Saturday, April 23, 2011

Hotels are Nice, But . . . .

I just returned from a short family trip to Washington, DC.  

It was great.  We got to see the oDeclaration of Independence, the Constitution and Bill of rights, as well as the White House, Capital, Washington & Lincoln monuments, and spent time at the Smithsonian as well.

It was the first time we stayed in a hotel as a family in years.   Generally we rent condos or houses when we vacation, but the nature of this trip pretty much demanded we stay in a hotel.

I have to admit, you can really get spoiled when you stay in a hotel.  No matter how big a mess you leave the room in, when you come back it's all picked up and straightened out with the beds made up and new fresh, clean, towels in the bathroom.

And, I have to admit, not having to cook for a few days was a nice change of pace. 

But, by not cooking, particularly for breakfast, I really got to see how many people eat, and, I have to say, it was difficult for me to imagine why people would want to eat that way.

The first morning, we wanted to get to the National Archives early, so we bypassed the hotel's breakfast buffet.  Not only would it have been expensive (at $15 a person), but it would have taken too much time, and buffets just lead to overeating, so I wanted to avoid that.

So we headed off to an Au Bon Pan.   All I can say is Thank the Lord for calorie labeling!!!    I looked up at the menu of breakfast options in dismay which for the most part would have blown too many of my allowable calories for the day.   I was at a loss as to what to do when I noticed a "new offering" of egg whites, cheddar cheese on a "skinny" whole wheat bagel.   It topped out at 290 calories, still more then I would like to consume at breakfast, but tolerable.  

My husband, kids and I all ordered our various selections and then waited, and waited, and waited some more.   The Au Bon Pan was packed with what looked like young professionals all waiting for their breakfasts as well.  

We got our breakfast sandwiches and then dashed off to the National Archives to eat them on line.

The experience once again had me scratching my head as to why people insist they don't have time to cook.  I could have cooked up a batch of eggs, toasted rolls,cleaned up and gotten all of us out the door in less time then it took to order and wait for this "fast food" breakfast option.

Not only that, but the "eggs" in these sandwiches were questionable.   They were rubbery, somewhat slimy, and far inferior to what I generally make. 

So, if I had access to a kitchen I could have made breakfast quicker and the product would have tasted infinitely better.  

Of course, I was staying in a hotel and had no option.  But I have to presume that all those young professionals ordering and running out with their egg, ham and cheese on a croissant had access to kitchens.  Did they really need to consume the excess calories and God  knows what extra chemicals every day?

I think not. 

And, you can't argue that the people I saw weren't regulars.  Some greeted the staff by name, and judging by the speed in which they came in and filled in their orders, others definitely knew the routine.

The next morning we headed out to Starbucks and I was thrilled to find that they sold fresh bananas, so I got  2 fresh bananas with my Grande Cappuccino with skim.  After my slimy, caloric-fest the day before, it was nice to get back to something akin to my normal breakfast routine.

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