Experience Columbus: Drury Hotels

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).

By no means am was I a hotel snob. Nope, I can stay in pretty much any hotel and get comfortable (especially if it’s at 5:30 in the morning and I’ve driven through snow and ice to get there…hello, January vacation). But yinz guys. Why haven’t I stated at a Drury Hotels property before this past weekend? It’s definitely going to be my go-to when possible, and here are five reasons why.

1. Kickback. During our weekend in Columbus, we got to experience two of the fabulous Kickback events at Drury. This is a free (to hotel guests) buffet of hot and cold foods (think hot dogs, soup, salad, veggies, chips, pasta, and more) and three free adult beverages per night. Free. Per night. These totally went down very easily after a 3 hour road trip, lemme tell you. From 5:30 – 7:00 PM, you can indulge in this awesome event, one of the things that makes Drury’s already competitive price an even greater value.


kickback2. Quickstart Breakfast is served from 6 to 9:30 on weekdays and 7 to 10 on weekends. Of course, free food is a plus for us and the more the merrier. After my running adventures around Columbus, I’m not ashamed to admit I packed in several sausage patties and hot oatmeal. This is not your standard free hotel breakfast – it’s deluxe and included several options (eggs, biscuits, gravy, sausage, muffins, fruit, cereal, and more) plus the ‘Burghers’ all time favorite, Heinz ketchup to top it off. 😉

3. The beds and pools are for jumping in. Just reading this in the hotel info booklet made me smile (and made me do it, admittedly!). The beds were super soft and comfy – the kids and I had no trouble sleeping. (Greg is a different story when in an unfamiliar place, he was a security officer…) The pool was chilly, but it didn’t keep Arianna from jumping in and showing us her swimming skills. Evan, Greg, and I stuck to the edge and indulged in some hot tub time.


4. Customer Service is incredible. Not once did I see an employee looking miserable at the location we stayed at. The Manager was super friendly and engaged our kids in conversation. He was on-board with us sticking around for a 12:00 checkout so the group’s kids could all enjoy some more pool time, too. Everyone who managed the front desk and operator line did so with a smile. As a customer service leader, it’s hard to blow me away…but they did.

5. Free, Free, and more free! Included in your stay at Drury Hotels are free wi-fi (awesome perk when your hotel is inhabited by mom bloggers who are trying to Instagram the experience left and right) / free soft drinks and popcorn from 3-10 pm / free TV upgrades like HBO / free parking (at most locations except the one we stayed at because it’s connected to the Columbus Convention Center).

If you’re traveling this summer, consider a stay with Drury Hotels. While I’ve only gotten to experience the one on Nationwide Boulevard in Columbus, Ohio, I am pretty certain you’ll head home like I did…sad to say goodbye to your hotel! Check out their property list and start checking of stays on your travel bucket list. Or, check out the Roar and Explore Package through Experience Columbus and get all the fun in one package (starting at $411 for a family of 4).

Experience Columbus: The Thriver’s Viewpoint

Disclaimer: Experience Columbus sent my family and four other Pittsburgh Mom Blogger families on a weekend getaway to check out their city. We were compensated in the way of attraction passes and gift cards; however, this does not impact the views expressed in my recap posts (including this one). All opinions are my own (or my kids’ / husband’s).


You guys. To tell you that this weekend was good would be a huge understatement. Unfortunately, it’s been what I’ve been telling people as they’ve asked me about it…because I am super tired and not really ready to be back into the real world (you know, the one where I work 8-12 hours a day, am training for who knows what run, and have a kindergartener). This post will be the first of several on how awesome our weekend was, and telling as to why it needs to happen with my ‘lil family more often.

First of all, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’ve been on a three-year wellness journey. I want to be a thriver so I don’t have to say I am a survivor. During this journey, I’ve become focused on raising a happy and healthy family and building a better me. Secondly, you probably get the idea that I love food, and have to work hard to make a balance. So when I travel, I have to find ways to make these worlds work together. That’s why I do like to give a healthy spin on our trips (because otherwise, I’ll spend my time sick and have to work for weeks afterwards to reel it back in).

Here are the things that I did on this getaway to ensure this balance, my Thriver’s Viewpoint if you will:


1.    Pre-pack Snacks. I will be telling you about the snacks and meals consumed in another post, but I knew to stay on my schedule, I’d need to be prepared. That’s why I grabbed up healthy snacks for me (granola bars, dried fruit, nuts, and bananas) and quick snacks for the kids while we were on the go and in the car. This made getting ready to head out for the days spent exploring the city.

2.    Keep on my exercise schedule. This meant getting up about an hour before my family did (they were so cute snoozing, it was tough!) and lacing up my shoes for a run both days. I wasn’t hard on myself, though. My pace slowed to over 12-minute miles because I was exploring things, taking pictures, and dealing with traffic lights. During these runs, I got to see minor details of the city that I would not have seen while juggling the kids. When I returned to breakfast, it made the amount of sausage consumed feel a bit better. I highly recommend runners check out the Scioto Mile while visiting Columbus and run along the river to see the sights I did along the way (see my photos below).

Running the Scioto Mile

3.    Wearing my FitBit. Between my running schedule and our walking around, it was easy to meet my step goal. At the same time, it was really nice to see how far we walked. The Zoo actually has a “HOOFit” Program that helps visitors meet their 10,000 step goal. If my steps around the zoo put me at over 8 miles walked, imagine how that felt on the ‘lil Burghers’ legs! Seeing the steps go up helped Greg and I adjust what we were putting the kids through and let us monitor break times. (More on why our steps were way over what the program shows will be in my post about the zoo!)

This fire station might be worth some extra steps...
This fire station might be worth some extra steps…

4.    Sleep. It’s easy on vacation to not rest, but this Mama needed it. Were we on our normal schedule? No. Did naps happen? No. But did I sleep when I needed it? Yes. Sometimes you just have to give in to the opportunities around you and rest.

Need a nap? There are swinging park benches along Scioto Mile.
Need a nap? There are swinging park benches along Scioto Mile.

5.    Hydrate. Our hotel had a fridge, but we didn’t realize that before our trip (lack of my research!). I wish we had brought a case of water, because we ended up spending the same amount on one bottled water out on our adventures as we would have if we’d bought a case. Lesson learned. But, hydration was necessary. I almost passed out at the zoo, thanks to the LOVELY heat wave we had, but it was too late to hydrate with water and I had to find some lemonade stat. (You might know that heavy feeling you can get with water when you’re dehydrated.) And keep the ‘lil ones hydrated, even if it means more trips to the bathroom. Just hope they don’t pull an Evan and have to go after you’ve been standing in line for an attraction for 40 minutes. *wink*

You could hydrate your skin at the Scioto Fountain!
You could hydrate your skin at the Scioto Fountain!


6.    Have Fun. This trip, I let go of the stress and really let myself shine. This just might have included a 10-minute session of jumping on the bed and giggling with the kids. It was proof that I need more time to be me and have fun!

More to come on what we loved about our trip, but hopefully these tidbits will give you thoughts about how to stick with a Thirver’s lifestyle while vacationing. Thank you, Experience Columbus, for giving us this opportunity.