Preparing for a Winter Vacation

I am so thankful that we decided to take a last minute winter vacation as Minnesota weather was scheduled to be in the negatives the week we were to be gone.

We had a lot of options on where to go but decided we wanted someplace sunny, warm and where we didn’t have to plan a lot of things like renting a car and booking a hotel room.

The easiest option for us was a cruise and we decided to leave from New Orleans instead of Florida since I had never been to New Orleans before.

Norweigian Cruise Line (NCL) had a very good special for a 7 day inside cabin cruise so we jumped on the offer. Airfare was mostly paid by air miles that we used — a big plus in keeping our expenses down (especially for a last minute trip).

My husband found a park-n-fly hotel — The Holiday Inn in Eagan, Minnesota. I had never heard of a park-n-fly, have you? Basically you park the car at the hotel, spend the night, and the hotel shuttles you to and from the airport. It worked out very well for us and was cheaper than parking at a parking lot or taking a cab to/from the airport.

The room was nice and had all the usual toiletries. But — yes, there’s a but — we could not get the room temperature to cool down so it was very warm in the room. I guess that beats the alternative, eh?

Holiday Inn, Eagan, MN
Holiday Inn, Eagan, MN

(Nice pillows that were labeled soft and firm … )

Holiday Inn bathroom
Holiday Inn bathroom

But, who can sleep, anyway, when you have to get up very early to catch a plane?

The next morning, when I reached the lobby, I asked the desk clerk if they had a place where we could leave our bulky coats (heading from a cold weather state to a warm weather state takes innovation). She told us we could leave them in a front closet which I thought was a designated spot for coats but as I opened the closet door, I found it was a janitor’s closet. So that’s where we left three winter coats as we quickly boarded our shuttle.

I have to say, the male driver was quite chatty at 6 a.m. while our droopy eyelids tried to stay awake on the ride to the airport.

Everything went quite smoothly. Our first stop was in Chicago where we had breakfast before boarding the second plane to New Orleans.

“Warm weather here we come!” my brain thought gleefully.

Gulf of Mexico Sunsets

The Norwegian Star – The Ship

The Norwegian Star – Food

The Cabin Steward

The Modern Churrascaria Restaurant

Trip to Belize City, Belize

Trip to Roatan, Honduras


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