Posts Tagged With: Christmas 2016

Wander the Garden District

Christmas morning saw us with no concrete plans.  Old me would have had something booked, new me polls the family now.  The vote was to ride the street car to the garden district and poke around until we were bored.  I knew we needed the St. Charles line and our Free Tours by Foot guide had recommended boarding at the corner of Canal and Carondelet street.  Boarding there gave us the best chance to get a seat and not have to stand for the ride.  $3  a person gives you a 24 hour pass or $1.25 exact change each ride.

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Canal street

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We rode the streetcar down to Washington Avenue. This would also be where you would want to exit for Commander’s Palace Restaurant.   Right across the street is Lafayette Cemetery.  Since it was a holiday the cemetery was closed but normal hours are 7-3pm daily.

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Wrap up on 2016

This is the crazy post where I try to dig back through my brain and figure out how many nights we spent in hotels.  I can safely say not near as many as 2015.   Our family needs are changing and we do more small weekend trips away now that our daughter is older.

2016 saw us take a spring break trip to check out three colleges for said daughter.  The Holiday Inn IHG mail in promotion points came in really handy for this trip to Pennsylvania.

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Franklin & Marshall

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We also did a couple of single nights in hotels before a college visit to make sure we arrived on time and for a little family break.  Nothing wrong with relaxing in a hot tub and eating seafood on a weeknight.

Since our daughter was heading to South Africa for a few weeks in June we used a night in Radisson Kalamazoo for a family night.  Enjoying their great pool area and local food before we went our separate ways for most of the summer.

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Kalamazoo Radisson

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August saw the girls having free time and Southwest airline credit to use so we went to Savannah and Charleston for a long weekend.  I did not want to lose $124 in credit from when I re-booked price changes. I let Daughter pick the destination and I was surprised by her choice.  She fell in love with the south and everything about Savannah.

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Bonadventure Cemetary

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Labor day brought us to South Bend for a quick get away.  The work hard play hard Club Carlson promotion was offering triple weekend points so we took in the Celtic Festival.

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Learning to throw an axe.

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Then we took our long December vacation to Louisiana and Mississippi.  This time we cleaned out my husbands IHG points account leveraging it for three nights.  I really wish IHG did more mail in promotions!

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Creole Queen foggy ride

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Also new to us this year was staying a hotel night before a long race.  It is easier on the family if they can hang out at the room for a couple of hours after an early starting run.  No parking hassles, no freezing while they wait or looking for bathrooms. I like walking to the start and knowing they are comfortable.

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Foreshore adventure run

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So this years math:

3,358 airline miles in 2016

19 nights in a hotel

2 nights in a Bed and Breakfast

Losing the second night free benefit with Club Carlson kept us lower on our stays this year and I am not really focusing on one chain at the moment.  Whomever has the best promotion gets my business for now.   We seem to be doing more driving than flying these days. And with my daughters schedule its really hard to get away for more than a couple of nights at a time.

For 2017 we start off with a bang, my daughter has an opportunity in D.C. so we will soon be headed there for a bit.  We are tossing around heading back to Florida for our winter getaway.  We were lucky with mostly nice and unusually warm weather in Louisiana but going further south should up our warm weather chances.

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Creole Queen

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Who knows where this crazy hobby will take us this year!

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Tippecanoe Place Restaurant at Christmas

For part of our trip to the Oiver Mansion I wanted to include a lunch stop at Tippecanoe.  This home was the Studebaker Mansion before being turned into a restaurant in the 1980s. The Studebaker Mansion was finished in 1889 with approximately 40 rooms and 20 fireplaces.  This makes it a tad larger than the Oliver Mansion.

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Tippecanoe

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The restaurant is beautifully decorated for the season and the smaller rooms would be perfect for a family party.

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Visiting the Oliver Mansion at Christmas

My Daughter and I enjoyed a tour of the Oliver Mansion called Copshaholm in October when we went to the Dressing Downton exhibit.  We really wanted to see this mansion decorated for Christmas.  The roads in the Midwest can be iffy at best in December but we lucked out and the snow changed to rain during our trip. The roads were not the best the whole time but we had safe travels.

We called ahead and were able to add our names to the 11am tour listing the day before.  I did not want to make the long drive and then not be able to tour the house.  You can do this by calling 574-235-9664 and speaking to the staff.

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Oliver Mansion

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This time our tour began in the carriage house connected to the museum so we had very little time outside.

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