Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Monday, February 18, 2019

Photos: Cyprus

Blessed with long stretches of golden sands, Cyprus is oh-so-much more than seaside resorts. It’s a land of small villages, jungle-like trails such as those on the Akamas Peninsula, 12th century castles and UNESCO World Heritage sites.

continue reading "Photos: Cyprus"

Sunday, February 17, 2019

My New Men's Multi-Pocket Vest

My new multi-pocket men’s vest is versatile, practical and fashionable. Now you can keep all your vitals close at hand, in any of the six zippered pockets. This is no travel vest that ends up making you look like you’re about to hike the Appalachian Trail. It was designed to either be worn casually with jeans, for example, or along with a suit jacket and a dress shirt as part of your business attire. Whether you’re going to a brew pub or to a business meeting or trade show, this multi-pocket vest will keep you secure, holding everything from your cell phone to your passport, credit cards, cash and more.
We're taking pre-orders on this item and anyone who's interested and wants to know more can contact me directly.

continue reading "My New Men's Multi-Pocket Vest"

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Photos: Hanoi, Vietnam

Though many trips to Vietnam involve journeying to beachfront areas, I, instead, chose to center on Hanoi, not visiting tourist-thronged sites, but rather focusing on contemporary art galleries and bucolic parks and gardens. Though these are all steps away from a chaotic traffic scene where you take your life in your hands, these are pockets of tranquility by just attempting to cross the street, each of these are pockets of serenity. For example, the
little visited Botanical Garden is a delight. In one section, a web of roots emanating from a 19th-century tree becomes a magnet for those who want to meditate. And circumnavigating around West Lake, you'll find a section blanketed with lotus blossoms.

continue reading "Photos: Hanoi, Vietnam"

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Photos: Montenegro

With its hilltop fortresses, chapels snuggled in pine forests, network of hiking trails and family-owned vineyards, Montenegro appeals to oenophiles, those who embrace nature, history lovers or visitors who simply prefer hanging out on a thin crescent strip of sand. This photo essay depicts some of the many treasures that Montenegro offers.

continue reading "Photos: Montenegro"

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Another Connecticut Day Trip From New York With Beach Access

A little over an hour from New York City, Southport, Connecticut is a bucolic waterfront town with a historic district peppered with grand 18th century houses. (The town dates to the 1600s and, given that had a successful port, was a favorite of wealthy sea captains and merchants who built their grand dwellings here.)  I strolled along the streets of the historic center of Southport, Connecticut and found that no matter the weather or time of day, this village is enwrapped in the charm of another era.

Here are some of the must-sees in Southport:

Southport Park is a 10-acre forested expanse smack in the middle of the town’s historic district. No matter the season, it’s worth walking its few trails, including one that loops beside a stream, past interesting rock formations.

The historic district is a mere scenic 20-minute walk to the beach, which is a simple curve of sand in a neighborhood dominated by immense mansions.

The Pequot Library, which dates from the late 1800s, retains so many other-era features, including two wood-paneled reading rooms with wood-burning fireplaces, original Tiffany stained-glass windows, and a grand stone, granite facade.

The Grey Goose is a local favorite for well-prepared food, and drinks. Despite the din, the environment is cozy with rugged wood beam columns, soft amber lighting, and a stone walled fireplace. They offer daily specials that are worth trying, including the blackened red snapper tacos  with avocado and pico de gallo.

Having dinner in an old railroad station waiting room hardly sounds like it would be an upscale experience. But, Paci defies the rules. By far, this is Southport’s best restaurant and one that shouldn’t be missed. The new glassed-in bar -- you can see the trains whizzing by -- is perfect for enjoying one of their many wines by the glass as well as anything on their dinner menu. Their signature meatball appetizer is the best around. (The recipe which includes pine nuts, raisins, sweet onions and garlic, comes from the owner’s family.)

The casual Horseshoe Cafe and Tavern has been in business since 1934. It’s a local favorite for hanging out with a glass of beer or wine to accompany a basket of freshly-made popcorn.

For a picnic lunch, my pick is the Spin and Span Market, a sandwich shop/grocery with tasty fixings. These include a popular turkey chili with melted Vermont cheddar, as well as the tarragon chicken salad wrap with apple bacon, mesclun greens, and plum tomatoes.

continue reading "Another Connecticut Day Trip From New York With Beach Access"

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Art, Food, Cocktails and Coffee in Kingston, New York

Many of my friends and colleagues assume that I only travel to far-flung locales. In fact, I'm all about discovery, whether it's along an alley I never strolled along in New York City or a neighborhood that's just a day trip away from Manhattan. That's why I decided to take bus to Kingston, New York, a mere two hours away. So close but a town I never had the opportunity to visit. Though I only spent two days, I could've easily have enjoyed the myriad coffee shops, restaurants, bars and street art for far longer. Below are just a few of the art-centric discoveries I made recently in Kingston, a city that's broken up into three sections -- Downtown, Midtown and Uptown -- that together make up a more than two-mile walkable expanse. Among the must-dos: stay at The Forsyth B&B, where the owner, Tamara Ehlin, is warm, welcoming, and can cook and bake up a storm, and present it all in an elegant manner, no less. You never know what will come out of the kitchen. There's no need to look for another accommodation when The Forsyth B&B has availability. To not stay here is to miss out on Tamara's elaborate breakfasts that included apple cider, yogurt with homemade granola and freshly cut pears, cheddar/scallion scones, and sweet potato hash with eggs any style. Another must is dinner at Wilde Beest, a locavore-centric, minimalist eatery with a slim menu that radiates creativity. I'm no fan of kale, yet I ordered the "I'm Kale" appetizer that came with crumbled kale, pickled peaches, golden raisins, fried millet, porcini mushroom powder and cashew dressing. I could've had seconds. And, in Kingston, I may have found my favorite coffee shop of all time: Rough Draft Bar & Books. Sitting at the corner of an intersection where each of the four buildings dates back centuries, this establishment is a coffee shop, bookstore, cafe and wine bar. As a writer who spends my time working in coffee shops, you couldn't have asked for a better, more atmospheric place to spend an hour or a day. I was lucky to grab a stool at the picture window and watch snowflakes fall as I gazed at the holidays lights strung about this area. Finally, I'm very finicky about bars. They can't be too loud or too bright or too pretentious. Crown, a just-opened romantic lounge in a centuries-old stone building, provides a perfect intimate environment to sip a fine wine or a well crafted, seasonal cocktail.

continue reading "Art, Food, Cocktails and Coffee in Kingston, New York"

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Necessary + Essential First-Aid Supplies

Injuries and illnesses can occur anywhere, whether at home, or traveling domestically or far afield. I carry a very complete first-aid kit with me when I'm traveling that duplicates many of the items I have readily available in my house. Whether you cut yourself in the kitchen when slicing carrots -- and, if you're on anti-clotting medication this would be especially problematic; or you're a woman who develops a vaginal infection while traveling in China, for example, where you might have difficulty easily finding a pharmacy who will understand what you need, especially if you're in a rural locale; or you're sitting beside a campfire making S'mores only to have the smoke irritate your eyes, the supplies (below) should provide relief. This list does not include the more typical items, such as gauze, adhesive bandages, a thermometer, and ACE-type elastic bandages, which are, of course, also important. Each of the supplies (below) are divided by symptom and body system to make it easier for you to determine what you need.

Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat, Teeth

  • OcuFresh Eye Wash
  • GenTeal, Blink Tears or other lubricating eye drops
  • EarPlanes - for unclogging ears on the plane
  • Saline nasal spray

Tummy Troubles
  • Bonine - for motion sickness

  • MiraLax - for constipation

  • Pepto Bismol chewable tabs - for diarrhea and to prevent traveler's diarrhea

  • Electrolyte replacement powder - for diarrhea

  • Peppermint Tummy drops - for stomach upset
Bites, Stings, Rashes

  • Benadryl cream - for itching

  • IvyBlock - prevents poison ivy rash

  • Calamine lotion -- for rash/itching

  • Tecnu - poison ivy skin cleanser
  • After Bite -- for itching after a "bug" bite

Cuts and Bruises

  • Betadine or other antiseptic wipes

  • Bacitracin topical antibiotic cream
  • Blister kit with moleskin
  • QuikClot - to stop bleeding fast
  • Spenco 2nd Skin squares/pads - for a blister

Women's Needs

  • Diflucan (single oral dose) - prescription

  • Monistat vaginal cream

  • Replens

continue reading "Necessary + Essential First-Aid Supplies"

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Video - My Travel Bags

Whether you're traveling or simply want a practical and stylish bag to carry all your vitals on a day to day basis, you'll now have the option of purchasing my original 7-in-1 micro bag in black, or my new cross-body canvas bag that comes in three different colors/patterns. Check out this video (below) where you'll see how both of these bags function, and how their minimalist silhouette assures that they don't shout out: "I'm carrying valuables." For more information on how to buy these bags, check out my virtual store -- for the 7-in-1 bag click here and for the new cross-body bag, click here

continue reading "Video - My Travel Bags"

Monday, December 17, 2018

Sneak Peak - New Men's Multi-Pocket Vest

I'm happy to announce that I now have a fashionable but practical man's multi-pocket vest in my collection. This is a sneak peak at this Made in America item that's constructed of a blend of cotton and poly. And, unlike typical men's travel vests, this one can be worn under a suit jacket for business meetings or trade shows when you need to look good and also keep all your vitals close at hand. Of course, it can also be worn with jeans and a casual shirt if you're traveling domestically or far-afield where it's vital that everything from train tickets to your passport are secure. The six zippers are all on the outside of the jacket and each pocket provides enough room for everything from your cell phone to a small notebook. We're taking pre-orders on this item and anyone who's interested and wants to know more can contact me directly.

continue reading "Sneak Peak - New Men's Multi-Pocket Vest"