Friday, January 2, 2009

Coast to Coast with Chai, Vanity Fair, and Trunki


Los Altos, California The bank of clouds drifted over the Coast Range from Half Moon Bay this morning into Los Altos Hills and a little bit of rain drizzled onto the streets of my hometown, Los Altos, California. This is the kind of day Californians sit home with a warm cup of Chai, whatever the heck that is. I think I'm going to have to try it, though, if I'm going to get my California visa renewed.

Looking at places to live here is interesting, to say the least. Everything is 2X as expensive as Central Florida and half the size. But I got an immediate example of how small a town Los Altos is when I went to look at a pretty little duplex and discovered the owner is a doctor who used to be our next door neighbor. I babysat for his daughters when I was in high school. I like his little place and may rent it since the bungalow I wanted to rent has already been snapped up.

This is my seventh Orlando-San Francisco round trip this year. Flying is so un-fun I've developed some strategies for surviving. I've discovered that Vanity Fair has some of the most interesting articles going these days--kind of an intellectual version of People--and it takes about five hours to read it cover-to-cover, just the time it takes to fly across the country.

So I got myself a copy yesterday morning and buried myself in it as we were waiting to board. Inside I found an excellent article about William and Pat Buckley (we lost him in 2008, just ten months after his wife); a funny piece by the beautiful and witty Maureen Dowd about the beautiful and witty Tina Fey (who looks leggy and gorgeous on the cover, I must say, in a photo by Annie Liebowitz); and a fascinating article about the con man who called himself Clark Rockefeller but was actually a middle class kid from--get this--Germany. (He's now also a murder suspect as well as in trouble for parental kidnapping). In fact there were so many good articles in this issue of Vanity Fair I almost didn't look up and thus just about missed seeing my first Trunki.





Always interested in new trends in handbags and luggage, I noticed a little boy in the security line with a small plastic suitcase-type thing with four wheels and a strap. He pulled it along behind him and when he reached the x-ray machines his parents opened it up and pulled out his backpack! It doubles as a suitcase and as a toy you can sit on and push-and-ride. What a cool thing! After I spotted my first Trunki (there is a umlaut-type thing over the "u" and the "n," to represent the handle of a suitcase I think, but I can't make that on my computer) I saw two more and then sat next to a child with another one. One family let me photograph theirs and told me you could find them at trunki.net. One of the most interesting things about traveling is spotting things like this. I'm now very pro-Trunki.

So I leave you now and the Internet cafe (actually called the Los Altos Bakery Cafe--they are nice and the Internet is free here, so I'll give them a plug) where I go On Line in my hometown, and off I go to look at more ridiculously expensive places to live. But I am light of heart. Somebody out there has a warm cup of Chai waiting for me, I just know it, and one day somebody is going to get me my very own, adult-sized, Trunki.

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3 comments:

NAVAL LANGA said...

Dear Ms. Robin Chapman

It's two minutes you have posted this post and I am here. I think you travel much and that traveling gives you very rich materials to write upon. Thanks for sharing the experiences.

Naval Langa

marge said...

Glad you got there safe and sound - a bungalow sounds like fun. You'd probably have a lot of fun on a Segway. Happy New Year! marge

Dana said...

Location, location, location...is there a more perfect spot on earth than the state of California? It is too bad that everyone is in on the secret. I hope that you find a good place.