Will Work for Wine: Our Week with the Top Czech Natural Winemaker

Will Work for Wine: Our Week with the Top Czech Natural Winemaker

Saturday evening we arrived at our fifth work stay this year, this time volunteering with a vintner in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic. Richard Stavek is the top producer of natural wines in this area, and this time with him and his family are precisely what I need to remind me I'm on the right path. He sells wine, plum jam and other specialty food products to some of the most acclaimed restaurants in Prague and throughout the Czech Repulic (including the famed La Degustation). As of our last night with him, his wine is also in consideration for the list at Copenhagen's NOMA (oft listed as the top restaurant in the world). We're eager to talk food, wine, hospitality and culture with the craftsman. 

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PackHacks: How to Build a Solid Makeup & Skincare Kit for Extended Travel

PackHacks: How to Build a Solid Makeup & Skincare Kit for Extended Travel

I love skincare. And makeup. Sephora considers me their highest level of customer. Ulta is a new haunt. One of the hardest things about not having a home base is not having a place to create my vanity, stocked with samples, steals and staples, organized to be part of my daily routine. And part of what makes us successful on the road is creating routines, especially when the landscape keeps changing. My skincare routine is no different. 

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Fit on the Road: How to Keep the LBs Off When Cutting Calories is Not the Best Option

It's no secret that since I left the sweltering days and long, late nights of Miami behind, I've packed on the pounds - amassing an extra 40 at my peak of excess fattiness! Before we hit the ground on this new adventure, I swore I would not continue the upward climb, but would work out ways to trim my tail on the road, trudging forward with the little bit of weight loss I started enjoying this summer. 

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WanderLand: Indonesian Rice Table in Amsterdam

When we first booked our flights to Amsterdam, both my wife and I were sure we were going to see and experience some new things. From the rows of beautiful houseboats and the rows of red-lit windows filled with the working girls in the Red Light District, to the endless line of Amsterdamers on bicycles and the infamous coffeeshops, every corner we turned brought a new experience.

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WanderLand: 3 Maddeningly Delicious Ice Cream Spots Leave Me Pining for More of the Twin Cities

WanderLand: 3 Maddeningly Delicious Ice Cream Spots Leave Me Pining for More of the Twin Cities

I just can't get enough. I love ice cream (and gelato, sherbert, frozen yogurt, sorbet, non-dairy selections, ices - the list goes on forever). If shit's hit the fan in my world and nothing else can move me to higher ground, hand me a cup, pint or cone and I will be dancing and smiling by, mmmm, roughly three bites in.

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PackHacks: Water Filtration Bottle

PackHacks: Water Filtration Bottle

One of the biggest inconveniences we have found while we are out on the road is finding drinkable water. Whether we are staying somewhere that only has access to well water or we are walking around exploring a new city, having clean water is important. Nothing will derail your trip quicker than picking up a stomach bug from the local water. Simple tasks, such as brushing your teeth or rinsing off a piece of fruit, can become dangerous if you use the local tap water. 

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WanderLand: Sweet Home Chicago

WanderLand: Sweet Home Chicago

The hardest part was leaving our friends and family. The second hardest part, at least for me, was leaving the city I grew up in. I love Chicago. Like most cities it has its problems but it is also an amazing place. The people are friendly, the food is outstanding and the culture is second to none. I consider myself lucky to call it home. No matter where in the world we end up living, ill always call myself a Chicagoan. 

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PackHacks: Men's Lightweight Travel Wear

PackHacks: Men's Lightweight Travel Wear

As we have mentioned in previous posts, this trip we are trying to reduce the amount of clothes we are bringing with us. On our first long-term travel adventure we both had a small carryon bag plus an additional shoulder-bag/backpack each. We learned that we routinely wore only about half of the clothes in our bags, forcing us to carry around stuff we never wore. This time we are preparing better and we hope we can help you do the same. We already know we will be packing a Travel Laundry Kit which will allow us to do laundry wherever and whenever we need. 

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WanderLand: The Best Chicken Ever

WanderLand: The Best Chicken Ever

One of our favorite things in the world is fried chicken. We've enjoyed it in New Orleans, Charleston, Savannah, Chicago and all places in between. About a year ago though, we tried some that has changed the way we will think about chicken for the rest of our lives. Its called broasted chicken and if you've never had it before, find it. Whatever you have to do to get some, do it. It is really that good. Its juicy and crispy and really one of the best things we've ever eaten. Broasted chicken is similar to fried chicken but it uses a pressure fryer instead of a traditional deep fryer which cooks the chicken faster and prevents it from drying out. 

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PackHacks: MUJI

PackHacks: MUJI

As we prepare for our next 3 month adventure, we find ourselves reflecting back on the last time we traveled. Not just about the wonderful memories we shared but also about the gear we brought with us. We did a pretty good job the first time but now, with a little experience under our belts, we want to do it smarter. A few months ago Samantha discovered a store on a trip to California that has really impressed us with their products, not just for traveling but for everyday use as well. Clothing, electronics, stationary and travel gear are among the many things they offer. The store is from Japan and its called MUJI and now we can't walk past one anywhere in the world without going in. 

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WanderLand: Channeling My Inner Yogi

WanderLand: Channeling My Inner Yogi

I've always been a runner. I used to run track and cross country back in my more athletic days (about a half a lifetime ago). Whenever I go on a health kick and start to exercise, I get out my running shoes, throw in my ear buds and hit the pavement. Now i'm not talking about training for a marathon or anything like that but going out and running a couple miles always makes me feel good. I've never been one for the gym or liked working out in a class with a bunch of other people, but my wife recently convinced me to go to my first yoga class ever. And it was awesome! 

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PackHacks: Travel Laundry Gear

PackHacks: Travel Laundry Gear

As we get ready to hit the road again, we have been working to refine our packing list. We would like to reduce what we bring with us by a third on this trip by eliminating some of the clothes we rarely wore and by having the ability to wash the ones do. We often found ourselves asking each other often if they were sick of looking at the other person in the same clothes. This was because we constantly wore the same clothes.

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WanderLand: The Juicy Lucy Debate

WanderLand: The Juicy Lucy Debate

In the past two months we’ve learned a lot about the Twin Cities: the people here love the outdoors. they have some of the best Asian food we’ve ever eaten, and the locals from Minneapolis and St. Paul love to compete with each other. One of the most heated debates comes from who has the best cheese-stuffed hamburger, what they call a Juicy Lucy (or Jucy Lucy depending on where your loyalty lies). The basic idea is to take two hamburger patties, put a hunk of cheese between them, form it into single patty and then grill it until the cheese inside becomes nearly as hot as the sun.

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PackHacks: It's High Time to Score a New Swatch

PackHacks: It's High Time to Score a New Swatch

One thing that's made our pack list this time a watch - actually two. Neither of us typically wear one; i've actually only owned three in the last 20 years - the first, a high school graduation present from my parents that was stolen a few months into college; the second, a cheap, knock-off "Caspio" purchased in a market in Cambodia for $4 (it lasted just long enough for us to board our plane home two weeks later); the last, a new one bought just this weekend, especially for our upcoming trip. 

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