Rentals vs. Hotels

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Soooo many things to research when going on vacation.

Flying? Gotta research airfare.

Driving? Gotta estimate gas costs and figure out the best route to get there.

Activities? Gotta find out what there is to do there (and how much it costs).

Transport? Gotta plan how you're going to get around in an unfamiliar city.

And, of course, there's the ever important one that can really make or break a vacation: Accommodations. Where the hell are you going to stay?

Right now, that's what we're struggling with for our anniversary trip. For Seattle, we have been lucky enough to be offered a place to stay with a friend, so that's awesome. One city taken care of. But for San Francisco, it's been more of a struggle.

The biggest part is that for the most part? I hate hotels. I've stayed in a lot of nice ones (especially when I used to travel for work!), and they're comfortable and generally clean, the staff is nice, etc. But I really hate not having some of the comforts of home.

Mainly, I always miss having a refrigerator. I know, it seems stupid. And sure, you can get hotel rooms that have little mini refrigerators, but sadly, it seems like those hotels are few and far between.

I don't like eating out for every meal, even on vacation. I don't want to have to wake up and immediately figure out where we can go to get breakfast. I want to walk to the kitchen, still in my pajamas and post-slumber stupor, and pour myself a bowl of cereal and a glass of juice. It's my favorite way to start a day, no matter where we are. Also, it is so nice to come home at the end of a day and enjoy cold wine and beer.

For our honeymoon, we wanted to stay in luxury accommodations for reasonable prices. And given that we were going to be away from home for 12 days, we wanted the places we stayed to feel just a little bit like home. So we opted to rent condos, and we loved them. They were fabulous, beautifully decorated homes. They were a joy to go "home" to at night.

For this weekend's trip to Vegas with friends, we actually did look into vacation rentals, but the pull of wanting to be in the middle of everything, and the complication of having a lot of people invited to go on the trip made a hotel the right choice. And I'm sure we'll have a nice room and it'll be fun and all, but I'm not going to lie--I'm pretty sure I'd rather be in a condo. I can certainly handle three days in a hotel, though.

So this brings me to San Francisco. Today, I found a beautiful condo rental in an area of San Francisco called The Castro. It is totally reasonably priced, and I think we would really enjoy our stay there. We are essentially ready to click the button to put down our deposit on it, but we are hesitant because of a couple of things.

We aren't renting a car in San Francisco, so we have to rely on public transit. There is a bus stop at the end of the street we'd be staying on, but the nearest station for the muni is a 15-minute walk away. My initial thoughts were that was fine, but then I started looking at hotels in Union Square and everything is like RIGHT THERE. We could walk downstairs and out the door and be right at a BART station.

And so we are pulled in two different directions. Do we stay in a condo with the luxuries of home? Or do we stay in a hotel for the easy access to touristy essentials?

The debate continues. But I have to say: I'm totally leaning toward the condo. :)

Do you think the Tanners have moved? Maybe we can stay there. They always did seem to have room for just about anyone.

Whatever happened to predictability... The milkman, the paperboy, evening TV...
When you miss your old familiar friends... Waiting just around the bend...


Anonymous,  February 4, 2009 at 10:53 PM  

Visiting the "Painted Ladies" is a must! I got the biggest kick out of standing in the park where the Tanner Family had their picnic in the show opening and looking at their house. It's a little bit of a bus ride to get there but totally worth it.

Anonymous,  February 5, 2009 at 3:38 AM  

the Castro is San Francisco premier Gay district. I'm not sure if u were aware of that, but they have some good area's and not so good area's. I really would recommend staying closer to union square. EVERYThing is within walking distance or public trans.

Charlene and Chris February 5, 2009 at 7:50 AM  

New commenter here! We stayed in Union Square when we went there a few days on our honeymoon and it was great. But I hear what you are saying - we had just left Lake Tahoe where we had a condo and I loved just laying around drinking coffee and taking our time in the morning. The good thing is that even if you are further out the public transportation is amazing there. We bought a three day pass and it got us everywhere we wanted to go (and unlimited rides on the cable cars which is great) and if anything you can take a cab. There is a great little bar Vesuvio which was fun that we found while we were there. Have fun!

Miss Lemonade February 5, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

I have a surprise for you on my blog :)I'm nominating you for the Sweet Lemony Blog Award!

Anonymous,  February 5, 2009 at 11:32 AM  

When we were in San Fransisco last summer we stayed in the Fisherman's Wharf area and we could walk to almost everything. We really liked being close to everything.

Melissa February 5, 2009 at 2:47 PM  

LOL, the Tanners. You crack me up!

erica February 5, 2009 at 5:07 PM  

nice trip down memory lane with full house...too bad i still watch the re-runs on the family channel! have fun on your trip :)

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