Travel Apparel: Royal Robbins

Friday December 19, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 2 Comments

Typically airline travelers fall into two categories; those who check their luggage and those who carry on. Personally, I’m a carry on traveler ever since United Airlines lost my checked luggage on a non-stop flight from San Francisco to Chicago. With strict luggage weight regulations, packing light is crucial. Fortunately, I discovered Royal Robbins, an active adventurers answer to lightweight and functional travel apparel.

Nancy D. Brown, Royal Robbins, travel clothes

Nancy looking stylish in her Royal Robbins Voyager Cardigan.


California-based Royal Robbins

I didn’t have to look far to find Royal Robbins. Like me, the outdoor clothing company has deep roots in Northern California. Royal Robbins is a well known climber and kayaker who founded the company, along with his wife, based on the lack of technical and lightweight mountaineering apparel available back in the late 1960’s. Today, the California-based company features quality and stylish clothing for the active adventure traveler. The fact that Royal Robbins has stores in Berkeley and Modesto, with affordably priced travel clothes, is an added bonus to this freelance writer’s budget.

Nancy D. Brown, Royal Robbins, Carmel, California, travel

Dressed in blue to match California’s Pacific Ocean in Carmel.

Go everywhere travel clothes

I’ve partnered with Royal Robbins as a member of their Go Everywhere team as I travel the world, often on horseback. As you’ll see from the photos, our family recently spent time in Carmel and next week I am off to explore Europe by way of the Danube with Viking River Cruises. Fortunately, my travel clothes are able to go everywhere, from California’s beaches to the Christmas Markets of Germany, Austria and Hungary.

Royal Robbins, travel clothes, travel pant

Rock climbing with Royal Robbins Slickrock Plaid shirt and Traveler Stretch Pant. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


Least you think Royal Robbins clothes are only for women, note that my husband is now a RR devotee. He liked the Slickrock Plaid long sleeve shirt for its UPF protection, quick drying and wrinkle resistant material and the ever-important front pocket. The same can be said of his traveler stretch pants. The blend of spandex and nylon feels like cotton, while the lightweight fabric is ideal for packing and travel. He specifically asked me to point out the position of the lower right pocket on the pants. “It’s the perfection location for my cell phone,” said Cory Brown.

Insider Tip
Fellow height-challenged people will be happy to note that many Royal Robbins pants come in short lengths. On behalf of all the short people who hate shelling out our hard earned dollars for alteration fees – thank you! For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown and follow @Royal_Robbins on Twitter.

If You Go

Royal Robbins (800) 587-9044
841 Gilman Street
Berkeley, California 94710

Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Thanks to Royal Robbins for supplying me with these travel clothes. All opinions are my own.

Hotel in La Malbaie, Charlevoix Quebec

Friday December 12, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

Looking for relaxation and good food in the Charlevoix region of Quebec? I recently discovered Auberge des 3 Canards in La Malbaie, Canada. The inn has a unique history, dating back to 1892, with a United States connection.

Auberge des 3 Canards, Quebec, Canada

Auberge des 3 Canards photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

In 1892, Madam Lucy Connnely, the widow of a Maryland industrialist, bought land in Murray Bay with plans to build a summer home. After her passing, the Baltimore architect who designed the home bought it. Upon his death and after his daughter’s ownership, three doctors purchase the inn, thus the three ducks (or 3 Docs) reference.

Today, the inn continues operation with 40 rooms, eight suites and one guest cottage. As is the case with older properties, there are pluses and minuses at the Auberge. If you are a light sleeper, you might prefer the third floor, as upstairs neighbors movements on the wood floor boards is apparent. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that the Auberge does not have an elevator on site. You’ll be lugging your baggage upstairs.

Auberge des 3 Canards, La Malbaie, hotel

Fireplace room. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


Fireplace room

I stayed in room #130, a gas fireplace queen room with a St. Lawrence River view and a firm mattress ($155 Canadian dollars). The four star property offers rooms with private balconies or patios, a seasonal swimming pool and lovely golf course nearby. For those who enjoy horseback riding on the beach, or sleigh rides in the snow, Les Ecuries Entre Monts et Marees is minutes away.

Auberge des 3 Canards, scallops, restaurant

Scallops and regional specialties. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


Auberge des 3 Canards

The Auberge connection to quality food and regional cuisine is apparent at first glance on the five course menu. With fresh fish, scallops, grilled Quebec red deer and goat sweet breads on the menu, I was over-whelmed with choices – in a good way! The soupe aux gourganes, a regional specialty of Quebec, was a treat, as was the sugar pie with frozen yogurt and milk jam. You won’t be hungry after this meal, but if you are in need of a snack, I highly recommend the Quebec and Charlevoix cheese plate featuring regional cheeses sourced from Flavor Trail producers.

Auberge des 3 Canards, fireplace, Quebec, Canada

Toast bread in the hearth. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Insider tip

Breakfast is not included with the price of a room, but is available for a reasonable $17. Canadian and includes coffee, fresh juice and six hot breakfast items from goat cheese omelette to maple butter crepes and a selection of meats, cheeses and yogurt.

The toast buffet caught my attention. The chef offers three different home-baked breads, in addition to three house made butters. Guests slice their bread selection to a desired thickness and then set the bread over the fireplace grill. Try and wait until the butter melts to enjoy this yeasty goodness!

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown.

Auberge des 3 Canards, hotel, Quebec, Canada

Fireplace lobby. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


If You Go:

Auberge des 3 Canards 418 665-3761 or 800 461-3761
115, Côte Bellevue
La Malbaie ( Pointe-au-Pic ) Quebec, Canada
G5A 1Y2
Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Tourism Quebec. All opinions are my own.
You might also like Things to Do in the Charlevoix region of Canada

Morro Bay Lodging, Los Osos, California Central Coast

Wednesday December 10, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 3 Comments

Everything about the bayside community of Los Osos and Baywood Park is off the beaten track. If you like stepping off the tourist path and being surrounded in nature, I have a secret to share with you. Her name is The Green Cottage and she is a charming little gem. In fact, she reminds me of a treasured piece of sea glass. Worn by the waves, recycled by the sea, this immaculate guest house, built around 1920, is a family treasure filled with antiques, nautical-themed art and heart.

Morro Bay, Green Cottage, Los Osos

Morro Bay from Green Cottage, Los Osos. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Perched on the southern tidal estuary of Morro Bay, The Green Cottage has been in Pandora Nash Karner’s family since the 1950’s. Pandora has thought of everything to make this vacation rental feel like home.

“We try to make our guests feel like they are staying at their favorite aunt’s cottage while she is away on some exotic sailboat cruise in the South Seas,” say Green Cottage owner Pandora Nash Karner with a grin.


The Morro Bay and Morro Rock views are lovely, the quiet profound, and the birding is spectacular for Audubon afficionados, as well as the casual shore bird watcher.

After a day of exploring Montaña de Oro State Park, walking El Moro Elfin Forest’s boardwalk loop and wandering the nearby Audubon Sweet Springs Nature Preserve, I was looking forward to a restful sleep in the king size bed in the cottage.

Green Cottage, Morro Bay, California

Take a peek inside this Morro Bay cottage. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


Green Cottage, quilt

Pandora made this quilt! Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


Switching on the electric fireplace, I plopped on the couch and opened the binder to review the over 400 DVD selection. You won’t find TV’s or telephones at the cottage – this place is all about re-connecting with nature (and your partner) but there is WiFi in the cottage and a desk in the quiet room if that’s important to you.

Green Cottage, Morro Bay, California

Quiet room photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Green Cottage kitchen, Los Osos, California

Breakfast by the bay. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

My morning started with fresh ground SLO Roasted coffee from San Luis Obispo, a basket of fresh fruit and yogurt left for me in the fridge, as well as a large selection of tea. If you plan to cook in the cottage, there is a petite kitchen garden on the deck, spices and pans in the pantry, a dishwasher, stove and a microwave oven, too.

The rental fee for 2 nights is $490.00 with a two night minimum, in addition to a $100.00 cleaning fee and $250.00 refundable security deposit. San Luis Obispo County charges an 11% tax ($64.90).

Insider Tip

If you find yourself in Los Osos on Monday, there is a friendly Farmers’ Market in Baywood Park. It’s a 15 minute walk or 3 minute drive from the cottage. Open from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., the market is located between Santa Maria Street and 2nd Street. There are cloth market bags in the pantry.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter.

Green Cottage, Morro Bay, California

Green Cottage photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:

The Green Cottage (805) 528-1718
356 Mitchell Drive
Los Osos, California 93422

You might also like Things to do in Los Osos. Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of The Green Cottage. As always, all opinions are my own.