The Deal for the Holidays

Psst… Discount code at the bottom of the blog post.

Thanksgiving is officially over, which means that we turn our attention to the end of year Holidays. I know that most of you are likely out shopping, braving the cold days and onslaught of shoppers. (Dare I say, rude shoppers?) However, I have recently found myself doing all my Christmas shopping online. I started doing this well before my time at Urban Adventurer and I have only continued. While “retail therapy” can be nice in the slow season, tempting fate by venturing out into the wild, wild mall in the holiday rush is not my cup of tea.

We, at Urban Adventurer, much like you, think we have a higher form of life by embracing technology. We have found ourselves spending our time doing what we love, rather than dealing with the hassle of Holiday shopping. Dave, our sales and marketing associate, for example, likes to snowboard. (See below) I tend to spend my free time cooking a delicious meal, savoring a hot cup of coffee, or skiing just long enough to feel justified in spending an hour or two in the hot tub. Of course, you could always brave the rush of people, if that is something you really enjoy.

Dave picking his adventure

However, if like us, you want to enjoy life, rather than spending it bustling about finding the right gifts, we recommend taking a look around our store. We have some great stocking stuffers! Check out our own Urban Adventurer Para-cords or our partner, Stowe Street, which offers some amazing bracelets.

If you want something substantive, that can really hold its own, check out our Navali or Victorinox brand products. If I were receiving a Holiday gift, I know that I would want the Navali Stowaway Weekender or the Victorinox Mobilizer 27! Perhaps, if you are going away, it might be wise to purchase one for yourself. After-all, you deserve it!

Just for you, save 20% on all products! Now until December 9th. Use code “holidayshoppingspree”

Need more time to think about it? Don’t worry, we will be having deals for our last minute shoppers to! We will also be offering free 2-day shipping via FedEx for all purchases over $50, starting the 10th and running until the 19th.

 

 

 

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The Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals at Urban Adventurer

Don’t you love a good deal? The only thing better is knowing when a good deal is headed your way! Well, this is why we are posting the coming specials.

Black Friday:

  • 30% off all products, using code “bestblackfriday”
  • Spend over $100 and get a free Urban Adventurer para-cord

These specials end on Friday at midnight

Cyber Monday

  • Take $10 off any order of $50 or more, using code “justgiveme10″
  • or
  • Take 20% off any purchase using code “i’lltake20″
  • Wide variety of special individual product pricing throughout the day

These specials end at Midnight on Monday

 

 

 

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Thanksgiving

The time of year has come when the holidays hit and we can’t seem to find a moment to stop and relax. From Thanksgiving through the end of the holiday season, it almost seems non-stop. We hope you can find a moment to stop and relax; enjoy and give thanks; and appreciate everything you have in your life. Happy Thanksgiving.

Are you looking for the perfect bag to take with you on your holiday travel? We have you covered. If you come in and take a look, we have the perfect luggage for the week long trip or the best weekender bag for the quick, overnight stay.

Staff picks:

The “Property Of…” Tommy Trip Bag. This bag fits all the items you need to go away for a night or a weekend. It is built with exceptional quality and holds up to the toughest conditions. Yes, we are thinking about winter and all the hazards that it brings. Whether the trip forces you to take the subway, metro, taxi, airline, or simply the car, this bag will fit what you need and hold up to whatever you throw at it. (Jen’s personal favorite overnight bag – see managing director http://www.urbanadventurer.com/about/founders/)

The “Victorinox CH-97 2.0 20″ Wheeled Carry-on” is your ultimate road warrior. Built with the legendary Swiss Army Bag quality, this bag comes in a variety of sizes, depending upon what you need. Dave (our sales and marketing associate) personally likes the smaller size, if only because it fits all his standard travel gear and seamlessly blends the latest trend with unparalleled function.

The Burton Industrial Duffel is the ultimate do-anything duffel. Alex, our brand manager, loves this bag because it is made in the standard Burton high-quality fashion, with exceptional design and functionality. You will be amazed at all you can fit inside this bag and how well it protects your belongings.

From all of us at Urban Adventurer, please have a safe and fun-filled Thanksgiving.

(p.s. our best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals go to our Facebook fans and e-mail list – be sure to sign up!)

 

 

 

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Rainy Day Relaxation in the Hills of Vermont

I love the Fall. Sweatshirt-friendly weather, vibrant warm colors, preparation for winter, and, of course, those long hikes on crisp autumn days are just a few of the reasons why it’s one of my favorite seasons. In a place like Vermont, it’s easy to partake in almost any fall activity you can think of, from apple picking to sight seeing to football watching.

But what about when it rains? Overcast skies typically stifle my day’s activities and keep me glued to the couch. But when I woke up this morning to the sounds of rain puttering on my windowsill, I decided to combat my rainy day blues and head down to Stowe, VT, where a hearty Irish breakfast and a German beer drinking festival were calling my name.

Entrance to McCarthy's Diner in Stowe, VT

First stop: McCarthy’s Diner, a local favorite breakfast hotspot. I’ve only heard rumors about the heaven-like qualities of their famous homemade corned beef hash, so naturally my Irish roots drew me to this local haven. Sure enough, an order of Irish eggs benedict later, I was in heaven.

Eggs benedict with extra hollendaise sauce and homemade corned beef hash at McCarthy's Diner in Stowe, VT.

The eggs were sensational, the home fries hot & spicy, the corned beef hash savory, and the mountain fresh coffee never-ending. Before I knew it my plate was gone, and satisfaction ensued. Giving some much needed time for digestion, I curled into the corner of the shop with my coffee and a copy of the local newspaper The Stowe Reporter, slowly preparing myself for the big event of the weekend: Oktoberest.

German oompah bands, local craft beers, and traditional Bavarian sausages were only a small part of what made the 16th annual Stowe Oktoberfest so unique. Mountainous landscape posters and bails of hay lined the walls of the arena, transporting my friends and I into a foreign land.

The Master of Ceremonies and Oktoberfest patron get their groove on!

The smell of local beer and Bavarian bratwurst instantly rekindled my appetite, so we bought our tickets and went straight to the beer tent. After grabbing a couple Von Trapp Family lagers and a sauerkraut-loaded bratwurst, my friends and I sat down at a large group table and got to know some of our table-mates.

Fully-loaded Bavarian pork bratwurst were one of the many german-style foods available at Oktoberfest.

Hundreds of people from around the Northeast and Canada all came down to experience this one of a kind event, and all of them had some great stories to tell. We all cheered, laughed, and got to know each other as the day’s festivities unfolded. While I don’t know if I’ll ever see these great people again, I know we all shared the adventure of going out and experiencing something with each other. While the weather never cleared up, it didn’t matter to me. I was just glad that even in rainfall or sunshine, there’s always an adventure to be had.

Look! Even the Navali Rucksack made an appearance at the Stowe Oktoberfest!

 

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A Triage Approach to the End of Summer

I haven’t done the back-to-school thing in years, but I certainly recognize a nervous face when I see one. Most of our audience knows someone going through the situation; we all certainly remember the excitement and the nervousness of starting a new year. Of course, I am not here to talk about these emotions, but simply recognize another event that marks the end of summer. Speaking of events to mark the occasion, I have two; a baseball game and an end of summer beach trip.

Not quite ready for this, but we are getting close!

I haven’t written for the blog yet, so let me introduce myself. My name is Alex and I am the brand manager for Urban Adventurer. I live in Vermont, have worked all over the U.S., and call the globe my home. I, much like my adventuring colleagues, enjoy the city, the ocean, and the mountaintop. (even the prairies in between) I like to think that we all dream of our next adventure, that we truly believe that the next one will be epic, the memories lasting, and the events will transpire into stories that we can pass onto our grandchildren, whom we can only hope experience the same excitement that we have come to know and love. That is why Urban Adventurer was created, why we all stay focused on our work; to bring you products for the adventure in life that you seek; adventures of all types and all experiences.

That brings us here; sharing my love of baseball and a future opportunity to share my love of beaches.

A summer tradition; Fenway Park

When you think Baseball, most think of the major leagues, which is always a five senses experience. Many of us don’t live near a major league park, with the minor leagues or even the little league being our best baseball experience. You know, going to the field in your hometown with all the parents cheering for their kids; an iconic American image, for sure. However, once in a while you get a chance to experience a classic, truly historic building, such as Fenway Park. An American League legend, this is home for the Green Monster, Pesky Pole, “Sweet Caroline” in the 8th, and of course, the Boston Red Sox.

Iconic images and a passing of a season

You will find Fenway is always sold out, the Fenway Franks are always satisfying, and the baseball entertaining. Although this isn’t hockey and things don’t turn on a dime, the baseball experience cannot be matched; this coming from a huge college football fan.

Fenway was a congratulations event for a friend who just started college, but it always marks as a classic American night for me. This night was a 12 inning affair.

However, my summer doesn’t end here.

What is my next great adventure? Besides a few obligatory weddings, which can be an adventure in themselves, (see managing director biography – Jen gets married in about a month) nothing marks the end of summer better than a beach trip. While a baseball game can occur on the weekend, an end of summer beach trip, much like a fine wine, should be savored slowly.

Sunrise on the Island

My favorite beach, as you would expect, is down south. No, not the touristy beaches you may think of, but Topsail Island, off the coast of the southern end of North Carolina. Quick to get to, but far enough south that the weather and water are warm a little longer than it is in Vermont. I can’t explain why the waves crashing, the salty air, or the visceral nothingness of the ocean lures me in, but the beach is never far from my heart. I do know that at the end of September, this will be much-needed relief  before a hectic and stressful Holiday season.

A peaceful spot for dinner on the Intracoastal waterway

As your brand manager, it is a pleasure to meet you. Send me a note, let me know what you have as an end of summer or start of school adventure tradition? Although I won’t write to you much, I’ll try to keep you in the loop and make sure you get some personal time from me. In the meantime, I promise, our other bloggers won’t let you down. Until then, may the reality meet the dream.

 

 

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A Foray into the Vancouver Coffee Scene

Living in Vancouver the past two years, I think it’s safe to say I’ve tried many different things. However, it’s only been in the past few months that I’ve really been able to experience many of the city’s hidden wonders. Going to school full time and living on a large, bustling campus, it’s very easy to become involved in a repetitive routine, where even forms of relaxation can become banal. So while in the midst of studying this weekend for finals (in the summer? Yeah, I know..) I was able to venture into one of Vancouver’s hidden secrets–coffee shops!

It may seem like a normal thing at first, but what a lot of people don’t realize is how many places there actually are to drink coffee in Vancouver. These aren’t just coffee shops either, but rather places to come sit, drink, and for me, study. Once I jumped on the coffee shop bandwagon, there was no looking back, and now I can definitely say I know what separates the good from the bad, the serene from the chaotic, and the stale from the tasty!

So what makes the perfect coffee shop? This weekend I went and explored to find out!

The most important thing to me, is always the atmosphere. When I’m looking for the perfect place to study, or a place to do some light reading, the setting is key. No one likes a dark or cramped space, or irritating music in the background. So when I ventured into a local Blenz Coffee nearby my apartment this weekend, I knew I was there to stay!

Since it was a breezy out, I got a nice oolong tea, served with a pretty blue tea mug. It was great sitting next by the big window, with the sun shining through. The music was also playing at a very light mumble, and the aroma of fresh pastries and different drinks filled my senses. It was quite a pleasant experience!

The next day, I ventured into Yaletown, the up and coming trendy neighborhood of downtown Vancouver. This find has definitely got to be my favorite so far! It was not just a cafe, but also an art gallery. Named Buzz Cafe, the place was a cozy, two story shop, with a variety of couches, tables, and nooks to settle into. It seemed like a great place for all kinds of people–whether meeting with friends, studying, or just a spot to sit and admire art! For me, it was perfect–I was able to sit back, relax, and read about Picasso, Kandinsky, and Pollock while surrounded by local artist’s work. And sipping on an almond, vanilla, rooibos latte no less! mmm!

My Rooibos latte! Served with a nice piece of dark chocolate on the side.

Studying with art all around me!

While it was hard to live up to to that last experience, I still went out and tried a new place on Sunday. This time I tried Calhouns, a combined bakery cafe, in a big large room filled with wooden tables, dim lighting, and a creaky wood floor. It had a very home-like atmosphere, and while the coffee was only really sub-par, my splurge on an Oreo cheesecake was heaven! Not to mention this place is open 24/7, I’ll definitely be returning for some late night snacks.

The inside of Calhouns.

What I love most about all of these places is that none of them had the typical, standardized look of a Starbucks, or other kind of coffee chain. They all had their own unique personalities to them, and really created memorable experiences. It’s refreshing to be able to walk into a store, and actually want to stay and drink a latte, instead of just booking it out the door and into the world.

I think that you only really truly get to know a city once you’ve veered off the tourist path, and this weekend was definitely that! While Vancouver’s selection of coffee shops may not make the guide books, it’s definitely something that all the locals will tell you to check out.

What makes a coffee shop perfect for you? Are you like me, and focus all on the atmosphere, or is it purely about the drinks? I’d love to hear about your favorite experiences!

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A Trip to Granville Island

 

Another sunny week here in Vancouver! This weekend, my friends and I decided to venture off from our normal routine and take in the sunshine at Granville Island! Being one of the quintessential tourist destinations in Vancouver, it definitely did not disappoint.

The entrance

Granville Island is great to visit any time of year, but it is so perfect in the summertime. It’s hidden away underneath the Granville Street bridge, and is really easy to get to from the nearest bus stop. As we walked into the the island this past Saturday, we were immediately greeted by not just the warm sunshine, but the also the pleasant sight of numerous sailboats, giggling children, small boutiques, and most notably, the aroma of homemade baked goods and the freshest of local fruits and vegetables.

The Public Market

Granville Island is filled with all kinds of things to do, but one of the biggest attractions on the site, is the public market. Filled with towers of strawberries and piles of grapes, the market is a sea full of color and variety. Any fruit or vegetable imaginable is sold here, and for a very convenient and affordable price. Everything is local and organic, and displayed in creative arrangements according to color, shape, and size. That’s not all either–besides the abundance of leafy greens and juicy berries, the market is filled with a large meat and cheese section, accompanied by the largest variety of desserts I’ve ever had the pleasure of looking at.

Local B.C residents also come to sell their homemade treats and handmade items, ranging from hand painted silk scarves, handmade soap, to teriyaki roasted almonds! There really is something for everyone here, and it was great to just be able to walk around, talk to people, and experience everything the market had to offer.

Mmm grapes!

No vegetable shortage here.

The famous strawberry towers! Those look almost too good to eat.

Handmade local soap.

Any kind of dip you can think of! Pesto, Tzaziki, baba ghanoush..how could you chose??

mm gelato! My favourite.

With so much to choose from, my friends and I decided to get some fresh fruit juices and sit outside by the water. Right beside the market is the giant Granville Island patio, where you can sit, soak in the sun, and look out over the best of Vancouver. It was great to sit and watch as kayakers passed by, listen to a local guitarist, eat some gelato, and watch the numerous pigeons and seagulls battle it out for the nearest leftover.

Nothing like a cold drink on a hot day!

My friend Diana and I, enjoying the view!

Needles  to say, it was a great day! I can’t wait to go back and buy some more delicious items!

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An Asian Wonderland

Hey everyone! Seems like summer has finally arrived for good here in Vancouver, and everyone is out to take advantage of it! Although there are many wonderful things to do here when the sun is out, a local favorite is not what you might expect. As I’ve mentioned before, Vancouver is an extremely international city, with people living here from all around the world. But more specifically, it has become a very popular destination for those from Asia. Each suburb surrounding the Vancouver metropolitan area is known for something, and Richmond, BC is no exception. Hidden within this vast suburb of Richmond, you can expect to find not only the airport, two ikea’s, tea shops and Chinese supermarkets, but also the infamous ‘Richmond Night Market.’ This isn’t just your typical market either, but a world within itself–a true venture into Asia!

Located just a few meters outside the local sky train stop, the night market is held every weekend of the summer. I had always heard people rave about this market, but never had the chance of actually going. But not anymore! I’m happy to say I’ve officially been immersed into one of the parts that makes this city so unique–and I can’t wait to go back!

The entrance into the market

As my friends and I walked into the market we were immediately surrounded by people. My senses were awoken with all cuisines, and everywhere I turned I would find myself drooling over the nearby chicken skewer or dumpling that someone was eating. The market was split in half, with shopping on one side, and food on the other. My friends and I decided we definitely wanted to try out the food, but also wanted to make our way through the shopping first.

The front of the market was filled with all sorts of things for sale–from inexpensive earrings, scarves, sunglasses, or hats to all things Asian–including Korean colored contact lenses, hello kitty bouquets, and even a live performance by a local Chinese pop band!

Nothing says, 'I Love You' quite like Hello Kitty!

All kinds of colors for your eyes.

Cheap would be an understatement.

Rocking out to some Kpop!

After we had walked through the shopping, we were definitely ready for some food. It was so hard to decide what to eat as we walked through..everything looked so good! There were a few options that I could resist though..fried octopus anyone?

So we all decided to get a few things and share! And let me say, it was a sure delight for all our tastebuds.

First up, spicy chicken skewers! Cooked to the perfect crisp. mmm!

And what's an asian experience without some delectable fried noodles?

Korean food party anyone?

This definitely looks like a Korean food party..check the size out of these asian-a-fied corn dogs!

I couldn't resist the BBQ pork dim sum..it was delicious!

Feels like I'm back in Hong Kong!

Needless to say, there were plenty of options for my hungry stomach. It was also really interesting being able to walk around such a culturally rich place. From the food, to the clothes, to the entertainment–it was a truly unique experience! All for a very reasonable price and only a quick train ride out from my usual route.

Does your city have any hidden gems like the Richmond Night Market? Summer is definitely the perfect time to explore and experience those things you’ve always wanted to try. I’m sure glad I did!

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Grecian in Vancouver….

One of the things I love most about summer is how the streets come to life. Whether day or night, people are always out and about, waiting for their next adventure to approach. With the extra sunshine comes an added positivity to daily life, and creativity seems to linger in us all. This summer, in particular, I’ve noticed this is definitely the case.

Here in Vancouver, a sunny day is like a holiday, and there is always reason to celebrate! This past week was no exception. As the sun came out through the clouds, the Greek community set up their tents and booths and closed down one of the busiest streets in my neighborhood, Kitsilano. The annual Greek festival is known around the area for it’s lively atmosphere and in particular, the delicious food! Having a soft spot for pita and endless amounts of hummus and tzatziki, I had to check it out. So, a friend and I walked down the street, and ventured into the Mediterranean.

The moment we got there, we instantly saw tons of people. It really seemed like everyone had come out to support the local community. A number of booths were set up with all kinds of food, gifts, and even performers! Every step we took was another peer into Greek life. Whether it was a few men grilling kabobs, traditional Greek dancers performing on stage, or just the smell of baklava hanging in the air–there was always somewhere to look!

mmm roasted lamb!

Gotta love grilled kabobs!

A Greek Goddess!

Spanakopita! One of my personal favorites.

There was even a cool board for everyone to write something that they loved about the neighborhood. It was a really great way to see what others thought, and to reaffirm that I live in such a vibrant and lively community!

And of course, I couldn’t leave without my Greek pita! Filled with tzatziki, lettuce, tomatoes and lots of feta.

It was a great being able to just walk around in one of my favorite places in Vancouver, and on such a nice summer day. With the sun shining, and everyone in high spirits, it was definitely a day to remember. I can’t wait to check out the other cool festivals happening here this summer! I can only imagine what I will see and taste next.

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5 Tips for “Americanizing” your July 4th Holiday

“This is a Day of Affirmation, a celebration of liberty. We stand here in the name of freedom. At the heart of that Western freedom and democracy is the belief that the individual man, the child of God, is the touchstone of value, and all society, groups, the state, exist for his benefit.” – Robert F. Kennedy

July 4th celebration at Small Point, Maine. Righteoussss

 

We come upon the celebration of the 236th anniversary of our Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of a British monarch. Our republic, formed by the founders who showcased the courage and wisdom that each American is bestowed with, annually looks forward to the celebration of our freedom.

 

Today, most of us are challenged by questions that would seem incomprehensible to our forefathers, but challenge us nonetheless. We owe it to all generations that preceded us and met the challenges of their day, to continue bravely, as a nation, as a community, and as an individual, regardless of the challenges we face.

 

On the fourth of July, however, we remember our independence, not with the somber reverence of other holidays, but with celebration and joy.

 

We know that you share many of our ideals; patriotism, adventure, community, and hard work. We know that you have a passion to experience life, for better or worse. We know that you celebrate the exciting moments, which is why we present a list of ideas to make your Independence day, all the more patriotic.

Showing our true colors

 

1.Put together an “American” Playlist

You have a playlist? We aren’t suggesting you remove your “style” from your playlist, but why not share in ours? At least our Fourth of July style. Try a little Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, and even throw in some Country music. You’ll be shocked at how a little classic Lynyrd Skynyrd music will completely change your party.

 

2.Make sure to have fun outdoor activities

A 4th of July without horseshoes, corn hole, and a pigskin toss is no 4th of July at all. This is a very important facet to any July 4th bash, because without outdoor activities, what do you and your guests have to do? Yes, they can drink Budweiser, eat hot dogs, and converse amongst each other, but where is the enthusiasm? You can thank us later.

 

3.Require a dress code

This is a tip I utilized last year and let me tell you, it worked absolute wonders. I simply told people prior that they must dress as “July 4th” as possible. People showed up dressed in American flags; cowboy hats; and plenty of red, white, and blue. I personally believe people use clothing to represent who they want to be at that very moment. Well, if you tell people to dress like the “4th of July”, they will surprise you with their American spirit.

 

4. A good view of fireworks is required

On July 4th, 1777, Congress initiated the first July 4th fireworks, which quickly became an Independence Day tradition. If people were to skip the fireworks, well, that would be like attending the tailgate to a baseball game, but skipping the baseball game. What would you do instead? Drink more? Eat more? Play more outdoor games? The fact is, fireworks are the literal expression of America’s independence, and without them, well, 4th of July just wouldn’t be the 4th of July.

What we've all been waiting for..

 

 

 

 

 

 

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