Travel pill case is convenient to carry vitamins, medications

Day/Night pill case

We used to put our vitamins and supplements in small plastic bags or Ziploc bags when we traveled. A couple of years ago we found this Lewis N. Clark Day/Night Pill Organizer for $12. It has been helpful and practical, especially for extended trips.

The lightweight water repellent folding case has 16 individual slide locking vinyl pouches and comes with a one year warranty. Thanks to the vinyl casing the pills are protected from water, dust, and anything that may spill on the case during a trip. We’ve had several spills including mosquito repellent, body lotion and plain rain water wet the suitcases in the past so the extra protection is welcome.

Inside the pill case is divided into two halves of eight pouches each. A Velcro closure keeps the case secure during travel preventing the pills from falling out. Although prescription and essential meds travel in our hand luggage, we often send the vitamin supplements in the pill case and they have always arrived intact.

We are able to fit pills separately for two people for eight days, day and night pills for one or two people for eight days or what we usually do, fill the case with pills for both of us for 16 days.

We often remove the plastic pouch with that day’s pills and carry it with us to breakfast and through the day. At the end of the day or the following morning we replace the empty pouch with a new one. We have traveled in the United States, Africa, Europe, and the Caribbean with the pill case and it has suffered minimum damage.

In two years of regular use we lost one of the vinyl pouches and broke the plastic closure of another. It’s possible to purchase replacement pouches for about $5. – Elena del Valle

Click here for more information on Lewis N. Clark Day/Night Pill Organizer

South African wine maker debuts top tier blend

Article by Elena del Valle and photos by Gary Cox


Kevin Arnold at The Jem tasting

For years South African wine makers have been making inroads into the world wine markets. Slowly their wines have gained favor among wine lovers around the globe. In the last 20 plus years the production volume and number of vintners has increased manifold. For example, in 1979 there were 24 wineries in Stellenbosch and now there are 187.

At the same time, quality wines have been making appearances in the domestic market and abroad with increasing frequency. This is due in part to South Africa’s high percentage of small producers who have to excel in their work to survive in a highly competitive world wine industry.

A prime example of this is Kevin Arnold of the Waterford Estate in Stellenbosch in the Cape Wineland area near Cape Town. After years of producing wines he realized that to make his mark in the world he needed something special. In 2001, he planted 11 varieties of grapes in the hope of finding the perfect blend. He waited patiently and eventually discovered that a combination of eight of the original 11 resulted in the type of wine he sought. The Jem, named for his business partner Jeremy Ord, was launched initially in South Africa and Sweden in November 2007. It will be available in London in January 2008 and in New York in February 2008.

During a recent visit to South Africa, we met the well known vintner and were among the first to taste The Jem 2004, the first wine released from the blend. It is new yet well set in a familiar European base. What makes it unique is precisely that combination of tradition and novelty. French Bordeaux and South African flavors join to form a rich and smooth wine with a memorable finish.

Arnold knew he was on the right path when the wine continued to reach spicy aromas and flavor. “That is the ultimate test. That is the hallmark of a great wine,” said Arnold. “I want to be known as South Africa’s premier red wine producer. I think you need to enjoy what you do and I certainly do; and seeing our wine served at top restaurants is a boost.”


The Jem 2004

The Jem is made with Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Cabernet Franc (24.5%), Shiraz (15%), and (Mourvèdre 10.5%), as well as Petit Verdot, Malbec, Merlot and Barbera. The fermentation process took place over 19 months in a combination of 40 percent first fill French oak with the remainder second fill in French barrels. It is due to mature between 2010 and 2018.

In addition to taking a bold innovative step by creating a new blend Arnold is trailblazing by establishing a quality price point of R680 surpassing the $100 mark. Last we heard sales of The Jem were brisk at the winery for the limited production wine. We suspect that as the word spreads among Waterford enthusiasts and the wine is released in early 2008 in the United Kingdom and United States, two of the winery’s top three export markets, the remaining bottles will disappear before much longer.

Arnold who has been in the wine business for more than 30 years wants to make a statement to the world with his wine. He wants everyone to know South Africa occupies a distinctive and worthy place in the wine firmament. When he was testing the wine he was thrilled to discover it had staying power. He hopes The Jem will mark a significant milestone in his quest for distinction.

Arnold’s winery is certainly on the right path. The Waterford Estate produces a limited quantity of wines and specializes in reds. The winery only uses its own grapes and 20 percent of all sales take place at the award winning cellar door. We visited the estate recently and enjoyed Waterford’s chocolate wine tasting. Click here to read about the estate and chocolate wine tasting.

Organizer gear makes life easy when traveling, on safari


Spec.-Ops. gear

With these days of innumerable security checks, removing shoes, belts, jackets and outer layers, it’s sometimes challenging to keep important carry on items organized and protected. We went in search of lightweight and durable gear that could make our lives easier on the road, at airports and during trips in general. As if that wasn’t enough, we wanted it to be sturdy enough and color coordinated to take on safari.

Enter Spec.-Ops. Brand, a manufacturer of high performance tactical nylon gear. They recommend three travel accessories, an organizer pouch that can be moved from a travel bag or suitcase to a day pack or handbag, a travel wallet and an airport-friendly pants belt that can be worn through security.

“We make all Spec.-Ops. Brand gear to withstand the toughest battle conditions, so we’re certain these travel accessories will survive pretty much anything the road warrior can throw at them,” said Jeff  Wemmer, founder and CEO of Spec.-Ops. Brand.

The Mini Cargo Pocket Organizer fits into a pocket or purse and is just the right size for essential items to take on board a plane. Although the manufacturer recommends the organizer as an unusual, field-grade iPod case, we used it to carry our cell phones and accessories such as SIM cards, headphones and other small carry on items.

The Pack-Rat is a mid-sized organizer pouch with bright yellow lining for travelers on overnight flights or other dim-light conditions.  The bright lining was designed to help travelers find items inside in low light. We found it perfect to carry a book and other small items for use during flights. It stows comfortably in the seat pocket on most airplanes.

T.H.E. Wallet is big enough for a passport and boarding pass, but small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. An optional cord lets the traveler wear it around the neck, a real bonus when juggling bags on the way to the gate. It fits easily in cargo pants thigh pocket but is a little large for a hip pocket.

The Spec.-Ops. BDU Belt NS is durable enough for heavy duty use yet attractive enough to go out to dinner. This allows us to wear it on game viewing drives during the day and to an elegant dinner at night. The bonus is that the single-piece, high-tech polymer buckle won’t set off metal detectors. Finally, a belt that can stay on through airport security check points.

The Spec.-Ops. products, are available on the company website, retail from $19.95 to $39.95 and come with a lifetime guarantee. We have taken the gear on trips within North America, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa and have never needed to take advantage of the lifetime warranty but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Spec.-Ops. Brand designs and manufactures high performance tactical nylon gear for military, law enforcement and other demanding applications in Monahans, Texas. The company’s product line includes organizers, wallets, weapon slings, packs and load bearing equipment, designed to lighten the load and minimize the effort to operate equipment. Click here to read more Simon & Baker articles about Safari Gear.