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Monday, January 7, 2008

Travel gear and other fun stuff

I had the best of intentions that the entire weekend would be a "stay at home" one due to the massive amounts of rain we were supposed to get. That is, until I woke up on Saturday, saw that it was dry and then the "day at home" turned into a "day on the road." :) I had some returns that I needed to take care of and was also on a mission to start gathering clothing and other necessities for our upcoming Peru trip.

Usually for a vacation, I might pick up one or two new things (a cami, maybe a skirt, etc) just because it's fun to wear something new on a trip, but this time I actually need functional stuff. Since I've never been to the rainforest and quite frankly had no idea what I'd need there, I found this handy dandy gear list from our dear friends at REI that at least pointed me in the right direction. The only downside is that I don't currently own most of the items on there. Boooo!

For me, the most difficult things to purchase are usually pants/shorts and shoes. Thus, the decision to get these items as early as possible and fill in the rest later. My first stop was The North Face as I had already tried multiple pant selections from REI and it was just a disaster. [Why there are not options for convertible hiking pants with a bit of stretch in them is completely beyond me! I get that hiking pants need to be functional and all, but a bit of stretch would really assist with the comfort and movability factors. Someone could make a killing if they'd develop and sell something like this....]

Sadly, TNF wasn't much better. Their spring line doesn't hit stores until mid-February and the few pant options they did have were less than inspiring. I purchased one pair that were just alright, in case I really can't find anything else that works better. My complaints to the cashier were met with a sad smile and nod. He wished me luck finding something that was functional and didn't make me look like a potato sack, but I have a feeling that he thought my chances winning the lottery were better than finding said pants.

Afterwards, it was on to Lucy to check out their new lightweight travel pants for spring. I wanted a plain pair of black pants that would be comfortable on the plane, easy to walk around in and could be dressed up for a nice dinner. Lucy had several pairs that fit this category and while most of them were cute and fit well, I ultimately decided on the Pathway pant -- flat front, side cargo pocket, lightweight stretch fabric and they can be rolled up to a capri length in warmer weather. And the best part, they are something I'll actually wear in normal everday life, too. Score!

After dealing with the pants, it was time to tackle the shoe issue. Buying shoes is never simple for me. Not because I'm super picky, but because finding a 10.5 narrow athletic shoe is nearly impossible. My best bet is usually New Balance (thank god for them, seriously), but this time I was outta luck. The Pasadena store didn't have even one trail or hiking shoe in my size in the entire store. The stock at their other local stores was also dismal. I did manage to scour the internet that night and ordered a total of 4 pairs from various websites in the hope that at least one would work well. The contenders:

Really, I'd be happy with any of them at this point. I just want them to be comfortable and for me to have enough time to sufficiently break them in before the trip.

After all that craziness, the rest of the weekend was somewhat uneventful.

  • I got all of the returns done
  • Cooked a yummy dinner Saturday night -- seared scallops w/ lemon orzo, parmesan garlic bread, green salad and white wine
  • Made broccoli cheese soup for lunch and a french-style beef stew dish over homemade mashed potatoes for dinner on Sunday
  • Did 10 loads of laundry (this is what happens when you don't do laundry during the last couple of weeks of the holiday season)
  • Straightened up the apartment

And now, it's back to work. Lots to do this week, little time to get it all done. Ah well, at least things are back to normal.


  1. those lucy pants are cute. i love their stuff.

    your food sounds good. when shall i come over next weekend? ;)

  2. I've never heard of Lucy! I'm out of it!

    And you have big feet like me! I had no idea! YAY! :)


  3. I love New Balance shoes, even though I've never owned a pair.

  4. i am so excited for you for this peru trip. it sounds amazing!! yeah, its good to get started now on new gear and i agree with you on wearing new stuff on vacation. its a good feeling =)

  5. Love the lucy pants! That REI list is pretty handy!

  6. I'm so glad my husband has not yet met you. I don't want him to ever know that some wives cook.

  7. yup, i dig lucy-which-is-a-cheaper-version-of-lululemon too. boo to the hiking pants, though.

    nice job on the weekend! it reminds me to start looking for recipes to use my fun new dutch oven.

  8. congrats on a productive weekend!

  9. I love how I leave for South America on Jan. 31 and have done nothing like you travel-fashion-wise.

  10. Wow...a 10.5 narrow? That's gotta be a challenge :)

  11. I'm jealous - Peru? I mever go amywhere but I'm happy you get to go! Btw - you've imspired me to go check out the Lucy store =)

  12. My favorite part of trips is the pre-trip shopping!

    I feel you on the laundry thing, I think I did about 10 loads last weekend too. At least that meant there was only one load to do this weekend!

  13. 1. YAY for big feet (I wear a 10 or 11, depending on the shoe)!

    2. I have hard to fit feet also, due to a high instep and other weird issues. There's a store called Run With Me in Pasadena (off Lake, near the 210) that will fit you with running shoes meant for your foot type, stride, etc. I got my sneakers from there and they're the most comfy things ever.

    3. If you'd like to cook more or do more laundry, please feel free to come over to my apartment :)

  14. Wow girl. You are on it. I'll bet you're getting more and more excited for Peru. :)

    You reminded me that I need a new pair of NB to work out in.