Urbandillo Hobo Bag -Travel Gear Review

Friday February 11, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 0 Comments

Fashion vs Function in a Travel Bag

Limited in what to pack for your travels, yet attempting to look fashionably chic? I know I often struggle with  fashion vs function in my travel gear; not so much with my luggage. I have found that the lightweight and durable Briggs and Riley luggage competes quite well on the fashion scene. It’s the purse, clutch, backpack situation that I struggle with. Backpacks and large shoulder bags are fine for day trips, but what do I use to carry my wallet, Canon Digital Camera, Flip Mino video camera, passport and lipstick when I’m at an upscale restaurant or on a cruise ship?


Hobo bag, Urbandillo, Nancy D. Brown, travel gear

Shrink and Go Urbandillo Hobo Bag

Created by Veronica James, the Urbandillo brands include the Classic Hobo Bag. Priced at $69, the Hobo bag compacts from 23″ x 21″ down to a ball form.  The Hobo, made of polyester material, arrives in a 7″ x 7″ x 4″ packaging tin. However, my travel bag sample didn’t arrive in a tin. Like the Genie, released from Aladdin’s magic lamp, I imagine it would be easier to remove the bag, than to stuff it back into the tin.  Personally, I prefer to tuck the bag in my carry on and pull it out when needed.

The Hobo travel bag has an adjustable shoulder strap for cross body and shoulder wear and a side snap pocket to fit your phone or iPod, unless you have an Otterbox iPhone defender case. Fortunately, my iPhone slides into the side pocket. However, my iPhone, wrapped in the protective Otterbox defender case, doesn’t allow the the snap to close.

The Hobo travel bag comes with plenty of storage compartments to fit a water bottle, cell phone and includes an attached key clasp. The Classic Hobo comes in black or purple.


Hobo Travel Bag, Urbandillo, Travel Gear, Nancy D. Brown

Buy Urbandillo – Give Love

Travel writers and bloggers often write about how best to respond to third world children begging in the streets. To be sure, responsible travel is a subject fraught with much controversy. Urbandillo’s mission is to provide children in need with blankets. With every Urbandillo purchase, a blanket is personally given to a child in the US and worldwide.

Do you have a favorite travel bag? What travel gear can’t you live without?

If You Purchase: Urbandillo

Follow Urbandillo on Twitter and follow Nancy D. Brown on Twitter for travel tips.

Urbandillo supplied me with this travel gear for review.

Related Post:

Briggs and Riley BRX Explore 22″ Carry-on Luggage

Travel Tips on raveable

Half Moon Bay, California Golf Links Ocean Course

Friday February 4, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 2 Comments

Half Moon Bay Golf Links

Ocean Course, Half Moon Bay Golf Links

I enjoy golf and feel particularly fortunate that my 15 year old son likes to play also.  We experienced quite a golf treat when we played the Ocean Course at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay.  A February day on northern California’s coast typically brings cool weather with it. This particular Saturday, Mother Nature blessed us with a bright and warm day full of sunshine. On the 6,649 yard Half Moon Bay Ocean Course, players of various experience levels may enjoy a course that is open to the public, reasonably friendly to walk, flanked by miles of Pacific Ocean coast line, and manicured links to gaze upon. Or, you may play the correspondingly scenic Half Moon Bay Old Course; a more traditional style of the two golf courses.


ocean course, Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

Golf at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

Golf at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay

As was expected, The Half Moon Bay Golf Links staff was friendly and professional. Our starter, Roger, was very accommodating and rightly proud of the Half Moon Bay Golf Links courses.  We had a few minutes before our tee time, so Roger gave us a brief tour of the Old Course’s signature 18th hole. This hole paralleled the Pacific Ocean as it finished at the base of the majestic Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay.

Insider Tip: Like non-ski bunnies at mountain lodges, non golfers may enjoy their favorite libation or roast s’mores by one of several Ritz Carlton fire pits, while taking in the view of the breathtaking hole and ocean.


Half Moon Bay, golf, Evan Brown

Evan Brown Ritz-Carlton ocean course

The Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay

We had the good fortune to be joined by Nick, a Half Moon Bay local, originally from Scotland. Nick’s dad is a member at St. Andrews, home to the original Old Course. Nick has played many of the famous courses we see on television during the British Open. However, he much prefers the warm, not so windy courses provided at Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

Not only did we get to play a links course, we had a talented linkman with a delightful Scottish brogue as our golf partner.  I think it shows the quality of a resort course, such as the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay, that the local golfers enjoy and loyally boast of the service and receptive attitude from the Pro staff.



Evan Brown Half Moon Bay Ocean Course

Evan Brown golfs Half Moon Bay Ocean Course

Ocean Course Half Moon Bay Designed by Arthur Hills

Designed by Arthur Hills and opened in 1997, the sparkling blue ocean and lush, green Half Moon Bay Golf Links course blend seamlessly together with the blue California sky.  With forced carries over water, gorges and gorgeous views of the ocean, it’s easy to be distracted by the beauty of the Half Moon Bay Ocean Course. Of all the thrills on the course, there is nothing more rewarding in golf than hitting a good shot into the blue sky and landing it on a wide undulating green.

Pricing: Rates offer a great value for high quality golf, ranging from $160 to $205. Special golf packages are available through The Ritz Carlton- Half Moon Bay. Appropriate golf attire is requested.

Do you plan your vacations around golf courses?  What are your favorite things to do in Half Moon Bay, California?



Half Moon Bay Ocean Course

Ocean Course Half Moon Bay, California

If You Go:

Half Moon Bay Golf Links (650)  726-1800

Two Miramontes Point Road

Half Moon Bay, California 94019

This review of Half Moon Bay Golf Links is a guest post by Cory and Evan Brown. Evan is a high school student and avid golfer. Evan was a guest of Half Moon Bay Golf Links.

Related Posts:

Crosswater Golf Course, Sunriver, Oregon

Things to See and Do in Half Moon Bay, California

Five things to See and Do in Leeds, UK

Friday January 28, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 7 Comments

Harewood House, Leeds, England, UK, travel, Nancy D. Brown

Harewood House in Leeds, England is a must visit

My home city of Leeds is only a 2.5 hour train journey from London Kings Cross. It is the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, where you will find the most breathtaking scenery in the country and is a short journey to other great northern cities like York.

Here are my five favourite places in Leeds.

Harewood House

I will start off by mentioning my favourite Leeds attraction for 2011. It is a must visit, especially if you have children. Harewood House is a stately home, has magnificent gardens and a huge estate to let the kids run free.

For kids, there’s a play area and bird garden – make sure you watch the penguins being fed. You will find flamingos and birds from around the world. Walk around the estate, over the river, through the gardens and try and spot the local wildlife.

Millennium Square, Leeds, England, UK, travel, Nancy D. Brown

Millennium Square is home to many good restaurants in Leeds

Millennium Square

Millennium Square is home to a number of really good restaurants including Spice Quarter and Casa Mia. You will also find drinking venues including Revolution, and Cuthbert Broderick pub. The square is on the doorstep of the Leeds City Museum, which has free entrance and is great fun for kids and adults, alike.

You could also treat the family to a production at the Carriageworks Theatre.  Leeds Civic Hall sits on Millennium Square, with its golden owls. Mandela Gardens, at the bottom of the square, is a nice place to go and read a book and relax.

Roundhay Park, Leeds, England, UK, Nancy D. Brown, travel

Enjoy a picnic next to the lake at Roundhay Park in Leeds

Roundhay Park

This is my favourite park and very popular with families and walkers because of its vast area of open parkland.  There’s nothing better than relaxing in the sunshine (yes, we do get sunshine in Leeds!) and enjoying a picnic next to the lake. The park has plenty of walking routes and bandstands where local brass and classical bands play in the summer months.

Walk around Canal gardens, and then spend some time at Tropical World which is home to meerkats, tropical birds and fish. Have a bite to eat and a drink at the lakeside cafe, or sit and have a drink in the beer garden of the Roundhay Fox pub.

Leeds city art gallery, art, England, travel, Nancy D. Brown

Leeds city art gallery has some of the best 20th century British art outside of London

Leeds Town Hall

Leeds Town Hall was built between 1853 and 1858 by Cuthbert Brodrick after a competition to build it was held in 1852.  Through-out the year various events take place including concerts, craft fairs and the Leeds film festival.  It is an impressive Grade 1 listed building and its lion sculptures look over the city.

Next door you will find the Leeds city art gallery, home to the best collections of 20th century British art outside London.  Make sure you look up at the ceiling before you sit down to have a cup of tea and a slice of cake at the impressive Tiled Hall café.

Leeds waterfront, England, UK, travel, Nancy D. Brown

Visit the Leeds Waterfront Festival in July

Leeds Waterfront

The Leeds waterfront is split up into three main areas, Clarence Dock, Brewery Wharf and Granary Wharf. You will find a plethora of bars, restaurants, local independent markets and walks along the Leeds & Liverpool canal.

If you visit the city in July, the Leeds waterfront festival will be in full flow (pardon the pun!) with dragon boat racing and live music. It is amazing how many people visit Leeds and do not realize that we have a canal and a river running through the city centre.

What are your favorite things to do in Leeds, England?

Darren Cronian is the founder and editor of My Life in Leeds, a guide written by local people for locals and tourists. You will find guides like this on attractions in Leeds to help you plan your visit and discover Leeds.

Things To Do on raveable