Travel | A Continuous Lean.

Escape to Maine II.

Aug 31st, 2015 | Categories: Maine, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Every year in the middle of winter I start to think about Maine in the summertime. This usually happens at the lowest of cold weather lows and without fail it drives me to start to planning my summertime escape back to my favorite place on earth. That sounds like hyperbole, but it is definitely not. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Maine my happiest of places. Granted, there’s nothing that can replace NYC on a fall day, or lunch near the sea in Southern Italy, but if I had to be one place for the rest of time…drive north to Maine and that’s where you’ll find me.

Everything about Maine is great. The friendly people, the food, the picturesque landscapes and even the bitter cold salt water — it all comes together to make for an especially wonderful escape. I recently had the privilege of listing my favorite Maine spots for RL Mag as a sort of travel guide to Southern Maine.

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Florence End to End

Aug 28th, 2015 | Categories: David Coggins, Italy, Travel | by David Coggins

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Florence is a reassuring city. You go there for stone walls, old frescoes and steaks as thick as a reference book. They love their country clothes there (it’s a surprisingly good place to get a second-hand Barbour). You see hunting dogs, tweeds in winter, and it feels perfectly natural when an old man bicycles down the street smoking a pipe. All bets are off when Pitti Uomo arrives with its parade of clowns, though most of the year the calculation remains the same. But there are still surprising ways to visit the city on the Arno and remake the classic equation.

Consider Villa La Massa, your dream of the Italian countryside made real. This 16th Century Medici Villa was converted into a hotel in 1948 and then renovated in 1998 by the owners of the renowned Villa d’Este. It’s set right on a bend in the river, across from fields and gentle hills. It’s about a twenty minute drive from town and they have a shuttle that regularly drops you near the Ponte Vecchio.

You can take your café or aperitif next to pool, there’s a small but elegant spa, and walking paths through a 22-acre garden, with rosemary, irises and pear trees. This is a much less formal affair than Villa d’Este (coats are not required for dinner, but you are in Italy, so why not?). It’s a low-key pastoral setting that’s intimate, handsome and contemplative.
Villa La Massa succeeds beyond its setting: You can attend cooking classes, wine tastings, eat white truffles in October or head out to visit distinguished towns and churches around Tuscany. But it doesn’t make you do more than you want to: You can sit by the river, read a book and drink your Negroni. Villa La Massa understands that you want to travel on your own terms. And in this setting, those terms are always good.

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The Villa la Massa.

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Checking In | The Inn at Cuckold’s Lighthouse

Jul 9th, 2015 | Categories: Jared Paul Stern, Maine, Travel | by Jared Paul Stern

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There’s something about the prospect of staying in a lighthouse that adds an element of rugged nautical adventure to any trip. The small rocky island that’s home to the Inn at Cuckold’s Lighthouse may not be far off the coast of Maine’s Boothbay Harbor, but arriving there feels a bit like abandoning civilization; until you see how elegant it is inside. Nearly 12 years and $3 million in the making, the Inn, which has only two spacious suites is currently celebrating its first full (and completely sold out) season. One of just a handful of lighthouses you can stay in around New England, it was originally constructed as a fog signal station in 1892. In 1907 a light tower was added, greatly aiding the development of Boothbay Harbor as a safe haven for both commercial fishermen and summer residents.





Checking In | Vahine Island

Apr 9th, 2015 | Categories: Checking In, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Living in New York City, you can take a cab to JFK and in four hours be sitting on a beautiful Caribbean island enjoying the warmth and relaxation that the city has deprived you of. The fact that this option is right in New York’s backyard left me feeling sort of ambivalent about traveling halfway around the world to a place like Tahiti which seemingly offered what we already had such ready access too.

I have to admit when I am wrong, because I have absolutely never been to a more visually stunning place than French Polynesia. On top of that it’s going to be difficult to find a resort more enjoyable than the Vahine Island.

To get to Vahine you need to fly to Tahiti’s capital of Papeete (we flew Air Tahiti Nui from Los Angeles which was a red-eye which happens to be long enough to actually get some rest; Air France flies to PPT as well) and then hopped on a quick intra-island flight to Raiatea. From there the resort stands a short 30 minute boat ride away. Once you step off that boat onto Vahine looking at the blue waters and bright sun, all is right in the world.

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Sailing Collective | Sights to Sea.

Mar 25th, 2015 | Categories: Travel | by ACL Editors

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As has been discussed on this site before, people don’t take vacations like they used to, but this shift is not always lamentable. The ubiquitous cross country car journey may have made it’s final exit, but this has opened up a new field for companies such as Sailing Collective, which offer trips that can only be described as “adventure tourism.” Sailing Collective, which was only founded back in 2011, specializes in trips that are really about the experience, not just the destination.

Taking a trip to Croatia, or the British Virgin Islands, or even Maine, is one thing, but what Sailing Collective provides is the opportunity to take in these beautiful locales in a completely unique way. With Sailing Collective the trip actually really starts once you land at your destination. From there you meet the rest of your boat (typically six passengers and two crew) at the dock for a week long trip at sea. For co-founder Dayyan Armstrong exposing passengers to the unknown side of these well known destinations is what Sailing Collective is all about. By boat you’re more likely to stumble upon a quiet village, or a picturesque enclave, or a hole in the wall restaurant, and these discoveries are the true advantage of a Sailing Collective trip.





Remembering The Golden Age of the American Airport

Sep 26th, 2014 | Categories: Americana, History, Travel | by Jake Gallagher

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At this point, modern air travel is so unpleasant, so inconveniencing, so downright annoying that talking about it almost seems pointless, like shouting into a jet engine. If there is one positive to be extracted from all of our collective airline agony, it’s that it forces us to reflect upon a time when air travel was not only enjoyable, but dare I say, sexy. Shows like Mad Men, and movies like Catch Me if You Can play into our rosy-eyed curiosity with mid-century air travel, portraying well-heeled passengers, sociable stewardesses, and those beautiful modernist concourses. Airports of today are drab reminders of just how far you are from home, but in the early decades of air travel these buildings were sleek, shiny shrines to the future. The terminals that serviced America’s larger cities at this time were designed to not only help carry passengers from point A to point B, but also to reflect the progressive spirit of commercial air travel, which had really only taken off (no pun intended) in 1958 with the advent of the Boeing 707. So buckle up, make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their full upright position, and travel back in time with us to the golden age of the American airport.





Take a Trip….To the Magazine Store.

Jul 9th, 2014 | Categories: Books, Jake Gallagher, Magazines, Travel | by Jake Gallagher

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As anyone who has recently taken, planned, or even considered a trip can attest, travel is not the glamorous pursuit that it once was. And yet, despite (or perhaps in response to) the endless string of headaches that can stem from taking a vacation in 2014, this year has also been marked by a resurgence of the travel magazine industry. As many household names have finally received some much needed facelifts, and the indie vacation publication world has surged, there has never been a better time to live vicariously through the glossy pages of a travel magazine. Here’s our list of the most exciting travel titles on the stands today, just think of it as your chance to actually enjoy a getaway, minus the endless TSA lines, infinite flight delays, and locker-sized Economy seats.

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