Category Archive: Recommendations

Recommended Thanksgiving Reading

AAA projects that 46.3 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home during the Thanksgiving weekend, the highest travel rate since 2007. I’ll be traveling just slightly more miles than that, and I’m loading up my Kindle Paperwhite with good reading to take along on the journey. I’m always keeping lists of things I’d like to read, and today I share these recommendations with you – whether you need something to keep your company while in transit, or to enjoy while others are watching football. Paris Was Ours Paris is “the world capital of memory and desire,” concludes one of the writers in this intimate and insightful collection of memoirs of the city. Living in Paris changed these writers forever. In thirty-two personal essays—more than half of which are here published for the first time—the writers describe how […]

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Hotel Review: Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn, Yakima Valley

Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn Address:  3271 Roza Drive, Zillah, Washington (Yakima Valley) Value Luxury Rating:   (out of 3 hearts) Features:  Set on a working farm in the Yakima Valley,  Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn offers overnight accommodations in 22-foot teepees. This specialty bed and breakfast has barbeque grills, compact refrigerators, separate super-clean and private water closets, along with an open-air shower to round out its amenities. The property is horse and dog-friendly, and the teepees have a special bed in your teepee so your dog can sleep right along with you. No children permitted. Price Range:  $245/night based on double occupancy. Full breakfast included. Cherry Wood is open during the “season”, generally from late spring into early fall. Reservations required; make them early as they book up for the season quite quickly.   Personal Notes:  I’ve been interested in […]

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Travel Product Review: Tani Underwear

Luxury Collection of Underwear from Tani Product:  Air Fitness Boxer Brief from Tani Rating:   (out of three hearts) Features:  Designed to be worn for athletic and everyday activities, the Air Fitness Boxer Brief keeps you cool and comfortable in any situation. The three-dimensional pique knit creates tiny pockets of air that helps regulate your body temperature, keeping you cool where you need it most. The SUPERFINE Tencel wicks away 50 percent more moisture than cotton. What He thought:  I handed these over to my favorite guy traveler for review, asking him to pay special attention to comfort and wearability. I asked him to wear them under a variety of conditions:  every day, for high energy activities, for long and sweaty travel, and for light exercise. He put the boxers through its paces, laundered it by hand as well as by machine, […]

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Summer Travel Reading

I’ve had a Kindle since the very first generation was released. It’s served me well (although I do have my eye on upgrading to the Kindle Paperwhite), allowing me to carry all the books I’d like to read for a little under half a pound. Compare that with the weight and bulk of carrying around a book or two – or a dozen when I’d head to Europe for a few weeks – and it makes practical packing sense. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the heft of a real book and the feel of real paper, but my back and shoulders appreciate my efforts to lighten the load when I’m on the road. I’ve recently discovered that my local public library offers Kindle books on loan, and it’s an inexpensive way to catch up on a lot of […]

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Hotel Review: Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa, Malaysia

Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa Address:  Batu Ferringhi, 11100 Penang, Malaysia. About a 45 minute drive from the Penang airport, and about a 20 minute drive from Georgetown. Value Luxury Rating:   (out of 3) Features:  The 5-star Shangri-La Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is set on 30-acres of beachfront and boasts gardens featuring over 133,000 varieties of plants, trees, and shrubs. Regional artwork can be found located around the grounds and interior spaces. Accommodations are situated in two wings, the family friendly Garden Wing (189 rooms) and the exclusive Rasa Wing (115 rooms). Decor in both is a traditional Malay style blended with contemporary chic, with every modern convenience worked in. Rooms feature the expected upsale amenities (bath products from L’Occitane), air conditioning, wifi, and more. The resort has three swimming pools (one adult only), a par 3 pitch-and-putt golf course […]

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Travel Product Review: Tamagear Mid Layer

Tamagear Mid Layer Jacket Product:  Perfect Mid Layer Jacket from Tamagear MJ Rating:   (of three hearts) Features:  Tamagear’s Mid Layer Jacket is a new production item.  It’s soft, comfortable and stylish, and was designed with both fashion and practicality in mind. Made of a polyester/spandex blend, it features four strategically located pockets. It serves as a great mid-layer on those cold days when a heavier coat would be required and layering is a must, but is a perfect lightweight “only” layer on cool, but not cold, days. What I thought:  I’m the person that’s always cold. Friends may be in shorts and a t-shirt, but I’m the one carrying a sweater. And since I frequently have to pack for widely varying weather – Hawaii and New York in winter time – I need clothes that layer and do double duty. […]

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Travel Product Review: Zensah Compression Socks

Compression Socks from Zensah Product:  Tech+ Compression Socks from Zensah Rating:   Features:  Zensah Argyle Compression Socks provide for increased circulation and decreased recovery time by utilizing advanced graduated compression in each pair of argyle compression socks. Moisture wicking keeps the socks dry, and a padded toe and heel make them comfy. A graduated compression provides increased oxygenated blood flow and decreased recovery time from athletic activities. The compression socks are made in Italy. What I thought:  Make no mistake about it, I am not an athlete and I don’t pretend to be one, but when I saw these compression socks I thought they’d be great for traveling. There’s been plenty written about the advantages of compression hose/socks while flying, so I won’t go into here, and these Zensah socks caught my eye because they cute (c’mon pink and black […]

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Travel Product Review: Comfy Commuter Travel Pillow

Comfy Commuter has the Travel Pillow of Your Dreams Product:  Comfy Commuter Travel Pillow Value Luxury Rating:    (2 out of 3) Features:  The Comfy Commuter travel pillow is made of soft plush and designed to create a space at the base of your neck so that your head is not forced forward into an uncomfortable position. The pillow extends up past the ears to support your head on both sides. An optional chin strap can be used to keep your head from slipping through the front when in use. The washable pillow has a side pocket for your iPod or phone and an attached bag for easy storage. What I thought:  Let’s face it — I don’t usually travel with a travel pillow because I’m betting on that upgrade to business class and the lie flat seats! Alas, that doesn’t happen all the time and […]

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Product Review: Cabo Trail to Rapids Shoe

The Trail to Rapids Line from Baffin Product:  Cabo Trail to Rapids from Baffin MJ Rating:   (of 3) Features:  This lightweight and highly breathable trail shoe is designed for comfortable use on dry or wet trails. A specially design 5-layer system allows water to drain through, while a metallic grid in the sole keeps rocks or other debris from getting into the shoe. The insole channels take care of draining all moisture. The Cabo comes in black with purple lacing (the one I have) and chocolate with black lacing. The shoe is available in for men and women. What I thought:  I refuse to bog down my luggage or day pack with multiple pairs of shoes. They’re heavy and take up too much room that can be put to better use. My rule of thumb – wear a pair, pack […]

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Hotel Review: The Banjaran, Ipoh, Malaysia

The Banjaran Address:  No 1, Persiaran Lagun Sunway 3, Sunway City Ipoh Value Luxury Rating:   (2 out of 3 hearts) Features: Situated in a 16 1/2 acre valley, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is surrounded by Mother Nature at her finest – limestone hills, rainforest, geothermal hot springs, caves, and waterfalls. It’s the perfect setting for a getaway, whether that’s a structured program of health and wellness, a relaxing stay with pampering spa treatments. or a romantic escape, providing a sanctuary from the busyness of everyday life. (But don’t panic, complimentary wi-fi is available throughout the property, should you prefer to keep connected with your world.) The resort features 25 air conditioned Garden and Water Villas, conveniently located around the Spa and Wellness Center, and a variety of natural treatment options. Some of those treatment options include: Geothermal Pools – Located alongside the geothermal lake, […]

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