Travel isn't what it used to be, AND MAYBE THAT'S GOOD

I like to travel light. I no longer check any baggage. If it won't fit under my seat I don't take it. I went down the road decades ago with a huge suitcase, dragging it all over Britain. A big blue Samsonite. Of course at each hotel I'd ask for the cheapest room, which was always in the nosebleed section, so I'd have to pry this huge heavy thing out of my tiny little car trunk and bash the heck out of the walls as I wound my way up the stairs to the tower. Each morning I'd think of just putting the case flat at the top of the stairs and going for a ride through the place. I mean, I'm an American. They were all expecting the worst from me. Alas, I never did it. Thought about it a lot.

By the time I made it back to London I had acquired so much stuff that I couldn't get it in my suitcase. Now mind you what I'd bought were books, books, and more books. Oh, and dolls at Hamley's in London. I had to spend time shopping for a suitcase to fit everything in. So I headed on over to Marks and Sparks on the Kensington High Street and bought a sort of blue zipper duffle bag. I went for the blue because I wanted the people at the airport to think it was a matched set. I'm kidding. I packed all of my clothes in the duffle bag and put the books and dolls in the heavy duty Samsonite. Oh, and I think I paid about 50p for a lock for the duffle. This lock was so small that the key was bigger than the lock. I knew it wasn't going to deter anyone, but I hoped the baggage people would laugh so hard that they'd just leave my stuff alone out of sympathy. It worked.

When the cab driver arrived at my hotel off Church Street in Kensington he leapt out of the car and headed right for the Samsonite. I just stood there watching, not giving him any warning.

"Crickey! What have you got in here? Books?"

"Uhhhh, yeah."

I imagine within a week he was wearing a truss after lifting my stuff.

When I got to Heathrow I carried the Samsonite, shifting from hand-to-hand. I kicked the Marks and Sparks across the terminal in front of me. I was thrilled to hand all of it over to Pan Am. And when I got to San Francisco I was back to hauling and kicking. Very last time I went anywhere without going carry-on only.

Now, I'm trying to imagine myself being dignified traveling. Packing something like what's shown below. Oh my, I could get a lot of stuff in that! Drawers for books!!

Hartmann luggage_tatteredandlost
Ad from 1949 Holiday magazine.

Okay, actually whenever I see these sort of trunks I think of the I Love Lucy episode where she thinks she can hide in a trunk for a trip to Europe with Ricky because she's having trouble getting a passport. Don't remember the episode? Here's a recap found online. Sorry, no video available online.
Lucy tells Ethel all about the schedule for the European tour. She also mentions that her mother in going to stay with Little Ricky while they are gone. Currently Mrs. Mcgillicuddy is taking an auto trip through New England but is going to be in New York the day before they leave. Fred brings up his old vaudeville truck so that Ricky can pack the band uniforms in it. Ricky comes home with the boat tickets and reminds everyone to get their passports. Lucy gets a phone call from the Jamestown Hall of Records saying that they can't find her birth certificate. Ricky suggests calling her mother but Lucy starts crying because she knows that her mother can't be reached.
To get her passport Lucy needs to find two older friends who knew when she was born. She calls the Jamestown Hall of Records in hopes of finding someone that she knew. She also calls the doctor of delivered her and tries to locate an old babysitter.

When Lucy does meet with Helen Kaiser, her old babysitter she runs into a snag. Helen's husband Sydney, a lawyer insists on looking over the paperwork Helen needs to fill out. It ends up that Helen has been lying to her husband about her age and even goes as far as to say that Lucy was her babysitter when she was little. Lucy leaves in a huff still needing another signature.

Desperate for any way to go to Europe Lucy decides to try and stowaway in Fred's trunk. She fits perfectly with the door open. She then suggests that Ethel close the trunk. But when Lucy starts to panic Ethel can't open the trunk because Lucy has the keys in her pocket and she can't move her arm to get it out. Ethel goes looking for Fred to try and get her out. Ricky comes home unexpectedly with Marco, the piano player. Ricky uses the trunk as a drum not knowing that Lucy is inside. Ethel comes running back after they leave mentioning that she can't find Fred.

Dr. Peterson, the man who delivered Lucy comes over to sign the paper. He thinks that Ethel is Lucy. Lucy does everything that she can think of to prove to Dr. Peterson that she really is Lucille McGillicuddy. Together they sing "Skip to my Lou" because Dr. Peterson taught it to her. Ricky comes home to see Dr. Peterson, a man he doesn't know dancing in his family room and a hears a voice coming out of the trunk. Fred brings a crowbar and with Ricky's help open the trunk. Dr. Peterson mentions that Lucy wasn't born in Jamestown, she was born in West Jamestown. A telelgram arrives from Lucy's mother and enclosed is her birth certificate. (SOURCE: tv.com  
And the copy too small to read in my lousy scan follows:
The Turntable Wardrobe Trunk, exclusive with Hartmann, pivots on its own ball-bearing turntable for double convenience...one side a host of drawers, the other a spacious "closet." 16 hanger size $582. Shown also, the Harmann Skymate Mayfair women's wardrobe case (with hangers ) $150, and the Train Case (for cosmetics) $117. All beautifully matched in rawhide. Other models from $30. Prices include Federal tax.

Yeah, with a set like this I would have looked classy. And actually I wouldn't have needed to ask for the cheapest room. I could have just pulled over to the side of the road each night and slept in the upright trunk with a "Do Not Disturb" sign stuck on the lock. Would have cost me around 20 bucks a night. Yeah, I'm startin' to want to do a little travelin' again.

An aside about Blogger: I hate the changes Blogger has made. It's all reminding me a bit too much of some of the nonsense Microsoft does where they make assumptions that you've made mistakes and choose to do things as they want, not as you want. If I hit paragraph return, that's what I want. Do not think for me Blogger. You're just ticking me off.

And I'm still in internet access limbo, thus the reason there are few posts. It's taking a lot longer to get things taken care of than I'd thought. 


  1. Great post - I Love Lucy? What a great series. Laugh-a-minute programme! Wonderful luggage. Always a joy to see what you have posted.
    Best wishes

  2. I've got the boxed set of Lucy. Every single episode, including all of the hour shows, which weren't all that good. Sometimes I think I'm in a Lucy episode and have stories to prove it. But oh, they are long and weird and will probably come out over time.

    Thanks for the thumbs up. It's an honor.

  3. I remember that episode very well...hilarious, as were all of 'I Love Lucy' episodes. I've actually been to Jamestown, NY. It's a beautiful little town, and she really was born there.

    What a huge price for that trunk! It must have been lined in gold to command that kind of money.

    My hubby travels to Europe several times a year on business and usually stays over two weekends. He used to take a change of clothes for every day, now he fits everything into one carry-on and his briefcase, which also holds clothing. He hates checking bags.

  4. Your blog always makes me laugh. We used to see "I love Lucy" in black and white but the funny side of it was because nobody knew what they were saying.

  5. What I wouldn't give to have one of those old steamers..

  6. Susan, I'm envious you've been to Jamestown. The mythical Jamestown. I've been to the historic one in Virginia, but I'd like to see the hysterical one in New York. And I'm with your husband. I won't check a bag. I just won't deal with it anymore. Really hate airports these days.

    Rosie, I'm always happy to know I've made a Scot laugh. We are people of good humor. But it really makes me laugh to think people in Scotland didn't know what Lucy was saying. Now Ricky I can understand the problem. That was his main joke.

    eloh, I have a semi trunk in the garage. Blue metal with places to put stuff, but nothing like these steamer trunks. I always thought they'd be so fun to travel with...providing you were on a ship and not hauling this from hotel to hotel. Oyyy.

  7. I also like to travel light around the world. Last time I was in London thorough easyclicktravel, I bought 3 huge bags and filled them completely full by souvenirs.

  8. You're as bad as me. Glad to know I'm not alone. I have gotten better because now before I pick anything up I ask myself:
    1. do I really really really like this
    2. where will I put it when I get home
    3. is it made in China meaning I can get it at home if I really really wanted it.

    So now I pretty much just buy old photos and postcards which fit nicely in a small box.