Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Temporary Accommodations in Rochester

Time to tell you a bit more about The Kahler Grand Hotel where we spent our first week. At one point the upper floors housed a hospital for soldiers returning from World War ll - not the first time that the hotel combined hospital beds and services for patients with hotel beds for family. Now the upper floors are penthouse suites with the top floor housing the pool, jacuzzi and exercise equipment. The greenhouse-like construction of this top floor gives a 360 degree view of Rochester and surrounding countryside. For Judi and me, that's not much of a view, as all we can think is, "It's so FLAT!" Yes, we are missing our mountains.

The building iss constructed in Tudor Gothic style. Once again, I cannot help but notice detailing that is purely decorative, although not nearly as elaborate as on the Plummer building. Although an older hotel, it is still nicely appointed, the staff is geared to provide extra service and care to the many Mayo Clinic patients that choose to stay there, and it's juxtaposition to the clinic buildings makes it incredibly convenient. Wheelchairs are readily available as are escorts (provided in conjunction with the clinic), and most appointments and procedures are held just across the street. The Kahler is also linked to the clinic buildings and other parts of downtown via skywalks and subways (more about the subways later).

This downtown core is almost always bustling with activity these warm summer months - music and other entertainment is provided at the end of the plaza, vendors are set up along the pedestrian mall, and the fountain at Peace Plaza is a draw to children who are so much fun to watch. Then there's Thursdays on First and Third every Thursday - 120 vendors along the blocked-off streets draws up to 20,000 people. Here Judi scores on a real fruit snocone.

We could often open our room window and hear the music or the carillon, or marvel at the buildings' reflections.

The downside for us would be the price (although patients do get a discount, free parking, ease in extending out your stay past original reservation and the convenience of being so close to the clinic - it really is a bit of a bargain), and because of the length of our stay, no access to a kitchen although we did have a little refrigerator and microwave. Some very good eateries are within walking distance - also expensive over the long-haul - but leftovers could be stored in that frig for a night when we didn't want to go out. Still, that gets old pretty fast. Above are a couple of delicious entrees eaten at Mac's and a more typical "dinner at the Kahler."

So eventually we found alternative temporary living quarters at The GuestHouse Int. about 10 minutes from the campus. Those with a sharp eye may see that the motel's restaurant is a Famous Dave's. On the few days we've been able to have our windows open, the room starts smelling of barbecue at about 10:30 a.m. - depending on your tastes, that may or may not be a good thing!

The view has changed but we now have a large room with kitchenette and still have access to a pool and jacuzzi. We're within a block of a large grocery store and drugstore and also have a small creek running adjacent to the motel property. There's a park across the street and a bike path that goes from one side of town to the other. And there is a nice grassy area behind the motel that has shade trees, a picnic table and lots of wild bunnies.

It was too hot and sticky on the Fourth of July to go anywhere to watch fireworks (this was in the midst of a heat wave with heat indexes up to 115 degrees) so we hoped we might be able to see something from our motel window. We actually had a pretty good view in spite of the billboard. Well, I guess it was apropos as the fireworks did cheer us up after an arduous day.

Computer Work Station - note my addition of an art quilt by Sherrie Spangler
Entertainment Center
Bedroom with bad motel art
First meal cooked here proved challenging!
I'd say we're situated pretty well for the moment. 

1 comment:

Mary Stori said...

It was great seeing Judi smiling.....and of course learning more about your living situation.