Gifts for the Adventurer

I’ve traveled plenty, most times with the wrong gear, but when it’s right, I’ve never felt more comfortable and relaxed in an unknown environment.  Today I’m sharing my most beloved travel companions, in the way of gear, so you can scope out a great present for the adventurer in your life.  All these items are highly practical and while they may be on the expensive side, they’ll last for half a decade or more.  If you want your wanderer to think of you while they’re abroad, scope out one of these premium gifts and have them travel in comfort and style.  I’ve traveled without most of these items at least once, but never again, never again.

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lightweightdown A quality, packable down jacket. I was absolutely unprepared and frozen in this photo (and for the next few days) taken in Halong Bay, Vietnam.  On my recent trip to Nepal, I made sure to pack a down jacket and it’s a good thing, because I wore it for a week straight on the Annapurna Circuit.

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How To: Survive an International Flight

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Some folks really dread flying.  Usually it’s because of the jet lag and awful airplane food and while those things do stink you can still survive a fourteen hour flight with a smile.  I know because I’ve experienced three extremely long flights to Asia all coming in at different levels on the comfort scale.  If you’re prepping for a holiday overseas, here are a few tips that should make your time in the air a bit more enjoyable. Although, even I couldn’t prepare for the time I woke up with a baby sleeping on my tray table. Even so, here’s how to best survive an international flight and walk away with a smile.

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Summer on Saxis Island, Virginia

In the past we’ve highlighted Saxis Island through photo stories about the watermen and our bike ride to the beach.  Yesterday we introduced you to our favorite spider and last week we mentioned a few of our favorite outdoor shower products.

We already love Saxis for so many reasons, but like most things in life, when you experience them again through a child’s eye you appreciate them that much more.  We wanted to highlight some of the shenanigans going on in and around Saxis this summer with a few photos. Hopefully you also have a favorite summer stomping ground where you can act like a kid again.  If not, let these photos be inspiration to get out there, mess around, and maybe find a spot that you’ll return to each summer.

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Playing in the surf never gets old.  If you have little ones like Alex, we recommend having one adult for every child because you never know when they might sprint right into the waves (Katie here : with these crazy boys I’m starting to think that we need two adults for every kid!).  Alex is one brave boy.  He’s constantly shocking us with the challenges he takes on like diving head first into holes in the sand. Yep, he treats sand dunes and big holes like a slide at the playground and going feet first would be too safe and tame for that tyke.  If you’re the cautious type or you just need a break, you could seek out the nearest bay to play in.  Chances are the water is calm and shallow and you may even find some bayside critters swimming in the water.

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Of course, it’s not all about the kids. Our family has always enjoyed a good game, often it’s a card or board game at night, but we’re also a big fan of lawn/beach games. This year our mom discovered Kubb, and our pop made a set for the beach. Everyone in our group had a great time playing, and recommend this for anyone who loves horseshoes, corn hole, or any similar toss game.

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While we love a good beach day, we also love our water toys.  Each year it seems our family is adding something to the fleet.  This year we acquired two stand up paddle boards.  Stand Up Paddle boards are a fantastic way to hop right onto the water without much set up and hassle.  SUPs can be carried by one person where as kayaks are much easier to transport with two people. SUPs are also a nice way to give young kids a little taste of the bay without taking them too far out in case they’re a bit apprehensive about water.


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As much as we love SUPs, kayaks and classic boogie boards, nothing beats a motorboat. We keep it pretty simple in our family with a small fishing boat, but it feels luxurious to us since we grew up paddling a canoe.  A motorboat allows you the freedom to bring along all the fishing and crabbing you could want and don’t you dare forget that cooler full of drinks!

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While we’re running down docks, pulling up crabs and diving into sand holes, we’re learning about the world around us.  Every moment is a chance to see and experience something new on the island.  We get equally excited about feeding horseshoe crabs at the Assateague Visitors Center as we do about looking at dead dragonflies through a bug magnifying box.  Last year Alex’s first word was “burd”, which he said while watching the seagulls fly by the house. This year we started to teach him the names of different birds as we saw them, from egrets in the trees to osprey watching over their nests. We’re hoping these summers on Saxis instill the same love and appreciation for nature in little Alex and Luc that we have now as adults.

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Seasoned View: Vol. 16

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find last month’s past months’ here.

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Happy Monday! If you live in the States, I hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend and your pups survived the fireworks shows.  Did you happen to catch the Women’s World Cup game yesterday?!  It was amazing! I remember watching the U.S.A. win against China in 1999.  The game was broadcasting right after one of my soccer games and one of the coaches actually brought a bulky T.V. and an antenna so the team could sit and watch the World Cup game.  It was so sunny and the glare off the bubble screen was so bad that we were all practically peeing our pants with anticipation during the shootout.  I have no idea how my team did that day or even that season, but watching the U.S.A. team defeat China, with my teammates by my side, is certainly a memory I’ll never forget.  I’m never one to cheer too loudly or buy team jerseys, but looking back, I do have a lot of memories tied to various sports games.  Do you remember where you were during any specific tournaments or Super Bowl games?  What stands out in your mind about the celebrations?  These little memory exercises are a good reminder that I should gather my friends around more often even if I’m not that invested in one team or another.  Sometimes you need a specific event to tie your memories down so they’re not forgotten.  Do you find this is the case for you as well? Another more obvious way that I record memories is through photography.  Below are some recent nature shots for our July Seasoned View.  If you’re down with a dark and moody desktop, download Katie’s spectacular shot of a summer storm; it’s my favorite of the bunch!  You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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