CC dives onto a bed at the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Monica.
Since moving to Los Angeles eight years ago, I have yet to stay in a local hotel. I mean, why would I? I live here, right?
But with the economy being what it is -- sucky, but not as sucky as last year -- people are looking for bargains, and local hotels are looking for travelers, be they from abroad or just around the corner.
This weekend, Doubletree Guest Suites in Santa Monica invited CC and me to get a little taste of how that can work right in our own backyard. (In fact, they're calling it a Backyard Vacation, instead of the ubiquitous "staycation.")
While we didn't spend a night at the hotel, we did enjoy breakfast, a peek at one of their guest suites and a complimentary afternoon with other blogger and journo families at Pacific Park (right) on the Santa Monica Pier.
The suite we saw was definitely roomy and the accommodations generous, but the best part -- at least for CC -- was riding up the glass elevator while looking down on the hotel lobby. Forget amusement park rides, kids could entertain themselves without even leaving the premises.
Spending an afternoon at the pier with other families reminded me that there are so many amazing places in this city that are great for multiple families. The other kids were all about 8 years old and watched over CC so well. They were all hopelessly adorable and included her in everything. It was great to see.
In fact, at breakfast at the hotel, CC and some of the older kids walked over to a coffee kiosk and came back with a small bottle of Sprite.
She held it up for me so proudly, and when I asked where it came from, a little boy looked at me and said, "She got it with her cuteness."
Sounds like my little girl.
While it still seems a little foreign to me to pay for a hotel 20 minutes from where you live, I guess I should consider where we do, in fact, live.
Near the ocean -- with lots of great restaurants and a million amazing things to do.