Archive | January, 2010

Happy MLK Day, folks. I’m sick, so I’m curling up on the couch with a bowl of soup and staring out my window at the first almost-sunny day Seattle’s had in a long time. Weak.

The view from my couch. Stupid sunshine.

The view from my couch. Stupid sunshine.

Hopefully you’ll hear from me tomorrow.

I was a smart-ass little kid. This should surprise no one. But in addition to having a smart-ass mouth (smart ass-mouth?), I was also pretty damn proficient when it came to school. And I remember it distinctly biting me in my smart little ass.

Sometime in the second grade, the kid sitting next to me was caught copying off my paper during a test. Rather than force him to move for his offense, our teacher instead made me move my desk, so no one else would be tempted to look at my paper. This would continue every time we took a test for the rest of the year. The cheater got to stay where he was, and I had to move.

It totally blew. (more…)

I know, I know: you’re probably thinking that Threadless‘s star has waned from it’s glittering height of popularity several years ago (by the way – that, dear friends, is how you mix a metaphor). Gone too are the days when I could actually get away with wearing logo t-shirts without looking like I robbed a college student on laundry day. I’ve come to terms with the fact that, at the ripe old age of 29, I’m a good decade older than Urban Outfitters’ target demographic, and now appear to be the creepy old lady who is shopping there, you hope, for some younger relative’s birthday present and NOT herself.

But none of this changes the fact Threadless has some absolutely adorable t-shirts out there. And since they’re now not as en vogue as they were, say, 4 or 5 years ago, it is now officially cool to wear their clothing again. Hell, one could probably get away with wearing their tees even if she’s pushing 30 … or pulling 25, as it were.

So even those these aren’t technically travel items, they are tangentially related to travel. And let’s face it: so is my blog. (more…)

When it comes to picking travel companions, I’ve been lucky. Save for a totally useless kid I dated in college who was a walking disaster both at home and on the one trip we took together, I’ve managed to find people who are fun, adventurous, and not-at-all embarassing to come along with me on trips (or, more appropos, who let me join them while they go on trips). Of course, most of these said people are my husband. And Pinguina. But they’re both so awesome that they should count as more than one person each.

That’s not to say that I haven’t heard horror stories: from a friend of mine who nearly got arrested because of a didn’t-know-when-to-shut-up travel buddy, to another who got sued because the girls he traveled with wanted him to pay for the entirety of their hotel (he won the case, and the girls were found guilty of being lame). With all the things that can go wrong on a trip (losing luggage, having a crazy naked dude attack you, seeing the pants of the guy sitting next to you erupt into flames), a crazy travel companion is not something you want to add to that list. (more…)

The first time I landed in LAX, I was 14. I was spending a few days with my brother, who was a freshman in college at USC. I remember gawking at the layer of smog and the sprawling, bleached-out landscape. When I got off the plane, my brother, for possibly the first and last time in his life, looked happy to see me.

“This place is a shithole,” were the first words out of my mouth.

“I know!” he replied happily. “Isn’t it great?”

And I suppose for him, it really was. He was away from home for the first time, living in L.A., and trying, truly trying, to become a movie star. (more…)

Not shown: the stick-figure wearing a sombrero drawn on the other side.

Not shown: the sombrero-wearing stick-figure drawn on the other side.

My friend Rachel took the above photo on New Year’s Eve. She was running short on glasses, so we had to write our names on our disposable cups. Rand followed suit, even though he had an actual glass. When simple directions elude you, it’s time to stop drinking.

But that is not the moral of this story, dear friends. (more…)

your flight gets canceled … or redirected to Madrid.

I have to say, and I realize I’m tempting fate just by putting these words to print, we’ve been really lucky when it comes to delays, cancellations, and sitting on the tarmac for hours on end. Unfortunately, as of late our friends have not been so lucky, particularly those heading to and from the U.K.

First, there was our lovely friend Jane’s inadvertent trip to Madrid when she was trying to fly back to London from Florida a few days ago. Apparently, since the U.K. is entirely covered in snow and ice (no, really, ENTIRELY), she was re-routed to Spain. And while this frustrated her, I noted that in the U.S., when you can’t fly into your intended airport, you end up in some place like Newark, not Madrid. So I’d start pouring the rioja and devouring the tapas and thank my lucky stars that Europe is so gloriously small and wonderful. (more…)

I don’t have kids. I won’t insult anyone who does have children by pretending I understand what it’s like to have a child. I can only assume that it’s unbearable. Not that it isn’t wonderful and amazing and all, but just that loving someone so entirely and completely must be kind of exhausting and all-consuming and kind of difficult to stand.

I say this because I spent about a week with my cousin’s kids, and I swear, my heart couldn’t take much more than that. When you kneel down next to someone and ask them what they want for Christmas, what would make them happier than anything else, and they reply in a raspy little voice, “a choo-choo train” … Christ. I just can’t take it. It feels like my heart will implode.

We totally bought him a choo-choo. Id have gotten him a real damn train if he had asked.

We totally bought him a choo-choo. I'd have gotten him a real damn train if he had asked.

I don’t understand how people have children. (more…)