Entries tagged with: travel

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Crufts Dog Show 2014

cruft0.jpg Here’s the latest from London-based editor and resident zoologist, Justine Aw!

This year we visited Crufts on the day of the Working and Pastoral (Herding) Groups. There were no Gamekeepers present like last year’s Gun Dog day, but the day did mark the judging of some amazing dogs, including towering Great Danes, Mastiffs and St. Bernards in the working group, as well as some impressively dreadlocked Komondors and perfectly fluffed Old English Sheepdogs in the herding group. We met some fantastic dogs and dog lovers and as always, the sweetest moments were always, those little interactions between dogs and their people. More photos of Day 1 at Crufts on the next page.

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Mophie Space Pack

spacepak0.jpg On fun surprises, the nice folks at Mophie just sent over their new Mophie Space Pack! And honestly, it’s kind of magical! As is expected from Mophie, it boosts your battery life ~ but now it’s also adding an additional 16GB to 32GB of storage! And by storage, i mean that more like an external harddrive or flash drive that both your computer and a compatible iPhone can read. It isn’t exactly letting your iPhone fill up and then automatically use the space on the Space Pack. Their Space App enable you to browse files, take photos straight to the Space Pack, listen to music and watch videos (with airplay!), airdrop files to other iphones, and more. It’s definitely an easy way to transfer photos from your computer to iPhone to then open in Instagram, etc.

In the past we shared our unboxing of the rugged Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Pro, which we still carry around to events, on trips, etc and use regularly. What i love about that one is that you can charge anything via USB and it’s easy to share. Similarly with the new Mophie Space Pack, as long as your friend/colleague/etc has a compatible iPhone and grabs the Space App, you can share both power and storage easily. In fact, i love that this sample came preloaded with all of the press photos and documents, far more efficient than additional print outs or another USB key! Take a peek at the unboxing and details of the Mophie Space Pack on the next page!

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Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

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Inspiration: Portland (Thanks, Delta!)

deltamain.jpg Thank you to Delta® for sponsoring this article. Book Delta® Economy Comfort™ on your next trip and make each and every departure and arrival “worth it.”

When Delta® reached out wanting us to experience their Economy Comfort™ seats, and figure out what’s #worthit, the first question was - where should we go? Well the perfect way to kick off 2014 was to find somewhere new and inspiring (and not too far) to take a quick trip - and Portland, OR came to mind. Just back from the madness of holiday travel, Shawn and I needed to properly unwind, relax, and explore, so we happily hopped up to Portland for 2 quick nights! The second question - when to go?!?! So after a bit of poking around the Delta site to figure out which types of planes fly where and what wasn’t fully booked up to get some decent seats (aka Economy Comfort™ and non-middles where possible!) we were set for Jan 6-8. Then came the research phase, as I oriented myself with Portland digitally (and asking friends for advice) this google map of dots emerged to help us figure out what to explore when wandering the city. Feel free to suggest more spots that can’t be missed on our next Portland adventure! Take a peek on the next page at some of our discoveries, as well as the stunning views out the window flying!

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Ace Hotel Portland: Inside #420

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Inside Wieden + Kennedy Portland

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Inside the W+K Portland Garage...

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Base Camp Brewing Co.

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ROADTRIP! LA to Park City + Audi Q7 TDI

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Inspiration: Nashville!

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Seattle Adventures: The Sheraton

sheraton0.jpg This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club. As our hosts in Seattle a few weekends ago, here’s a peek into our room and Sheraton Club first hand!

When the Sheraton reached out to us to write about our adventures beyond work meetings, etc. when visiting a city that had Sheraton Club amenities, I didn’t know what to expect. And having not been to Seattle since i was too young to remember much more than going clamming, I had no idea what i was in for! So, thank you Sheraton, for helping us make a weekend of the trip instead of a quick one day type of thing, it has been quite the fun weekend of exploring. You can see how we planned where to explore, and peek into our Seattle adventures, but first, back to the Sheraton!

About the Sheraton Club, I’d never tried one of the club lounges or club floors before. Basically, it’s like a hotel version of an airport lounge; free Wifi, lounge space with tvs, newspapers and magazines, and a buffet that varies on the time of day. As far as how that fits into your hotel time, think of it as your room on a floor that conveniently has a little lounge on the same floor, and breakfast and wifi are complimentary, as well as happy hour hors d’oeuvres! But back to the adventures, take a peek on the next page to see inside our room, our stunning downtown Seattle views, and our experience in the Sheraton Club Lounge!

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Inspiration: Seattle

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Seattle Adventures: Boeing Factory Tour

boeingmain.jpg One of our favorite discoveries in Seattle - Boeing Factory Tour in Everett, WA! It’s only about 30 minutes north of Seattle, and the sheer scale of the space and the planes and the factory in motion is mind blowing.

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5 STEPS TO EXPLORE LIKE A LOCAL

sheratonmain.jpg This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club.They are hosting us in Seattle this weekend, so it seems only appropriate that I share my process of diving into a new city between meetings as it applies to my first time in Seattle since i was too young to remember! First first step, figure out the neighborhoods… maps like this one from These Are Things for Seattle are a great start.

I love exploring! But having a mere few days in a new city (and minimal free time between business meetings) ~ is seldom enough to get to know it like a local! Unless… you find optimal ways to plan out what to go see! Diving into a brand new city you know next to nothing about is always both an adventure and completely overwhelming. Traditionally there are tourism boards and guide books to give you a feel for the touristy “usuals” that out-of-towners tend to cluster at, but i always get more curious about what locals are doing, what’s up and coming, and what is most unique! So, beyond asking friends and friends of friends and your hotel concierge for suggestions, here are some techniques we’ve been using! Usually i’m hunting for fun restaurants, shops, galleries, and events! Below take a peek at my usual process to navigate and discover the local side of things!

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Lexus ISF Drifting Roulette, Las Vegas

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Summers Juice & Coffee, Brooklyn

summers0.jpg While Shawn was in NY earlier this week, he came home taunting me (and my juice addiction) with pictures of Summers Juice & Coffee that was just opened by one of his closest friends, Alex Kleinberg. So, here’s a peek at the fun design details and deliciousness. Congrats, Alex!!!

On happy places, you can’t help but smile when you arrive at the freshly opened Summers Juice & Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We’ve enjoyed following their Instagram all summer as Alex Kleinberg and Christopher Taha (and their friend, Steffan Elzinga, of Wood Mgmt.) got their hands dirty and converted the 50 year old bodega space into their adorably refreshing neighborhood juice/coffee/pastry/sandwich spot. They found surprises like exposed brick and a large window under the drywall, which combined with some reclaimed wooden fence planks (which turn into herringbone ceiling and counter facade) and the addition of concrete flooring and counters, projection surf flicks, a stunning red surfboard on the wall, and a fun surf mural on the roll gate… it’s easy to forget there was a bodega there!

As for the food and drinks, Summers isn’t just fun decor, Shawn swears by the egg sandwich. (Here’s a peek at the making-of THE Egg Sandwich!) Part of the secret is definitely the parker roll from Clinton St. Baking Co. and the spiral of sriracha… also the bacon + avocado… oh, and the cheese folded in the fried egg. But i digress, with Alex’s history at his family’s award winning Clinton St. Baking Co., it’s no surprise the food and juice is delicious. (For Clinton St. fans, they also carry their pastries!) And as for coffee, they brew Brooklyn Roasting Company goodness. But, back to the visuals - take a peek inside Summers Juice & Coffee on the next page!

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Inspiration: 14 Hours in Indianapolis

indy0.jpg Phew! Reminder to self, no more red eye in, fly home in the evening trips… We just did a day trip to Indianapolis, getting in at 5:30am and flying home at 7:30pm… which means we were back in LA in under 24 hours. While we were there for a very specific purpose (hanging out with Butler Blue III, the bulldog mascot of Butler University, and checking out his Blue Mobile - more to come on that soooooon!) we also got to run around and see a bit of Indy! From watching the sunrise, to a delicious breakfast at Patachou, my first drive-in experience (Mug ‘n Bun!), my first architectural salvage (wow!), finding “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Space Rays” signage in a random yard, discovering locally made goods at Homespun and more… check it all out on the next page!

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Lobster West, Encinitas, CA

lobsterwest0a.jpg On delicious surprises, today’s LA to San Diego road trip lead us to the discovery of the new Lobster West in Encinitas. As their site says, “Lobster West is bringing New England’s love affair with lobster to the West Coast! As a family business, we are proud to offer fresh, sustainable and delicious Maine lobster rolls (along with crab rolls, shrimp rolls, seafood chowders, locally-grown organic salads and more).” As for where their lobster comes from, “We source all of our lobster directly from our friends who fish the icy cold waters of Maine and then we ship them overnight to Southern California, ensuring freshness in every bite! Our sweet and delicious Maine lobster is 100% certified and sustainable, and is served up in our favorite form - the lobster roll!” And you can taste the fresh deliciousness while you watch footage on their TV hanging over the door of their fishermen (lobstermen?) in action! We had to try their shrimp and lobster rolls… and couldn’t resist trying their monstrous whoopie pie… Looks like this one may make the list of our usual socal roadtrip pit stops between our usual taco/burrito joints! OH! It’s also worth noting that you can ask for Gluten-Free rolls! They use Udi’s. Take a peek at all the details and their menu on the next page!

p.s. Spontaneous trip = spontaneous pics, so all the pics are from the HTC One (vs giant dslr!)

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The Scrubba

scruba0.jpg On another OR product… The Scrubba caught my eye for it’s playful branding, packaging, and concept. The idea is that when you’re on the go (and washing machine free) you can use this enhanced dry sack to wash your clothes nearly as effectively as a washing machine, and far more effectively than hand washing. Basically The Scrubba is a dry sack with a built in washboard, air vent (think beach ball valve), and a non slip bottom. Toss in your day or two of clothes, some soap, some water, and scrub away for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, then drain, rinse, hang dry! Simple, right? Perfect if you’re backpacking… or even a mom on the go with some kid messes at the beach/etc? Paired with a hairdryer that can pull from the car battery, you might even be able to wash and dry smaller things quickly for on the road emergencies?

The packaging (by Happy Studio Co) and design are super cute as well… the logo, well, i can’t seem to stop seeing a maxi-pad of sorts… and the concept, it is fun! It works! But part of me feels like it could have been designed simpler? Is it really so different than using a dry sack you already have? And maybe some dryer balls, etc instead of a built in washboard? But i do like the idea as an alternative to hand washing, even when at home, to get a more effective clean, use less water, and have less of a splashy, soapy mess. Take a peek at The Scrubba details on the next page!

p.s. See more of our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!

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*notcot in design - 1 Notes

Outdoor Retailer Show Summer '13

or0.jpg This has been the year of doing MORE new things! So yesterday, we hopped on a 7am flight to Salt Lake City for dinner… and running around the Outdoor Retailer Show as fast as possible! We were home by 11pm… and it was one of the BEST trips ever! Beyond the overwhelming amount of SUPs and accessories and fishing kayak rigs, there was so much inspiration ~ fun unexpected products to play with, beautiful booth designs, met some incredible folks, and have lots of fun stuff to share with you guys, but, as usual… so many pics, i don’t know where to start, so here’s a brain/camera dump to get a feel for what caught my eye on the next page!

p.s. See the features from our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!

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Inspiration: San Diego/SDCC13

sd0.jpg Catching up on pictures… here’s a peek at the Instagrammed inspiration from San Diego time. From Comic-con 2013 to the awesome signage at the Torrey Pines Glider Port… views from Mt. Soledad to tacos at Oscar’s… and fun art, toys, and portraits from the man behind Mr. Toast… see it all on the next page!

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*notcot in tech - 2 Notes

2014 Toyota Tundra Adventures in PA

tundra0.jpg It’s been a crazy summer of trying new things, which has inevitably lead to more unexpected travel, surprise encounters, and non-stop summer inspiration. Well, adding to the list of firsts ~ Toyota just brought me out to Farmington, PA for the last two days to play with the new 2014 Tundra, which has meant: my first time shooting a shotgun (and getting a taste of “golf with a shotgun”) as well as my first time properly playing with trucks (towing large things and off-roading in lots of water!)… So fun, so exhausting, and while somethings are embargo’d till next week, i did get the ok to share the experiences and design details with you now! It is definitely more angular and more aggressive visually… and designed right in socal at Calty!

So, take a peek on the next page to see my adventures at the bizarrely epic Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (which has everything from shooting, fly fishing, golf, spa, LIONS, airstrip, casino, classic car collection, ziplines, dog sledding, and so much more…) to our quick visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob, to off-roading and exploring with the new 2014 Tundra, as well as a few of my favorite details!

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Inspiration: Sitka, Alaska

sitka0.jpg On amazing experiences ~ the opportunity randomly came up to spend the last week in Sitka, Alaska salmon fishing, and we had to go! My dad has been going annually with the incredible Angling Unlimited folks for over a decade now, so Shawn and I were thrilled to finally get to join in the fun. Beyond the excitement of finally going to Alaska ~ we were lucky enough to have incredibly beautiful weather, calm seas, and great fishing, and even see many humpback whales, puffins, otters, deer, bald eagles, albatrosses, giant slugs, and so much more! When it happened to drizzle/rain on us ever so slightly, the perfect semi-circle of a rainbow came out. Beyond the wildlife and fantastic fishing ~ we also got to know the adorable island town of Sitka, visiting local bars, the totem park, raptor center, the airports infamous pie spot - Nugget Restaurant, the only brewery on Baranof Island and more… only thing we didn’t make it over to which we’ve shown you before on NOTCOT was the Fortress of the Bear! The sunsets were breathtaking every day too… Take a peek at all the inspiration and randomness we discovered on the last week’s adventure in Sitka, Alaska on the next page!

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Inspiration: Nashville/Memphis

roo0.jpg Just back in LA from Tennessee adventures the last week. LAX-MEM, taxi to Lakeland, RV to Nashville to Manchester, madness at Bonnaroo, RV back to Memphis, rental car to Nashville, hang out in Nashville and then BNA-LAX! Along the way there were s’more mallows, pressurized ketchup, trained hotel ducks, seas of bodies, magic mushroom fountain, a giant inflatable meatwad, delicious bbq, vintage fire trucks (in a fire truck mechanic’s shop), guitar fly swatters, jar of fireflies, and so much more… take a peek at the instagram and cell phone inspiration from the trip!

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*notcot in food+drink - 1 Notes

Vapur Eclipse Water Anti-Bottles

vapur0.jpg So, to be totally honest, i was shopping for a soft water bottle that could be easily hidden in the hydration pack section of my pack… whether to hold ice, other liquids, etc. I remember having one of the simple, cheap feeling, water pouches with a pull cap top that screwed on and a little carabiner from Volvo from frankfurt autoshow years ago, and while exploring i was excited to find Vapur’s sleeker, updated design - the Vapur Eclipse!

With darker colors and a matte finish, it is definitely far stealthier. And i love the updated cap that feels far more solid, has a nice o-ring to keep it from leaking, and the cap is easy to flip open and drink from. I still feel skeptical about how the plastic holds up over time, but they are part of their Explorer Series, which also includes a water filter you can add on, and they have quite the team of adventurers using them, from arctic explorer to rock climber, kayaker to skier and more! When it arrived tonight, i was also smitten by the graphics and simplicity of the packaging ~ especially with details like the soft touch coating ~ so i couldn’t resist sharing an unboxing/detail peek with you! Check it all out on the next page!

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