Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rooting for the home team.

According to the dream interpreter dictionary – to dream of rooting for truffles, as I did last night, indicates: "someone will confess, or you will say something sincerely."

I think it has more to do with having spent a fair chunk of yesterday at the mall, rooting through stacks of shorts designed for an anorexic broom handle, in an attempt to find a pair that didn't make me look like I should be playing fucking bocce down in Boca Raton.

I need shorts that fit at the top, the porcine middle, and the bottom. A pair that: A. Doesn't have a swoosh. Or, B. An elastic waist and a label that says TABI. Or, C. A food stain.

I need "walking" shorts because the little bastard and I are going on a vacation. A real vacation. Our first real vacation since the recession grabbed me by the balls and squeezed. Although, this is not really my vacation – it's his – and the way it's stacking up, it's not really sounding like a vacation at all. The planning stages went something like this:

Me: What about backpacking in Spain?

LB: No.

Me: What about Spain, with a little walk on the wild side in Morrocco.

LB: No.

Me: What about Barcelona (throwing in a curve ball)... I've always wanted to see Gaudi's La Sagrada Família while under the influence of cheap Rioja, because clearly the man was intoxicated when he slapped that thing together.

LB: Blank stare, followed by: "Mom, my idea of a vacation would be going to LA and seeing a Lakers play-off game" as he headed out the door to school.

I'll show him, I thought, and I did what I love to do more than almost anything, and that's play Travel Agent. Within minutes I found a one-way trip to LA for $169 dollars, and without hesitation or further thought as to how we were going to pay for it, or how we were going to get home – I booked it.

My thought was this. The little bastard won't be wanting to hang around with me much longer, so this is his trip. Besides, I love people watching and what better place to watch people than in Los Angeles at a Dodgers game, followed by a Lakers game. If I take binoculars I may even see the top of Jack's head. Not my Jack. LA's Jack. Nicholson.

The next hurdle was getting my hands on the forementioned Lakers tickets – which according to all sources, would be harder than finding a Catholic priest on a school bus, or a pair of shorts that don't make my knees look like two loaves of balled up Wonder bread. This explains why I haven't been spewing my innermost thoughts on this blog, because I spent a good portion of this week on the phone with Ticketmaster, or on the Ticketmaster website listening to mall music and hitting the refresh button. Over and over and over.

No luck in the Wednesday American Express pre-sale. Unless I was willing to pay $320USD for one ticket.

Thursday, the tickets went on sale to the general public at 10am LA time. At 1:53 I started stalking Ticketmaster simultaneously by phone and online. Pig-headed perseverance paid off. By roughly 3:45 Atlantic time, I had landed not one – but two of the worst tickets for the LA Lakers vs some other team – for more money than I spent on my first car. I confess to being so excited I almost peed my pants. And I hate basketball.

I want to ride bikes on Santa Monica beach and hike up to the Hollywood sign. The little bastard wants to shop. It'll be perfect. What's even more perfect is Nadine Hartnett at Maritime Travel in Park Lane put my travel agent wannabe skills to shame by performing miracles – landing us a great deal on a 5-star hotel near the Staples Centre, pre-paid in Canadian funds for waaay less than I was finding online. Nadine also sold us travel medical insurance just in case I fall off my bike, or the bleachers after too many warm beers in Mannywood.

So, as my life goes, we are off in the opposite direction than I had originally intended, but I can always do an old lady bus trip through Spain later. This will be the little bastard's vacation – aside from that side-trip drive up the coastal road to San Francisco and the pit stop at a crappy motel around Big Sur, where I'll sit on a picnic table and sip California wine from a plastic cup and admire the heartstopping beauty of it all, while he complains about not getting cell service and the lack of outlet malls in the Redwood forests.

Yep, this is his vacation.

Sincerely, For clever hotel solutions try Nadine Hartnett at Park Lane Mariritme Travel (902) 429-7885. Email:

Glenda at CAA Travel was a bit of a wizard as well: