I used to enjoy reading the L.A Times Travel section which is published in their Sunday paper . Used to is the significant phrase here . It used to inspire me to consider visiting places written about . Ada and I once flew to Guanajuato , Mexico, on my suggestion after I read an article on the city in the Travel section one Sunday . We had a wonderful time and we’d like to go back . I wouldn’t go to Mexico these days because of the drug violence , but that’s beside the point .
Day trips and vacation spots written about used to be affordable . They were places the average guy could go , stay clear of the poorhouse and , hopefully, have a good time . No more . That notion flew out the window a few years ago .
I’ve got a copy of the Travel section from the Times here on my Ottoman . It’s a Danish Ottoman , if there exists such a thing . Otherwise , it’s a footstool . My friend Tom got it from our friend Bob who inherited from his parents . There was another one , too , and two Danish chairs . Bob was tossing them out . They were worn out . I refinished the wood and Ada and I chose new fabric for them . They’re like new . I’m sitting in one of the chairs now , leaning back , comfortable . Comfortable !
I sent Bob a picture of the re-conditioned chairs , not to rub it in , but to reassure him that they will have a new life . Bob is that kind of a guy —- he’d appreciate that and have no regrets for dispatching the chairs plus footstools . That may put Bob above most people in the humility/generosity/general kindness category .
Today’s article discusses Taos , New Mexico . Pictures some guy the write-up calls “chef” who ” carefully adds some finishing touches at his farm-to-table restaurant “. Chef has a paintbrush in his hand . It’s poised over salads . In his other hand is a small pitcher . The food is , according to the article : ” delicious , fresh and not expensive .” I got news for the Travel section writer : A chef with a paint brush poised over salads already means the food will be expensive .
Oh , you think I might be exaggerating ? Maybe . Everything in life must be viewed in perspective . The author of the Times article writes : ” our family of three spent about $300 a night for lodging and less than $150 a day on food and sightseeing ” . Less than . Visions of the book Europe on $10 a Day keep floating in front of my eyes .
Well , in Times-speak nowadays , $300 a night is a real good bargain . Many of the articles mention such attractions as ” introductory opening offer of $450 per night ” . Great ! Just plain great ! Maybe the Buffets or the Gates families could join us for the weekend . Such a deal !
I see that we could get rabbit and rattlesnake sausage for only $17 at one of the Taos restaurants . I’ve been dying for a good rabbit and rattlesnake sausage , cooked just right . Haven’t had a tasty one for quite a while . Usually they’re a little dry , somewhat bland , tasting like overcooked chicken . And I’d love to try the cardamom doughnuts at the same joint . How much they might set me back the article doesn’t say . Oh , well , it’s only money ! I’m not sure Warren and Bill are doughnut guys , though .
I’m not into reading Travel articles written , apparently , for millionaires . [ okay , I sunk shamelessly into unwarranted hyperbole in previous paragraphs when I mentioned Buffet and Gates , who are billionaires and not run-of-the-mill millionaires ] Who has the dough to hunt down these hotels and restaurants ? Do those people want to read the Times to gather vacation ideas ? Is the idea, on the other hand , that the poor reader guy like me is supposed to drool over the exotic chance of munching a rabbit and rattlesnake appetizer — how much is the farm-to-table red wine experience ?– and then spend the night in a cozy Taos adobe “casita with chickens roaming around the yard” for the very reasonable price of …………………….. ?
Well , I’ll admit I’m cheap , somewhat tight , but not so tight that my hat squeaks when I take it off . John D. Rockefeller was tight , too . I’m quite sure that he’d pass up the rabbit and rattlesnake sausage for $17 when he could have the chicken/pork sausage for a lot less . Bill Gates , for all I know , might spend the money on the rabbit and rattlesnake creation . After all , the relative expense is nothing to him , but he’d probably pass it up because the idea of it is just plain stupid , senseless, pretentious , and completely useless nonsense .
I’m just guessing .
End of Rant
I think that I’ll just sit back in my refurbished Danish armchair , toss the Travel section away , and wonder what ” farm-to-table” precisely means . Maybe I’ll have another helping of muskrat and walrus stew , sprinkle another pinch of Dead Sea salt on it , and remember again the pleasant freebie melodies of the street musicians in Guanajuato . If I can’t find fresh walrus and tender range -raised muskrat , I may have to use beef .