Travel | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Travel Tip | Bags in Bags

May 22nd, 2013 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

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The guys at Valet put together a travel feature with tips from frequent travelers about how they pack and the bags that they use. I chimed in to talk about the way in which I organize my stuff when I am on the road. Specifically, I spoke about these small Kelty x Beams zip bags that I picked up last fall in Tokyo.

I use the big one as my “International Economy” bag (which I only bring when I am flying a redeye to Europe or to Asia in steerage). It holds a travel pillow, Nalgene bottle and a pair of Muji travel slippers (because you don’t want to hit the highly trafficked economy bathroom in socks). It can also be used to pack a pair of shoes or hold dirty laundry on your return. The middle-sized bag is for electronic accessories—chargers, an international power converter and even a spare memory card reader. If I didn’t always leave everything in this bag, I’d inevitably forget something.

When you travel drink lots of water, use a Rimowa, bring along a power strip and pack bags in bags for very specific uses. [VALET: BAG CHECK]

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The Hunt | Luggage Tags

Apr 7th, 2013 | Categories: Made in the USA, The Hunt, Travel | by Michael Williams

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The Hunt is a series that aims to find the best-in-breed products that we’re all searching for — let’s dig deeper.

You can buy a luggage tag almost anywhere. What you strangely can’t buy very many places is a high quality and tasteful luggage tag. It’s honestly a bit of a paradox. Most small consumer goods in this country are so cheap in both price and make that anyone looking for something well made has to spend an absurd amount of time looking for something that will last longer than a few rungs through the carousel of destruction at the hands of your friend airline baggage handler.

There are actually a lot of synthetic/plastic options out that there that seem decent enough, but I don’t want to put something too tech on my luggage (personal preference maybe). Additionally, there are quite a few companies that make good luggage tags from nice leather, but the problem I always seem to encounter is often that they use cheap hardware. A shitty clasp is a deal-breaker for me, I want something solid that is going to last for at least two decades and I am willing to pay for it. Enter the Tanner Goods luggage tags and my hunt may be over.

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The Hunt | iPad Mini Cases

Mar 27th, 2013 | Categories: Made in the USA, Technology, The Hunt, Travel | by Michael Williams

The Hunt is a series that aims to find the best-in-breed products that we’re all searching for — let’s dig deeper.

It’s surprising that I have such a difficult time finding cases that I like for my technology. Everything is either too synthetic or too complicated for my taste. There are certainly a lot of options out there and I’m sure plenty of good things I have yet to discover (feel free to comment and suggest). Gear Patrol did a nice round up of options a while back which I referenced a lot (and seriously considered a few), and Lotuff makes a few really good options, but much of what I see is just too logo-heavy and or is made from materials too synthetic. I wanted something simple from natural materials that fit with all of the other stuff I wear in my daily life. For the past few years the undisputed champion of my iPad protection program has been Portland, Oregon-based The Good Flock and its simple wool sleeves. I’ve traveled all over the world with the iWooly and couldn’t be happier with it. Then came the iPad mini and I was back in the market looking for a new case.





Adventures in Ireland with John Jameson.

Mar 17th, 2013 | Categories: Cocktails, Spirits, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Dublin on St. Patrick’s day is something everyone should experience exactly one time. That was my feeling anyway, and when the people of Jameson Whiskey invited me to experience things firsthand, it seemed there was very little deliberation to make. St. Patty’s St. Paddy’s day in Ireland seems to carry the significance of every major holiday rolled-up into one day (or in this case, one weekend) of madness. As it turns out, there also happens to conveniently be a bank holiday on the Monday following the festivities this year, which provides a nice and quiet day of, ummm well, reflection. Many seize the holiday as a chance to dress up in ridiculous outfits and act crazy (my preferred method of dealing with that sort is to run in the opposite direction), but the folks at Jameson took the opportunity to demonstrate a finer touch and showed off the more enlightened side of St. Patrick’s day.

The program in Dublin entailed seeing some of Dublin’s most interesting libation destinations (Vintage Cocktail Club and the Bar With No Name to call out to good ones) and spent an afternoon with the incredibly talented artist & sign painter David Smith. We also might have had a whiskey or two.

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On All Fours | Inclement Adventures in Wyoming

Jan 30th, 2013 | Categories: Automobiles, Cars, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Where I grew up, it basically snowed everyday all winter. Cleveland gets its fair share of Lake Effect snow and after a while it all just becomes routine. Eventually, you figure out how to drive in bad weather. We would get two feet of snow and no one would care, it would just be a bit of a hassle. Being in New York City for the past twelve years has meant that my hard-earned Northeast Ohio winter driving skills have languished in a world with mass transit and very little snow. It’s disappointing because I actually came to enjoy driving in bad weather.

Then one day Mercedes-Benz called and said that they wanted me to go out to Wyoming and test out 4MATIC, their all-wheel drive system on a really nice CLS550. Really? Me? Umm yeah, oaky, I can help you guys out.

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Go West, Young Man. | Hiking Red Rock Canyon.

Aug 26th, 2012 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

“Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.” -Horace Greeley.

Every year, twice a year we go to Las Vegas for the trade shows in the massive convention center halls. It’s a humbling experience to be honest and one that is, frankly, just part of the job. After attending these shows for the past seven years, it goes without saying that if Vegas was left off my calendar for a season or six I would survive.

If it weren’t for the adventures we have had Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area I don’t think I would survive the week. In the summer it’s a tough battle with the heat (bring and drink lots of water, it is so hot you won’t know how much you are sweating until it is too late) but still worth it. The park boast some incredible hikes for all levels with lots of open country to roam. If you head out on the intermediate trails (and above), you will likely encounter folks that take the outdoors pretty seriously (translation: it will be far less annoying and you won’t have to brush by a bunch of people checking in on Foursquare and whatnot), which is nice. When the hiking is done, take a seat and enjoy what is undeniably the best view in Sin City.





Where to Wine in Copenhagen.

Aug 13th, 2012 | Categories: Travel, Wine | by Michael Williams

Travel leads to long days of walking, which then hopefully leads to wine. In Copenhagen, you would be doing yourself a favor to stumble upon Ved Stranden, seeking out specifically isn’t a bad idea either. Regardless of how much time you spend walking around and discovering Denmark’s capital, this place is definitely deserving of your attention. Specializing in Austrian wines, Ved Stranden has a vast selection of interesting things to taste and a knowledgeable staff to help you find your way. Basically, it’s a sure thing.

Speaking of wine, this summer I have receded a bit from my 2011 obsession of rosé and have focused my efforts (mainly) on France’s Loire Valley and the wonderful delights of the Vouvray. The catalyst of this was Kermit Lynch’s book Adventures on the Wine Route (thanks Tony for that, by the way). Being a lover of wine and a neophyte on the subject, I have been doing two things to learn more and develop my palate: 1. focusing on regions and drinking all I can from that area. 2. Reading as much as possible about those specific regions. So far I have focused on northwest Italy, Napa and as I mentioned already, the Loire Valley. So long story short, I don’t know much about Austrian wine, but I was happy to take a little detour (into Austria as it were) and try something new at Ved Stranden. This plan worked out very well if you were wondering.