Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Another Connecticut Shore Town

My explorations on Connecticut's southern coast continue with another gem of a town: Guilford. (It’s slightly closer to New Haven compared with Madison.) Not only does this town have one of the loveliest town greens around, as well as Connecticut's oldest house (dating from 1639), but there is also a beautiful beach within walking distance of downtown. On my way to the beach, I discovered this short but scenic boardwalk winding through Chittenden Park. At the end of the boardwalk are a couple of benches to enjoy the scenery. Then I continued my wanderings to Jacob's Beach that was completely deserted. All of this was within walking distance of downtown.

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Saturday, November 3, 2018

A Connecticut Coastal Town Not Far From Manhattan

On Connecticut's scenic coast, not far from New Haven, the town of Madison is a true gem. The downtown is walkable and chock full of contemporary works of art, like this sculpture. (Pick up a self-guided brochure at the visitor's center and try to find all the public works of art.) In addition, it’s a short stroll from main street to three public beaches and an easy bike ride to a fourth. Among the must-dos: sipping a glass of wine at Bar Bouchee, a French bistro with a large selection of wines by the glass; browsing the numerous staff recommended titles at R.J. Julia Booksellers, a large independent bookstore; and enjoying a lunch of crab cakes or mac and cheese at the low-key Elizabeth's Cafe.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

My New Bag Collection

When I design clothes and accessories, I’m all about minimalism and pockets. I don’t believe a bag should reveal itself to everyone who, for example, may be standing next to you on a crowded metro. My bags -- as well as my vest -- revolve around simplicity, practicality and pockets that are hidden. And that includes my new canvas cross-body bag collection. From the outside, this cross-body canvas bag has a minimalist silhouette with a magnetic snap. Flipping it open reveals three zippered compartments that, together, are big enough for most any of your personal items, including sunglasses, cell phone, credit cards — organized in a separate, easy-to-access section with its own snap flap — currency, plane or train tickets, sunscreen, lip balm, travel toothbrush, you name it. There’s a limited quantity of these bags -- they sell for $49.95 and are Made in America -- that are perfect for traveling to far-flung locales or around town.
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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Michelin-Starred Dining in the Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands may not be on most people's radar, but they should be for myriad reasons, including that they're noted for their pristine air, land and waters. And in this treasured, far-flung archipelago, I made a surprising discovery: a Michelin-starred restaurant in a wild landscape serving an 18-course menu with mostly foraged ingredients. This is the article I recently wrote for Forbes.

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

A Monolith along the Camino dos Faros, Spain

This dramatically-crafted, granite monolith in the coastal town of Muxia honors the Galician volunteers that mobilized in 2002 to clean up a massive eco disaster. That was the year when the Prestige, an oil tanker, was seriously damaged at sea, splitting in two, spilling tens of thousands of tons of oil all along the Costa da Morte, and contaminating sea and sand. The monolith is appropriate named "A Ferida," which translates to "The Wound." On my hiking trip along this coast, following the Camino dos Faros, I was lucky to meet one of the men who organized the volunteers.

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

This Travel Writer Is Also A Screenwriter - Early Peek

Credit: @Jeanine Barone

Many who read my blog may not be aware that I’m also a comedy screenwriter. (I’ve written 17 shorts and 3 feature comedies.) This is an early peek of “Such A Deal,” a comedy short film that we shot a little over a month ago. According to Dionna McMillian @dionnafilm: “The final color will be magical, just like the adventure our heroine goes on... ”
I’m so thrilled to have worked with Dionna McMillian @dionnafilm and the entire awesome cast and crew.
Story by and co-written by me, @jcreaturetravel
Directed by and co-written by Dionna McMillian @dionnafilm
Starring @ebonyobsidian
Co-starring @damianemcee
Co-produced by @kenziemcheather
Stedicam operator @eddielebron

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hiking A Wild and Bucolic Landscape in Spain

I recently signed up for a self-guided hike along the Camino dos Faros -- the Lighthouse Way in Galicia, Spain -- with On Foot Holidays. I never tired of the dramatic and pastoral landscapes, the sense of calm, the fresh seafood, and the convivial spirit of Galicia's populace. Sure, most people know this province for Santiago de Compostela, the terminus for many different routes of the Camino de Santiago. But, having done one of them that courses through the province of Asturias, I prefer the Lighthouse Way any day for its wild and bucolic beauty. Hiking along this picturesque Costa da Morte -- so named because of the numerous shipwrecks along the dramatically rocky shore -- reveals a constantly changing tapestry of scenic vistas. The end of this hike is Finisterre, which the Romans aptly named because they thought this westernmost cape in the province of Galicia was the "end of the earth." Staying at a hotel beside the lighthouse where the winds howled all night long, I was delighted to overnight in the "dos faros" (The Lighthouse) guest room where I kept the blinds up, allowing the darkness to be pierced by the cold glow. During the day, I walked 2 km into the colorful town whose port is bustling with fishing boats. Having traveled extensively through Spain, I can enthusiastically say that Galicia is my very favorite province and the Camino dos Faros may very well be the best hiking route I’ve ever had the pleasure of walking.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Gear Review: Performance Mary Jane Shoe for Women

Unlike most women, I only travel with two pairs of shoes -- and one of 'em -- always the heaviest -- is on my feet. (That's another reason why I can travel for weeks on end without checking luggage.) These Mary Janes by Astral Designs -- a U.S.-based company -- are not your average casual, walk-around-town shoes. The sole is made of a material that easily grips wet surfaces, such as metal gratings or steps I might encounter when racing around urban areas. I brought one of these (the red pair) on my most recent trip to Galicia where, during the day I was hiking nine to 10 miles, and, late in the day, I was running around villages and towns, checking out shops, restaurants, lighthouses, museums and wine bars. They have a low profile so they pack small and come in several different stylish colors. Again, it's all about looking good while wearing items that perform well. (Never sacrifice performance for aesthetics.)

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Saturday, September 29, 2018

Perfect-for-Hiking Chocolate Snack

When I'm hiking, biking or Nordic skiing long distances, I tote snacks that are not only healthy but also something I look forward to enjoying on the trail. My latest love is Joe Chocolates, which I carried on my recent hiking trip in Galicia, Spain where I hiked nine to 10 miles a day for more than a week. These chocolates are unusual in several ways. They're simply packaged, produced in the state of Washington with simple ingredients, such as cacao nibs, dark chocolate and organic coconut, depending on the flavors chosen. But, most importantly, these are coffee-infused chocolates, something that not only provides approximately 90 mg of caffeine per one ounce portion but produces a sophisticated flavor profile that I looked forward to as I traveled along the undulating terrain day after day.

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