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Meet the Luxurious & Feature-Rich Buick LaCrosse in Action

May 20, 2015 by  

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Ahhh yes, Buick!! You all know the name, but how many of you drive one? And, if not, why not? Truth be told, I grew up with Buicks around me — in fact, a Buick LeSabre was the very first car I drove regularly when I got my permit at the ripe age of 16. Yes, we were a GM family. My grandmother had the Buick LeSabre which she began to share with me when I got my license and my grandfather drove a Chevy. It’s funny, but in a quick search for what LeSabre’s looked like at the time, somehow I don’t remember them being quite so square — it’s astonishing how things have changed in 30 years! Above, the 2015 Buick LaCrosse 1SL AWD with Baroque Red Metallic exterior color and Alloy Wheels — Photo credit: © General Motors. That memorable burgundy Buick LeSabre saw a lot of action back when. My grandmother, who was no fragile flower when she got behind the wheel, was known for her heavy foot and I certainly wasn’t timid around cars either — after all, two cousins owned mechanic shops, my grandfather collected old cars and also drove a truck…

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Reliable Yakima & US on the Long Haul Across America

May 11, 2015 by  

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I did a boat load of research for top of the car cargo racks before we landed at Yakima’s doors one afternoon last fall. I was spending more time in New York than California at the time, and we had already gotten a Yakima Bike Rack in for review (we love it btw) over the summer however I was open to other brands for a cargo rack — in other words, just because Yakima manufactured a top notch bike rack didn’t necessarily mean they’d do a stellar job with a cargo rack. Given the car model and year we had, Yakima was one of only two options and since we had such a great experience the first time around, we thought, why not give Yakima another try? The above shot was taken in rural Virginia towards the beginning of our cross country trek. Yakima was a great choice as we later learned after traveling several thousand miles across country with two Yakima products in tow during January of this year. Even after putting one of their bike racks to the test over the summer, we extended its use on our cross country trip, where it…

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Samsonite Luggage For Durability & Smoking Fast Wheels

April 29, 2015 by  

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I have to admit, I never thought of luggage as an important factor in traveling until a little over a year ago when I realized that most of the luggage I have been using ripped easily and weighed me down — not only were they cumbersome but the wheels were slow, something I had just grown used to over the years. I set out to find the most stylish, fun, durable and functional luggage on the market and while I’m looking at less known brands, you can’t get down and out with luggage without trying the brand master, Samsonite. My family owned Samsonite luggage many moons ago, but I hadn’t used a Samsonite in over a decade – yes really. In exploring their website, the collection that stood out for me most was  The Silhouette Spinner collection, which is apparently a popular seller. It’s easy to see why after using their roller bags for a few months now. While I got mine in blue (pictured above), the luggage collection also comes in black, espresso brown and port wine. In hindsight, I would have liked to try the port wine and should have gotten a carry on…

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The Growth & Trend of Smartphone Sensors

April 17, 2015 by  

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IMG 1871 Intel Free Press reports on moves to harness smartphone sensors to help apps better personalize their services based on context… By Intel Free Press The 2013 film “Her” featured an operating system that could personalize itself to the user to the extent where the intelligence appeared anything but artificial. By taking cues from user data and its environment, the OS was able to respond to the user’s needs, even on an emotional level. While “Her” was science fiction, progress in the area of contextual computing is bringing such intelligent systems one step closer to science fact. From GPS sensors to accelerometers to gyroscopes, smartphones already have been capturing and utilizing sensor data to enrich a user’s experience. Services such as Google Now combine user data with location to provide information on nearby attractions and travel times for calendar appointments, but much more can be done with smarter sensors. For example, an ambient audio sensor along with calendar and location data could give a mobile device the contextual awareness to determine whether it can alert you with either an audible cue or a subtle vibration instead if you are in a meeting or…

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UV Skinz Clothing Provides UV and UVB Radiation Protection

April 1, 2015 by  

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I recently discovered the UV Skinz clothing line, which offers a variety of travel clothing options with built in UV and and UVB radiation protection. Yes, really — there’s a clothing line that protects you from the sun’s harmful rays, which is a godsend for avid travelers. While it may not substitute having to put sun block on your face, the rest of you is protected. The line is specifically targeting active families who spend time in the sun, whether that’s on a weekend getaway or a holiday trip.  They offer a line for men, women and children. I absolutely love their hoodies! Below is a stylish men’s hoodie in blue, although the same one comes in a variety of colors, something else I love about the UV Skinz clothing line – they believe in color and give people choices. Unlike so many travel clothing options which often only have tan, blue, white and black, or the standard very masculine red, you can get this hoodie in orange, green, black, a deep blue and a bright, fun turquoise color. Flatlock-stitched seams throughout, heat transferred label and covered neck

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3 Useful & Must Have Gadgets for the Travel Photographer

March 30, 2015 by  

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Traveling in nature and being out in the wilderness is a life changing experience for most. But, for photographers, it can be the experience of a lifetime, especially if they’re in the middle of untamed territory or shooting wildlife on a safari. Photographic subjects are plentiful – as are the vistas and landscapes that fill each view. Wild animals, which many people have only seen on wildlife documentaries, walk past mere meters from you, often stopping to stare back at you, providing an image, and a memory, that many would turn green for. The same goes for fast moving objects in a city you’re trying to capture. One of the most challenging things for photographers is to keep the camera steady in order to produce a crystal clear shot. There is nothing more frustrating, or heartbreaking, than composing the perfect shot, with the perfect light, only for it to come out blurred because of camera shake. Luckily there are a few great pieces of gear available that will greatly decrease the frustration and heartbreak of a shaky shot. The Sturdy Monopod The monopod fits somewhere in between the versatile beanbag and the steady tripod. Using a monopod (which is quite…

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The Pros of a Selfie Stick for the Avid Traveler

March 28, 2015 by  

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The selfie stick has been getting a bad rap. Not only is it now officially banned in many major museums around the world to help keep collections safe and disruptions to a minimum, but the New York Post called it “the most controversial gift of 2014.” Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of narcissistic Instagram accounts where following someone’s trip through Peru is actually a trip through their face, with a sprinkling of Inca ruins and Andes peaks in the background. And I’ve definitely smashed into oblivious selfie stick touting tourists on crowded NYC streets as I’m rushing to meetings. For these types of snap happy vagabonds, their selfie sticks should be taken away and the offender deported (too harsh?). That being said, as someone who uses a selfie stick regularly — mine’s actually a GoPro 3-Way Arm, as I like to clarify — I would argue it’s not all bad. Here’s why: selfie stick

1. It Gives Photos Depth

When using your own arms, or even a tripod, your limited to the motions and heights possible with these. The selfie stick allows you to take shots from a wide variety of distances and heights…

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Testing the Adisi Tent in Taiwan

March 26, 2015 by  

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Our latest camping adventure in Taiwan was in Guoxing where we used a brand named Adisi, which is a Taiwanese home grown brand. More Camping in Taiwan The tent structure remains attached to the quick-setup frame, so you don’t have to take it down. More Camping in Taiwan These very clever joints fold and lock into place, making it very easy to set up the frame with the tent attached. More Camping in Taiwan After the frame is set up, all that remains is to install the frame components for the foyer, and then put on the rain fly. More Camping in Taiwan This is the tent and additional frame in the front for the foyer, awaiting the addition of the rain fly. More Camping in Taiwan Notice the die-cast aluminum feet on the frame.  The inner strap is the tent.  The rain fly cleverly snaps into a connector on the outside of the foot.  To be…

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