A humorous look at the little things in life

Travel tips I’ve learned the hard way February 4, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashleyolsonrosen @ 10:13 pm
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Recommended wine for today’s entry: I’ll suggest a glass of Chalone Vineyard pinot noir, which promises “a soft, velvety texture and lush berry aromas” on the label. rated it a “serve to guests!”  

Has an airline ever lost your luggage?

I don’t mean like when it misses a connection and then comes in on a middle-of-the-night flight and a strange man rings your doorbell at 2 a.m., temporarily stopping your heart and sending the dogs surging into near-fatal frenzies.

I mean like when it just disappears for three days, arriving just in time to be re-checked — at an additional cost of like $50 — for the return trip. Excellent.

Well, at least that way you don’t have to wash the clothes when you get home. Except you do, because you can’t help but wonder if some burly, hairy man (who spends his days in the monotony of loading and unloading a million black rolling suitcases on and off those little carts) unleashes at night by wearing your Victoria’s Secret nightgown and heels and prancing around his apartment. If that hasn’t occurred to you, it should have. Wash them.

The first time my luggage was lost for an extended period of time was on my honeymoon. Of course, it was handy that we flew from Louisville to Atlanta to Miami to San Juan to St. Maarten. Not only was it exhausting, but how in the hell did we even THINK our luggage might make it?

I can tell you where it was. It was in Miami. I know that because I had a huge blue naugahyde suitcase that I’d gotten for college graduation. HUGE. And it had a nice dappled effect, giving it more of the natural look of a real blue cow.

So I was watching them load the little conveyor belt and big blue was nowhere to be seen.

Me: Hey, they didn’t put my suitcase on the plane.

Brand-new husband who had a lot to learn: Don’t be neurotic. It’s on here. 

Well, when it was 2 in the morning and about 20 of us were sitting on the curb at the St. Maarten airport while a really snotty French man (the only person working) took our luggage reports one by one … I didn’t seem all that neurotic anymore.

That was the first time he realized that I am always right and he has NEVER questioned me since.

Luckily I had my birth control pills in my purse. Because I sold them to other honeymooners who weren’t quite as smart as I was, at a cost per pill that would make a hospital comptroller proud.

Equally fortuitously, my husband had advised me to stick a swimsuit in my carry-on bag. So we were fine from 10 in the morning until about 5 in the afternoon.

Then we’d put our dirty clothes back on and go to decreasingly fine restaurants as the week progressed. By day three we were attracting goats along the road and eating at outdoor restaurants, seated on the edge of the patio on the breeze’s exit side.

I might add that it was like 100 degrees outside, so if the clothes weren’t gross enough from overuse, there was a little issue of having no deodorant either. Or hair products, curling iron or makeup. Or a razor. Eeks.

There were, of course, drug stores in St. Maarten, but since the airlines told us every single morning that our suitcase would be in our hotel room by the time we came in from the beach every day…

What they didn’t know was that the guy in Miami was still having fun wearing the stuff I got at my lingerie shower.

Finally, on day four, a surly man brought the suitcases.

Anyway, live and learn. Always put a swimsuit in your carry-on.

So the next time they lost my luggage, my friend Jody and I were going to visit my mom in South Florida. We changed planes in an icy Atlanta and landed in the bright sunshine of Ft. Myers. We could feel the warmth even as we walked through the jetway.

Ahh…we said, devising our plan like Ferris Bueller and his friend Cameron. Let’s get to Monkey’s (that would be my mother, don’t ask) and have her make one of her special Bloody Marys while we put on our swimsuits, then we’ll go down to the beach and fend off advances from the young and bronzed cabana boys, only getting off our butts to take a dip in the refreshing aqua water.

The plan was set.

Except here’s what happened. We didn’t get our luggage. We hadn’t packed a swimsuit in our carry-ons. We got to Monkey’s and she made us REALLY strong special Bloody Marys while we put on her swimsuits (which were very cute for a grandma, but a little sturdy and too … um… well endowed for us).

OK, we figured. We’re on vacation. We’re adaptable. I mean, we’re still away from the kids and the cold weather. Beach towel? check. Designer shades? check. Vodka buzz? check check. We carefully shoved our chaises into just the perfect angle to maximize the sun damage to our faces. Ahh.

Well, the cabana boys noticed us alright. In fact, it felt like a different guy came to ask for our drink orders about every 10 minutes. Huh, we whispered triumphantly. We still got it. Even in Monkey’s sensible swimwear.

It was about an hour later, while I was taking the refreshing dip in the aqua water, that I realized I had apparently bumped my chair into one of the well-padded cups on Monkey’s swimsuit. Because there was hardly any me filling the padding, I now looked down and saw Mount Vesuvius on the left and some sort of a caved-in sno-cone cup on the right.

OK, in this case — but only this case — my husband was always right.

I will most certainly have a swimsuit in my carry-on for next week’s girls’ trip.


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