I'm a budget junkie:
I enjoy trolling the aisles
at Goodwill, Salvation Army
and the numerous resale shops
in and around Santa Fe,
and love to search out great deals
when I travel.
After attending classes in San Diego
and visiting there about every two months,
I've come to be a bit of an expert.
But ask where the fine
and I have no clue.
Conversely; ask me
for the best deals?
I know the four resale clothing stores,
the hidden restaurants with owners
who recognize me (every two months!),
greet me and offer
breakfast or lunch under $10,
and the quirky neighborhoods
where simple, lovely homes and yards are located;
all within walking distance to my school.
Almost five years ago
I scored a great deal:
A carry-on suitcase
at Target ("Tar-jey")
for $7 on clearance!
It is bright orange - now faded
and grease-stained from
the numerous airports and dusty car trunks
it has traveled through.
It has been to San Diego,
(and through various airports on the way there),
To Illinois twice.
I remember the airports
I love flying over Balboa Park into San Diego Airport -
and what feels like landing on an island!
Moline (Illinois) "International" Airport -
the only place I recognize the view of
ant-sized towns, rivers and landmarks
hundreds of miles from landing...
Phoenix Airport - with the cool-est plane-themed carpet.
Salt Lake City Airport - best fine art on the walls,
and the location where I almost
had to perform CPR on an elderly woman
before paramedics arrived....
Houston Airport - where I always
consider buying a very large cowboy hat.
Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport- city-sized mall with airport addition?
Los Angeles Airport - my least favorite;
a drab camper-sized pod to wait for a plane.
San Francisco Airport - too foggy to see anything...
Denver Airport - mountains almost as beautiful as the ones here.
Atlanta Airport - where I was happy to meet a friend who lives there
for a quick lunch at the airport- Harriet; you rock!
And my favorite: Albuquerque Airport -
the only time I request a window seat!
My little orange suitcase was happy to tag along:
Hard plastic wheels making a racket on airport tiles,
while other travelers rolled pass - silently.
It gets tipsy; no matter how I pack it.
I loved it over thousands of miles in the air,
easy to spot among the black, red and navy blues
scattered on carts as I exit the plane,
or tiny and easy to fit and easy to grab
from cramped overhead bins.
And once I hiked
holding tight to the cheap plastic handle
from San Diego Airport
up a very rough and steep sidewalk
to the Hillcrest Neighborhood and Balboa Park;
about five miles uphill most of the way.
But the plastic "feet" opposite the hard wheels
are starting to give out;
and I don't think it is safe to roll any further.
So I will retire my little side-kick and offer my thanks
for some wonderful travels.
I was unable to find another $7 deal;
and had to buy a sturdy
with plans of attaching
a large Jolly Roger pirate patch,
some other colorful patches and ribbons
and complete its "attitude" necessary to travel with me.
I would love to share suitcase/bag stories
and photos if anyone out there
has any to offer.
An Ode to Sally, on her 50th
3 weeks ago