Wednesday, December 22, 2010

St. Lucia

It only took me 6 months, but I finally got around to uploading photo's from my sailing trip last May. I'm certainly missing that warm weather right now. The trip was amazing, the scenery of the Caribbean is always so vivid. The volcanically formed islands leap from the water. The sheer size of the pitons is stunning. The people we met along our trip could not be nicer or more accommodating. Traveling by boat is something I have been lucky enough to do for many of my vacations. Sailing is fun enough in itself, especially this trip were the winds could not have been more favorable, but coupled with the amazing scenery and wonderful weather it cant be beat. The freedom that comes with being able to plan out your trip exactly how you want it, and be able to see what things you want to see at your leisure is unmatched. I also feel like it gives you a whole new appreciation of your surroundings, and the people you meet. A hot meal and a cold drink feels mighty satisfying after a long day out on the water.

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A friendly cat at Jambe De Bois in
Rodney Bay, best roti of the whole trip.

Anse La Raye, we stopped in on a Friday night when the
whole town cooks out in a giant fish fry.

Anse Cochon, one of the prettiest coves on the island.

View of the Pitons from afar

South side of Gros Piton, absolutely dwarfing the small sailboat next to it.

North side of Gros Piton

I made a friend while on my hike

The walk up to Fort Rodney, which the British used
to defend the island from the French

View down from the fort.

Tabacco Tin

One of the things I used to collect while being dragged around by my mother to every antique store within an hours drive of my house was old tins. By collect I mean I started "collecting" by buying three or four of them and quickly moved onto "collecting" something else, probably baseball cards or old glass bottles. The tins always seemed to house what I deemed valuable through out the years. Starting off with a couple 2 dollar bills, an Indian head penny, and whatever foreign currency my parents brought back from vacations. After I started mowing lawns and raking leaves I used them to store whatever cash I didn't immediately spend. In high school, after I started putting any money I had into the bank, they held any contraband I didn't want my parents to find. Mostly lighters and loose cigarettes. I'm sure they knew what I was keeping in them, but they never mentioned it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Daikoku Parking Area

Located just off of the highway that runs between Tokyo and Yokohama is a rest stop known as the Daikoku Parking Area. The parking area rests on a man made island in Tokyo Bay. The island is encircled in a massive concrete coil of twisting highways. During the day the stop is just like any other, a place for truckers and other people commuting to and from the busy Yokohama shipping port to rest and refuel. The mood of the area changes dramatically at night, turning into what could be described as a car fanatics mecca. Groups dedicated to every niche and facet of auto tuning meet and share their projects.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Frame

I have always enjoyed A-Frame style houses, they just seem to fit in so well in the wilderness. The floor plans may not be the most practical, and many may skips stairs and have only a ladder to a sleeping loft. I always liked the idea of owning a small A-Frame in the woods. Maybe its just that they seem to dig themselves out of the snow for you.

In the booming post WWII economy of the late 1950's through the 70's thousands of A-Frame homes were built. For one of the first times in America people had enough disposable income to to build vacation homes, and the qualities of the A-Frame made it one of the most popular designs. The cost of construction was very low due to the minimal amount of framing required, this also meant that they were relatively easy to build. Maintenance costs were low as almost the entire structure was roof, and very little of the home actually needed to be painted. They fared well in snowy regions, the steep roof lines shedding snow immediately. Another plus is that A-Frame homes were different, even though the design had been around for some time, they were relatively uncommon. This gave them a modern look and appeal.
The boom in A-Frame construction has been partially attributed to Andrew Geller, an architect who built an A-Frame on the New York coast that was then featured in the real estate section of The Times.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lands End Canvas Lace Up Boot

I picked up a pair of the Land End Canvas Lace Up Boots a couple of weeks ago. For the price they were exactly what I was looking for. The construction is solid and they have broken in quite comfortably. The part that makes me really satisfied with my purchase is that yesterday I came home to find a letter from Lands End in my mailbox. The letter contained a hand written note thanking me for my purchase. Definitely cool to see customer appreciation like this.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Coleman Camping

While Coleman may not make the best equipment when it comes to ultra light backpacking, their offerings of casual camping gear are just as solid as when they started selling kerosene lamps in the 1900's. I always wanted to do a US road trip, stopping at the major national parks and any place with good rocks to climb. If I did I would plan on camping as much as possible, and with the storage space of a car, Coleman gear would be some of the best options for price and convenience. While a two burner stove may be too large to backpack with, its fits in a trunk just fine and is large enough to cook an actual satisfying meal on. Pair that with steel belted coolers and enamelware and and I'm good to go.