Entries in ‘What a Trip’ Journal

Whobert’s Path — A Traveler’s Treasure

Wednesday June 4, 2014 at 8:08 AM | 0 Comments

Whobert's Path, free from Grio Games, is a great traveling companion.

Whobert’s Path, free from Grio Games, is a great traveling companion.

Parents traveling with kids — picture this scenario: You’re at a crowded airport gate. The flight attendant just announced that your flight is delayed, again. Your kids are bickering over what to play on the iPad. He wants Angry Birds. She wants Candy Crush. You’re sick of them playing these mindless games over and over. You reach for the iPad and open Whobert’s Path. Moments later they are playing the challenging memory/concentration game and your guilt is assuaged.

Whobert’s Path, developed by Grio Games is a free, exciting new memory game with gorgeous graphics and pleasant music (seriously), focuses on matching tiles to help Whobert, a lost wizard, regain his memory and get home.

It’s not just for kids either. Casual gamers bored with gem-swapping and runner games will find Whobert’s Path thrilling, challenging and addictive. Why not give your brain a workout while playing a beautifully designed game.

Whobert's Path develops concentration and memory.

Whobert’s Path develops concentration and memory.

Whobert’s Path has 10 themed episodes (like nautical and mystical adventures) with constantly changing obstacles on 126 increasing levels!  It’s fast-paced, fun, and tricky.

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of downtime when it comes to traveling — long car, train, and plane rides, lines, and delays. And when traveling with kids, wouldn’t it be put to better use feeding those cerebral cells?

It’s a free download at the App Store for iOS and Google Play for Android. Check out the rave reviews!

This post was contributed by Lisa Crovo Dion or Friscomama. I work with Grio Games to get the word out on Whobert’s Path (and play it myself!).

Photos courtesy of Grio Games.

Whobert's Path is challenging and beautiful to look at.

Whobert’s Path is challenging and beautiful to look at.

 

 

Book Review: Don’t Cook the Planet by Emily Abrams

Tuesday March 25, 2014 at 11:11 PM | 0 Comments

The exterior of Alice Waters' Chez Panisse, considered the birthplace of California cuisine.

The exterior of Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, considered the birthplace of California cuisine.

Last week I had the pleasure of representing What a Trip at a special event at Chez Panisse, hosted by Alice Waters and a young eco-activist/author named Emily Abrams.

The occasion was the book release of Don’t Cook the Planet by 19-year-old Abrams. Waters contributed to this beautiful volume of recipes, photographs, and snippets of wisdom from world-renowned chefs, activists and luminaries including Michael Pollan, Tom Colicchio, Robert Redford, and Paul Simon.

The menu was no frills — a simple though perfectly dressed salad of greens and thin-crust pizza topped with more greens and Parmesan.

Alice, who contributed her (you guessed it, simple) garlic vinaigrette recipe to the book, spoke a few words and graciously posed for numerous selfies with guests. The murmurs around my table were that Abrams’ parents paid for both the event and Waters’ participation in the project. Who knows? And really, who cares? Abrams is a delightful young high school senior and 100% of the proceeds from her book’s sale will be donated to non-profits committed to sustainable efforts.

The gist of the book is that small, conscious choices — like drinking tap water, shopping for local produce at farmers’ markets, and composting among other things — can impact climate control which Abrams considers her generation’s “defining issue.”

The colorful volume (with extraordinary food photography) is peppered with tips for finding easy ways to turn our culinary choices into environmental actions.

Alice Waters and guests at the pizza party for 'Don't Cook the Planet'

Alice Waters and guests at the pizza party for ‘Don’t Cook the Planet’

With a forward written by the still incredibly handsome Robert Kennedy Jr., Don’t Cook the Planet features a collection of more than 70 recipes from Richard Branson’s Spring shepard’s pie and Rahm Emmanuel’s homemade challah to Chevy Chase’s veggie chili and Ethel Kennedy’s Deviled Eggs.

Many of the recipes look straightforward and simple enough. In fact, this book could spur me on to get into the kitchen and fire up some quinoa cakes, beef risotto, or an apple pandowdy.

We’ll see…

Contributed by Lisa Dion of Friscomama.com. Photos by Lisa Dion

pizza

 

Subaru Forester Review

Wednesday December 4, 2013 at 6:06 AM | 2 Comments

Stella, subaru road trip

Stella ready for Carmel, California road trip

This post is sponsored by Subaru

Those of us who travel with pets know that they do not want to be left behind. You would think our dog would relax when she sees us packing her dog bed and dog food into the SUV. But no, she wants to jump in the Subaru Forester so that we can’t possibly forget her.

Carmel, California road trip

Our family of two teenagers, two adults and Stella planned a road trip to Carmel, California. Over the freeway and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go!

Now I realize that as a California girl, I don’t know anything about cold weather, but I am digging the all-weather package with heated front seats. Bum warmers, baby!

 

 

Subaru Forester

2014 Subaru Forester SUV Review

As I am the travel writer in the family, I pack light. My children and husband – they do not take after me. We planned to haul two sets of golf clubs, a laptop computer, camera & video equipment and luggage, lots of luggage.

Unfortunately, my husband had to work late the night of departure, so we drove two cars to Carmel. Truthfully, it would have been a tight fit for the Subaru Forester with four adults, the dog and the golf clubs – the clubs are what put us over the edge. Without the clubs, the dog had plenty of room in the back.

I thought the kids would be all over the SiriusXM radio. Instead, they each tuned out with their iTunes and headphones and left me to sort out the endless choices on the satellite radio. With no one to veto my music selections, I happily listened to Christmas carols the entire drive to Carmel.

Unlike many SUV’s, getting in and out of the Subaru Forester was easy with my total hip replacement. The three-hour drive from Walnut Creek to Carmel (with Thanksgiving traffic) was a breeze as the SUV provided a car-like ride. On long car rides, or if driving while sleepy (not recommended) the lane departure warning system* was certainly an added bonus that might even save lives.

 

Subaru Forester Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Subaru Forester Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Fuel smart, tech-friendly

The 2014 Subaru Forester comes with all-wheel drive – did I mention that I have two hunters in the family? We need a vehicle that goes anywhere and this SUV would easily handle snow, mud and dusty road conditions. I like a car that gets good gas mileage. At 32 mpg, driving to Carmel and back used less than one tank of gas. (Subaru estimates the annual fuel cost of the 2014 Forester crossover SUV to be $1,950.)

 
Subaru tech safety

The Subaru comes with 4-wheel disc brakes, anti-lock braking system and (optional) eyesight drive-assist system – this last feature comes in handy when deer jump out from the road at night or you are backing out of a grocery store parking lot the day before Thanksgiving.

The Subaru Forester has airbags galore. If you are a parent of teenagers, feel good that there is a driver’s side knee airbag, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and whiplash protection front seats. There’s even a harness for your dog, but our Forester didn’t come with this optional item.

 

LCD Touch-Screen GPS Navigation

LCD Touch-Screen GPS Navigation

Bells and whistles

With kids in the back of the car, dual-zone automatic climate control is important. The LCD Touch-screen GPS navigation system comes with large font size for the baby boomer in the front seat. Of course an am/fm stereo with cd player is standard. It’s the SiriusXM satellite radio and Harman/Kardon speaker system that caught my son’s attention when they delivered the car. I like the Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity. “Yes, grandma, we’re almost here.”

As for the keyless access and start, I was a little concerned that I would lock the keys in the car. Due to my paranoia and only one set of car keys, I kept the key fob with me at all times.

If you were looking for engine performance and “under the hood” reviews, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

For more insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow @Subaru_usa on Twitter.

For additional information visit Subaru

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. As a member of Subaru Forester blogger program, Subaru of America asked me to review their car in exchange for the short-term use of their vehicle. All opinions are my own.

*lane departure warning & lane sway warning system, optional equipment