My Mama Weekend Getaway: 5 Ways Red Roof PLUS+ Treated Me Well

This post is a partnership with Red Roof PLUS+. I received a free hotel stay to facilitate my honest review.

I had the best mama staycation EVER in a local hotel. I got to experience all of the wonderful parts of my region, while getting that great vacation feeling. Find out 5 reasons to book #RedRoofPLUS! #ad

Do you ever feel like you just really, really need a staycation? And not the kind at home?

I was feeling that way desperately a few weeks ago. The winter to spring transition always gets me a bit down. It’s always cold and rainy longer than I’d like, and the kid activities ramp up in the spring. Cassidy spent the kids’ spring break in Belize and I was doing double duty at home. Not to mention I had a work trip planned in which I’d also have time to relax, and then the kids got sick and I got sick, and I had to cancel. I was incredibly bummed. When Red Roof PLUS+ reached out to me about a stay, I was more than ready. I was packed days in advance. Books. Magazines. My camera. And some clothes and toiletries. I was ready. I was a woman with a plan. And that plan was to stay in a Red Roof PLUS+ close to home.

Close enough to call it a staycation, but far enough to greet an entire new community and culture.

Red Roof

Here’s what I did:

On Friday night, I kissed my family and left. Before checking in, I got dinner at an Au Bon Pain next door to enjoy in my room. The first thing I did was read outside on a comfy chair before the sun set. It was what I needed for the evening.

After the sun completely set, I decided to check out the inside of the hotel. It had some fun amenities I’ll get to talk about later in the post. Mainly, I’m so down with a pool, vending machines, and arcade games too! Some of my favorites.

After exploring my room and the hotel (more on that later) I decided to see a movie! Alone! I picked I Feel Pretty because it had been out for awhile and I love to sink down in a nearly empty theater with snacks. The drive back to the hotel was quicker than the drive from the movie theater to my house. I camped out on the bed with Royal Wedding coverage and candy. Before I knew it, I was fast asleep. The next morning was rushed because I did have to temporarily quit my mama vacation to take Scarlet to a vocal lesson for work, so I had breakfast at a local co-op and then went home for a bit.

After the lesson, I went back to my hotel room to read. I had dinner plans with four friends, and we had chosen a restaurant closer to my hotel than home. I had a great night, and it was nice to know I was going back to my own big bed!

Sunday was REALLY fun. I asked around for breakfast recommendations and found a local diner in the middle of nowhere. Everyone there seemed to know each other, but they were really nice to me. Then I went to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. I don’t like crowds so I went when it opened and enjoyed the garden nearly to myself. I saw a Monarch emerge from a chrysalis and saw a turtle that smiled on command. It was so peaceful and cheerful on a foggy morning.

Then I wandered over to Yankee Candle Headquarters. It’s actually one of the top five tourist attractions in New England, but we live so close to it that I often forget that. I remember the first time I was there – you could smell the apple candles being made from the highway. My kids love to go but I can’t say I’ve ever gone alone. It was nice to focus on me. I got vegetable soup and coffee and wandered around the holiday displays. This was an uplifting experience from the weekend.

My time was winding down so I got a Butter Pecan Latte and went back to the hotel to read until checkout. That was honestly all I had wanted to do all weekend so everything else I did? That was bonus. I love spending time with myself. I also love going back home to my family. The sun was coming out and I think they all missed me. It’s important to take this time for yourself. Last time I stayed in a Red Roof PLUS+, it was in Boston and we had a whole city to explore. Staying in one closer to home gave me awesome perspective. I knew I could relax all I wanted, and explore my own section of the world as a tourist. If I was needed home, I could get there. I recommend taking a “vacation” in your region, or slightly beyond it!

Here are 5 Ways Red Roof PLUS+ Treated Me Well:

1 – The room, of course! Mine had a wood-like floor, a flat-screen TV, a vessel sink, a spacious workstation with special lighting, and an ergonomic chair. The Rest Suite bed by Serta was fitted with plush, high-end (and WARM) bedding and topped with a variety of soft and firm pillows. I loved that I could choose soft or firm, or mix and match.

2 – Extras. If you get a premium room at Red Roof PLUS+, it includes a complimentary snack box containing bottled water, orange juice, popcorn, trail mix and two Nature Valley® granola bars. You also have amenities like Seattle’s Best in-room coffee, a microwave, a mini-fridge, a hair dryer, an iron/ironing board, and a spa-like bathroom with a multiple setting showerhead.

3 – The staff. From giving me extra bottled water, to getting me the best restaurant recommendations in town, I loved knowing all my questions would be answered. They even called to check on me after check-in. In terms of fun things to do in western MA, they had all the info I needed. I loved the brochures highlighting western MA attractions, and their knowledge of western Mass tourism. I actually did feel like a tourist in my own community! This was all new to me.

4 – Staying with a trusted brand. Red Roof PLUS+ is a go-to upscale economy hotel of choice. Use it for business travel, last minute get-aways, family vacations, traveling with pets, traveling as a veteran or military personnel, or having a mama vacation! There are so many reasons to get away (or stay away close to home) that why not stay somewhere you love?

5 – The benefits. There’s the Red Roof loyalty program, RediCard®. You can also travel with your pet. That’s timely with our new puppy. You are allowed one well-behaved pet per room, nationwide. And you get bottled water for each day of your stay.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, make sure you see all the reasons you should stay at a Red Roof PLUS+ for your next getaway. This is my second stay in only a few months, and I can’t wait for my next getaway, wherever it may be!

With locations nationwide, where will I explore next?

I had the best mama staycation EVER in a local hotel. I got to experience all of the wonderful parts of my region, while getting that great vacation feeling. Find out 5 reasons to book #RedRoofPLUS! #ad

When was the last time you stayed in a hotel by yourself? Did you know there were so many western Mass things to do?

I had the best mama staycation EVER in a local hotel. I got to experience all of the wonderful parts of my region, while getting that great vacation feeling. Find out 5 reasons to book #RedRoofPLUS! #ad

It’s A Different World, From Where You Come From.

(This blog post title is brought to you by the theme song from “A Different World” – with Lisa Bonet!)

Just over three months ago, we moved 3.4 miles from our old house. 3.4 miles! It might as well have been to a different planet, though. Our Chapel Street home was just about a mile from downtown Northampton. We got ample sunlight and were located a block away from the Pioneer Valley’s famous cross-town bike path. I often walked down the hill to downtown Noho, even at eight-nine months pregnant. After Scarlet was born, I often did the walk with her in a stroller or carrier and the walk back uphill was brutal, but I did it anyway. I liked being by the action. I liked knowing the secret parking places during Pride Weekend. I liked having neighbors so close, our toddlers could and did call out to each other from our respective windows. I liked that Scarlet’s second story bedroom window faced the second story bedroom window of the cute, nine-months older boy next door, and I imagined that we’d stay there forever and they’d eventually talk by walkie talkie or string tin can phone wires across the houses. Clearly, I had briefly forgotten that cell phones now exist and who the heck knows what will exist when our children come of dating age. (I shudder to think)

I liked the dog park and baseball field across the street and how from our second story bathroom window, we could hear the fresh crack of the bat at the baseball games come spring. I liked everything about the Chapel Street house and its location.

Breakfast/brunch is not only the most important meal, it’s my favorite meal. Northampton does not disappoint. From trendy to vegan to all-local and organic to classic diner eggs and hash…and here I am sounding like I work for the Northampton Board of Tourism again…Noho has always been a place we are proud to take our house guests for breakfast/brunch. I could never tire of the several places to eat breakfast from Northampton to Amherst.

There are parts of it that get tiresome, though. It’s a city, above all, even if it’s no San Francisco or New York. (That’s what I like about it) While light years easier to get parking in Northampton than a major city (and the laughable $10 parking tickets!) it’s still just the tiniest bit of a hassle. And if you don’t get out and about by 9:00 am, you’re kinda screwed and have to wait to get a table at most places. Minor stuff, really, after living in SF. Still I was happy for an alternative.

Where we live now is still Northampton. However those 3.4 miles away are halfway between Northampton and Westhampton. 3.4 miles from bustling downtown. Where we live now has so many thick forests that we still have inches of snow on our lawns from the tall trees blocking the sun. We can barely see our closest neighbor even in the bare dead of winter. No second story romances. No crack of a baseball bat. We’ve certainly got our own charms, though. Last week through a tip from a friend, Cassidy, Scarlet and my parents had breakfast at the Straw Bale, a restaurant/sugar shack only about two miles from our house through the trees. I decided to sleep in and missed the adventure.

Yesterday we decided to try again. Breakfast specials, roaring fire, magazines, the owners come out to talk shop and sugaring and grandkids with you, and the regulars know a new face when they see one and make sure to welcome you. Like the 88-year-old man who comes in every Saturday with his wife. His mother had a pastime that he adopted – making bookmarks and bracelets out of buttons. He didn’t just give a bookmark to Scarlet, he gave one to me and Cassidy too. He gave us bracelets as well. We all talked about life and love and kids and the war and New Jersey and California and maple syrup.

I was charmed and insisted to Cassidy that we go every Saturday to have the $3.00 breakfast special and be near this man and his warmth. Just to see his face as he smiles at Scarlet.

I walk out my front door and get in the car. Drive left and within minutes, I’m in a pretty sexy, trendy city. Drive right and within minutes, I’m in horse farm, sugar shack and old timer country.

I’m not sure it could get better than that, to be honest. It’s already more than I ever imagined. Living in the outskirts of a city with choices to suit every taste. City, country, all of it, and more.

Through the woods, in either direction.