February Leslie’s Lane: Jobs, FREE Stuff, Resources and Leslie’s Leisure!

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Greetings Beautiful Family and Friends!

I trust that you and your wonderful families are doing well!  It is my pleasure to share February Leslie’s Lane with you!  Next to December, February is my favorite month of the year!  That’s because of Valentine’s Day and my Birthday!  This month’s blog is going to be a little different!  I’m going to discuss Leslie’s Leisure!  My husband Tony and I went on a 10 Day Road Trip!  We stayed in six states and met so many nice people!  We had lots of fun!  I’ll tell you a little about it!  But most importantly……. I’ll be giving you info on jobs, FREE stuff, discounts and resources as they relate to the cities and states in which we visited!  How cool is that?!

February Leslie’s Lane: Leslie’s Leisure, Jobs, FREE Stuff, Resources & More!

You Can Travel, Have Fun and………. Still Save Lots of MONEY!

To begin with, we decided that our maximum nightly budget would be $109!  We stuck to it!  I have found that by checking awesome search engines such as TripAdvisor, Expedia and Hotels.com, I can pay the same amount for a three or four star hotel as I can for two stars!  Okay, we decided that we would go to Memphis, TN, Little Rock, AR (the place of my birth), Oklahoma City, OK, Kansas City, KS, Omaha, NE and St. Louis, MO.  We drove over 2500 miles!  We were sure to stop at Love’s, TA Centers and Pilot Gas Stations!  That’s because in addition to gasoline, they have so much more!  They have a large selection of souvenirs, you can have access to a microwave oven, and get lots of different types of coffee and snacks.  They also have showers for truckers and other travelers that may need them.

Memphis, TN

Who knew that such a modestly priced hotel as Four Points by Sheraton could be so very stylish, nice and super roomy?!  It had so much space!  We stayed at the Southwind location – a three-star hotel!  Some of the highlights of our stay included visiting famous Beale Street and dining at the legendary B. B. King’s Café!  Absolutely everything we ate from the menu was delicious!  The Lorraine Motel and National Civil Rights Museum is a must-see attraction.  It was amazing.

At-a-Glance Tips

FREE Stuff: Internet at Four Points.  Active duty military, ages three and under and members of National Civil Rights Museum can enter for FREE. www.civilrightsmuseum.org. FREE Things to do in Memphis, TN –  http://www.memphistravel.com/free-things-to-do-in-memphis

Hotel Info: Check TripAdvisor.com, Expedia.com and Hotels.com for Best Rates

Google: You can Google your question to anything such as FREE Stuff to do in ____ City

RetailMeNot:  We used this app for additional discounts in restaurants, stores, hotels and more

GPS: We used Google Maps or Mapquest to get to the next city or find landmarks to visit

Convention and Visitors Bureau: http://www.memphistravel.com/ or City of your choice

Jobs: Careers with Four Points by Sheraton (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints/careers/index.html?language=en_US), Employment in Memphis, TN (http://www.indeed.com/l-Memphis,-TN-jobs.html),

Little Rock, AR

We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Little Rock and this lovely hotel was still within the budget that we set!  We had an opportunity to visit the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library and it was awesome!  The highlight of my trip was visiting my paternal family and taking a photo in front of my home when I was four years old!

At-a-Glance Tips

FREE Stuff: Breakfast with certain packages at this Crowne Plaza.  FREE wi-fi.  Free entry to the Clinton Library for active duty military, six and under, UACS faculty and staff, school groups with reservations, military reservists and National Guard.  FREE Things to do in Little Rock – http://www.littlerock.com/things-to-do/free-things-to-do/.

Hotel Info: Check TripAdvisor.com, Expedia.com and Hotels.com for Best Rates

Google: You can Google your question to anything such as FREE Stuff to do in ____ City

RetailMeNot:  We used this app for additional discounts in restaurants, stores, hotels and more

GPS: We used Google Maps or Mapquest to get to the next city or find landmarks to visit

Convention and Visitors Bureau: http://www.littlerock.com/ or the city of your choice   

Jobs: Careers with Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites, Staybridge Suites, Hotel Indigo and more under IHG – Intercontinental Hotels Group – http://ihg.jobs.net/all-jobs/.  Jobs with Clinton Foundation, Library and Initiative –   https://www.clintonfoundation.org/careers. Jobs in Little Rock, AR – http://www.indeed.com/l-Little-Rock,-AR-jobs.html.

Oklahoma City, OK

We found this to be a beautiful city!  We stayed at the lovely Marriott Waterford near Penn Square Mall!  It was such a great rate for a nice hotel in a beautiful area!  We visited a popular destination spot called Bricktown where you find lots of other hotels, restaurants, clubs, and Chesapeake Energy Arena where the OKC Thunder plays!  We ate at Crabtown and that food is so very delicious! (See the photo above with us eating Crab Boil and other great stuff!)  The mall has a really cool movie theatre where the chairs recline all the way back like almost into a bed!  The most touching part of our trip was visiting the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum.  This was the site in which the OKC bombing took place.

At-a-Glance Tips

FREE Stuff: Self-guided walking tour of Bricktown, FREE breakfast buffet and appetizer coupons with certain packages and rewards programs.  OKC Memorial free for ages five and under.  50 FREE Things to do in Oklahoma – http://www.travelok.com/article_page/50-free-things-to-do-in-oklahoma.  FREE Things to do with kids in OKC – http://www.metrofamilymagazine.com/OKC-Free-Kids-Activities-and-Events/.

Hotel Info: Check TripAdvisor.com, Expedia.com and Hotels.com for Best Rates

Google: You can Google your question to anything such as FREE Stuff to do in ____ City

RetailMeNot:  We used this app for additional discounts in restaurants, stores, hotels and more

GPS: We used Google Maps or Mapquest to get to the next city or find landmarks to visit

Convention and Visitors Bureau:  http://www.visitokc.com/ or city of your choice

Jobs: Careers with Marriott –  http://www.marriott.com/careers/default.mi, Jobs in Bricktown – http://www.simplyhired.com/k-downtown-okc-jobs.html, http://www.okc.gov/jobs/ – Jobs with OKC Government, Jobs in OKC – http://www.indeed.com/l-Oklahoma-City,-OK-jobs.html.

Kansas City, KS

This was such a beautiful city!  We settled in at the Country Inn & Suites at Village West.  We chose it specifically because it was near the Legends Outlet!  Country Inn & Suites is my favorite moderately priced hotel!  They are the same in every state!  They are very nice, the rooms are very clean and the prices are very reasonable!  The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is a must see while there.  When looking for hotels, restaurants and attractions, don’t let Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO confuse you the way it did me!  They are right there together!  Although we stayed in and shopped at stores in KS, we visited attractions in MO.  The NLBM, Jazz Museum that it is adjacent to and other places are in Missouri.  We ate at the famous Gates BBQ restaurant as well.

At-a-Glance Tips

FREE Stuff: Breakfast and wi-fi at Country Inn & Suites, NLBM free for children under 5, Always FREE in Kansas City – http://kansascityonthecheap.com/always-free/, 33 FREE activities in Kansas City – https://www.visitkc.com/visitors/things-do/33-free,

Hotel Info: Check TripAdvisor.com, Expedia.com and Hotels.com for Best Rates

Google: You can Google your question to anything such as FREE Stuff to do in ____ City

RetailMeNot:  We used this app for additional discounts in restaurants, stores, hotels and more

GPS: We used Google Maps or Mapquest to get to the next city or find landmarks to visit

Convention and Visitors Bureau: http://visitkansascityks.com/, https://www.visitkc.com/

Jobs:  Careers with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group properties – Country Inn & Suites, Park Inn, Park Plaza, Radisson – http://carlsonrezidor.com/careers, KC jobs – http://www.jobs-to-careers.com/index3.php?c1=2&c2=29180&c3=0&c4=4&c5=19&q=&l=Kansas+City%2C+KS&adpos=1t1&matchtype=e&network=g&device=c&devicemodel=&kw=jobs%20in%20kansas%20city&pl=&gclid=COWPopmFv8MCFSgV7Aod7SYA6Q

Omaha, Nebraska

I absolutely loved Omaha, Nebraska although we only spent one night and two days there!  We stayed in Old Market which is basically downtown.  We connected with one of my beautiful sorority sisters and ate at a really nice restaurant and bakery called Wheatfields.  The best part of this trip is that we stayed in Hotel Deco XV!  This four diamond, boutique hotel was absolutely fabulous!  And….. we caught a great rate of $109!  They roll out the red carpet for you there!  They don’t let you do anything!  They valet park your car, anticipate your every need, have their driver (in a Mercedes) take you around Old Market and you get to complimentary drinks with your stay!  Check out site – http://hoteldecoomaha.com/!   We went to visit the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and wow was it exciting and interesting!

At-a-Glance Tips

FREE Stuff:  Two free drinks at hotel, use of hotel Mercedes for no charge (just tip driver), no charge for members and children two and under to enter zoo.  FREE Things to Do in Omaha – http://www.visitomaha.com/things-to-do/free-things-to-do/#.VM05yP54on4.

Hotel Info: Check TripAdvisor.com, Expedia.com and Hotels.com for Best Rates Google: You can Google your question to anything such as FREE Stuff to do in ____ City

RetailMeNot:  We used this app for additional discounts in restaurants, stores, hotels and more

GPS: We used Google Maps or Mapquest to get to the next city or find landmarks to visit

Convention and Visitors Bureau:  http://www.visitomaha.com/ – Take a free photo/post to FB

Jobs:  Exciting Careers with the Preferred Hotel Group having 650 independent resorts and hotels in over 85 countries! http://www.hcareers.com/public/cjb/preferred-hotel-group-jobs/ –   Careers with Hotel Deco XV –   http://hoteldecoomaha.com/jobs/apply/, Jobs in Omaha, NE – http://www.indeed.com/l-Omaha,-NE-jobs.html.

St. Louis, MO

Finally, we made our way to back towards Atlanta and stopped in St. Louis, MO!  We stayed at the Country Inn & Suites and used our 5000 of our rewards points and only paid an extra $59!  I love watching Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s on the OWN network!  We connected with Tony’s brother and had lunch at the Sweetie Pie’s Restaurant at Mangrove!  The food was delicious!

At-a-Glance Tips

FREE Stuff:  Breakfast and wi-fi at the hotel, 15 FREE Attractions in St. Louis –  http://stlouis.about.com/od/freethingstodo/a/Free_Attraction.htm, FREE Things to Do in St. Louis – http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/city-guides/free-st-louis-traveler/

Hotel Info: Check TripAdvisor.com, Expedia.com and Hotels.com for Best Rates

Google: You can Google your question to anything such as FREE Stuff to do in ____ City

RetailMeNot:  We used this app for additional discounts in restaurants, stores, hotels and more

GPS: We used Google Maps or Mapquest to get to the next city or find landmarks to visit

Convention and Visitors Bureau:  http://explorestlouis.com/ or city of our choice

Jobs: Employment in St. Louis – http://www.indeed.com/l-St.-Louis,-MO-jobs.html and http://stlouis.craigslist.org/search/jjj

AWESOME OUTLET SHOPPING LOCALES!

Tony and I made an agreement!  We would stop at Outlet Shopping Centers along the way and only spend 75% OFF or more on shopping!  We went to The Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds, AL (http://www.shopsofgrandriver.com/), Vanity Fair Outlet in Tupelo, MS (http://vfoutlet.com/), The Legends Outlet in Kansas City, KS (http://www.legendsshopping.com/directory/map/) and an indoor outlet mall called Opry Mills in Nashville, TN (http://www.simon.com/mall/opry-mills).  The absolutely best discounts of the trip came from the Dillards Outlet Store at Mall of the Bluffs in Iowa (http://www.mallofthebluffs.com/).  Located about fifteen minutes out of Omaha, NE, this store is awesome!  They have 65% off every day at this Dillard’s.  The really great thing is that they sometimes offer an extra 70% OFF!  We came in on that day!  I got designer suits for $21, dresses for $7 and shirts for $3!  I can’t wait to go back there!

Thank you so much for sharing in my Road Trip with me!  I especially hope that you found February Leslie’s Lane to be empowering, inspiring, informational and educational!  Please feel free to pass it along to all that you know via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Text Messaging, Phone Call, Email and even Snail Mail!

Thanks so much and enjoy your week!

Sincerely,

Leslie

“2015 is Your Season!  Walk Into Your Season!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvKiwr9yIkA

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About Leslie's Lane

Leslie E. Royal is a freelance writer for Essence, Black Enterprise, eHow, Chron.com and Demand Media.
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