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Me in my SCOTTeVEST: not the most flattering of pictures, but it shows how the vest looked most of the time

SCOTTeVEST: a review

SCOTTeVEST’s unique selling point is pockets. They produce jackets, vests, trousers and shirts with lots and lots of pockets. I love this idea. Most days I carry a handbag, but don’t usually have to carry it all day. I go to work, where I put it down. I carry it to do grocery shopping, but…

The Valor factory's sign, reflected in the factory building

Visiting Valor in Villajoyosa

Last spring in Guadeloupe I visited an archeological park where I got to sample the pulp from a fresh-picked cacao pod. I heard more about chocolate cultivation at two coffee plantations. Given my obsession with chocolate, I decided to take the process a step further on my short visit to the Costa Blanca in Spain,…

Here is how my Eagle Creek backpack looks with all the straps assembled and clipped into place. It all packs away into a zippered pocket when youre using it as a wheeled bag, but adds significant bulk.

Eagle Creek Backpack Review

For the two solo trips I took this year—one to Guadeloupe, Martinique, New York and Spain, and one to Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and South Korea—I needed a very specific kind of luggage. The problem Since I was traveling solo, I needed to travel as light as possible. I also needed luggage I could manage…

a few bottles from the collection of antique medicines containing cannabis and other drugs

Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Museum Amsterdam

This entry is part 20 of 23 in the series Amsterdam Museums

It’s not surprising that Amsterdam is home to a museum of Hash, Marijuana and Hemp, given its generally tolerant policy toward soft drugs. You’d think, given the somewhat subversive subject, that it would be entertaining to visit. It wasn’t. The main part of the museum (hash and marijuana) The main part of the museum inhabits…

room at the Ibis Hotel

11 Hotel Management Tips

When you check into a hotel room, chances are you look for particular things that are important to you. Perhaps you want a hairdryer, or a bathtub, or an air conditioner. I tend to check the general cleanliness of a room. If it’s scrupulously clean, I’m not so particular about the rest. Staying in the New…

Toile, the mascot of Mr. Toilet House, the Toilet Museum in Suwon, South Korea

Mr. Toilet House? A Toilet Museum in Suwon, South Korea

The big gold-colored statue of a turd right next to the entrance was enough to tell me that Mr. Toilet House, the toilet museum in Suwon, South Korea, wasn’t going to be a disappointment! Mr. Toilet House Believe it or not, “Mr. Toilet House” is the popular name for the Toilet Culture Museum in Suwon,…

exterior view of the Jane Hotel building

The Jane Hotel: Nautical Flair

When I entered the lobby and spotted the stuffed peacocks on the wall, mounted vertically with their faded tail feathers dangling, I knew the Jane Hotel wasn’t a run-of-the-mill hotel. I had suspected it already when I booked the room. First of all, it was suspiciously cheap for New York City—I paid $115 a night—yet…

photo of the Rum Museum building

The Rum Museum in Guadeloupe

I posted before about Guadeloupe’s quirky banana museum. Well, that wasn’t the only quirky museum I found there. The Musée du Rhum, or Rum Museum, is another one of those small museums filled with odd, disconnected collections of objects. But first, a disclosure: I was given free admission (normally 6 euros) in exchange for writing this…

A view of the master's house at Coffee plantation La Grivelière

Two Coffee Plantations in Guadeloupe

First of all, a confession: I don’t drink coffee. It’s not that I’m some sort of puritan; it’s just that I don’t like the taste. People say I could develop a taste, but I just don’t see why I would want to. When others drink coffee, I drink tea. Nevertheless, I visited two different coffee plantations…