In the past I've stayed with various members of my family - most often my mom - but this year I've decided to stay in a hotel. One reason for that is because my mom has moved into a new place with less room for guests. While I hope to stay with her for a couple of nights, staying there the entire time would be impractical for both of us.
As well, staying in a hotel means that I won't be intruding on anyone's time or space and I'll be able to rest and recharge my energy as needed. When I go to conferences or meet up my friends, I find I have an easier time traveling if I stay on my own. I don't mind sharing close quarters with someone for a couple of nights but any longer than that is difficult for me. If I don't get enough time alone I get stressed and easily overwhelmed, making for a bad time for me and everyone around me.
The hotel I'll be staying at is right in downtown Edmonton which will be convenient for shopping, movies, and getting around the city. The price was reasonable and includes free internet so I can stay connected to everyone in and out of Edmonton.
The one thing I don't have is a cellphone. I know it sounds silly, but I haven't bothered to replace mine since I had to give up my BlackBerry. If I'm going to get one, buying it before I head to Edmonton makes sense. Choosing one will be the hard part. We haven't been able to go out and buy all the stuff we wanted for the house because it's hard to choose and I have no reason to think that choosing a cellphone will be any easier.
At the end of the day it doesn't really matter whether or not I have a cellphone or where I'll be staying. What's important is that I'm going and will be spending lots of time with my family and friends. I'm really excited and looking forward to the trip!