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Posts Tagged "travel" Line

I first met Tina Frey when she began selling a selection of her jewelry in a boutique in San Francisco called Nida. One is instantly drawn to her creations by their candied hues and polished surfaces, and I’d find myself hovering over each piece in the case, fantasizing about what it would be like to slip the emerald bangles over my wrist or feel the weight of the hand sculpted, beaded necklaces around my collar. You can’t help but to touch the resin baubles, understanding their shape, running your fingers over their surfaces. Tina takes delicate care in hand-forming and hand-polishing each piece, and leaves enough time for herself to party it up in Swedish castles and roam Southeast Asia. Read on for more colorful tidbits about her, and take a peek at her Macy Necklace in The Adventure Store!


1) What skill do you want to learn?

How to fly an airplane or hang gliding.

2) Food and drink you don’t want to live without?

Sushi and a good cup of tea.

3) The scariest thing you can think of?

Losing my memory or my mind…followed very closely by cockroaches.

4) Your favorite party supply?

Balloon animals.

5) Your favorite book of the moment?

“What French Women Know” by Debra Ollivier

6) Describe your dream party place.

Warm tropical beach location near the ocean.

7) What is the evil version of you like?

I’d like to think I don’t have an evil side…I don’t really want to know!

8 ) What gives you confidence?

A great outfit with a nice pair of high heeled shoes.

9) Name four essential elements of a good party.

good friends, laughter, good food, and drinks.

10) What do you appreciate most about a party host?

They make all their guests feel comfortable and welcome.

11) Favorite adventure supply.

Wetsuit for some ocean adventure.

12) Describe the best party you ever attended.

A friend’s wedding in southern Sweden at their family’s castle.

13) Hotel room or campsite?

It used to be campsite…but I’ve outgrown that and prefer a nice hotel room now.

14) Do you have a style icon?

Anna Della Russo

15) Where is your next adventure or destination?

Probably somewhere in Southeast Asia.

16) If you could teach a class about anything in the world ever, what would you teach?

I would teach them to be confident in themselves and that they can achieve whatthey want if they believe it.

17) What is your motto?

Never say never.

18) What is your spirit animal?



Over the weekend Mary and I headed south out of Mexico City to Cuernavaca with the intention of catching a bus out to the Cacahuamilpa Caves. The cave bus had left hours before we got there so we decided to just stick around Cuernavaca for the day.

Cuernavaca has been a settlement in some capacity for more than 3000 years and was colonized in the 16th century by the terribly successful Spanish conquistador Cortés. (There is a giant and frightening black-iron statue of Cortés near his giant and frightening palace.) It is a wonderfully verdant area and the city itself is full of plazas, narrow streets and tall adobe brick buildings, a very pristine example of the Spanish Colonial style. La Asunción, the 16th century cathedral built by Cortés, looms large over the city.

Formerly the cloister and observatory of La Asunción, the building that houses Museo Robert Brady was bought in 1960 by Brady himself; it was his new home. He proceeded to fill it to the gills with his massive personal collection of art from around the world and across the ages. Mary and I were stunned. 6th century Italian mosaics, Frida Kahlo originals, tribal art from Africa to the Pacific Northwest, pieces that felt more often like artifact than art. Truly a museum. The building itself, decorated in bright colors and exquisite furniture, was just as amazing as the collection. Mary and I bounced from room to room, slowly piecing together the amazing life Brady must have had. Years of travel grew his collection to an almost obsessive scale and his own art dotted throughout the collection; in the bright-orange and yellow kitchen hung a 4 foot tall painting of his cook. Personal photographs in hutches showed a handsome and mustachioed Brady posing with once-famous celebrities and foreign dignitaries. Brady passed in 1986 having lived, no doubt, a charmed life.

The extant of his collection and beauty of the home left Mary and I both giddy, day dreaming about living in such an amazing home filled with so much wonderful art. We wandered around Cuernavaca, dipping into gardens and cafes for long chats in the shade, finishing the afternoon with bottles of Victoria out front of a little bar. We headed back to Mexico City in the back seat of our friends car with the windows down and the sky glowing red in sunset, an hour drive.



One of the first things I noticed when I got to Mexico City (right after noticing the immense scale of the city) was the abundance of hand painted signs, called ròtulos, in lieu of printed signage. I can only assume that I’m seeing the ròtulos more in the outlying neighborhoods than in the borough centers because they are still cheaper than digital prints. As with most handicrafts, the lessening cost of digital and technological processes will eventually put them and their makers at risk of going the way of the dodo, but from the little information I could find on the internet about ròtulos, I suspect that they exist in part because of an appreciation for this craft. (I would just go ask around but my Spanish is highly limited at best.)

I have a very small sample of photos below of some ròtulos near where I am in the borough of Tlalpan. I hope to collect many more, as soon as I get over being that tourist-with-a-camera. Sometimes it takes a bit of bravery to be a tourist.

First a view of Mexico City, taken just down the street from where I’m staying. It’s a very, very big city. The third most populous, anywhere. The city and the people go on and on.

And now some ròtulos…

The craftsmanship varies wildly from sign to sign. Some are amazing in their precision, some are simple and crude, but at any quality, big letters on a wall grab your attention and do their work. There is no doubt that for a lot of the ròtuladors, care is given to the basics of good design: color, type and information hierarchy. These things are then coupled with steady hands and craftsmanship, and as a designer who spends all day behind a computer screen, I feel like a bit of a phony when looking at some of this work. This disconnect from (and romanticization of) the handmade is a growing cliche in the “technological age”, one that bubbles to the surface while walking around the neighborhoods with a digital camera taking photos of handmade signs on crumbling buildings. The irony as I upload the photos to my Apple laptop is not lost on me.

My appreciation and interest in these ròtulos, and the general resurgence and interest in the handmade boils down to this: These signs are graphic design in a very pure form, beautiful and effective and free of any pretense.

For more information on ròtulos, with an emphasis on those in Yucatan, visit:


Anyone been to Fleisher’s in Kingston, NY? Their meats are to die for. We make a point to stop there whenever we’re in the area, and never fail to come back with gorgeous steaks. This time we splurged and asked for marrow bones, breakfast sausages, and all-beef hot dogs, too. It goes without saying that I’ve filled my protein quota for at least the next month.


One of my favorite meals of all time is a pasta dish made with linguine and freshly dug manila clams from Desolation Sound. We made it one night while boating in the area last week… so delicious!

1lb. dried italian linguine
5 dozen fresh desolation sound manila clams (ideal size, approximately 1-1.5″ across)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced very thinly
1/2 cup italian parsley, chopped
zest of 2 lemons (about 1 tablespoon)
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1-2 tablespoons, to taste)
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup clam nectar
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
grated parmesan cheese

saute the sliced garlic in olive oil until tender, over low heat, so as not to brown. add white wine, chili flakes and simmer 5 minutes over low heat.
rinse clams and place them in a pot big enough to hold double the capacity. cover and turn heat to high. do not add water!
as soon as clams steam and open, turn off heat. remove 3/4 cup of broth and add it to the garlic and olive oil mixture. keep clams covered until needed.
meanwhile, heat water for pasta, add a tablespoon of salt and bring to a boil. cook the pasta until al dente (about one minute less that called for on the package). drain and return to pot.
pour “sauce” over the pasta, add the chopped parsley and lemon zest and some parmesan cheese. toss. places the pasts and some of the sauce in bowls, place a dozen or so clams in the shell on top. serve.

serves 4 to 6.


Can you believe that I was in Paris for almost ten days, and the only photo of any food I ate during my trip was of an ice cream cone? Granted, it ranked at the top of a long list that I keep entitled Best Ice Cream I’ve Ever Had, but I was disappointed in myself when I scrolled through the pictures on my camera during the flight home and all I saw were monuments and landscapes. Fortunately, I kept a detailed account of the restaurants, bars, and shops we visited which I have prepared for you to use whenever you please, and especially the next time you visit The City of Light.

…Listed by neighborhood…

Le Marais:
*Rose Bakery, 30 Rue Debelleyme
Only the most beautiful storefront I’ve ever seen. Lovely, fresh, organic food & wine served in jars.
*La Belle Hortense,31 Rue Vieille du Temple
Wine bar & bookstore. Open late.
*Amorino, 31 rue Vieille du Temple
Best ice cream ever, served in beautiful flowered scoops.
*Les Philosophes, 28 Rue Vieille du Temple
Great dinner spot, open late. Go for the steak tartare and a carafe of their house red.
*Chez Marianne, 2 Rue des Hospitalières Saint-Gervais
Good Middle Eastern food. Go early, or be prepared to wait for a table. (As a side note, we found an amazing falafel place right around the corner from this restaurant on Rue des Rossiers, but I can’t recall the name, nor the building number).
*Ofr., 20 Rue Dupetit-Thouars
Bookstore & design gallery.
*Hotel Caron de Beaumarchaise, 12 Rue Vieille du Temple
My favorite place to stay in Paris. Charming hotel, right in the heart of Le Marais and just down the street from Amorino, Les Philosophes & La Belle Hortense. Perfect!

Saint-Germain de Pres:
*Ladurée, 21 Rue Bonaparte
This is one of two of Laduree’s shops in the city, which is much smaller and more unassuming than the other that is located on the Champs-Élysées. Cute storefront with every kind of sweet imaginable. Pastries are good, chocolat chaud is even better.
*Deyrolle, 46 Rue du Bac
Purveyors of beautiful & curious things, this is probably one of my favorite places of all time.
*Dries Van Noten, Quai Malaquais
The store is simply gorgeous.

*The view from Sacré Coeur is unbeatable.
*Bring your lunch to the Montmartre Cemetery.

Grand Palais:
*The Crazy Horse, 12 Avenue George V
For a titillatingly good time.
*Le Baron, 6 Avenue Marceau
Said to be the best bar in Paris. Cozy. Good cocktails. Dancing ensues later in the evenings…
*Musée de la Mode et du Costume de la Ville de Paris, 10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie
Fun, gorgeous, inspired clothing.

If you are interested in seeing dance, try Theatre de la Bastille or Menagerie de Verre, and if you’re up for it, pack a picnic and head out to Versailles one day where you can rent a bicycle and tour the expansive gardens. If you’re looking for a friend in Paris, get a hold of Morgane, our French Adventurer for Life. Remember to send The Adventure School a postcard! Bon voyage!



We took a field trip with our best friends Ken and Joe out to Yellowstone National Park. We were just there last fall but feel it’s important to take every opportunity to go there because it rules so hard. So, after our intrepid foursome drove several thousand miles hitting up Sun Valley, Idaho on the way, we made it to Big Sky Country and the wonders of Yellowstone intact and ready to camp in the wilderness and hunt bison (with our cameras). We saw elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, a HUGE eagle, enough bison to fill an ocean, foxes, coyote, birds galore, old people and paint pots from another planet. Admiring the foresight of Teddy Roosevelt and the early pioneers of the National Park idea we truly fell in love all over again with this national treasure.

Sun Valley sky

Sun Valley sky


Old Faithful Lodge

Old Faithful Lodge

hogs and elks at Mammoth Hot Springs

hogs and elks at Mammoth Hot Springs


fisheye bison

fisheye bison

intrepid adventurer Joe Overland sighting some wolves (?) in the distance

intrepid adventurer Joe Overland

polaroid bison

polaroid bison

elevation 8262

elevation 8262


lost on Mars?

lost on Mars?

our planet?

our planet?



our neighbors camp

our neighbors camp

Tower Falls (where we camped)

Tower Falls (where we camped)

I LOVE these guys! (buns of steel)

I LOVE these guys! (buns of steel)



Roosevelt's Arch

Roosevelt's Arch



One last word regarding the city formerly known as New Amsterdam, although my return to Seattle transpired a week ago:

Hidden precisely in the center of SoHo, concealed behind a heavy metal door, up a heavily-graffitied  stairway, and down a dimly lit passage lives KioskKiosk, equal parts gallery, a store, and adventure headquarters. You know, one of those secret New York gems.

The people behind KioskKiosk are unquestionable adventurers. They comb the world over for unusual yet sundry design objects, buy a passel, and display one of each along with a description of its history and origin. They posted their manifesto on the wall, and I took a picture. It’s not terribly easy to read. But if you’re up to the challenge, I promise you’ll find that squinting was worth your while.


They had an array of rather cool stuff. I was very tempted to buy something, but if I’m completely honest with myself, when am I ever going to use a citrus-sizer? 



The Citrus-Sizer

A Target Poster

Bucktail Jigs!

Also check out the Kiosk blog

KioskKiosk, you and The Adventure School are kin! 

*Photos courtesy of KioskKiosk


Every time a new International Adventurer Profile comes down the pipes, I start feeling real itchy to get up and go have an international adventure of my own. But no one has inspired me more than Mike Lewis, the most adventure-y adventurer we’ve heard from yet. This guy is going EVERYWHERE and seeing it ALL. On a motorcycle. I’m in love with his lack of fear in the face of living large. Hopefully you’ll feel equally buoyed after you read Mike’s dispatch. But what really drives the point home are Mike’s magnificent photos. If you don’t feel some wanderlust after looking at these, I think you might be travel asexual.


My name is Mike Lewis. In 2008 I sold my home, office, business, and virtually everything else I owned so I could travel around the world on my motorcycle.

At this writing, I am in Medellin, Colombia, and happily confess that the trip, so far, has exceeded all expectations. I made my decision back in April 2007. Without any major life crises or traumas to act as impetus, I simply came to the conclusion that something had to change. I had created a good life in Seattle and had achieved some success, but things felt flat.

I was comfortable, but bored by life.

So, for the next 4-1/2 years I will experience the highs and lows of a more challenging life. Challenged not by paying my monthly bills on time, or making next quarter’s projections, but how I will handle adversity. I am 45-years old and want to see what I am capable of. To see what kind of a man I have become.

I wanted to get out of my office and become a global citizen. I want to experience different people and their cultures, eat their food, breath their air, and live were they live. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, and that’s perfectly fine by me.

I now feel alive and inspired by life.