What A Difference A Day Makes

In a recent post i shared some thoughts and images, about the Hard Rock Hotel in Chicago. (Sidebar: As the owner of this blog, i took a liberty with the word ‘recent.’ It was not that recent. In my defense, I knew May would be hectic with work commitments but i underestimated just how hectic it would really be. As a result, my personal interests and passions, like training for my ride and this blog suffered. Sorry. Sadly, i’m human not Super Human. I am trying to get back on track and appreciate your understanding. End Sidebar) After my work in Chicago ended, i was off to Santa Barbara to attend another conference. I stayed at the Marriott Courtyard.

What a difference a day, and hotel chain makes. Here is what the Marriott Courtyard bathroom and furniture looked like. The facilities are clean, not full of grit or in need of a sand blast.

Marriott Courtyard

The furniture, while not new, is not full of cracks and otherwise on the brink of being kindling for a fire pit. Furniture

Even the staff was more accommodating: calling for cabs when i needed them and helping with a minor phone issue. And i being Southern California they had an outdoor fire pit!

Like most people, i love a great hotel with all the amenities. At the end of the day, i have a stronger appreciation for a hotel that gets the basics right. In this case, props to the Marriott Courtyard. I don’t stay at their properties often but this experience was great and i will keep their hotels in mind when i’m traveling for myself or making arrangements for clients.

After my previous rant, i felt compelled to share this experience. It really bothered me that people would think i’m a primadona  about where i stay. I guess we all have a streak of narcissism in us and now you know mine.

State Street Santa Barbara, in Photos

When you travel for work, you have to role with whatever opportunity you get to get out of your hotel. Last Friday, i was in Santa Barbara. My meetings went until about 6:30 so my opportunity to explore came late in the day. But i’m motivated and refuse to sit around and pout (Friday night alone in a strange city? No worries!). At the recommendation of a friend, i headed to State Street. Here’s my evening in photos.

Started with dinner here. The mango margarita was fun. Carlitos strikes me as a place where everything is good
I started with dinner here and highly recommend it. The mango margarita was fun. Carlitos strikes me as  the kind of place where everything is good.
My view from Carlitos was this cute movie theater across the street
My view from Carlitos as the sunset.
I did some window shopping for the nieces and nephew (well the younger ones). While cute, some of this is too cute for the oldest two
After dinner, I did some window shopping for the nieces and nephew (well the younger ones). While cute, some of this is too cute for the oldest two
I got my zen on and revisited some fond memories of my time in Nepal
Further down the street, I got my zen on.
Even though the beach is to the right, i still couldn't find it. Total bummer!
And finally, i made it to the beach. Well, the sign says i did but i couldn’t find it. Total bummer!