Travel

Lensbaby Spark Lets You Take Fun Pics on the Go

Want to use you camera to take fun pictures on the go? The Lensbaby Spark may be just what you need. The Lensbaby Spark is one of the more unusual camera accessories I have used since I began covering camera accessories. The lens runs $80 and is available for both Canon and Nikon mounts. For your $80, you get a “selective-focus” “tilt-shift” lens that shoots at f/5.6 with a fixed focal length of 50mm. If you are not quite sure what that means, you are not alone. And while, in most cases, I might take the attitude of “if you…


Lifeproof is Your iOS Device’s Best Travel Companion

While Elana, Judie, Kevin and I have been down here in Aruba this week both my iPhone 5 and my 4th generation iPod touch have been well-protected in Lifeproof cases. The cases do a great job of protecting your device from bumps, bruises and… water. And while I didn’t want to dump my iPhone 5 in the Caribbean, I did take my touch with me when we went snorkeling. Not only did it work well, but it worked well enough that I am completely and totally impressed and, next time, I WILL trust my iPhone to the Lifeproof case. From…


Skooba Cable Stable Rollup Kit Review

Back in June, I did a video post on how I created a Skooba Design “Go Pack”. I took one of the company’s Cable Stables and strategically loaded it with all the cables and accessories I need with me on the go. It continues to serve me well but, believe it on not, it can be a bit too large on days when I’m traveling super-light. This is especially so now that my iPad mini is my “go-everywhere” tablet. That’s why I was pleased to get one of Skooba Design’s first Cable Stable Rollup Kits. The Rollup Kit is small,…


The Amazing American Cars of Cuba

I was in Havana last week with two dozen members of my community; we were there as part of a “religious mission”, which meant that we brought down supplies to share with the aging members of the Cuban Jewish Community and spent time learning about the history of Cuba, the Jewish community in Cuba, and even the architecture of Havana. That was the “serious stuff”. For fun, among other things, we spent time “car watching”. I couldn’t believe the American cars from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s that are still on the road. It was nothing short of impressive. Here’s…


A Week in Cuba and the Gear I Carried

I spent last week in Havana Cuba touring the city, listening to lectures, and doing some good as we visited with Havana’s Jewish community and shared the medical supplies we’d brought. While there, certain key pieces of tech came in rather handy; I thought I would run down just a few of them. First and foremost, my Canon T3i DSLR and iPad were great for taking and manipulating pictures on the fly. Using the two devices in tandem let me take pictures like this one from Hemingway’s house. And this one from his garden. And this one of his typewriter….


Lowepro Urban Photo Sling 250 Camera Bag Video Review

Lowepro’s Urban Photo Sling 150 was one of the first camera bags I reviewed over the summer. I liked it and have found myself turning to it as one of my “goto” camera bags ever since. (You can read the full review here.) My biggest issue with the bag was its size. The Urban Photo Sling 150 is great when you need to carry a camera and just a bit more, but if you’re on a trip it is a bit too small. That’s where the Lowepro Urban Photo Sling 250 comes in. It offers the same design and features…


Make Your Next Trip as Healthy as You Want

Ask any business traveler, the toughest thing is maintaining your exercise and eating regime while on the road. I remember when I was traveling heavily many years ago, it made keeping a routine very difficult – but gaining weight easy. I don’t have to travel very much for work anymore, but when I was planning my trip to Utah to check out the new Hyundai Santa Fe, I wanted to be sure that my marathon training and associated eating habits were not severely impacted. The first thing is exercise – this can be the hardest thing to do, as you…


Traveling Light with the Sena Florence Portfolio; I Reviewed It, and I Still Use It

I had a few meetings the other day, and as I was heading out for them, I was struck by how little I was actually bringing with me. I was further struck by the fact that despite how little I was bringing with me for the day, I STILL had everything I needed. Yes, everything I needed for my meetings was held in my Timbuk2 X-small Quickie for Tablets 2011, and I had tons of room left over. (The 2012 version is here.) In fact, there was almost nothing actually IN the bag. So what did I bring with me?…


Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 35 V2.0 Review

Over the last few months we’ve looked at numerous ways to carry and protect your camera and gear and today we are looking at yet another! This time out we have the Think Tank Photo Urban Disguise 35 V2.0. It has an MSRP of $159.75 and what you get for the money is rather impressive. Yet again the bag “comes in any color you want so long as you want black”. That isn’t an issue to my mind, especially since this is a bag that is intended to carry a ton of gear without calling too much attention to itself….


SteriPEN, a Handy Tool in a Variety of Models for Water Purification on the Go

Quite a few years back when I was in high school, I enrolled in a “primitive” two-week hiking trip to the Smoky Mountains/Shining Rock Wilderness area with a group called Wilderness Southeast. It was quite an education for a young greenhorn like myself far from civilization…hiking boots, heavy backpacks and open to the elements (no tents), and no food except what we carried and rehydrated with water from mountain streams. Water…that was key, you see, because back in those days we used chlorine tablets to sterilize the water…and most of you who ever spent time in a swimming pool know…


The Magnificent Grand Canyon

When you drive through the pine forests leading up to the Grand Canyon’s rim, no one would fault you for thinking that what you are about to see couldn’t possibly live up to the hype. But when you get to the rim, when you have your first chance to look over and out … the view is simply mind-boggling. How big is the Grand Canyon? The park covers 1,218,375.54 acres, which is about 1,904 square miles. If you measure it in river miles, following the course of the Colorado River at the canyon’s bottom, you’d call it 277 miles long. The…


Marvelous Mesa Verde!

Imagine for a moment that you are a cowhand, and that you have been riding in the desert heat for some time in search of missing cattle. Across from the Mesa you are riding upon, you happen to look at the wall of the cliffs below the mesa opposite you. Your mind drifts for a moment, and you find yourself studying the composition of the opposite mesa’s cliffs; you find yourself paying attention to the layers of clay, limestone, sandstone, shale, and other geologic materials that make up of all the cliff-patterns and colors that you are used to seeing…


This Video of First Class on an Emerates Airlines A380 Will Have You Hating Coach More than Ever

I hate flying. Hate it. And I hate flying Coach even more. At 6′ 1 1/2″ the fact that he seats are getting closer and closer is not only annoying, it is downright uncomfortable. And when I’ve flown coach to Israel… ouch!!!! I have, thankfully, taken that long flight in Business First a few times and it made a huge difference. Regardless, even then I hated flying. What could make me like it more? Something like what Emerates Airlines offers in 1st Class on their A380. You know, it is the little things, like a fully stocked bar, gourmet food…


Exploring the Captivating Carlsbad Caverns

Have you ever been to Carlsbad Caverns? If not, and assuming you like exploring, then you owe it to yourself to go. Nestled in the Guadalupe mountains about 150 miles North East of El Paso, Carlsbad Caverns is worth the drive from just about anywhere. So how were they discovered? The story goes that in 1898, a 16-year-old cowhand named Jim White [most likely] entered the caverns for the first time. Who knows exactly who was the first to find the cave entrance, but by the time he died in 1946, Jim was known unofficially as “Mr. Carlsbad Caverns” for his “exploration,…


Lowepro Urban Photo Sling 150 Review

If all you need to bring with you is your DSLR camera, a few accessories and an iPad you certainly don’t want to carry some big, heavy, and bulky bag. At the same time, carrying your camera and your iPad means that you have some rather expensive equipment along with you for the day so you DO want it protected. One option is the Urban Photo Sling from Lowepro. This sling style bag comes in two sizes – the 150 and the 250 – and I’ve been using the 150, the smaller of the two, for the last few weeks. As…


Full Body Scans, the TSA and the Law: The Legal Maneuvers Continue

I used to travel a lot — basically once a week.  I had a job in California, but my family lives in Austin.  (it was 2008–I took whatever I could find.)  So I spent a lot of time in airports, eating, pulling luggage, searching for power outlets, unlacing and relacing my shoes, and getting scanned. Over that period, airports were transitioning from X-Ray-only to those “strip you naked” full-body scanners.  To say that I am dubious about these devices, their use, the lack of privacy, and so on would be a massive understatement.  The makers of the most popular machines…


Skooba Design Laptop Weekender V.3 Review (Spoiler- You Want This!)

 Hi, my name is Dan and I am the poster child for Over-packers Anonymous. It’s true. I have a packing problem. When I go anywhere I fill whatever bags I am bringing to overflowing and then I add a bit more. And that holds true for my cloths, my electronics and my incidentals. The result? When I went to Aruba last December I brought three times as much as I needed. When I went to Vegas for CES I brought twice as much as I needed. And when I went to Dearborn for GoFurther with Ford last month I had…


New York City’s High Line Park is a Raised Treasure

Charles Harvey demonstrating his elevated railroad design on Greenwich Street in 1867, source In the 1930s and 1940s, New York’s elevated High Line ran between factories and warehouses delivering milk, meat, produce, and raw and manufactured goods without creating congestion on the streets below. Rather than run above the streets of the businesses it serviced, the High Line ran through buildings, which was the city’s attempt to “avoid creating the negative conditions associated with elevated subways.” In 1980, the last train ran on the High Line pulling three carloads of frozen turkeys. In the mid-1980s, area property owners began lobbying…


Adventures in Customer Service – Coco Key Water Resort Edition

Nostalgia and fun memories can be a dangerous thing – they can lead you to look past some obvious signs of poor customer service until it is too late. Three years ago my wife and boys went back to Massachusetts to visit the town we lived for 15 years before moving to New York. They stayed one night each with friends, but then Sunday night stayed in a hotel so everyone else could get back to their normal life and Lisa and the boys would have an easier exit to head home. They chose the Coco Keys Water Resort Hotel…


A Few Thoughts on Traveling with the MacBook Pro Retina

As Judie and I posted last week, the MacBook Pro Retina may be pricey but it is also an amazing computer. Honestly, after using it for almost two weeks I can, without hesitation, call it the best computer I have ever owned. It is fast, quiet, runs cool and it has a screen that must be seen to be appreciated. Yes, it is the best computer I have ever used. It is also the heaviest notebook I have owned in the last 5+ years and, since it came to Dearborn Michigan with me last week for the GoFurther with Ford…


Braven 600 Takes on the JawBone JamBox, and…

Back in December we did a post and video comparing the Spar Zephyr 300 and the JawBone JamBox. (Read the post.) The Spar speaker promised excellent audio and the ability to double as an external charger. Unfortunately it didn’t deliver on the audio front. I returned it and let the company know why. They were gracious about it, refunded my purchase immediately and then shared their own disappointment with how the speaker turned out. I went bcd to using my JamBox. They stopped shipping. Fast forward and a few weeks ago Spar rebranded as BRAVEN and released not one but…