This past weekend my family and I did an overnight road trip to Asheville, NC. Most bloggers in the points-n-milesosphere, not to mention the trip report crowd at Flyertalk, wouldn’t deign to write of such a pedestrian event–but then, most of those bloggers don’t have four young children. So rather than try to top whoever had the most luxurious trip to the Maldives, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to do some contrasting and comparing.
AWESOME TRIP REPORT TRANSPORTATION: A good trip report will have at least one segment in first class or–at worst–business. The width and luxuriousness of the seats will be duly noted, as will the quality of the food and libations. There will also be a connection in Germany to get a rubber duck from Lufthansa, or so I’ve heard.
MY TRIP REPORT: The seven of us–Me, Mrs. PFD, PFD’s mother-in-law, and four kids aged 0-6–piled into our trusty Hyundai Entourage minivan. We packed a lunch because (a) it’s cheaper and (b) getting everybody into and out of a restaurant is time-consuming and a lot of work. Luxury? The two youngest kids fell asleep for the whole two-hour drive over, so we were able to make the trip non-stop in relative peace and quiet. And we brought our own rubber duck.
AWESOME TRIP REPORT ACCOMMODATIONS: Ideally, a trip report will have a stay at a five-star hotel suite in a major world city. The suite would normally go for $2,000 per night, but the trip report author gets it for free because Chase/Citibank/etc. are run by generous souls who like to give stuff away.
MY TRIP REPORT: With the annual free night deadline only a few months away, I used my annual Priority Club free night on the Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville. I would have liked to have done an Intercontinental, but Charlotte is in an Intercontinental desert, with the closest one being four hours away in Atlanta. The hotel itself wasn’t bad–great staff and close to downtown Asheville.
The great thing about small kids, though, is that they don’t care where you stay just so long as it’s a hotel, because all hotels are AWESOME! A new bed you can jump on before Mommy catches you! Long corridors in which to run! Pressing random buttons on the hotel phone until Daddy disconnects it! What’s not to like about hotels? They’re the best!
AWESOME TRIP REPORT DINING: When it comes to food, there are two directions you can go with an awesome trip report. You can eat at an amazing New York Times-approved restaurant, or you can explore the rich local cuisine of your destination via street food and off-the-beaten-path-but-still-totally-awesome restaurants.
MY TRIP REPORT: We went to Jason’s Deli on Saturday night because, hey, FREE ICE CREAM. Also, they have cups with lids on them. Cups with lids are essential parts of the parental risk management toolkit.
Upon our return home we asked the two older kids what their favorite part of the trip was and you know what they said? That’s right: Jason’s Deli.
AWESOME TRIP REPORT ELITE STATUS: You never know what perks will be obtained in an awesome trip report. Upgrades to first class? Free breakfast? Suites?
MY TRIP REPORT: Actually, this was a pretty awesome part of the trip: since Mrs. PFD is IHG Platinum, we received two free drink vouchers. These normally would have been useless since the baby has spent the last two weeks cluster-feeding from the time we get the other three kids to bed until 2 am, but fortunately she went to sleep from about 10:30 pm until 11:00 pm, affording a rare opportunity for Mrs. PFD and I to get our drink on!
But you know what’s even better? For the duration of the trip, nobody barfed and nobody wet themselves. BEST TRIP EVER!