SPONSORED POST: Whether you are planning to book P&O cruises or you are choosing to secure one of the luxury cruise deals to faraway shores, packing your suitcase is one of the most important aspects of pre-cruise organization. Make sure you don’t get overburdened by sticking to these handy tips and advice. Continue reading
Consider this camel’s back broken. The snow that fell Saturday was my last straw. I needed spring and I needed it bad. So I headed to the Bronx.
Stop thinking what you’re thinking. The Bronx is home to the New York Botanical Garden. Featuring the iconic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the Garden is home to all good things flora. And running now through April 22 is the annual Orchid Show, a dazzling display of common and exotic varieties. The smell alone is worth the $25 admission.
Urban trekking requires a backpack. Case closed. I’ve resisted for years, choosing any number of cross-body bags instead. So I’ve constantly mumbled and grumbled while rummaging through them looking for the one item (keys, wallet, phone) that had somehow disappeared within the depths. Or walked around with bag wide open because my guidebook didn’t quite fit. And then when I’d shop (a required activity during city visits), I’d lose the functionality of my hands because I was carrying multiple shopping bags.
Enter the eBags Mother Lode TLS Weekender Convertible. At $99.99, it’s a terrific value and comes in a wide range of beautiful colors. I took mine for a spin through the Bronx, visiting the New York Botanical Gardens and Arthur Avenue and am happy to report it fulfilled all of my expectations.
The exterior has a number of zippered areas that provide easy access to the things you need quickly, including pockets for your cell phone, camera, and wallet. A key clip inside meant no more unpacking the entire bag to find my keys that would have fallen to the bottom of a smaller, non-compartmentalized bag. The straps were well padded, providing comfort and security throughout the day. Compression straps kept the profile of the bag quite slim, as I maneuvered the delicate orchid display in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. And the bottle pouch (that retracts when not in use) kept my water at hand. Despite the brisk March weather outside, the orchids required tropical hothouse conditions.
Heading to Arthur Avenue, I released the compression straps and asked the Mother Lode to do what a daypack should – carry home my goodies. I’d already purchased a 1,000-piece orchid jigsaw puzzle. I picked up a loaf of seeded Italian bread and a couple of cannoli, stuffed peppers and fresh mozzarella. I can’t think of a better way to fill a bag. And, best of all, my hands were free to hold my pistachio gelato.
I can’t wait to take my convertible for an extended trip. Packing cube sets are available from eBags in complimentary colors to organize the interior for clothing. I think it’ll work great for trips up to 3-days in length. Included with the bag is a shoulder strap that permits you to carry the bag like a tote. My only suggestion would be to integrate the strap into the design, like the backpack straps that disappear into the laptop area when not in use. Once a strap’s removable, I tend to lose it. And now I don’t need to tote a second bag for sightseeing since I’ve experienced how well the Mother Lode handles around town.
If Elton John was the only artist you recognized during this year’s Grammy Awards, then it’s high time you tried on some new tunes. To assist you, NPR has compiled a 100-song playlist you can download until April 4th. Featured are the artists performing at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival.
SPONSORED POST: Rich in culture and charm, Ionian island holidays are a perfect opportunity to escape the toil of day-to-day life, in favor of sunnier climes that present beautiful landscapes to explore and relax in. Tucked away in the Mediterranean Sea, just off the coast of Greece, these lush, picturesque islands are a haven for anyone wanting to unwind and recharge their batteries, while an Ionian sailing holiday is one of the best yachting opportunities in the world.
SPONSORED POST: What’s not to love about Malta? This lovely island, fringed by clusters of tiny castaway islands like its own Mediterranean solar system, is marooned out to sea off the south coast of Italy. Beach-lovers can’t get enough of its golden sands and gorgeous bays, surrounding the bubbly resorts of Mellieha Bay, Qawra, Bugibba and Sliema.
Fact of Life #74: People who travel take photographs. Too many, usually. Back in the day, these photos returned from the processing lab and landed in drawers, shoeboxes and shopping bags waiting for the big day when they would “go into the album.” Today, they sit in limbo on your camera phone or SanDisk, one errant finger swipe away from deletion. I recently decided to take a few baby steps towards organizing my photos and turned to the source for all good things, Martha Stewart, for advice. Continue reading