Tag Archives: Peter Jones

Luxembourg Gardens Pietro Place Peter Jones

The Luxembourg Gardens

I like to stay in Paris somewhere close to Montparnasse.

Lately I have been staying at the Belle Juliette on the Rue du Cherche-Midi which interestingly enough is a fabulous French phrase that my Parisian friend, Claire, explained to me.  To “chercher midi à quatorze heures” means to complicate things.

From this delightful 4-star boutique hotel with a lovely garden, it’s a short walk past antique stores and tiny cafes to the Luxembourg Gardens.

The Luxembourg Gardens in Paris, apart from the obvious reasons of sightseeing, the splendid palace, and the history attached to it, is simply one of the great outdoor gymnasiums.

A run around the perimeter inside of the gardens is just under two miles.  The surface is pleasant, the people watching is amazing, the flora and the fauna is over the top and you can barely believe you are smack in the center of the Latin Quarter.

The gardens are jammed between the Boulevard Saint-Michel and Sorbonne area, the Odéon and the Saint-Sulpice, and the longest road in Paris, the Rue du Vaugirard.  In the center of the gardens, there are beautiful clay tennis courts that are not terribly busy, donkey rides, petanque games, and a scattering of benches that are used for exercise.  In between all of this there is a beautiful pond where children can rent miniature sail boats.  There is a kids swimming pool that is sometimes taken over by adults that should know better.  There is a plethora of olive green chairs scattered everywhere for people to sit, read, and enjoy what has been there for centuries.  There are apple trees, oleander trees, and a miniature model of the Statue of Liberty.  Ironically in the Luxembourg Gardens there is not a lot of grass and most grass is protected by signs telling you to stay off of it.

This is one of the greatest parks in all of the world for a jog, walk, or quiet moment relaxing in one of the chairs.

Paris takes your breath away again.

New England Pietro Place Peter Jones

Back to School: New England Edition

Summer is over.  From my point of view, it finished around the middle of August when I couldn’t get a Sam Adams Summer Ale and the guy told me that they were only selling Sam Adams Octoberfest.  Are you kidding me?  I thought summer was defined through the summer solstice and the beginning of the school year, not the sale cycle of summer ales and availability in bars

Boston at this time of the year transforms from a cosmopolitan, small city into a mega studentopolis.

Approximately 250,000 students descend upon us between the end of August and the beginning of September, marking the transition from summer to fall.  Back to school.

Into the twilight hours of the baseball season and the opening days of the American football season.

Did Tom really deflate his balls?  I don’t think so.  In fact, nobody in Boston thinks so.  That is just a horrible conspiracy constructed by the rest of the world against our Tom.

So how does our city shape up and gear up for the influx of youth?  Even though the drinking age in the USA is 21 years old, it does not seem to stop the invasion of students into the sports bars around the city.  Let’s face it, if you are a Boston fan then there are plenty of sports to cheer about.  Hockey season is not far away and basketball starts in November.  For those of us who love the game of soccer, well, soccer kicks into high gear come the month of September.  The English Premier League is carried live in sports bars all over America along with the Spanish league, La Liga, and Serie A.  In other words, there are more sports bars and sports to watch on TV than ever before.

Where do people go in Boston?

The best sports bars in Boston have to be McGann’s Irish Pub in the downtown area near the Boston TD Garden, LIR, a great Irish bar close to the Prudential Center, Cornwall’s in Kenmore Square, one of my favorite English pubs, Jerry Remy’s in the new trendy Seaport area, and the famous Cask’n Flagon down in good old Kenmore Square right next to Fenway Park.

When I travel internationally, the first thing I do is look for an Irish bar.  My favorites in Rome are the Abbey Theatre just off of the Piazza Navona on the Via del Governo Vecchio and Scholars Lounge along the Via del Plebiscito.  Scholars stays open until 3:00 am and is the best place to watch American football games that start late.  The funny thing is that London is not quite as hip as the other European cities.  It’s either soccer or suck it in which is a drag because American sports fill the void between the end of the soccer game and 2:00 am.  If the patrons are watching, they are probably drinking and someone is making money.

Here are my back to school sports predictions: Manchester United will win the Premiership, the Patriots will win the Super Bowl even without Tom for those first four games, the Red Sox will beat the Cubs in the World Series (sorry Chicago), the Golden State Warriors will win the NBA Championship back from the Cavaliers by narrowly defeating the Celtics, and the Bruins will win the Stanley Cup.

Just my perspective, no bias intended!  Got to love the fall.

 

Flying over London Pietro Place Peter Jones

Flying High Over London

I’m originally from London so I know the city pretty much back to front.

Nowadays though I tend to see it more as a tourist and probably enjoy a lot more of the sights than I ever would if I lived there.  Usually when I fly transatlantic to London, the flight pattern follows the western parts of the city and picks up the Thames just around the airport area close to Windsor, Eton, and Runnymede where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215.  Sometimes, if you sit in a holding pattern low enough, you get a wonderful tour of the city center before making final landing.

But the other day the flight pattern coming from another European city was decidedly different.

This time, flying over London took us full along the Thames from the eastern stretches of outer London all the way through the center.

It was a sight to behold.  We passed over the mouth of the Thames where Dover sole fish farms ply their trade and eels are caught for the English delicacy of…horror upon horrors, jellied eels.

Literally we seemed to trace the old docklands which had been replaced by brand new developments around Canary Wharf, past The O2, and over the Emirates gondola before we started to get into the new city development – the skyscrapers with funky names like the Gherkin, the Shard, and the Walkie Talkie.  This was the new London and we were flying above it at around 20,000 feet.  The pilot seemed to be enjoying the view as much as we did and he made a couple of announcements pointing to the developments on the river below.

It was strange to see old London squeezed in between the skyscrapers and the ancient river below.  There was the tiny-looking Tower of London and the omnipresent Tower Bridge, London’s iconic and still used drawbridge.  Everybody in the plane, whatever side you were looking at, had a treat to behold.  St. Paul’s Cathedral was on the right, the Tate Modern on the left, and the London Eye straight ahead…did I miss 12th century Southwark Cathedral in the middle of it all?  We passed Westminster, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and Lambeth Palace, just a stone’s throw from where I grew up, and still we kept on following the Thames.

As we started to run out of sights, the plane banked slightly and we caught a glimpse of Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.

I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a better or more impressive city to fly into than London.  I don’t think so.

 

Corsica Pietro Place Peter Jones

Getting Lost in Corsica

It’s tough to find a place in the Mediterranean that is not overrun by tourists, especially the hordes from the north who populate and destroy the character of places in Spain and Portugal.

But there are times to visit the Mediterranean and there are places during those times that remain relatively untouched by the scourge of modern tourism.

Corsica is one of them.

One hour from Paris by plane or a slow boat from Marseilles will get you to this magical island that sits just off of the coast of southern France, west of the Italian peninsula, and north of the island of Sardinia.  I made the most delightful wrong turn upon arrival in the airport and what should have been a 35-minute drive to the picturesque town of Saint-Florent, turned out with my GPS to be a two-and-a-half-hour journey through the hinterland, climbing mountain tops, and going through several weather changes, on my way back to, as it turns out, the airport!

As I discovered, Google Maps has bouts of unreliability nevermore than when you need it most.

But we covered mountain passes, pig farms, delightful stone villages, and oodles of bougainvillea that acted as hedge rose.

Driving was a little dicey but with my stick shift knowledge I was able to navigate some treacherous climbs and take a few stops to grab some time to take in the scenery.  The scenery in this mountainous island was spectacular.  Even in June there were 8,500 foot peaks of snowcapped mountains peering down across the turquoise Mediterranean Sea.

I had been to Sardinia some 30 years ago but this landscape was altogether different.

Eventually we picked up the road that we had ought to have picked up on the drive from the airport and started all over again.  As it turns out, the confusion was because the sign for Saint-Florent had been crossed out by some angry Corsican separatists which left only the sign in Corsican that looked completely different.

A combination of Corsican separatists and Google Maps had conspired to give me an incredible introduction to this magical island!

Corsica Pietro Place Peter Jones Corsica Pietro Place Peter Jones Corsica Pietro Place Peter Jones

Renting a Car in Europe

Things to Beware of When Renting a Car in Europe

Renting a car in Europe can be not quite as easy as you think.

First of all – the insurance.  Call your credit card company and make sure what you think is insured is insured.  The cost of a rental car can literally double per day if you take the rental car’s suggested insurance options.  Your credit card should cover you for all of the insurance that you need.  But there is a catch – the credit card company is simply going to back up your own insurance if there is a problem.  Thus, if you have an accident overseas, the credit card company will first go to your USA auto insurance policy and look for the coverage there.  If they cannot find it, then they will back you up.  But it’s not certain, it’s complicated, it’s time consuming, and as always, it is simply designed as a way for insurance companies to avoid the risk of something happening.  It’s sort of like the ad, they cover for zombie invasion but an accident in a car may not be covered by your insurance!  So when travelling overseas, just make sure that that is sealed tight.

Second, it also goes without saying that you should fill the tank before you drop the car off.

It’s another way for rental car companies to screw the living daylights out of you.

Lastly, and through no fault of the rental agencies, Europe is a lot hipper and sneakier than the USA in terms of speeding tickets or general fines.

To begin with, do not be fooled because you never see a cop parked in a hidden driveway or somebody staring at you with the speed gun.  In Europe it is all done with cameras and as soon as the camera catches you speeding and flashes, you’re done.  What that means is that there is no 10 mph forgiveness zone that most of the time is granted in the USA.  If you are traveling at 66 km/h in a 60 km/h limit, the speed camera will go off.  You’ve been caught on camera.  Eventually that fine will make its way to the rental company and the rental company eventually will hit you with that ticket with extra surcharges because obviously it’s late in payment.  Fines can be high and rental car companies do not provide information about this.  Europeans are very aware of the cameras and in France, the UK, and Italy there are cameras everywhere.

Good news is that the speed cameras have lowered the average speed of drivers and have saved thousands of lives.  The bad news is that it is a source of revenue for the local authorities.  Same with parking tickets.  What used to be easy with a rental car is not so easy anymore.  The fine will eventually get back to you with late surcharges and you could end up with a bill on your credit card from the rental agencies up to one year later (which they are allowed to do).  Just because the Europeans have a higher speed limit than the USA, it doesn’t mean you can speed like the old days.  You will pay for it one way or another.

Image courtesy of http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/overseas/.

Day Flight

The BA Day Flight

How I love that day flight.

You can work through the day on the plane, arrive looking roughly the same as when you left, and get to enjoy a great meal in London before you begin your journey.  Or better still, grab a hotel night at the incredibly convenient Sofitel that is situated at Terminal 5 at Heathrow.  This hotel is a dream especially if your onward connection the following day is on British Airways and therefore in Terminal 5.

British Airways operates day flights from New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Boston.

The flight time from Boston is 5 hours and 50 minutes and while it is not recommendable for people who are trying to save a hotel night by sleeping on an airplane seat, the difference in a healthy travel experience and a somewhat acceptable looking human being emerging from the plane is well worth it.  The great news is that during the summer months you can connect all the way through to Paris (if you are a BA fan) or to more exotic places like Palma in Mallorca (I’m a big fan).

Imagine – you depart Boston at 8:10 am, do some work, watch a movie, connect through to Paris, and by midnight you can be sitting down in a restaurant on the Boulevard Saint Germain, as I did in the Café Louise.

At that point it is still only 7pm in the evening on Boston time.  True confession: I am a secret addict of the day flight.

Soccer

The Barbarian Invasion – The Dark Side of Soccer

It’s the start of soccer mania.

The greatest game in the world is everywhere this summer. There is the Copa America in the USA, the European Nations Cup in France, and not to mention soccer at the Olympics in Brazil.  This is definitely a summer for los fanáticos.  Carried live on TV in the USA, there is not a day that goes by when some important game is not catching the eye of the devotees.

But there is a dark side to soccer as demonstrated recently in the beautiful port city of southern France, Marseille.

The ugly side of ultra-nationalist thugs fighting against an opposing teams’ army of thugs or tearing apart local restaurants and bars and fighting with the police.  It should not be this way but soccer quite often has a dark side.  This summer it has again reared its ugly head.

When we choose to travel, we travel to open our minds, embrace different cultures, take a chance on speaking a language that we are unfamiliar with, and get close to the sights and sounds of a place that is unfamiliar.

In brief, learn and enrich yourself with the tools of the trade – tolerance, openness, and kindness.  With this, and a guide book or willingness to get lost, one can take a chance with a phrase or two, and get to meet people from different places with different languages, different religions, and different perspectives.  When I see the dark side of soccer, I see such a misconnect between the beautiful game and what this ultra-minority of racist hooligans take from the sport.

Here’s the deal – it’s not their sport, it’s our sport.  Prejudice in any form is a terrible waste of life.

I will sit back, watch the games, marvel at the moves, enjoy the backdrop of beautiful cities, and know that there is nothing wrong with supporting your nation. But that has nothing to do with being an ultra-nationalist.  No wonder they banned alcohol in the cities where the hooligans are heading.  What right do these guys have to paint the Russian or English fan on their drunken bodies?  Shout out against all forms of racism and fanaticism.  You never know, it could be happening at a place near you!  See you out there somewhere.

Soccer

Champion's Final

Champion’s League Final

It has become a habit – catching the two greatest club teams in the world at a venue in some foreign place and watching the drama and spectacle of the absolute pinnacle of soccer’s elite competing for the Champion’s League trophy.

Of course, what better story than a repeat of the story that unfolded two years prior in Lisbon.  It’s the story of Atlético Madrid versus Real Madrid at the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy.

This is the story of Madrid’s gritty side and the working class suburbs around the Calderón Stadium (Atléti) and the chic neighborhood along the Castellana where the Bernabéu Stadium (Real) is located.

It’s the struggle and fight against the privileged and wealthy aristocratic classes.

The Republic against the Falange party.  A war and nearly a century later, the marks in the sand have still not been forgotten in Madrid.  Even though the players and multimillion dollar salaries come from many different countries, to wear the badge of Atléti is all together a different story than to wear the badge of Real.  Here we were again in a different stadium to relive the battle.

Italy is one of the only places in the world where two teams share the same stadium.  In the case of San Siro, the teams are AC Milan and Inter Milan.  The fans of both teams have learned to detest each other through family tradition!  But this weekend they would transfer the ownership of the stadium over to the Champion’s League.  Two of the three greatest teams in Spain would vie for honors.  I go every year to this event because I love football.

If you truly love football, and you can only travel to one event, this has to be the event.

More important than a World Cup final or Olympic gold medal, the Champion’s League final is the culmination of a year’s work, a year’s qualifiers, and a celebration of the greatest players in the world.  Not to mention, this year it was in Milan – a revisit to a stadium I had not been to in 15 years.

The game was anything but anticlimactic.  It was amazing.  It came down to 22 exhausted players locked in a dead heat and having to shoot penalties just before midnight.  Of course, as in every sport, there is heartbreak, a lucky break, and a winner or loser.  In this case, my team for the night, Atléti, yet again would lose out in the last seconds of a game that went on for over two hours.  They were the warriors (and in my view the winners) but sport can be cruel.  Penalties are almost the ultimate gladiatorial form of combat.  Sudden death, 12 yards, two players, a striker and a goal keeper, and 85,000 people looking on.  There can be nothing quite like this in any sport in the world.  No heartbreak more imaginable in that moment.

We left our Spanish friends in the stadium and exited as quietly and quickly possible.  It was late and we needed to make other plans so we dove out of the San Siro and into the night ahead of the crowds.  We were sitting in a restaurant that a friend of ours knew very well called the Trattoria Toscana on the Corso di Porta Ticinese.  It stayed open beyond 2 o’clock in the morning.  We had a fabulous seafood pasta, incredible shrimp with the finest olive oil, and some great white wine to wash it down with.  We would live to fight another day.  As they say, it’s only a game!

Champion’s League

Champion’s League

Champion's Final

Leonardo Da Vinci and Armani

A Tale of Two Museums – Leonardo Da Vinci and Armani

What to do on a beautiful spring morning in Milan?

In light of the fact that we had a long day ahead of us with a soccer game that would stretch until midnight, what better compliment to il calcio than a bit of culture and fashion.

I had never seen The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci.  We had figured out a way to jump onto a sightseeing tour without doing the sightseeing (always handy to avoid mediocre guides) and thus gain entrance to the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.  In an airtight salon, with strict procedures by group, I got to see something that had been on my to-do list for years.  The room that The Last Supper is in is austere and simple.  At the far end of the chapel is a crucifixion scene by Giovanni Donato. It faces Leonardo’s Last Supper where Jesus announces his betrayer.  Someone always lets the team down!  This is one of his greatest works, badly deteriorated and suffering the ravages of time and vandalism, but it still provides an experience unique and spiritual.

What better way to compliment a 15th century mural by one of the world’s greatest ever painters than a visit to the ultra-chic Giorgio Armani’s Armani/Silos that was opened in 2015?

Housed in what was a granary, Armani captures his passion for fashion in a place whose central force was all about the beginnings of food.  There are more than 600 outfits and around 200 handbags and accessories from 1980 to the present.  There is a fabulous little café outside with great sandwiches and incredible olive oil for dipping.  The whole experience capped with an espresso and an Armani sugar cube.  Made me want to rush out, grab an Armani jacket somewhere, and wear it for a day.

If only to know that Armani’s designs are as timeless as the painting that preceded it in the morning.

Artists are artists.  Lucky to get a glimpse into a Renaissance mind in the year 2016.

Leonardo Da Vinci and ArmaniLeonardo Da Vinci and ArmaniLeonardo Da Vinci and Armani Leonardo Da Vinci and Armani Leonardo Da Vinci and Armani

Peter Jones Pietro Place Milan's Canals

The Revitalization of Milan’s Canals

When most people think of Milan, they think of the Duomo, La Scala, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and The Last Supper.

These are the “iconic” parts of Milan that are on every sightseeing tour if you happen to be passing this way.  Let’s face it; Rome compared to Milan is pretty much a non-issue.  Rome has the lot – the history, the museums, the beautiful evening light, and of course the weather.  But Milan is a city of the north; closer to its German neighbors and a stone’s throw to France.  Milan has a certain atmosphere about it.  It’s a young city, a city famous for its fashion houses and beautiful people, and a nighttime scene that can rival Spain.  Furthermore, with the advent of the high-speed train network, notably the Frecciarossa, Milan to Rome is a cool 3.5 hours.  Two cities that were so diametrically opposed have been brought closer together through modern transportation. And who would have thought that Milan has a touch of Venice to it as well!

Milan boasts a neighborhood of canals that had been forgotten about and then resurrected to create a vibrant restaurant and bar scene that for most people is one of the best kept secrets in Europe.

The Navigli is situated southwest of the historic center.  In its heyday, the canals formed a 150 km network that connected the city with the main rivers and the large lakes to the north.  They were used for irrigation and more importantly transportation.  The earliest known construction was in the 12th century.  Because of this ingenious way to transport goods and irrigate farm lands, Milan became the country’s largest inland port despite the absence of a main river.  This “little Venice” thrived but then with the advent of roads, it fell into decline.  What consisted of five canals has now been reduced down to three.  But a renaissance of sorts took place around the main canal, the Naviglio Grande.  It is a trendy locale with high house prices but it is a cool urban neighborhood that represents an edgy Milan.  This is really where everything happens with cruise boats, restaurants, bars, and a fabulous antique market.  I got to eat in one of the great restaurants called Fiaschetteria Il Montalcino on the Via Valenza #17.  We took a couple of beers in one of the bars, walked over a beautiful iron bridge, and gazed in wonder at the shimmering lights on an ancient canal.  I could not believe this was my first time here.  I could not believe this was Milan.  Travel is a wonder.

Navigli canal Peter Jones Pietro Place Milan's Canals

River Tour of London’s History

A River Tour of London’s History

A remarkable aspect of London is the way they have adapted their new skyline to an old river.

When I was growing up, the Thames and the embankment areas were barely used.  There was one boat that would take you from Westminster to Kew Gardens and Henry VIII’s palace of Hampton Court and another boat that would travel as far as the tower and Tower Bridge.  It was as if the river ought to be ignored and certainly to all intents and purposes stopped at the Tower.  The French have long made fabulous use of the Seine.  It was inevitable that the Brits would someday catch up and would start to develop a world-class waterfront to showcase London.

And so it goes that pretty much everything starts around Westminster and heads east towards the new developments down at Canary Wharf.  The east of London, once a wasteland full of warehouses and disused wharfs, is now a principal point of traffic with its own airport, super high-speed trains, and new buildings that pop up it seems every six months or so.

For me, one of the greatest joys in London is to take a river tour of London’s history.

These are essentially boat rides that encompasse the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the London Eye, Shakespeare’s recreated Globe Theatre, the Tate Modern at the old Bankside Power Station, and the fabulous new London City Hall, the Shard, the Walkie Talkie, the Gherkin, and the Millennium Bridge, otherwise known as the wonky bridge.  Not to mention the fabulous Tower Bridge and its neighbor, the ancient Tower of London.

So a bunch of us decided to do this journey using the Thames RIB Experience boats.  Essentially, it’s a high-speed boat ride eastward down the river with different possibilities for location – Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, or the Thames Barrier.  It is a great ride.  You embark at Embankment Pier and the journey can take anywhere from 30 to 75 minutes depending upon how far you want to go.

The boat twists and turns in spectacular fashion as you get into open water after Tower Bridge. It’s powered by 740 horse power, in other words it moves very fast.  It rained a bit but nobody got wet because the boat was moving at jet speed!  It was one of the fun ways to see the river and count the changes that have graced this skyline.

One shout out to London in the midst of the Brexit catastrophe – Congratulations!  You have a Muslim mayor, the son of a Pakistani postal worker, in this most cosmopolitan city.  So proud to be a Londoner!
River Tour of London’s History

River Tour of London's History

Brexit: The Days After

Brexit: The Days After

As a Brit living in the USA and holding a UK passport and a USA passport, I felt that I had this unique opportunity to work and travel in 29 countries.

That changed. The United Kingdom has just experienced a political nightmare.  What most thought would be a very passable referendum to remain inside of the European Union sparked such fierce political divisions that the vote went into the night and became a cataclysmic defeat for those that wished to remain in the EU.

The political fallout from this is still happening.  The Labor Party, Britain’s main opposition party, has been splintered and almost certainly sidelined for many years to come.  The Conservative Party has lost its leader and the Prime Minister.  As two populist conservatives, Boris Johnson, the disheveled and outspoken ex-Mayor of London, and Nigel Farange, a leader of the generously named but highly racist Independent Party, became the outspoken leaders for the “leave” camp.  Neither of these two villains will see power but they did enough damage to offset the gains made by being a member of the European Union for the last 45 years.

It was a campaign fueled by fears of immigration laced with racist terms.  Bringing “England back to England” banded around with frightening repetition.  At the end of the day, England is out.  The ramifications of this will be most obvious in the years to come.  In a global society, in a global economy, England has chosen to be isolationists fueling the immigrant polemic and walking confidently backwards into a “we once were great” illusion.  If that is not enough, English hooligans were on display everywhere during the European Championships of soccer.  To let you know what you really will be getting if you cut off the supply of bright, young Europeans who come to England to study our language, our culture, and more importantly, to work.

What does all of this mean for the traveler?

On a positive note, it means that your dollar will go further because the pound is tumbling and the euro has taken a hit as well.  It will probably mean more border checks and as England is not in the EU, the lines will be a little longer on the Eurostar and at the airports.  The fact that the United Kingdom is not in the Schengen Agreement which entitles free mobility between 19 countries will make it less of a problem.  For the United Kingdom passport holder traveling to Europe, it will mean longer lines and no freedom of movement.  It will mean that people will not be able to work freely with a British passport in any of the 27 member states and of course vice versa.  It means that in five to six years’ time, London will probably seem a little bit more English and that is not a good thing!  I love hearing the sound of foreign languages on the streets of London.  It makes me feel that I am in a cosmopolitan city, it encourages languages to be studied, and cultures to be learned.

Europe just lost one of its stars.  The United Kingdom is also the second largest economic country in the 28 countries with Germany still as number one.  But critically, Europe will still be a trading block of over 450 million people and therefore the second largest trading block in the world behind China and ahead of the USA.  The United Kingdom, in addition, may also become somewhat disunited within itself.  Scotland, who fiercely voted to remain in Europe, will probably elect to have a referendum and leave the UK.  Northern Ireland may do the same.  That would leave a very strange United Kingdom.  But for us tourists it would mean that we would have to go through border control to get to Edinburgh and the drive from Dublin to Belfast would also have a new border constructed.  Maybe we will have a united Ireland!

Of course none of this will take place right away.  Article 50 of the EU is the thing that has to be invoked.  That will set a two-year timetable for the unprecedented departure of one of the member states.  Thank goodness my grandmother is Irish!  I am applying for my Irish passport now!

 

Pietro Place Peter Jones Raden

A New Kid on the Block – Raden A22

So, there’s a new kid on the block now.

I just purchased a Raden carry-on. Check out the website! They have a really cool color palette for each of its suitcases of varying sizes. As an entry-level bag, they have introduced an incredibly affordable 22” roller with state-of-the-art Japanese spinning wheels, a fabulous polycarbonate shell, and a polyurethane overlay that creates a waterproof seal. It’s light at only 7.5 pounds and it’s four spinning Japanese wheel bases are as good as it gets.

Here’s the great stuff though – the technology within it is exceptional.

There is a pouch that contains a USB cable, sleep blindfold, orange earplugs, and the ergonomic handle is a scale. It has an app that you download on your phone, it has GPS capability through the app, and a charger in the bag itself. It’s an inexpensive $295 that should be compared to the Tumi’s of this world and the Zero Halliburton’s which retail for much, much more. My Briggs and Riley bag just doesn’t feel cool enough anymore. Check it out.