Privilege Blog

Getting Away For The Weekend, Nonchalantly

When I have to get on an airplane, like all of us, I hunker down. I get out my battered Hartmann rollaway, from the days when wheels on suitcases were still new. If it’s a short enough trip to take just one bag and a purse, I put the laptop into a protective sleeve and slip it into the zippered compartment on the outside of my suitcase. Everything I need to access without fuss goes into my purse. My big purse. I buy water, magazines, gum, in the airport, and carry them on in the plastic bag from purchase. No one enforces the two bag rule on a flimsy white plastic sack.

If I am going for a long time, and need to pack so many shoes that my suitcase can’t fit the laptop, or traveling internationally, where by the time I clear immigration my bag will be on the carousel, I check the Hartmann, and carry a laptop bag and purse on board. Not to mention the white plastic bag. It’s quite handy.

That kind of travel is all about managing inconvenience. Sometimes, of course, I fall prey to the desire to look like someone with resources. Which can lead to designer goods battling each other on my person. But for the most part, I’m practical. Get to the destination without wanting to strangle myself, my fellow travelers, or whoever compelled me to make the trip in the first place.

Weekend travel is a completely different beast. Delicious. Constraints of convenience do not apply. And, when freed from convenience, style runs wild.

My weekend suitcase is from Mulholland Brothers. I like to throw it in the back of my car. The sound it makes hitting the trunk floor is so satisfying. I like the leather, brass hardware and latch, old fashioned shape. And, I confess, I like to look like I can afford my hotel. We have already established my flaws. Why on earth do I care what the bellhop thinks of my suitcase? Who knows. The thing is, this was a present from someone who has made their peace with my weaknesses. Suitcases, luckily, last a long time.

In the Bay Area, we have great weekend destinations. Right nearby in Napa, the Carneros Inn. A summer afternoon, pool, Sauvignon Blanc, a hamburger, sunscreen, vineyard views. If you’re willing to go further down the coast to stay at the most amazing place in the world, the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Of course, it’s crazy expensive, but you can watch monarch butterflies flying 200 feet above the Pacific from your deck, and the vista extends over 180 degrees. Sierra Mar, the restaurant, is open to everyone. These days I just like to look at the pictures.

Don’t want to commit several mortgage payments to a weekend away? Me neither, these days. Just over the Santa Cruz mountains, in Half Moon Bay, is the Inn at Mavericks. Mavericks point is where crazy surfers ride really big winter waves. The hotel is just a little place with some bedrooms on the edge of the water. No restaurant, although there are several within small town walking distance. Also seagulls. Fog horns. You can pack your stuff in a brown paper bag and still, come night, sit outside on the deck, small bay waves below.

27 Responses

  1. Mavericks reminds me of Break Beach Lodge on Chesterman Beach near Tofino. Ah to relax and recharge, the waves will soothe your soul. Have a delicious rest!
    Your post reminded me of something I had long forgotten! We checked into an upscale hotel in downtown Vancouver in the mid 80's and had borrowed my father's leather suitcase which was large and very old, but lovely, and the look we got from the bellhop was one worth a picture….I never did quite figure out what he found so amusing!

  2. That BAG!!!!! I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE that bag. I need it. I think that bag and I want to jump in my car and rive up the coast. Le sigh!

  3. Two more things: 1) that bag is indeed gorgous, and 2) it needs to be accessorized with a red convertible (preferably a bathtub Porche).

  4. My husband surfed Mavericks! His grandmother lived in California…Manhattan Beach. He spent his Summers there. Also, his aunt…the late actress Jeanne Crain. She lived in Palos Verde. I love listening to his Summertime stories. Have fun! Post pics.

  5. I love the weekend bag as well – seems I never do weekend car trips. In the past, owning a matched luggage set was fairly standard. As travel has changed, luggage has changed. Tain case, anyone? I'm still trying to sort out what peices will work best for me. Since I use hair product that doesn't come in a small enough size to meet the 3 oz liquids requirments, I have always checked a bag since that requirement. I think I'm settling on a small wheeled carry-on breifcase, a carry on size wheeled bag and a larger wheeled bag for longer trips. I have a garment bag, but only have used it once for a weekend car trip/wedding.

  6. Northern California is just gorgeous -and so is that bag! So far I haven't brought myself to spend real money on a travel bag.

  7. Love that bag, and the plastic bag tip.
    My best friend from HS lives outside San Fransisco and I've never been. I keep thinking now that the kids have their own school break plans, I should just go for a long w/e. I love your more practical yet gorgeous suggestion. I may be asking for more advice if I really decide to do it…

  8. A well-built leather Gladstone bag is a thing of joy. I still have on my mother carried! It even has a special cubby for a fifth of bourbon.

  9. PS Did you see the Berkshire Jacket (by Woolrich) on the Sundance site? is it not just what you were looking for?

  10. YES YES, that bag is wonderful! I would love to visit Half Moon Bay one day, I hear it is wonderful!

  11. Dern it, LPC, you are making my Post Ranch Inn crush flare up again. And that bag, too, is lust-worthy. Drroooolll.

  12. Yes, I saw the Berkshire and am currently considering it. It is just what said I wanted. Now, did I mean it once it's possible:). Perhaps we should have the Sisterhood of the Traveling Gladstone. Or the Traveling Porsche? Drive up and down Route 1. Maybe turn right and go across country. And DocP, how was Tblisi? Did you know I had to look it up? Maureen, if you come to CA, let me know. I can give you a few tips. Wait, where is Tofino? Must look it up. Can spend hours this way…

  13. I'll go hang out with you at the last spot any ol' day of the week- sounds pretty great to me! totally agree w/ the needing to sweat the small stuff and freak out about how much control you have over the lack of control!



  14. Okay, I have been hunting for the perfect weekend bag – two of them MUST fit in the tiny trunk of my Miata (I know, not cool, but after 12 years without a car – I am enjoying it and a Mercedes didn't make sense for a girl that doesn't need a car)and the Mulholland Sarfari meets the dimension requirements. Now all I need is $1800 to buy two bags — or maybe I should just start with one and buy the second later.
    What a great source – I've been looking for three months!!

  15. Look at you writing about California! Big Sur is beautiful, but the winding road to get there? Can be hell if you hit bad weather!

  16. Oooohh, memories of Half Moon Bay…
    Golfed there. Gorgeous.
    Still have the jacket I had to buy. I must now go dig it out and wear it today.

  17. I want that bag. I WANT THAT BAG. I think I've fallen in love with that bag.

    Weekend getaways = Happy Jan. I'm envious of your northern Californian destinations.

  18. Tofino is on Vancouver Island…google Chesterman Beach or Break Beach Lodge..we stayed in the "Mavericks" suite!
    We went to the Ancient Cedars Spa and dined in their wonderful restaurant yum…Wickaninnish Inn. I can never spell it correctly!
    BTW, the Porsche and Gladstone need an Hermes scarf to keep them company, tie it on the handle Babe style or wear it Grace Kelly style on you head with some sunglasses al la Jackie….

  19. Love that weekend bag! I'm dying for some new awesome luggage, but unfortunately find most of the pieces I really like are at this point in time out of my budget!

    I didn't know you were in the bay area! I am so excited to be moving there for medical school and may be coming to you for tips and suggestions very soon… The Preppy Boyfriend is a graduate of the culinary institute of America and might be looking for a position as a personal chef (he worked as a personal chef for a family in new York), or in a restaurant in the Napa area so any recommendations in those directions would be much appreciated!

  20. My husband grew up in Mendocino. We're trying our hardest to move from N. Nevada to N. California ASAP! Santa Cruz would be ideal.

    Now if I could only find a job….

    Have fun on your trip.

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