Sunday, December 11, 2016

AVEX Thermal Travel Mugs

Since Surf Expo last September I have been seeing more advertisements for thermal bottles on TV and on webpage advertising.  There is even a company hocking their special thermal bottle to carry your wine in.  There are loads of choices for shoppers this holiday season with everyone trying to out due each other.  At Surf Expo, Engle, Yeti, Orca and AVEX were four brands showing off their new products.  Some brands like Orca appeared to be catching up rolling out new products that brands like AVEX showed at the January Surf Expo show.  I have been using my AVEX 16 Oz. AUTOSEAL thermal travel mug for almost tow years now.  It delivers exactly what the AVEX advertises.  It keeps my coffee hot for 5-6 hours depending on the temperature the coffee was when I filled my bottle.  I like the large auto seal release button on the cap. I traveled from Melbourne, Florida to Sedona, Arizona in July for a photo shoot. I used my thermal travel mug and my AVEX water bottle on my trip.  Both work very well.

This year AVEX came out with a larger travel mug that holds 20 ounces.  They have also redesigned the cap and AUTOSEAL.  The thermal bottle double wall construction is the same on both bottles.  But the design changes on the caps are significant. Where the Highland has a release button, the Recharge has a on/off pin that locks the auto seal button from moving when closed. It is easier to lock the Highland cap than the Recharge. See photos below.  Another change is the threads on the cap and bottle.  The Highland bottle had inside threads and the Recharge bottle has outside threads.  Where the Highland cap opening and closing action seems rough, the Recharge cap opens and closes very smoothly.  The Highland thermal mug has a 5 hour rating and the Recharge has an 8 hour rating.  Even
though both thermal mugs have different operating characteristics, both thermal mugs do a great job in keeping your hot beverages hot.

So this holiday shopping season you might want to look  at the AVEX thermal travel mugs as a holiday gift.  You can order on line from AVEX by clicking HERE for the AVEX website or visit any online re-seller like AMAZON.  Merry Christmas and a happy holidays. Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Fusion Waterproof Speakers

During this holiday shopping season as you visit big box stores like Same's Club, Bass Pro Shop or any local outdoor retailer you will see many different WiFi speakers  with varying styles, shapes and price ranges.  Looks like this Christmas WiFi speakers will be under someone's tree.

At the September Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida I visited the Fusion booth to see what they claim is the first portable bluetooth water sports stereo.  The Fusion portable water sports stereo was designed in New Zealand. It was created to handle the rough treatment water sports enthusiast can subject their gear to.  The speakers come on white, blue and red colors.  The Bluetooth
connections is IPX7 rated. This means it has passed the most rugged water resistance testing.  The speaker also floats.  It can be connected to a surfboard or your kayak by using the puck mounting system.  HERE to visit the Fusion website.  As it was demonstrated in the booth, it had great sound and was easily connected and removed.
At Surf Expo the puck mounting system was connected to a surfboard in the booth.  You can see the mounting system in one of the photos below. Click
Looks like this just might be the gift for the person who loves the water.  Here locally in central Florida you can find the Fusion portable bluetooth water sports stereo at your local West Marine store. Happy shopping.  Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Great IPhone Case

With Black Friday in full swing and Cyber Monday just two days away, I know that outdoor enthusiast are always looking for that right gift.  About a month ago I was asked to check out the new HitCase waterproof Shield IPhone case.   Being that I live in an Apple IPhone household I could not pass up  the opportunity to do a product review.

HitCase sent me one waterproof Shield for an IPhone 6 Plus/6 Plus S and an IPhone 5/5S.  The instructions were very easy to use. After performing a waterproof seal test with no phones, both phones went into the case very easy.  Above are the photos of both phones in their new cases.  What I especially liked was the case frame was aluminum not plastic.  Having an aluminum frame will come in handy if you happen to have an IPhone 6. The aluminum frame will help prevent your phone from bending.  HitCase also has loads of other IPhone accessories to include a lens kit, a selfie stick and a variety of different mounts.  So this holiday season, check HitCase for your stocking stuffers. Click HERE for their website.

So until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Biltmore Estate and House

Throughout the Southeast there are a lot of places to visit.  Asheville, North Carolina is one such place.  Asheville has been called the "Paris of the South". It is listed as one of the Top 25 Cities for Art.  One of Asheville's most noted places to visit is the famous Biltmore Estate. The Biltmore House was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II. Construction started in 1889 and was completed in 1895.  The Biltmore House is the largest privately owned house in America at 178, 926 square feet.  If you ever get a chance to visit Asheville do not miss a chance to tour the Biltmore Estate.  The entry fee to tour the estate was $65.00.
The Biltmore Estate includes the house, gardens, winery, farm village, the Biltmore Inn and Deer Park.  Because of the distance from the house to Deer Park, the winery and farm village, one must ride a shuttle.  To get to the gardens it is just a short 1/4 mile walk from the house. Once one gets to the garden conservatory there is another 1/2 mile walk to bass lake and the boat house. So good walking shoes might be necessary.

While at the estate there are many good places to eat.  The restaurant was very busy the day I was there.  The wait for a table for four was very manageable. The table service was very good as was the food my group ordered.  The grilled cheese sandwich was very popular item on the menu as was the soup choices.

A visit to the winery is a must. Wine tasting is free although you can pay extra for special wine tasting or you can get accommodation and tour packages all rolled up into one.  There are so many choices.  I stayed with my wife at the Hilton Double Tree which was a short drive to the Biltmore Estate ticket office.  But one can make reservations at the Village Hotel on the Biltmore Estate of the Inn on the Biltmore Estate or one of many local hotels close to the estate. Click Here for the Biltmore Estate website.

During my visit to the estate I took hundreds of photos and video clips. The following are links to my videos on my YouTube Channel.

Biltmore House 1
Biltmore House 2
Biltmore House 3
Biltmore House 4
Biltmore House 5
Biltmore House 6
Biltmore House 7
Biltmore Winery 8

If you are planning a trip to see the Biltmore Estate and the House, check out the great floor plans on the HogWartsCampus website. Looking at these before your tour really helps you understand the magnatude of the house. I found this web page researching the Biltmore House.  The following renderings were created by Randruff and can be seen on the HogWartsCampus webpage along with many other great location.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Bavaria In Georgia

About 90 miles north east from Atlanta is the town of  Helen, Georgia.  Helen is a former logging town that has transformed itself into an Alpine Village tucked away in the most southern end of the Appalachian Mountains.  Helen sits on the southern boarder of Unicoi State Park.  

During the 1880s logging became the major industry in the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Click HERE for the U.S. Forest Service history of logging in the Southern Appalachians.  I find it fascinating that I for one having visited and hiked many trails in the Southern Appalachian Mountains really did not know the history of protected forests we take for granted today.

Click HERE for the history of the Great Smokey Mountain and Blue Ridge Parkway National Parks.  As the logging around Helen, Georgia started to decline, the town rejuvenated itself into the Alpine Village it is today.  In 1969 the town passed building codes that mandated the alpine design you see today in Helen.

Helen is a great location for visiting other areas of the norther part of Georgia.

With Unicoi State Park just minutes away, visitors have access to a great place to camp, hike, picnic and fish.  Click HERE for the Unicoi State Park Guide. Just 48 miles to the west is Springer Mountain, Georgia.  The southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.  Click HERE for the Georgia Appalachian Trail Guide.

As you walk the streets of Helen you will find many shops and restaurants catering to the many tourist that come to Helen each year.  October is a special time to visit Helen because it is Oktoberfest season when the music is loud and the beer flows. Many of the German restaurants in Helen have some of Germany's finest biers on tap.  If you do not fancy the sport of bier drinking, I am sure that the candy and bakery shops can satisfy your sweet tooth.
And if you are not accustomed to eating sauerbraten, then you can always get a hot dog.

So If you missed Oktoberfest this year in October, you can enjoy your own Oktoberfest year round in Helen, GA.

Click HERE for my video clips from my Helen, Georgia trip last month.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

2016 Helen, GA

21st EPCOT Food & Wine Festival

It has now been a few weeks since Hurricane Matthew roared past Florida with high winds and torrid rain.  Well with that in the past the weather here in central Florida is just gorgeous.  Now is the time to make your plan to visit Walt Disney World for the EPCOT International  Food & Wine Festival.  The festival is 62 days long.  If you have already attended like I have then you only have 13 days left until the festival ends.

This year the festival has spread to to more areas of EPCOT and to many of the adjoining Disney Resorts where special menus have been created. This year the TV show the CHEW returned where they taped a full week of shows that were aired on ABC's Chew the week of October 10th through the 14th.  Part of the fun being at the
21st EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is eating and drinking around the world.  But this kind of fun comes with a warning.  Eating around the world only adds a few unwanted pounds where drinking around the world can end up with a real bad headache and one's inability to drive home. Staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts and riding the bus will solve that problem.

When you come to the Food & Wine Festival you will need to bring a big bag of money because to enjoy eating and drinking around the worlds will set you back a pretty penny or two.  A good example of this is a German bier called.
Schofferhofer Grapefruit.  This is a beer that is half Hafeweizen bier and half grapefruit juice.  This is my favorite bier. A 1 pint, .9 fluid ounce can at the food court in the EPCOT Land exhibit cost $9.00.  I pay less than that at Total Wine for a six pack of bottles or a four pack of the cans.  But this is EPCOT and guy has got to drink.

All and all the 21st EPCOT Food & Wine Festival a full day of fun, food and bier and wine.  If you have never been, this next two weeks should be the prefect time to go.  Remember that there are no more fast passes at the parks.  You will need to get your fast passes online.  And make that restaurant reservation in advance if you want a place to sit down and eat a full meal.  And while you are at Walt Disney World do not miss out on the
new Disney Springs shopping, eating and drinking paradise. This is a place you do not want to miss cause there are no tickets to get in, its free.

So until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Anastasia Confectio...

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Anastasia Confectio...: Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Anastasia Confections : Two times a year Surf Expo brings together literally 1,000s of surf lifestyle brands ...

Gumbies for Your Footies

Last January at Surf Expo I had the pleasure of visiting the Gumbies' booth.  What made this interesting was the fact that more and more Aussie surfing brands are making their way into the American market.

Gumbies Island Flip Flops are made for the beach or the surf lifestyle.  I love the catch phrase "World Wide Walkbout - The Quest for the Perfect Flip Flop". Designed by Michel Maurer, his flip flops are worn around the world.

At the September Surf Expo I met Jose Copin manning the Gumbies booth. We talked about the flip flop design and how the American market had grown since January's Surf Expo.  Jose said that Gumbies were being made available in more specialty surf shops in addtion to Amazon and on their website.  As I was leaving the booth Jose gave me a pair of the Gumbies Unisex Coast Flip Flops. HERE for their website and HERE for Amazon.
After wearing my Gumbies since the Surf Expo, I can truly say that my Gumbies are great to wear.  They hug your foot and are very light and comfortable to wear.  So if you are looking for a new pair of flip flops, why not give Gumbies a try.  Click

Until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Anastasia Confections

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Anastasia Confections: Two times a year Surf Expo brings together literally 1,000s of surf lifestyle brands together under on roof.  Hidden among the swi...

Anastasia Confections

Two times a year Surf Expo brings together literally 1,000s of surf lifestyle brands together under on roof.  Hidden among the swimsuit and resort rows are exhibitors exhibiting products that appeal to your sweet tooth.  Anastasia Confections was such an exhibitor.  Their specialty was Florida themed coconut patties and key lime cookies.  They had a basket of the single patties samples on their booth table which I could not resist. I tasted the key lime coconut and the classic coconut.  I will say that I have had a lot of candies that were similar  to the Anastasia Confections Coconut Patties.  But none of them were as flavorful as these.  I liked them both equally.  To order a box for yourself all you have to do is click HERE for their webpage.   If cookies and coconut bites are not enough, you can get any of their other confections where you can order them online.

As a child, living in South Carolina back during the 1950s and 60s our family summer trip was to go camping at Myrtle Beach, SC.  At least one night we would go to the Myrtle Beach Pavilion to stroll boardwalk and visit the shops like the Gay Dolphin Gift Cove or the Bowery with their bingo and foot long french fries. Part of out family tradition was to get a box or two of saltwater taffy. My grandmother who lived in New York City loved saltwater taffy.  We use to send her a box each
summer.  In the Anastasia booth they had saltwater taffy samples.  Trying one brought back loads of my memories of times past.  I do not know it eating saltwater taffy brings back your memories like it does for me, but I do know that their saltwater taffy is pretty damn good.  It is even kosher certified.  So why not order a bag when you order a box of their great coconut patties or cookies.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Eye of Love Sunscreen

When you attend Surf Expo you are drenched in a deluge of the Surfing Lifestyle images from one side of the show to the other.  Part of the surfing lifestyle exhibitions which cannot go unnoticed is the sexuality that comes with row after row of swimsuit booths.  Tucked between swimsuit booths in the middle of one of the rows was the Eye of Love booth.

Eye of Love, what is Eye of Love?  Eye of Love is a collection of skincare products  that contains pheromones to attract the opposite sex. At Surf Expo they were showing their new SPF 30 Seduce and Flirt Pheromone Sunscreens that contains feminine pheromone to attract males and Fierce pheromone to attract females .  Also on display in the booth was the Eye of Love Rebel and Flirt After Sun Lotions. All of these skincare products had a very nice fragrance.

All of the Eye of Love Products can be ordered online. Click HERE for the Eye of Love webpage.  You can also find Eye of Love products on  Eye of Love also has different types of products that contain pheromones like a candle.

Until next time, be safe in the sun (use a SPF 30 sunscreen from Eye of Love) and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How to Survive Off the Grid

Just came across a new book for all you survivalist out there.  Tim MacWelch, Outdoor Magazine's survivalist blogger, has put together practical tactics for self-reliance in the great outdoors in one book.  You can pick up a copy at WalMart and other book stores like Barnes and Noble.

Until next time, be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rambo Fat Tire Electric Hunting Bikes

What is great about attending the Surf Expo surfing lifestyle trade show it is like a scene from Forest Gump "My mama always said, 'Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.'" I never expected to see a booth with fat tire electric hunting bikes on display.

Rambo Motor Bikes were showing off their very popular fat tire electric fat tire bike at Surf Expo.

To bring a buzz to their booth they had two bikini clad swimsuit models riding around the  show floor riding one of the Rambo all black electric fat tire bikes.  That is where I first saw the bike in action.  I later returned to the booth and spoke with Kyle Dillon from the Alliance Outdoor Group (AOG). AOG is a company that owns numerous outdoor brands like Rambo Motor Bikes.  During my conversation with Kyle he gave me the rundown on their fat tire electric hunting bikes.

He explained how the bike could reach speeds of 20 mph depending on the terrain and that a full charges battery could take the rider on a ride of 15-20 miles also depending on the terrain.  I asked about the hill climbing capability of the bike.  Kyle said that being that the company was from Apple Valley, MN, they had field tested in all sorts of hunting and off road environments and the bike performed as exceptionally.  Now knowing they were from the north country, I asked about snow where he said it works great in the snow.  Click HERE for the fat tire motor bike's specifications.
After spending time with the AOG Rambo team, I could see that a motorized fat tire bike could be a great addition to one's garage along with your other hunting and off road gear.

Returning home after the show I did a little research into electric fat tire bikes.  There are numerous brands on the market that offer this kind bicycle.  Some are only for street use and some can be rode in the back country.  When selecting the brand for you be sure that the bike can be peddled.  A dead battery is a long walk home if you cannot peddle the bike.  Also be sure to check out the bike's suspension system if it has one.  Riding off road with a hard tail and not front fork shocks can make for a long day.

So when you are thinking about your outdoor adventures, an electric fat tire bike just may right for you.  Until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Adv3nture Hoodie on Kickstarter

Each day I get about 200 emails with many of then about new products. The other day I received one about an amazing hoodie.  This hoodie is called the Adv3nture Hoodie.  It was originally designed in 2014 as a Kickstarter project that was a big hit as a beer drinking jacket with a pocket to hold your beer bottle.  It did not take the designer long to realize that the drinking jacket was the basis of an even better hoodie.  The new Kickstarter Adv3nture Hoodie has 23 pockets with loads of features that make this outdoor garment the go to jacket for you. If you want to know more about the Adv3nture Hoodie and get one for yourself before the price goes up, then click HERE for the Kickstarter Adv3nture Hoodie webpage.

Until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Sanuk - Smile...Pass It On at Surf Expo!

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Sanuk - Smile...Pass It On at Surf Expo!: When September arrives the fall Surf Expo is not far behind. I always look forward to see what new Sanuk styles will be on the shelves lat...

Sanuk - Smile...Pass It On at Surf Expo!

When September arrives the fall Surf Expo is not far behind. I always look forward to see what new Sanuk styles will be on the shelves later in the year. This year I was lucky enough to have Amber Gapasin, Key Accounts Sales Specialist, give me the Sanuk new product tour.

Typically as each season rolls around, most of the new products are built around new colors and fabrics rather than new shoe designs.  My favorite new style this year was the Beer Runner.  It is available on the Sanuk web site for $70.00 and comes in black, natural and olive/brown.

At the Surf Expo they had a really cool color of dark blue which is not yet on their website.  Many of the other new styles were variations of the Sanuk classic styles with new materials  If you attended Surf Expo in January, you would have been treated to an after-event Beer Garden on Friday night.  This year Sanuk hosted the Smile...Pass It On happy hour. The music was provided by  SWIMM a LA band with a unique sound.  The happy hour attendees seemed to like the music as they enjoyed their beer. Click HERE for some video clips from the Smile...Pass It On happy hour.

As cooler weather tries to replace the very hot 2016 summer, be sure to check out the fall and winter Sanuk shoe styles to match your winter wardrobe. Sanuk has a lot of cool styles for everyone.

Until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Monday, September 5, 2016

2016 Surf Expo Arrives September 8th at OCCC

 We are just a short three days away from the start of the 2016 Surf Expo, the surf lifestyle trade show where all the new products for next year will be on display.  This is a closed show being that attendance is limited to specialty store and resort  owners, cruise lines, beach rental companies, buyers, media and pro staff team members from across the U.S. and 71 countries.  This is where the Who's Who in the surf industry come to grip and grin, shop and see all the new products.  There will be over 1,000 exhibitors  in 2,500 booths.   One of the big highlights from the show is the after show party that starts at 6:00 PM on Friday night. Last year Sanuk, the famous
footwear purveyor, hosted the after show beer garden where Stone Brewing Company was on tap.  This was a great evening event.  This year Sanuk will be hosting a Happy Hour Party.  I suspect, based on last year's beer garden, that the Happy Hour Party will be a big hit.  Can't wait to attend.

This year I will be attending the show on Friday  and Saturday.  I plan to take a ton of photos and video clips.  I always come back from the show with enough material
to do many articles on all the new surf lifestyle products coming out next year.  So stay tuned.

Click HERE for the Surf Expo webpage.

So until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Surf Expo 2016 January Show Recap

Outdoor Recreation In Orlando: Surf Expo 2016 January Show Recap:  With the 2016 September Surf Expo just a few short days away, here are some of the photos I took at January's show.  This year's ...

Surf Expo 2016 January Show Recap

 With the 2016 September Surf Expo just a few short days away, here are some of the photos I took at January's show.  This year's show looks to be a big and better than ever.  Hope to see you there.

Until next time be safe in the sun and have a great day in the great outdoors.