Travel | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Adventures in Ischia

Oct 5th, 2013 | Categories: Italy, Travel | by Michael Williams

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The scene for this summer’s vacation was, again, thankfully Ischia. It’s an island I am getting to know (and love) more and more each year. I was educated about Ischia by Tom Kalenderian from Barneys, a man who will always be light years ahead of me when it comes to matters of good taste. My fiancé and I visited in June, a month in which the island ticks along with very nice weather and about half as many people as you would likely find in August. The combination of those enjoyment related two details all but guarantees me a return visit next year.

In my mind, there’s no better place to be really, and a lot of the charm has to do with the simple way of the island. When you visit don’t expect to see rows of luxury shops, because there aren’t any. There isn’t much to do there really, which is actually very nice. If you are get tired of sitting by the pool or swimming in the sea, hire a boat to take you around the island to have lunch in one of the hidden coves that only the locals know about. Or start in on the wine and get to bed early. There’s no fear of missing out — nothing is happening anywhere else, and even if it were, who cares.

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North Maine Woods Dispatch: Libby Camps

Jun 12th, 2013 | Categories: David Coggins, Dispatch, Hunting & Fishing, Maine, Travel | by David Coggins

The Ride

You haven’t visited most of Maine—few people have. It’s an immense state that’s largely unpopulated. Well, try this: fly to Bangor, then drive three hours north. You’re getting up there. At the end of an 18-mile dirt road is Libby Camps. Established in 1890, it’s been in the same family for five generations. That all sounds promising, and it should. We’re partial to lodges and cabins that don’t dress themselves up (wall-to-wall carpeting is a telltale warning sign). When you arrive at Libby you know you’re in a place that has earned the right to take the long view.

Come in May and June to fish for native brook trout in many of the remote ponds that can only be accessed by foot or, even better, by float plane. Or come back in September when the water falls and they turn red before they spawn. Either way, you fly fish from a 20’ Old Town canoe and cast out one of the idiosyncratic flies made by the guides. Or, if you’re more classically minded: a caddis or March Brown. You can hope for a trophy 3 pounder, but that’s a setting the bar high. Aim a little more realistically, while expecting regular action from strong, healthy fish.

Essential Transport

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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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