I've just returned from a trip to Los Angeles to visit my son. I stayed in the same West Hollywood hotel I stayed in last time. I liked it on my last visit. It's friendly and quiet with nice big rooms and kitchenettes. And room service. I like it even more now, as we discovered on this trip that the hotel is just a hopskip from a really good shopping area. And Trader Joe's is only a few blocks away.
I left here last week with my sis and our friends Becky and John from Vashon. Their plane was an hour before mine, so I dropped them off at Departures, then parked my car across the highway at a secure covered parking area which charged me about five dollars a day, which seems fair to me.
Then I flew to L.A. with my computer/carry-on and one checked bag which was light as a feather.
The bag was light as a feather because I hardly packed anything. In fact, I froze in L.A., but they were having an unusual weather pattern just like you probably are. Not to worry, I found a nice pair of boots and a couple of BCBG hooded pullovers on sale, and a sweater. Or two.
My son is such a good host, picking me up at LAX and dropping me off for shopping sprees when necessary. The hotel has a separate bedroom and a giant pull-out bed in the living room with its own TV. He sleeps there most times. We go out to shows and dinner and champagne brunch and stay up late talking about all manner of things.
When I returned, my bag was no longer light as a feather. It weighed 48 pounds, to which I say, "Damn! I wasted two whole pounds!", not having a scale in the room with which to test it.
I wrote a blog post in April of 2011 which I link here called Here on the Frontier. You can take a look at it if you missed it. It is the story of how and what we schlep to Mexico from the USA whenever the opportunity arises.
Things are changing here a bit at a time: new items pop up in the stores occasionally. But the 40 pounds of things I schlepped this time aren't here yet. Well, they weren't until I brought 'em.
Tea. Four months worth of Trader Joe's Irish Black Tea. Nearly impossible to find black tea at all here, and when you do it's in little boxes that are expensive because they're imported and every teabag is wrapped in it's own clever packaging, which is a waste of money, time, and resources in my opinion. So when I can, I buy TJ's tea which is inexpensive, good, and packed without extra anything.
A pound of white roasted salted pistachios. It's almost the holidays and they're so fun to eat.
Vitamins: also from TJ's, also four months worth. They come in little daily packets and keep me healthy and happy. They're kind of heavy, though.
Hair gel. There's only one kind that even sort-of tames these curls without making me look like a Rastafarian. I lucked into it at a beauty supply store at the mall I found and bought two huge pump bottles plus a squeeze tube for travel. Hair gel's real heavy.
Cigarettes. Yeah, yeah, I know. But I gotta have my yellow American Spirits. I got a few cartons in California (they're WAY cheaper than in Seattle). Don't tell anybody, but I secreted them rather cleverly in my suitcase then bought two more obvious cartons at the duty-free store at LAX. Fortunately, I got the green light at customs 'cuz you're only supposed to bring in two cartons per person. It's not like I'm gonna sell 'em, unless a friend asks for one.
Boots (aforementioned) (and really cute).
Christmas and birthday presents. Nope, not tellin'. Some were heavy, though.
Baby presents. Lidia's expecting a baby girl at Christmas. We're very excited. Lord is it fun to shop for baby girls...
Ant bait. I ordered from Amazon Prime and had it delivered to the hotel. It's got the best reviews of any. You see, we've been inundated by hoards of these itty bitty miserable @#$%&!* ants all summer and well into...well, right now. I don't do anything in the kitchen without my glasses on. They swarm all over anything you might've missed wiping up. They climb on everything, even the teakettle. They're so small you can barely see them. And they get on you. Like on your arms and stuff. And then you can't see them if you don't have your glasses on. It's just creepy. Not to mention what if they're on your food and you don't see them?? I'm gonna kill them all.
Assorted toiletry and medicinal items. Like aspirin in the 325 mg size for example. And other things.
Chocolate chips. Ghirardelli semi-sweet, the only chip for me. For my chocolate chip cookies and Christmas fudge. Four bags. That adds right up, weight-wise, even in luggage.
I'm sure I'm forgetting things, as it's all put away already. In fact, I put the ant bait out last night right after I got home. I couldn't wait. You should've seen nature-loving little me, rubbing my hands together like the Wicked Witch of the West, saying, "Go ahead, my pretties, eat it!! Take it home to mama! Feed it to the whole family why don't you, you little suckers!!"
I think it's working.
☠ ☠ ☠