Hotel child

A few of the playlists on my iPod include numbers by a band called “Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos”, which bills itself accurately as “a New Orleans style jazz and blues swing band.” The title of their 2000 album, above, has been popping into my mind over and over lately. Coming from the States for the Challenge, I’m having to consider a set of clothes to travel in, not to mention what I’ll wear to the soirées I expect to be attending along the way. My “Hotel Child” clothes. Working this out has actually made me change my mind about an important item of walking clothes.

Hotel child clothes have to be comfortable, clean, dry, and—perhaps most important—light as a feather and highly compressible. I’m bringing Crocs anyway, for wading and camp, and they’ll be fine for town as well; perfect, actually, in tasteful orange. I usually manage to keep a pair of sox clean and dry for evenings, too. I had been planning to walk in my usual RailRider Weatherpants when I needed long trousers, but they seem like perfect HC items, so I went looking for a walking replacement. What I came up with is a pair of Patagonia R1 Pants—heavyish tights, basically—which lend me a bit of the Alan Sloman look so many fashionable outdoors people are affecting these days. On top, I’ll wear a Patagonia Capilene 1 T-shirt, probably under my windshirt, since I don’t want to carry my dinner jacket (just think of the wrinkles).

This clothes horse stuff is right up my alley. One of Ingrid’s songs on the album is “Mr. Zoot Suit”:

He’s got great big feet, he’s jumping to the beat
he’s been dancing in the street
he’s dressed so fine, got lots of loot
we like to call him Mr. Zoot Suit

He drives a great big car, smokes a big cigar
looks like a king, and he acts like a star
when we see him drive by he goes “toot, toot”
we all shout, “Hey, Mr. Zoot Suit!”

In a later verse, she even mentions the spats. I didn’t know we’d ever met.


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