The last time I got on a plane was in February and I decided it was time I went somewhere on vacation. I hadn’t left Ontario for 7 months, it was beginning to wear on me. I needed to get out. My friend Marija lives in Las Vegas. I documented my last trip there in 2008 on I want – I got. It was a blast but I didn’t expect she would be there long. Well, here we are four years later and even she’s bought a house in the Vegas suburbs. That is how Las Vegas became part of my trip.
My newlywed friends Paul and Lauren live in Santa Monica. In August 2010, I flew to Los Angeles to visit them because of a perk I received from Klout for the doomed Virgin Airlines route YYZ to LAX/SFO. Santa Monica became part of the trip since I was heading west to Las Vegas already and it wasn’t far away. I’m also in love with Santa Monica and California living. Oceans, mountains and desert oh my. Like Whistler, I can see Santa Monica becoming a place I have to visit on a yearly basis.
So, I booked myself a six day vacation spending three days in Santa Monica and the next three in Las Vegas. I used Flight Centre to book the tickets because I wanted to fly into LAX and leave out of LAS. I did some research myself but wanted to see if they could find cheaper options. They did! I left my Santa Monica to Las Vegas travel up in the air at the time of booking.
I’ve received many emails from the Rimowa PR team over the years but I’ve never written about them or looked at the product up close. They have a store in Yorkville but I’m not in the market for luggage so I never go in. I travel so infrequently and my current suitcases are functional. However, I finally got to see Rimowa suitcases in person at the A2Zane store opening. I spoke with Dezaray Romanelli, Toronto Store Manager and she showed me a selection of cases. They were really, really nice. I was offered a suitcase to test drive and it couldn’t be better timing. Plans were made and a lovely Salsa Deluxe 3 Suiter in chocolate brown was delivered to my office.
I never thought I was the type of person to rave about a suitcase but I’m going to do just that. I love the Rimowa Salsa Deluxe 3 Suiter. I’ve never had a more pleasant suitcase experience. I didn’t battle my suitcase at all this trip. The ease of use and design of the Rimowa was something that worked to make my travel experience easy. The Multiwheel system made the suitcase glide over any surface. The four wheels meant no tilting. I totally had a smug traveller look going at YYZ while effortlessly pushing the Rimowa suitcase and me wearing my Moncler S trench, Hudson Jeans, Jeremy Laing sweater and Dries Van Noten boots.
It also has an integrated TSA combination lock. It allows Airport officials to open the case without damage to the lock and your contents remain secure. The Polycarbonate shell is extremely strong, light and stable. The shell has a bit of flexibility and can take a beating. The telescopic handle is adjustable and comfortable for a variety of heights.
I love the dual chamber system which is a feature of the Salsa Deluxe 3 Suiter. It contains a garment bag with integrated shirt pocket. I died, a fucking garment bag and hangers included. No more would I pack the most casual of clothing when traveling. I have a garment bag now. It’s time to break out the good stuff and no wrinkles. The chamber system keeps things in order even when half full with it’s Velcro and divider adjustment system. I liked having the compartments in the suitcase. It allowed for me to keep different parts of my wardrobe physically separate from each other. I didn’t even come close to packing this suitcase to the limits. If anything, I packed way too much. There is so much going for this suitcase due to the features but it’s also special because Rimowa manufactures their suitcases in Canada! I love supporting local manufacturing (even if the company is German in this case).
So, I came back from my trip a die hard Rimowa fan. If I traveled a lot for business or pleasure I would definitely invest in a Rimowa suitcase. The Salsa Deluxe 3 Suiter model I test drove retails for around $800. I was heartbroken when I handed the suitcase back to the courier. Bye, bye Rimowa. You were lovely.
I was sent another great travel gadget last year that I utilized on this trip, the Travalo. It’s a refillable perfume atomizer that meets the in cabin travel requirements. It’s really quick and easy to refill without spillage. It carries enough fragrance for 50 sprays. It’s made of aluminium and contains no glass. This really made taking my favourite D&G Anthology L`Amoureaux 6 Fragrance with me on this trip. It comes in a massive bottle and I’m too frightened to pack it in my suitcase (even with the Rimowa, ha ha). They are so small you could pack a few with you on a trip with all your favourites. I know I could have taken another with me for Fan du Fendi. Travalo is available at Shopper’s Drug Mart in Toronto. It retails for around $15.99 and comes in a variety of colours.
I took Air Canada to LAX which was a breeze to be honest. The customs line was empty and I arrived with plenty of time before departure. I don’t usually like talking to people when flying but I sat besides an adorable and nice couple.
I arrived at LAX midday on November 24 and the airport was dead despite it being Thanksgiving Day. I was worried about crowds but traveling the day of the holiday seemed to be okay. The weather was fabulous and I was looking forward to three days filled with friends, museums and food. Oh and a little shopping.
This is the first part of the LAX/LAS Diaries 2011 series. Stay tuned for more.