Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A look to the positive side

"Whenever I get gloomy about the state of the world, I think of the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport". ~Love Actually

Best first line of a movie ever, particularly in light of the previous week's events.  It's a reminder that love is all around us, all we have to do is look for it.  If there is any shred of anything good that can possibly come out of a tragedy (any kind of tragedy), it is that the rest of us are reminded just how very lucky we are.  This quote is also somewhat fitting for me in that in an effort to remain positive, I am looking to good things planned for the future, such as a  trip to the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport, as fate would have it.

It is no secret that I love to fly.  In fact, the best part of any trip for me is actually the anticipation.  The packing.  The careful choosing of just the best of the best version of yourself that you will present to a new destination or one that you haven't seen for some time.  Then, you wake yourself at (usually) some absurd hour of the morning, but you are glad to do it, because you're getting on a plane!  Simply being in the airport has its people watching, duty free shopping, unusual magazine perusing benefits.  There is always something new to see and experience.

In my effervescing anticipation, I decided that one of LAM's Christmas presents this year would be a proper carry-on.  He has one, and it is nice, but it is actually a rollaboard garment bag and not really properly sized.  Invariably, it ends up gate-checked and it is awkward to pack and handle.  I hadn't given much thought to what I might replace it with and then I read Maxminimus' famous Tumi rant and ran away screaming from that idea--not that I really needed his help.  I have been on company "trips" with the Presidents Club douche rockets who carry the Tumi and bellow into their cell phones upwards of 90 decibals.  For us, quality and style are paramount.  Generally, we'll pay more for something if we know it will be around forever, or at least a very, very long time and so, the first choice that popped into my gray matter was the Rimowa Topas:
It says many things to the world, not the least of which is that you aren't the sort of person with whom to mess around.  You could be anyone--CEO of a major corporation, celebrity, or simply someone who understands and enjoys German engineering in all of it's aluminum glory.  But then, there is one flaw--the price tag.  If either of us traveled for a living, it would be a no-brainer, but we don't and I'm not entirely certain that this is really LAM's style.  A somewhat lower cost option would be the Rimowa Salsa:

Essentially the same bag, but made of a ballistic polycarbonate.  It actually weighs less than its aluminum big brother and looks almost as cool, but as with hard sided cases, it has no external pockets, which can only mean one thing: I will get the pleasure of carrying all of LAM's items that need accessability (wallet, glasses, magazines, etc.) in my tote bag, which will already be too heavy carrying all of my stuff.

In the end, I actually ended up going with the Bric Pronto spinner model.  Somehow, it seemed more his style, nice and light and the ballistic hunter green was unusual.  During my searching, the following models must be given an honorable mention.  First another Bric product, the Pininfarina made my toes curl:
I mean, come on, carrying something with the words "Pininfarina" on it cannot hope to be anything but cool.  I suspect that if LAM does not like the bag he is getting, this might be an option for an exchange.  I passed it up, because again, it had no external pockets.
Another viable option was this Victorinox model, which happens to be my carry-on.  It is beautifully constructed and I love it, but it weighs a lot more than it should.
Another hardsided option was the Zero Halliburton.  These babies ruled the skies in the 80's and 90's and while it is cool, it's priced equally with Rimowa and as I could not find one to touch and feel in person, it ended up off of the list.  We'll see what LAM thinks about his present and which one ends up joining us on that big 'ol jet plane.

Stay positive everyone.

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