Posted by Lauren
Short on words, right hand in cast, give me a break please? Thanks. :)
Tuesday I took the train to San Francisco to spend a day observing folks in a usability study. The experience was really a statistician’s dream scenario. (Speaking of, I’m this close to getting SAS on my computer at work! Let the coding begin!) /nerd talk.
The highlight of Tuesday morning was when I heard a scooter coming up behind me, turned around, and saw Kyle’s roommate Darrin! I won’t say we joke about him “zootering” to work, but we do laugh about it
all the time every once in a while. I LOLed for about 2 blocks after he passed me.
Can you blame me? Go go gooooooo!
The focus groups run through Thursday! Each session lasts about an hour and they go by so fast.
Tuesday night I took the train back to Palo Alto for a little date night with Kyle. We’re trying to keep Tuesdays pretty consistent and are 2-for-2 since our return from Europe. Woo hoo. Woo hoo.
Last week we went out to sushi and then saw the Dark Knight Rises. This week, the late train ride + my short 2-mile run around the block left us with just enough time to stroll around downtown Palo Alto and grab dinner at Darbar. We split the non-vegetarian combo like last time.
Let’s jump ahead to Tuesday night’s tasty dinner!
After the usability tests, I joined six colleagues at Gitane, a cozy and funky restaurant with a menu inspired by the flavors of Spain, Portugal, southern France, and Morocco.
Gitane is French for gypsy… As far as I could tell, Gitane is trying to capture a nomad/artistic spirit. The upstairs, bar area, camouflaged bathroom, and outdoor murals add to the funk.
I’m clearly on a meatball kick. When I saw Lamb Tajine on the menu, I couldn’t resist! These meatballs were amazing. While not as unique as the Fly Trap ones from last week, the dish was hearty and balanced. The Moroccan-inspired entree was less of a “spiced meat stew” and more of three separate elements I combined by the forkful.
Lamb Tajine – lamb meatballs, carrots, cous cous, green chickpeas, preserved meyer lemon yogurt, mint
After dinner, I headed to Villa Florence, a hotel smack dab in Union Square that I booked last-minute using Hotel Tonight. I didn’t want to take the train back to Mountain View at 10 pm, just to come back the following morning. This is precisely why Hotel Tonight exists!
The room was 50% off the normal rate. Score!
If you haven’t heard of Hotel Tonight, I’m going to direct you immediately to your smart phone and tell you to install the mobile app. It’s really sexy…
It automatically filters by city using your current location as a base, but you can select a different city if you so choose!
All the available, last-minute hotel rooms will pop up and you can toggle between list view and map view:
After you find something you like, read the clever descriptions, and compare/contrast, booking is incredibly easy. I had a same-day hotel room booked in 30 seconds flat.
Thought it was a cool app, so I figured I would share!
Question: How far in advance do you usually book hotel rooms? Do you use a 3rd party website or app? I like booking straight through Choice Hotels website since they have an extended hotel network and cheap rates, but I also really liked BookIt.com’s selection of boutique hotels when searching for a place to stay in Miami with Kerry and Jacquelyn!
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