Like Julie Andrews’ classic song “My Favorite Things,” it’s the little pleasures in life that mean the most. Ask a child what they love about their birthday, and nine out of ten will tell you the cake. Okay, okay, cakes are a HUGE deal now and quite expensive, but even before they got all fancy (although mine were simply perfect; made by my mom’s friend Mary), I remember how important my cakes were to my birthday celebration. If I close my eyes, I can still smell them, taste the moistness of the chocolate and every frosting ingredient. I am reminded of how much I looked forward to that delicious centerpiece. These cakes meant so much to my childhood, I taught myself to make and decorate them for my own children before my oldest Rhylie turned 1.
Sure, we all like the finer things in life, but I, for one, feel a bit ashamed when things get too fancy. This leads me to a recent hotel stay at the aloft. Don’t get me wrong, I love the local Omnis, my associated photographer Jenny and I enjoyed (even though we got lost in the jungle several times) our recent stay at the Gaylord Opryland and our family’s resort in Kauai was the ultimate experience. However, I have particular fondness for boutique hotels. One, they are modern. Two, they are simple. Three, if I go in with the garment bag provided by Marshall’s (a larger version of the typical plastic bag with a hole poked in the bottom for the hanger) I don’t feel inferior. And, they have everything I need: super cool art, clean sheets, coffee, wifi and a bar.
Two weeks after my hubby and my holiday-shopping getaway in Ft Worth, I booked a room for my parents at the aloft in Richardson. When we pulled up, my parents were afraid they couldn’t afford it. Ha! Even an LBJ-service-road homeless guy with a cardboard sign could afford a little more than a Benjamin including tax and fees after a day’s worth of begging. Yes, in Dallas, we indulge those without a home. Heck, located within all of CityLine’s greatness: a summer-series concert right outside the hotel door, fine dining and drinking, and a short jog away from my friend Kathy’s yoga studio Reef Point Yoga (complete with Stiff Guy Yoga. Hmmmm….), it makes for the ultimate childless staycation.
Then fast forward another two weeks, and one of my clients is making CityLine’s aloft his home away from home. There is something surreal about the surrounding - almost like a Hollywood movie set. Why go anywhere else for lifestyle photography when we were already surrounded by fabulous backgrounds? We might have snuck in a few shots (just kidding, we had permission. Thank you, Becky.) inside the hotel, too, cuz who wouldn’t want their den to look like the aloft lobby?
Anyway, in case you lost the point: little things can mean a lot. For me, birthday cakes are still the bomb. My more-adult simple pleasures? A great sermon, a stranger’s smile and a hotel, which offers a great happy hour (and you don’t have to be staying there to drop in), clean sheets, an inexpensive weekend escape and a barnone backdrop for Dallas area professional headshots make my day in a simple way.
What are the little things that mean the most to you?