48 hours in las vegas

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i think this 48 hours in fill-in-the-blank city could become a thing.  i’m really really enjoying it.  it gives me an excuse to travel more and to try a bunch of new places.  i used to go to cities with no plan.  now i’ve got all kinds of plans.

one of my biggest travel complaints is that it’s hard to find the best stuff to do in cities.  you can google, but most of the stuff you find is written for the masses and we are not the masses.

this weekend i took on vegas for the super bowl.  i’ve been to las vegas a lot.  in fact, i’ve been so much that i don’t feel like throwing out a number.  i have a love / hate relationship with that city.  i used to joke that i’ll just send them a check once a year for $1000 and skip the hangovers and long plane flight.  with that said, each year i go i feel like i get better at it and with this last trip now in the books, i can safely say i’ve finally got it down.

since there were three of us this past weekend, we stayed at the venetian.  hat tip to the venetian for being awesome – not super expensive for 3; easy check in; huge room with 2 queen size beds and a pullout sofa; convenient to most of the other casinos; and easy checkout.  boom!  what more could you want. Continue reading

shout out to outdoor voices

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if you’re reasonably hip (meaning you pay attention to cool shit) and exercise on occasion, then you’ve probably heard of outdoor voices.  they are a newer sportswear brand out of austin, tx and they’re awesome.  (i’ll get to that in a second.)

here’s how the story begins…last month i set out to get a new hoodie.  i wanted a lululemon hoodie, but the only hoodies they currently sell make you look like you’re from the future.  you would think they would have a go-to hoodie that they sell year round, but they don’t.  (if anyone working at lulu corporate reads this, please make a note.  thank you.)  anyway, i had heard good things about outdoor voices, so i decided to purchase the champ track hoodie.  it shipped the next day and was here in no time.

when i got it, i fell in love.  it’s everything i wanted in a hoodie.  i could wear it to the gym or out on the weekend.  in fact, i wore it for an entire weekend and then washed it that sunday night because i had worn it so much.  i washed it on cold and hung it to dry.  a couple of days later, i put it on and it felt like it had shrunk.  long story short i emailed the company and they sent me a brand new larger size hoodie without any questions.

their responsiveness blew me away.  they were on top of it immediately i.e. answered my email quickly and shipped the new one right away.  not many companies operate that way anymore.  thank you outdoor voices for your badass customer service.  i’m a fan and will be for life.  you can check out the rest of their stuff here.  it’s tight (i don’t think people still say that but whatever).

rest in peace, barbour

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i’ve been an anglophile for as long as i can remember.  england gave us the beatles, the queen, fish and chips, english premier league soccer, barbour, and many many other great things.

barbour was one of those brands i discovered through a friend – the only person i knew that had one or anything like it.  it smelled weird.  it was expensive (so he said) and in 2003 they were hard to find which made it very appealing to me.  i didn’t get mine until several years later when you could fine them online at certain retailers.  now that’s not the case.  they are everywhere.

this past weekend in charleston, just about every other male between the ages of 20 and 50 were wearing one or so it seemed.  the popular option was either the bedale or beaufort in green.  so many dudes were wearing them that my girlfriend pointed it out before i could comment on the situation.  and if i may be honest, i was wearing one too; albeit, the barbour x white mountaineering joint i got in london in december.

when did barbour become the preferred jacket of frat dudes and forty-year-old attorneys?  in college, i didn’t have enough cheese to afford a barbour.  now they seem to be handed out with frat letters, southern tide checkered shirts and sperrys.  it’s kind of a bummer because it used to feel like an exclusive club.

but look, they’re great jackets.  they’re timeless.  they’re beaters.  they fit like they’re supposed to.  they’re just everywhere now and that’s ok.  i’m going to have to get used to it.  if i ever lived in london, i’d see twice as many of them.  it’s a good thing they make other models besides the bedale and beaufort.  it might be time to throw mine on ebay.  rest in peace, barbour.

48 hours in charleston

what do you do when you have 48 hours in charleston?  you eat and you drink.

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we made the most of charleston this past weekend – as you can see above.  i’m honestly glad to be home with as much money as we spent eating and drinking.  my body and wallet both needed the rest.

if you plan on making a weekend trip to charleston sometime soon, this is a nice little rundown on some places you should try.  i love lists, so i will do my best not to go into any sort of great details regarding the above restaurants.

first and foremost, stay downtown on king or meeting street.  we stayed at the king charles inn which is an incredible location, but our room was old, small, and stinky.  (i think it used to be a smoking room.)  i wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.  the grand bohemian was next store.  if you have the cash, stay there.

quick note on shopping…shopping in charleston is not great except for one exception: indigo & cotton.  that place was a very pleasant surprise.  it’s a couple of blocks from king st and carries gitman bros vintage, engineered garments and several other hard to find menswear staples.  the dude working there couldn’t have been any nicer as well.  i also really enjoyed a candle store called candlefish which needs to be in nashville.  (yeah i fucks with candles.)

here’s where you should and shouldn’t eat:  Continue reading

reminder: use mink oil

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it’s the holiday season.  who’s excited?  i’m excited.  you know who else is excited…my growing collection of red wings because they get a nice new coat of mink oil.  mink oil preserves, protects and waterproofs the leather.  you want these on your boots.  i bought the can you see above on amazon for $6.  that’s a small price to pay for protecting your favorite wintertime footwear.  happy start of the holidays and the shite weather.  cheers!

patagonia pullover

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hello, is it me you’re looking for?  i’m sure no one has been missing me.  it’s been 6 months since i wrote something.  SIX MONTHS!!!  where the hell have i been?  honestly, i couldn’t tell you or maybe i could and you wouldn’t care.  i can see it in your eyes.  i can see it in your smile (sorry that’s some more lionel for you).  either way i’m alive.  i’d like to start writing on the reg, but you know how that goes.

in august, i went to alaska for two weeks.  it was amazing and if you follow me on instagram (user name: coopersamuels), there are a bunch of pics from the trip.  one thing i (re)discovered in alaska was how bomb patagonia is as a brand.  i bought a nano puff hoody and haven’t taken it off since (that’s a lie).  anyway…they are an amazing brand and there’s a reason i was obsessed with them in high school and college.

one thing that should be on your list this holiday season is an ugly-as-f**k snap-t fleece pullover.  i just bought the one above.  how amazing is it?  i’m not saying you should order the same one, but look at it.  it’s incredible.  you need it.  i need it.  everyone needs it.  you can get your very own here.  don’t be afraid of the u.a.f. snap-t fleece.  there are more ugly options on the website if this one doesn’t suit your fancy.

adidas reissuing rod laver shoes

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adidas rod laver tennis shoes might be my favorite tennis shoes of all time.  i’ve run through close to 3 pairs.  that might not sound like a lot, but i bought my first pair when i was a sophomore in college.  that was forever ago.  rumor has it they’re reissuing the original shoe from the 60’s.  this is good news because 2 years ago they added a new outsole that increased the weight of the shoe about 20 pounds or at least it felt like it.  the reissues were supposed to be on adidas.com on thursday, but i didn’t see them when i just checked.  i will continue to check back until i get these shoes.  they will be mine.  oh yes they will be mine.

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