Over the course of the last 3 years, I’ve spent 3 months in London. But this trip was going to be different, it was going to be in the winter. And WHAT could you possibly do in the UK winter?
Pretty much everything you can do in the summer, as it turns out. But even though it doesn’t snow there frequently, it can get so brutally cold. So when getting out and experiencing the lovely culture, here are some things to keep in mind:
If you’ve ever been fishing in Orlando on a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler (12-foot version or 14-foot version), you know what it means to be in a stable boat. It’s really one of the most remarkably balanced boats I’ve ever been in. But if you haven't, let me tell you...
Wanna hear the story of how an Outdoor Research Transcendent Sweater, a pair of Vibram Fivefingers CVT Hemps, and a pair of Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch Gloves literally saved my skin in Norway? Good. I’d love to tell the tale.
I was at Travel Country Outfitter's store near Orlando when I saw the Big Green Egg the first time. Honestly, I thought it was a little strange looking. I quickly became an egghead once I tasted food cooked on it for their annual Central Florida Clearance Sale. After that, I was sold and began to research the science of these funny-looking grills.
Along the way, I learned that the Big Green Egg had been around for 30 years and already owned a great reputation. In fact, one of my buddies who is a professional chef in Orlando was crossing his fingers that one of his friends or family would gift him and his fiance the large Egg which was on their wedding registry.
I’ve taken a spin on hundreds of kayaks in Orlando, many of them Hobie, but none quite like the Hobie Mirage Compass. I hopped on Lake Ivanhoe (one of Central Florida's most fun chain of lakes to get onto) and gave it a try. The boat is not over-the-top. It’s not excessive. It is, quite honestly, simple innovation after years of experience rolled into one kayak.
When I got on the Hobie Mirage Eclipse 12, it was a pretty straightforward paddleboard made of advanced composite epoxy and a EVA foam deckpad. So I just jumped off the dock onto the deck and started flying around Orlando's Lake Ivanhoe. But when I started unpacking what it has going on, I realized it's one of the craziest watercraft I’ve ever been on.
There is no doubt in my mind that this is the most versatile stand-up paddleboard (SUP) I’ve ever ridden. That’s because the Perception Hi-Life is also a kayak. Usually when there’s a fusion between two types of boats, there is an area that suffers. But not this time, as this craft is great for both paddling as a kayak and a SUP.
Central Florida is a playground for lakes, so I hopped on (literally, I jumped on it from the dock) the deck and started paddling around Lake Ivanhoe. It was a delight. I’ve long been a big fan of stand-up paddling for all the most important reasons. You have such freedom, such visibility. It’s calming. Cathartic. And this kayak/SUP absolutely offers that. I loved the EVA foam padding, which was soft and in all the right places.
I was working on a project when a buddy texted me and asked if I wanted to go explore Point Reyes National Seashore. That’s all I needed to hear. I grabbed my Vibram CVT Hemp shoes, Prana Brion Shorts, Arc'teryx Rho AR, and a Detroit Tigers McDonald's-made hat from the 80s...and I was on my way.
I got to spend the morning on the Gulf waters in Panama City Beach, Florida in my Yukon Outfitters new 'Vista' series printed hammock.
The no-stretch 1.5 oz proprietary diamond ripstop polyester leaves no guesswork as to how high to hang your 10' by 5' hammock.
Pull the hammock-end of each 10' strap through its loop, cinch down on each anchor (trees, poles, or in my case, pier piles) and you're already adjusting your hammock to the perfect height with the quick-and-easy cinch buckle suspension system.
Havana is time travel. To a simpler time, an older time.
This—by proxy—makes things more difficult to deal with if you’re used to a Western mindset of “getting things done.” Being there forces you to align yourself to move with the ebb and flow. It is, in a word, inspirational. It makes sense to me that Hemingway and others made their way to the erstwhile hidden island, for it causes you to be, to think, to feel—in real time.