 43212 Grandview/Upper Arlington Area
Just North of the Kroger store on
Chambers Ave

Fondue Friday
Fondue Friday at the Chocolate Cafe 
All-u-can-eat! 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm


Rose Garden Tea Room

General Information

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108
The Huntington
"In the heart of The Huntington's botanical gardens, the Rose Tea Room is as proper an English setting for high tea as you'll find in Southern California. It's location provides diners with views of the nearby rose garden while sipping tea and munching on cucumber and egg salad sandwiches or scones. Reservations are required for the Tea Room and should be made two weeks in advance, but the cafe is open on a drop-in basis."

Send iCafe Woman Moderne your creative staycation ideas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, I really enjoyed this one! It made me thing--I think I had a Brady Bunch lunch box. Was never really much into Barbie Dolls. My lunches were never very typical, though. Coming from an Italian family, my mother always packed a lunch large enough to feed everyone at my lunch table. I opened my lunch box to meatball sandwiches, chicken salad, and when I got a little older--peppers and eggs! Other Italian kids never looked twice. But the look on the faces of the non-Italian kids--priceless! Italian families are also very big on fruit, so Tastykakes, when I got them, were a real treat! Today, my son buys lunch most days, and is treated to an unbelievable buffet of hot and cold foods. I went to Catholic school--you had to bring a lunch. The only day we could buy was Fridays--that was pizza day. What a treat!! A hot lunch in school! My, how things have changed...