Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekend Wanderlust

Links to feed your wanderlust this weekend...

- Gorgeous photos of Alberta, Canada from Mr & Mrs Globe Trot

- Who's up for a visit to sloth sanctuary in Costa Rica??

- Top 15 hotels for design lovers (naturally, I want to visit all of them!)

- One of the best proposed US currency re-designs I've seen

- An exhibit of literally killer clothing in Toronto 

- A mountain elevator in Switzerland

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Giveaway | Trinkets by Dana Necklace & Art Prints

 This week's giveaway is from Trinkets by Dana, an Etsy shop with pretty jewelry, art and origami pieces!

Digging this sweet bicycle necklace-- and it would be a great gift for a cyclist.

Dana is offering one lucky reader a silver plated star necklace and set of three gorgeous art prints! This giveaway is open Worldwide. Click through to enter...

Monday, November 17, 2014

An Ode to the Japanese Convenience Store

 Convenience store food might seem like a strange thing to focus on, particularly for a self-proclaimed foodie. If you live or have spent time in the US, you know that prepared foods in convenience stores are generally inferior to even the worst fast food, and often seem like an invitation to food poisoning. So, primed by these experiences, Japan blew me away with convenience store food that's legitimately good!

Even with the the fantastic public transport in Japanese cities, we did quite a bit of walking, and convenience stores became my go-to for a quick carb infusion. The yummy onigiri (rice balls with assorted fillings), and sandwiches kept me going (and saved the boyfriend from having to suffer through one of my low blood sugar meltdowns).

 You actually don't see many people eating or drinking on trains (with the exception of longer haul trips like the shinkansen), and I tried not to as well. Out of politeness, but also, maybe you should wash the subway off your hands before you tear into that sandwich, young lady.

Feast on everything from fried pork, to egg salad, and fruit & cream dessert sandwiches (at the bottom right). Oh, and potato salad sandwiches! Maybe someday I'll get to the bottom of the Japanese obsession with potato salad. But I have to admit they're actually pretty good. The only sandwich downside is the prevalence of white bread.

 Ah yes, the scary sushi-from-a-convenience-store. I ate this for breakfast and survived! And it was fairly good sushi: fresh, and about the same quality you find at a kaiten-zushi (and let's face it, in Japan, this is better than most of what you're served in the US).

 I might be biased, but even the packaged foods are better! In the place of mini microwaveable Chef Boyardee containers are a plethora of instant ramen and udon choices. We didn't eat in our airbnb apartment or hotel room often, but did have fun picking up new chips and candies to snack on:

 How about some Häagen-Dazs vegetable flavored ice cream? (The tomato flavor was strange but good, the carrot just strange).

So yeah, of course there are always better things to eat in Japan, but what you can grab at a convenience store is often just as good as the other quick options. Maybe this is less of a revelation to those of you who've grown up in countries with a food culture that focuses more on quality?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekend Wanderlust

Links to feed your wanderlust this weekend...

- Gorgeous photos from travels on the ancient road connecting Kyoto to Tokyo

- 50 really fun (and surprisingly useful) old British English words you should be using!

- Tasting balsamic vinegar at the source in Modena, Italy

- Rail travel with sleeper cars worthy of a boutique hotel, launching in Ireland!

- Stunning, vertigo-inducing footbridges around the world

- Awww. This Hong Kong bookstore is also a home to stray cats

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Poland's Fairytale Floral Painted Village

 The small Polish village of Zalipie has a long tradition of covering homes in elaborate floral motifs, and the results are straight out of a fairy tale! As is so often the case, no one quite knows how the tradition started, but it's speculated that the painting began as a way to cover smoke stains from wood burning stoves.

Whatever the reason, the practice has been embraced by residents. They hold a yearly painting competition, and the home of one particularly enthusiastic devotee of the practice has been turned into a museum showcasing her beautiful folk art.

(photos and info via Kuriositas, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, here, and here)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Real Estate Crush | Notting Hill

If the pale blue exterior of this Notting Hill, London home wasn't enough to make me fall in love, the stunning airy, modern interiors really sealed the deal! Well, metaphorically. Best not to even look at the price.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November Travel Pin-spiration

Some inspirational pins I'm loving lately. As autumn winds to an end, I start to think fondly of winter in that comfortable abstract way that's possible when it doesn't yet hurt to step outside of your house. Still, that cabin does look awfully cozy...

Follow along on Pinterest for more wintery goodness!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend Wanderlust

Weekend links to feed your wanderlust...

- My kind of festival in Cordoba, Spain, where everyone extravagantly decorates their patio with flowers!

- Creative pop-up hotel rooms made of recycled materials.

- Unearthing sphinxes in the California sands!

- Anyone else dying to take this dragon escalator up the side of a Chinese mountain?

And just for Halloween:

- LIFE Magazine's creepy 1964 photo story on "real" British witches. 

- The Tokyo bar where Zombie makeup is mandatory!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Michael George's Portrait of a Pilgrim

 Brooklyn based photographer Michael George spent two summers in France and Spain following the Camino de Santiago, a Christian pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, said to be the final resting place of St James. The resulting photos are gorgeous and evocative, and it's well worth reading his whole story here.

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