(FIrst off, if you don't get the title reference, our blogger friendship is seriously in jeopardy. But if you don't get it, don't worry, we can still be friends, because I take cupcake bribes to mend the damage.) Moving on...interviews are FINALLY over, and I can't even explain the relief that I feel. Though the interview tour was pretty long and stressful, there was a major bonus. Because not only do I happen to have the best friends ever, they also happen to be sprinkled in all the right places. In every city I traveled, I got to stay with a dear and special friend. And as much as I love me a cushy hotel king bed, nothing beats the comfort of staying with long time friends, some of whom I've known for over ten years. So in true Yelp, Hotwire, and Expedia fashion, I thought I'd review my stays along my interview tour.
First stop: Austin and the Steven Suites.
(Photo circa 2005 out with high school friends with Austin. Oh how I loved that green dress.)
I give this spot four stars. Hotel was in a lively neighborhood, served Texas margaritas, and had fabulous sunny-and-70-degree weather. The hotel host even gave up his bed for me so I could be well rested and awake for my 9:00 am interview. Extra points for a fun and welcoming group of friends who gathered to eat dinner and watch ABC's Winter Wipeout. Hysterical laughter is a great way to make me happy.
(Photo from last year's internship match party)
Oddly, as I stayed at this hotel, Norma was in Chicago staying at Hotel de Allison and Matt for one of her interviews. But even with her out of town, the hotel was in excellent condition. Favorite parts included a welcome basket, an E! marathon of Kendra, a couch big enough to completely sprawl out on, and fridge stocked with diet cherry 7up. Plus a bonus stop at the best fried chicken spot in all of Texas!
For the Oklahoma stop I chose Hotel de Kelsey.
(Photo from 2002, found in my Kappa archives. University Sing champs, go KKG!)
This hotel definitely gets four stars. Hotel de Kelsey (and Chris) allowed late check in, a cushy guest room, and a morning coffee bar. The best part though was the late night girl talk. Kelsey keeps it real, and I always feel encouraged after spending time with her.
Dallas night one: Residence Kristin.
(Photo circa 2006, though this hotel host and I go way back. Way back as in college roommates, sorority sisters, and LaHa hosts.)
Major perks here: authentic convo, sweet and crazy dogs, and an insanely delicious dinner upon check in. Late night cocktail and morning coffee were both cherries on top of an already wonderful stay.
Dallas night two: the Jordan Inn.
(Photo courtesy of high school drillteam 2001. Its a Texas thing.)
I stay at this spot often, so the fact that I keep going back tells you how much I love it. Hotel highlights include an upstairs suite, on hand pajamas, and lots of wedding talk. (Jordan is getting married in March.) A major bonus of this spot was the recently upgraded Xbox 360 Kinect. Just Dance was a huge hit with this hotel goer, and I'm dying to go back for more.
The mainstay hotel of the trip: Hotel Home in Houston.
(Bad denim on denim look courtesy of family pictures 1993.)
This hotel is a staple for me, and my parents were so great to let me crash for almost 2 weeks. This hotel included big bonus perks including a free rental car, meals out, and long distance phone conferencing with interview sites. The head of the hotel was even kind enough to take me thrifting several times and the bellhop even let me borrow his clothes. Quality service I tell you.
So to all my wonderful hotel hosts, THANK YOU! You all get a big four stars from me :) This trip reminded me how blessed I am to have such incredible friends. Seriously. (And not just because they happen to live in all the right places.) They know my heart, accept me for me, and challenge me to see the world in new ways. I am continually thankful for them, even more so now that we live hundreds of miles apart. So to my fabulous friends and hotel hosts I love to you pieces and am so grateful for you. Hotel Allison in Chicago is open for you anytime :)