Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

Today was supposed to be the first day of our road trip, but I’m writing this from my favorite hotel in the U.S. – the Embassy Suites – Downtown in Cleveland, about 4.5 hours from home. [Editorial update: much to my disappointment, the Embassy Suites Downtown Cleveland has been closed and the building has been turned into high-end condos].

The house sitters came a day early, so we had the opportunity to get part way down the road.

We’re headed to Colorado, and planned a stop in Colorado Springs but it’s on fire.

We were going to stop in Greenfield and meet the mayor, but we needed to revise our trip to accommodate not being able to go through Colorado Springs.

But part of road tripping is the adventure of it, and the changes we’ve made means we’ve cancelled and changed more hotel reservations in 24 hours than I thought possible. The thing is, nothing about the start of this trip happened the way we envisioned it – but that’s ok.

We had a nice ‘pre-launch’ night in a fabulous hotel with the friendliest staff we’ve ever experienced, from valet and housekeeping to the front desk – and the most amazing breakfast chefs (whose personality and energy start our day out right every time we stay). In fact, our favorite part of Embassy Suites is going to breakfast. The cook there, Mark, literally brightens the morning every time we are there. He is consistently friendly, upbeat – and makes a mean omelet. Mark has been there every time we’ve stayed, and even the kids get excited when they know we’re headed to Cleveland.

The adventure is only beginning – and while I’m sure there will be other deviations from expectations along the way, I’m pretty happy with our pre-launch start.

Things I’ve learned:

  • No matter how much you think you need it when you pack it, you’ll wish you’d left it home so you don’t have to keep hauling it around.
  • Simple is better, from eating on the road to fashion to scheduling.
  • Take advantage of the hotel’s fitness center to destress and refocus. It works wonders.