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Things for a Long Weekend
Watches, Trad Philly, The Big Island and Irish Matt Hranek Cooks by the Sea
A short update for the long weekend. I’ve rotated back to Los Angeles and am excited it is September. The other day I heard the ridiculous phrase “immaculate vibes” to describe a Venice restaurant. It really is a different world out here. I hope you have an immaculate LDW. ⛵️🕶 🍉☀️⛱
A Vacation Within a Vacation.
While we were in Hawai’i we visited the Big Island for a few nights and stayed at the wonderful Auberge Mauna Lani. It was an escape inside of a longer holiday because our home-base for the broader trip was Kauai. My wife and I agreed that the Mauna Lani was incredible which made for a successful escape. We were impressed that even a short time there felt like a long relaxing stay which we both thought is the mark of a good hotel.
The Mauna Lani hit all of the right notes for us. The rooms are well-designed, spacious and on the level you would expect at its price point. We paid for the upgrade to get the ocean view and a private terrace — it was absolutely worth it. The pools and beach cabanas are lovely with attentive service. The small details were well thought out — like a cooler of water at each cabana or the complimentary car to golf and tennis.
The property has undergone a full renovation in the past few years so every area of the place felt good. The entire property had a feeling of openness with the ocean breeze flowing freely throughout the hotel. The outdoor bar and restaurant were inviting and low density. I felt like I could hang at the bar all day and not feel like I’m missing out on anything. There was also a beach shack with more casual food and drinks right near the ocean. We didn’t make it to the more formal restaurant CanoeHouse, but a lot of people told me it is excellent — something for next time I guess.
The Mauna Lani offers a lot of interesting programming including a weekly outrigger paddle and a bunch of other active things if you are into that. I didn’t visit the spa but it looked nice and so did the gym which has a nice outdoor workout area. There are two golf courses —the North with more ocean views and the South which is tighter and more challenging— which are both interesting and worth a play.
The Mauna Lani was a perfect couples escape but it would also work for kids too. My wife said they run a kids camp to keep the little ones busy while the parents relax. The main pool and the beaches were filled with families swimming and snorkeling. There was also ample adult space to avoid the kids like the plague — which I was doing. There’s also a great little market with grab-and-go food, wine, snacks and all sorts of other interesting stuff which reminded us a bit of Farm Shop. There was also a Goop store (perhaps the director of retail has spent time in Brentwood).
Overall, this place was stunning and we can’t wait to go back for a longer stay.
People Are Double Wristing.
Yes, this is really happening. It’s like the Jeep phenomenon where you don’t notice how many Jeeps are in the world until you own one. This whole two watches thing started (to my surprise) with a fluke encounter I had with a man on a plane. Then I mentioned it in the newsletter and an incredible amount of people responded to me about how they do it too. I’m still surprised by how many people are wearing two watches.
I wrote about people wearing two watches at the same time for the Financial Times. You can read the story in the weekend edition here. Don’t skip the comment section. [Paywall]
This guy is amazing. Surf & Turf on the go.
I’m interested in these lightweight travel toiletries accessories.
It’s time to abandon greatness. When “good enough” is enough.
Even MoMA has a classic webbed lawn chair in its shop. On sale too!
My Hodinkee Grail Story
This week Hodinkee published an essay I wrote about a watch I’ve dreamed about for a long time but have resisted adding to my collection. I talk about what watches mean to me and how they have marked important moments in my life. You can read the story here.
This is my first ever story for Hodinkee (which is a long time coming). Thanks to H editor Nick Marino for the opportunity to contribute. I worked with Nick when he was at GQ and everything of mine that he has edited has turned out much better for it.
Junior’s Opens a Store
Even after spending so much time in Hawai’i and now being back to a very hot Los Angeles I can’t help but to think about all of the good clothes coming for fall. Those of you who live in Philadelphia have reason to be happy now that Junior’s has opened a beautiful new shop. I’m going to have to make a detour there on my next East Coast swing. Junior’s in Philadelphia