What Happens When I Actively Try to Travel Light

I generally travel light.  This blog has the running joke about Things I Forgot when I travel.  This time, I out did myself.  It started because I didn’t feel like lugging around the laptop.  And since I was only going to two nights, I didn’t want to check a bag.


I forgot my glasses.  I was dangerously low on contact lens solution.  These were particularly urgent matters since I drove to the airport and would have to drive myself home.

I wore a skirt on Tuesday, and forgot to pack some slacks to change into that night.  Oh, and forgive me for getting personal, but I hadn’t shaved my legs.  Which I realized in the shower Monday night.  And do you think I brought a razor?

I bought a razor and contact lens solution at 7:30 Tuesday morning.

People, I shaved my legs (dry) in the ladies room outside my meeting room at the hotel.  10 minutes before the scheduled breakfast.

This is officially a new low.

Something Slightly Different

Winter vacation in Hawaii, but this time in Kauai rather than the Big Island.  I brought 1.5 books, two DVD sets and four back issues of Vanity Fair.  After one travel day and one complete day, I have finished a book and two magazines.

Landing in Kauai was different in that it was pouring rain.  Still pouring when we picked up bags.  Still pouring when I picked up the car and argued with the rental company about whether I could do an effective pre-rental damage inspection.  Still pouring when I drove the poorly lit and marginally marked highway to the hotel.

This is why I choose to stay close to the airport.

Of course, by the time checked in, I was wiped out and went straight to sleep.  Woke up around 4am and went down to find some papaya around 6:15.  View from my table:

For my first day, I needed a massage (seriously, my shoulders have been in pain for weeks) and reservations for a tour.  I found both for deals which I will recount later.

The hotel has free wi-fi – which was not working last night – but I am paying $14 per day for parking which I find incredibly uncool.  It is located in a campus-y place with other hotels and shops and long-term rentals.  The room is small, and the balcony is tiny but it has a mini-fridge and a nice view:

And I took this yesterday morning while walking over to the shopping center:

So you can see that it is pretty, but there isn’t much of a beach on this part of the island.  I do not find that to be a problem.

There aren’t all that many people here, which made it easy to book things.  But even more annoying when people were talking on their cell phones by the pool.

Can I please add, “Poolside at an island resort” to the list of Totally Unacceptable Places to Talk on Your Cell Phone?

Oh, and Things I Forgot:

  1. Beach bag.  I thought I was covered, but I need something bigger and waterproof to take on a four-hour boat cruise.
  2. Hat.  Seriously, I forgot my awesome New Orleans hat.  This mistake is getting expensive.


Short Week in Washington

Just got back to town.  Let’s start with “things I forgot”:

  1. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, face cleanser.  Because I left them in the shower in Honolulu.  This led me to spend $20 at the new Lush store in Pentagon City, and I was still using hotel shampoo.
  2. Cash.  I had about $20 on me, and I made it work without shelling out an ATM fee.  Ha.
  3. Plug for the iPhone, so I was required to charge it through my computer.  Unacceptable.  I will have to get another plug and keep it in my suitcase.

So.  The National Federation of the Blind was having a conference in the hotel this time.  I have never seen so many labrador retrievers in my life.  It was awesome.  Their handlers took them to do their business on a grassy patch across the street which was an interesting sight at 7:30 in the morning.  18 dogs trying to pee in the same 8 by 20 piece of urban landscape.

Yes, they all cleaned up the mess.

I have always been impressed by the (seeming) ease with which the blind can navigate the world.  Multiply that by about a thousand for navigating a strange city.  Stefphanie and I were talking about over lunch at McD’s – first Shamrock Shake of the season – and as I was marveling over the blind successfully hailing a taxi, Stef was noted a blind couple finding an empty table during the lunch rush at McDonald’s.  I imagine that many of these folks have some small range of vision, as opposed to total darkness, but still.

In other news, I am sorry to say the weather failed me and I didn’t get out to see Dr. King’s memorial.  Next time, I am sure.

Today, I am hating on those that drag their rolling luggage onto the airplane after the gate agent tells them to gate check it.  You people waste my time and worse than that, someone is going to get hurt.

And finally, I am pretty sure I saw Lisa Madigan boarding my flight.  Which would be the second time I have seen her on the ORD-DCA-ORD commuter flights.  Assuming it was her, I would like to report that she was not dragging a carry on with her and not yammering on a cell phone.  Which pretty much means I will be voting for her in the next election.

Week on the Road

I flew to Fargo Monday morning.  Because Joy was there and it was not 20-below, we took a walk downtown for dinner.  We were told the best restaurant in downtown Fargo is Juano’s.  We saw a sign that said “Monday – $1.99 Margaritas”  so I was in.  It was good, but hard-core Mexican food people might find it bland.

The next morning I thought I might walk the couple of blocks to the coffee shop.  But it was 12 degrees.  Then the flights were delayed and I spent six hours in the Fargo airport.  This wouldn’t have been so bad except that the guy that ran Barnstormer – the airport restaurant – retired and took with him the recipe for his famous beer cheese soup.

That should be illegal.

Wednesday, I flew to Washington, still feeling the motion sickness from the day before.  I met Holly for dinner Thursday and found this at Pentagon Row:

Dear Chicago:  It seems that 52 degrees is not “too warm” to open an outdoor rink.

I managed to forget my phone at the hotel, which I discovered while waiting for the Metro to go to the airport three hours after checking out.  Because I am the luckiest freaking person alive, housekeeping hadn’t gotten to the room yet and I was able to retrieve it without even making myself late.

Now I am home, exhausted but happy.  I also finished trimming the Christmas trees.  I am at least half ready for the holiday.

And It Hasn’t Changed a Bit

Back in Washington.  And for anyone who is new here, don’t bother trying to break into my house because I do not live alone, I have a dog and I have ADT.

My cab was already parked out front when I came downstairs at 6am.  My dog did not make a fuss.  Traffic was fine.  My secret airport security line remained true.  I nearly forgot to take my bag o’liquids out, but never mind that.  Oh, and I gave the Stare of Death to a chick that tried to line jump me and she submitted to my authori-tay.  I had Auntie Anne’s pretzels for breakfast and an absolutely perfect Diet Coke from the fountain.

I had an exit row seat and slept for nearly the entire flight.

My bag was first off the line.  My Metro train was pulling up just as I got to the platform.  I happen to be using the bag in which I last left my key to the DC office, which is double-cool because I really hadn’t remembered where I left it.

I tried a new combination at the awesome Atrium Cafe deli and it totally worked.  The rain held off until we got back to the office. I had a few good meetings and checked in at the hotel where I have perfectly serviceable wi-fi.

I forgot my sunglasses, but you know.  It’s always something.

The Travel Gods have smiled upon me and I am grateful.  All Hail, Gods of Travel.

DC Redux. Again.

I forgot contact lens solution.  But I found an old Holiday Inn room key that I was able to return when I checked in.

Yesterday, the cupcake truck came to our office.  Apparently, they have two trucks now.  But I hear that they are posting so often that my colleagues are now unfollowing them.  Whatever.  I got in line for the Black Irish Creme Cupcake:

Dark chocolate cake and Irish Cream frosting.  The chocolate was so dark that I would call it bitter.  The frosting had just a hint of Irish Creme flavor.  I imagine the dark chocolate people are loving this one.  I am going back to vanilla.