Wednesday, June 9, 2010

potions in bottles

On her second birthday in March, Chip figured out that Bean had road tripped approximately 11,660 miles. She had stayed at more than 30 different hotels and flown to more than 14 cities. "Well-traveled" is not a phrase we throw around lightly.

It goes without saying (maybe?) that I have done the equal amount of travel with Bean: the car trips, the naps in the backseat, the snacks in a large brown grocery sack. We have been on countless flights together - negotiated security, taken our shoes off and put them back on, carried little baggies into the conveyor belt.

And the hotels... the check in and check out, making sure the air and heat are in working order before unpacking the bags, countless travel yards and portacribs, bringing our own crib sheets from home. Scrubbing the bathtub with a baggie of Comet. Packing the tiny refrigerator with water and tubs of yogurt. Stocking the diaper bag with wee boxes of cereal from breakfast (Cheerios, Frosted Flakes, Shredded Mini Wheats, Raisin Bran). Grabbing bananas from the manager's reception. Setting up Bean's sleeping quarters in the bathroom, in the shower, in the living room, behind the sofa, behind the chair, on the other side of the bed, in the entry way, in the second bedroom, in the closet.

But beyond it all - beyond the travel scars and the road rage and the hundreds upon hundreds of different beds, what I bring home from these trips are the memories. The weird stuff. The funny moments. The smiles on Bean's and Chip's faces. They fill my heart until it is full-to-bursting with shared warmth. I walk inside our house, put down the backpack, and breathe deep from the trips that we've taken. The feelings I experience, the growing we do as we tread the distance, our house is filled drop-by-drop from each trip.

Oh, and the itty bitty teeny tiny so-small travel bottles of shampoo and conditioner and lotion. Sometimes mouthwash and shower gel.

(These are just the ones we've kept over the last year... seriously.)

They are one of my favorite things, if we're being honest here.

I love the shrunk size and the shrunk label and the too-tiny little caps. I love that each bottle is filled with different concoctions of soaps and scents and lotions.

And I have favorites of the favorites. Which I'm going to tell you about here.

Like the fact that Red Lion does Bath and Bodywork's Coconut Lime Verbena shampoo and conditioner. Yum.

There is the very-hard-to-come-by, only-carried-in-small-boutique-hotels, Aveda. I love me some Aveda. I carry the lotion with me wherever we go and it's almost all gone.

But there were a group of products that I have dreamed about for two years. A little pile of Davies Gate tubes of amazing smelling goop that we got at the Residence Inn when we stayed in Philadelphia. I carefully used them so sparingly, just on special occasions. But they smelled SO GOOD. Like mango and peaches and almond. Heaven.

But there was a problem: no more to be had. Because Residence Inn is a Marriott property. And Chip isn't a Diamond Ultra Black Unobtanium member with Marriott. He stays at Hilton. They know his name.

So I watched my small stash of Davies Gate bottles dwindle. The last drops of lotion used for a special night out. The last puddle of shampoo used when I was feeling particularly terrible, in need of a pick-up.

Then came the day a few months ago when Chip announced that he was joining Marriott - spreading the points wealth, if you will. And bells went off in my head chanting a chorus of Davies Gate-Davies Gate-Davies Gate-Davies Gate.

But Chip didn't have a chance to stay at a Residence Inn. Not a single one.

Until this last trip.

In Boise.

And you know what? We STOCKED UP.

Three trips down the hall's worth.

A special venture down to the second floor where I asked the housekeeping person if I could have just a few more of those little bottles of lotion oh please please?

I am happy.


Rose said...

I remember falling in love with Disney World's conditioner when I was a little girl... I couldn't believe how soft it made my hair. :)

Shelly Overlook said...

Good grief, your girl is a Road Warrior! I think I remember you saying you donate all the bottles you collect (of the not good stuff, of course), which is totally rock star!!

Bethsix said...

Well. Aren't you just a delectable little weirdie.

You have more mini-bottles than me. I thought I had a lot. I do not. I only collect the good stuff. (I don't know Davies Gate, though.) If I could donate (interesting!), I would probably collect the stuff I don't enjoy also.

I am using - RIGHT NOW (because I WON some shampoo and conditioner that I loved the smell of that, after a few days, made my head itch like lice) - some mini-bottles of Bath and Body Works, but it's not coconut lime verbena. Some kind of ginger something, I think.

You know what I LOVE? There is some place that provides "white ginger" stuff. I don't remember the brand, but YUMMMMM. The SMELL.

And Aveda. I worked at an Aveda concept salon and day spa when I was in college. Developed a habit (that I'm now too poor to support).

Can't believe I had this much to say about hotel samples.

serenity now said...

That's some impressive traveling for Alice, and for the whole family since there is a small child involved.

And it's an impressive collection of little bottles and soaps you have there, too.

I have a small bottle of Gilchrist and Soames white ginger lotion from a stay at the Hyatt. Not sure if that's what you were thinking of, Bethsix, but it *is* yummy.

artemisia said...

Wow! I think all this travel is great! Alice now knows that she can go anywhere, be anywhere, and do just fine. The confidence she must have!

Hannah said...

That is amazing, Whimsey. I love B & B Coconut Lime Verbena, too. It's only second to my all time favorite, also from B & B, Buttercream Frosting. Totally delectable.