Archives: My Place or Yours

The Sapeurs


Let’s ignore for a minute that I’m about to show you a Guinness commercial because that is totally secondary to the fact that the group of men in it are the flyest cats in the Congo.

Meet the “Sapeurs” of the Congo – a society of elegantly dressed men whose philosophy is to “defy circumstance and live with joie de vivre.”  For them, the clothes are about peace and respect; about style, not fashion; about changing the stereotypes of Africa.  As one Sapeur put it, “You colonized us, but we dress better than you.”  SNAPPPP!

They wear pastel suits, kilts, fedoras – whatever keeps them looking sharp and loving life. I love the flair, the elegance, and the subtle rebellion against politics in a country that once banned Western clothing.

Check out the video after the jump – it’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face!


Go Someplace

Daila Lama Quote

Do you ever get so locked into your routine – work, kids, bocce tournaments  – that you don’t always prioritize travel?  Does that bother you or are you happy to be a bug in a rug at home?

Travel, for me these days, means a trip to the Bronx Zoo or a mall in New Jersey!  For someone who used to travel a TON – I feel like I’m missing something really valuable by living in such a dinky radius .  I often feel like I should just be roaming the planet like this guy, except I’m in my 30s and I like clean toilets and room service.  (To be fair – the outer boroughs and continental Europe are probably equidistant from my apartment).

If you’re a wanderer like I am, how do you balance it with the rest of your life?  This feels like an important deal for me to strike in my life right now, and I’d love your suggestions (or your airline miles).

“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley


Leaving on a Jet Plane


Do you ever feel like you have to leave the country to get a real break from work? (It doesn’t help that my iPhone may as we’ll be surgically attached to my hand.) But when I’m overseas, my iPhone stays in the bottom of my duffel and doesn’t even come out when cute foreign boys invite me to foam parties.

Well, I need a break so I’m going to spend 2 weeks in …find out AFTER THE JUMP!


Liquid Adventures

Liquid Adventures

Get your bucket lists out – you may need to make an addition today.  Chris Mautino is a professional adventure guide (coolest job title ever) and an avid waterman – he once paddled the Sea of Cortez alone, on a 52-day journey.  I couldn’t even commit to the Atkins Diet for 52 days.

He and the Alaskan outfitters company, Liquid Adventures, run these incredible stand-up paddle tours through Bear Glacier, and the photos are stunning.  Despite sounding like a company that runs booze cruises for Spring Breakers, Liquid Adventures brings this week’s moment of zen …AFTER THE JUMP!


Have a Seat

Mini Chairs

I’m not ashamed of my love of miniature things – while it could seem like the creepy obsession of a serial killer, I think maybe it’s reasonable to think it’s just a side effect of, well, being a girl.

Though I wasn’t a girlie girl growing up – no doll houses for me – I l-o-v-e-d playing with little souvenir spoons and answering machine tapes.  In my little kid hands, they made me feel like a giant.

Which is all just a roundabout way of saying, I NEED A WALL OF MINIATURE REPLICA CHAIRS.  How amazing are these?  And the rest of the house?  Stunning.  It’s stirring the klepto in me – so much to see, so many things to hide in my pockets on a weekend visit!

My other favorite miniature things - real people figurines and these houses!


Making Waves

Time for your midweek moment of zen!  You have to look at this in full-screen or the only thing it’s going to do is make you need to pee.

In full screen, however, I can almost see that time a friend and I came across a gorgeous waterfall on a summer hike.  He jumped right into the water for a swim while I remained safely perched on a nearby rock – because everyone knows there are special parasites in water that only eat the brains of nubile 24 year-old women.  Just as I started to get really worried about who was going to give me a piggyback ride back up the mountain if he didn’t come back, he returned with some tall tale about lesbians he saw having sex just beyond the tower of rocks I was resting on.

I can’t promise you there are any lesbians having sex on the other side of these rocks, but I invite you to imagine whatever the hell you want.  It’s YOUR moment of zen, after all.

Thank you, Caribbean, for being the most gorgeous place to recharge one’s batteries.  And also for the water slide at Señor Frog’s.


The San Francisco Fog

San Fran Fog

I like to joke with my friends from San Francisco that their “famous” fog doesn’t really exist.  I spent a week there in 2011 and didn’t see it once.  But not only does it exist, it has a name (Karl, the Fog – he’s obviously a socialist) and a twitter account.  (Karl’s actually quite funny.  Yesterday he tweeted, “Just think of rain as fog crying about the rental market.”)

For your midweek moment of Zen, I give you the most heavenly video I’ve ever seen:

(Source: Simon Christen)


Farm Stay


Even though I grew up in dairy country, it’s been a long time since I spent a day working on a farm.  And so I don’t know whether it’s my own growing desire to understand where my food comes from or the simple fact that I miss playing in dirt, but I’m putting a work exchange on a farm stay on my list of to-do’s for next year.

Is this something you would do?  Here’s a resource if you’re interested in looking at farm stay options in the US!  Let me know – maybe we could do it together!  (Fair warning: I’m going to make you look bad.  I won a cow milking context in 6th grade.)

Also, did you know that sheep have 4 stomach compartments?  I think I’m part-sheep.

*Photo Source: John Benford*


A Glass House

House of Windows

I’m always inspired by “idea people.”  I’ve wanted to be one of them for as long as I can remember, but I’m just a humble executor (not to be confused with executioner).  Hand me an idea, and I will get it done – just don’t ask me to come UP with the idea.  I will chew my pencil down to the nub and die of graphite poisoning before you realize that my brain is actually an empty cavern.

So I’m especially awestruck when …Your Monday morning inspiration AFTER THE JUMP!


Planning Your Next Vacation?

What Each Country Leads the World In

If you haven’t seen this yet, enjoy.  Doghouse Diaries put together a world map of all the things each country is the best at.  I, for one, had no idea that the US leads the world in lawnmower-related deaths.  I can’t believe we don’t publicize that.

If you’re ever wondering where to go for the fastest download speed (Romania), commercial bank prime lending rate (Zimbabwe), or raspberries with a side of nuclear warheads (Russia), I think you’ll want to see this.  On the other hand, if you’re looking to avoid robots (Japan), long alphabets (Cambodia), and killer lakes (Cameroon), this is the map for you.

Click here for a zoomable version!  Happy Vacation Planning!