Coronavirus Got You Down? Plan a Staycation!

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I truly thought the word staycation was slang and made up by someone on instagram! It was actually added to the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in 2009. However, people were using this word back in 1944 per a quote from the Cincinnati Enquirer on July 18, “Take a Stay-cation instead of a Va-cation, this year.” They say it might have originated as a wartime effort to save gasoline. Who knew it was coined that far back in time?! I am sure this concept has experienced a resurgence because of our dear friend the Coronavirus.

Sean and I recently experienced an awesome staycation, one I would like to repeat a few more times!

We had our office holiday dinner this weekend – yep – it’s February not December. We have it this time of year to minimize additional stress of over-committing during the holidays, and to prolong the post holiday blues as long as possible.

Since I was the head of the party planning committee (of 1), I picked a restaurant in downtown Denver. This was sort of strategic, in that ever since we moved to the burbs, I have been DYING to have a staycation in “the city”. The restaurant just happens to be next to the hotel I have been obsessing over for the past few years. Needless to say, I booked it for the night of our holiday dinner so we didn’t have to worry about drinking and driving. One thing to note, if you want to visit Denver in February – the hotels have some pretty good rates this time of year.

The hotel is called The Crawford Hotel and is located inside Union Station in downtown Denver. Union Station is the main railway station and central transportation hub in the city. There is a huge history behind this architecturaly beautiful building , but I don’t think I stepped foot in there until they turned it into an entertainment hub about 5 years ago. I love the energy of this part of downtown, though it can be a little dodgy with an interesting cast of characters milling around in the bathrooms and such.

The rooms were super nice with comfy beds – Yogi loved it. That’s all that really matters – his comfort – he is a little prince you know. Considering the hotel is actually IN Union Station (37k passengers every day), the rooms are pretty quiet. The only weird thing about them, you have to take 2 steps down to get to the door. I forgot about that and almost biffed it and chipped another tooth on the door knob.

After our fabulous team dinner at the Mercantile Dining and Provision, we pooped (typo) popped in to the Cooper Lounge. An uber nice bar that overlooks the entire inside of Union Station. Patrons of the hotel can easily access the place as it’s on the 3rd level of the hotel. If you are not a hotel customer, you can call and make a reservation.

It’s hard for me to believe Denver has a bar this nice – it’s very ADULT and a place where it’s only fitting to drink fine wines, an old fashioned or your choice of martini’s. These photos were taken in the morning – I swear this is a happening place!

One downside to this place, the overnight parking is RIDICULOUS – 50 bucks. Sean, found an app called Spothero where you prepay for parking via the app. Once you pay, you will receive something similar to a bar code within the app. Once you arrive at your parking destination, the scanner at the garage reads the bar code and lifts the security bar. Both of us were skeptical and thought for sure we’d end up in some strange, darkly lit parking garage, but it is completely legit. We spent $7.00 and parked our cars in a really nice, non terrifying place. Kudos to Sean for being resourceful!

The next day – we slept in and headed out for breakfast at a trendy food hall called the Milk Market. This place is owned and operated by Frank Bonanno who owns some of the best restaurants in the city. Within this food hall you have your choice of chicken, burgers, Korean, pizza, Italian, etc. We settled on a double cheese-burger with a mimosa and a beer. Breakfast of champions! The Milk Market is only one option near by – there are several other places within a 5 minute walking distance from the hotel.

Added bonus, there were 3 pinball machines that were FREE. Granted, they were old school and not very exciting, but for us pinball addicts and self proclaimed nerds, it was heavenly.

After breakfast, Sean and I split up and went about our day. I took Yogi for a walk around Sloan’s Lake, about a 3 mile loop. This isn’t the most beautiful park in Denver, but the mountain views from the East side of the park are some of the best in town. Because of the lake, you can’t help but get a good reflection shot at the right time of day. It was a beautiful day and I did my best to keep him out of the mud!

All in all, the staycation was a success! This post is more about the IDEA of a staycation rather then providing recommendations on what to do in Denver. The Coronavirus is putting a damper on travel plans – that sucks for those of us with intrepid spirits. Find some things you’ve always wanted to do in your hometown – you may just find the silver lining!

We found a place we wanted to experience and made it happen. It felt good to be a tourist in our great city. It made us appreciate it even more.

…i choose this…



  1. I think I’ve only visited Denver’s Union Station once, and loved the architecture. We’re seeing a lot of cancelations in Phoenix. Hotels are even offering discounts which is rare considering March is the busiest month in Phoenix. Looks and sounds like you had a great city staycation.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Definitely! They’re getting so many cancellations right now that quite a few resorts are offering discounts. If you feel like meeting for a drink, let me know. Although, I understand time constraints 😊🌵

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love Denver’s Union Station! My son takes me there when I’m out that way. They have a little bookstore by Snooze that I like! I’m driving out to Denver to hike and see my son end of April! I think I’ll talk him into taking me there again! I just love the building!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d like to visit Denver and your post makes me want to do it soon. Your photos are great. What a pretty place to visit and if Yogi loved it, I need no more coaxing than that. Of course who knows when we’ll be traveling again, but it’s on the list.


    1. AB, Denver is hard not to like. I will say the smell of weed is everywhere. We are used to it, but I’d be curious to know what others who don’t live here think. The mountains are so lovely though and would be worth the effort to visit. I can help you plan if you ever need it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you had a great time. With coronavirus spreading more rapidly through Europe and rest of the world, we have postponed our travels and are looking to explore Ireland. Your dog is so cute 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Interesting background on the word staycation. I’m glad you guys are having fun despite the downer that is the coronavirus. I love the Cooper Lounge! For once we don’t have a spring trip booked in advance…a blessing in disguise. We’ll see how things unfold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, who knew?? Oh, I am glad you have experienced it – so nice. Looking forward for a reason to go back. Today was honestly the first time I have been stressed by the C-virus. jeez. I am going to enjoy not traveling for work – I have also turned off news notifications. I cannot take what I perceive to be irrational behavior. It’s impacting peoples lives in worse ways than the virus itself. ugh.


          1. Yes. I am devastated and packing away my gear as we speak, First World problem, I know, but I have been so excited/nervous about this trip for over 12 months. Oh well. Better safe than sorry. Have a happy Sunday. Melx


  6. I love your photos, and I think that is a great idea anytime. For me, I’m still going on my vacation. But it’s a road trip so no air flights involved. I hope everyone calms down about this soon… Thanks for the little bit of history! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My sister does a stay-cation every December in San Francisco even though she grew up there, works there and has to come into the city on her days off to help take care of our mother. She and her husband get a nice little boutique hotel room and walk around and see the beautiful Christmas lights and decorations and of course have a nice dinner. They’ve been doing this tradition for years (also her husband is a native born San Franciscan).
    Me? Well my hubby doesn’t like to travel and I prefer getaways to be focused on nature, outdoors and exercise. Yet I’ve never ruled it out! It’s a great way to enjoy some new restaurants and hotels and not have to drive home.

    Plus you were able to bring Yogi. Otherwise, Fuuuhget about it! 😂

    Loved your post,
    Susan Grace

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m flying into samarkand uzbekistan.. the most beautiful blue mosque.. train down to termez and then across the friendship bridge and a night in Mazari el sharif.. beautiful mosque.. then on to Dushanbe, Tajikistan and 10 days in a jeep on the Pamir highway ending in Osh.. with a fair amount of hiking here and there. I’m part of a forum on caravanistan so hoping to pick up people to share the jeep ride so no surprise as I am always looking for takers ;-).. I am soooo excited.. It’s like a holiday in a lifetime.. I have been to kyrgyzstan 2 years ago.. The people are so amazing in these areas….

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I didn’t realize that the term stay-cation had been around so long!! That looks like an amazing hotel. It looks like quite a bit of stay-cationing is in the future for me. I’m hoping to get out on some hikes once the rainy weather starts cooperating. I hope that you are doing well in the current chaos. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was really fun! I hope the rain has subsided for you! We got 7 inches of snow here and counting. Plan on getting outdoors this weekend. Work is kicking my A** right now. All good though. I’d rather be busy. Hope all is well with you all 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Goodness!! We seemed to have avoided all snow this year, which was rather strange. Being busy does help with not falling into cabin fever! All is well here. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Great idea! … for when we’re out of confinement … with friends, we already plan to visit our best local restaurants and bars to celebrate when everything is over. But I think I’ll also try and do that back home in Aix-en-Provence to discover some off-the-beaten-path accommodation in the hills… 😉

    Take care and stay home!

    Liked by 1 person

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