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Savvy Mom: A Meal (And Rest) In Peace


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Hey everyone. How was your December—quiet, relaxing? How are you feeling—healthy, well rested?

I didn't think so. I wasn't either. Until last weekend.

I did an overnight at one of the Twin Cities' many luxury hotels. Sound decadent? It was. But it wasn't expensive. I found a super-low rate online. Weekend rates at downtown hotels are often surprisingly low as business travelers clear out. I didn't even have to go through Joe-Bob's Bargain Travel site, but found the rate and made my reservation on the hotel's own website, where I could check the room amenities, nearby restaurants, menus, and more. I had plenty of great food options to choose from, including the super-convenient and excellent restaurant in the lobby. Choices abound.

The W Minneapolis has Manny's. The Graves 601 has Cosmos and the Bradstreet Crafthouse. The Hotel Ivy has Porter & Frye. The St. Paul Hotel as The St. Paul Grill. (Alas, Le Meridien Chambers doesn't have D'Amico Kitchen for much longer.) Other restaurants are just a quick walk away no matter which downtown you pick.

I checked in at 3 p.m. on Friday. A few minutes later, I flopped down on a luxurious bed, propped myself up with a plethora of pillows, and took advantage of the large, flat-screen TV. I could watch whatever I wanted and was in control of my own remote, two things that rarely happen at home. I had a quiet, leisurely, and very good dinner at the hotel restaurant. I read my book. I slept in that luxurious bed until I was ready to wake up, then had breakfast delivered to my door. Unwilling to have the idyll end, I requested late check out, had lunch, then took a nap. Because all that relaxing was exhausting, you know.

Returning home, I hugged my boys and settled back in. Even the teetering piles of paper and dirt in the corners didn't depress me. That's why a hotel room was so restorative. For a short period of time, I wasn't surrounded by a zillion things nagging at me to be done. The only thing to do was relax. And eat meals I didn't prepare. I could see a movie, get a massage, whatever. It was a tiny sliver of a vacation that plumped up my holiday and winter-depleted spirits.

Even if money and time are tight, you can still take a mini break to recharge inner batteries without emptying your wallet. It's a little glimpse of sunshine as we make our way to springtime and more sun.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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