New laptop case makes going through airport security a breeze

By Gary Cox

Pathfinder Luggage’s Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Bag

Pathfinder Luggage’s Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Bag

Post 9/11 air travel has become increasingly cumbersome, especially when it comes to crossing through security checkpoints to reach departure gates. In the United States, federal security staff force passengers with little ceremony to remove shoes, jackets, belts and more. If that wasn’t enough the screening areas seem to have spawned airport thieves who troll the airports in search of easy prey, travelers who are distracted or unfamiliar with the security process.

Security personnel can and often do ask anyone with laptop computers, video equipment, battery operated items and even cameras to take them out of the carry-on case or shoulder bag and place them in bins to pass through the x-ray machines. In addition to being highly annoying and time consuming this process means there is always time when passenger valuables are exposed and unprotected while they are crossing the security walk through area.

Enter the new Pathfinder Luggage’s Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Bag. I recently traveled with it through West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Las Vegas airports. It worked like a charm!

Only one security checkpoint staff person at the Las Vegas airport was unfamiliar with the concept and asked me to take the laptop out of the case. Although I pointed out the case was Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) approved she wasn’t convinced. Fortunately one of her coworkers arrived at that moment and confirmed what I said was true, allowing me to keep my laptop securely inside the case.

The convenience of keeping my laptop secure inside the case would make it worthwhile. Fortunately in addition to being TSA approved there are several features I like about Pathfinder Luggage’s Checkpoint-Friendly Laptop Bag. It stays steady when I place it on a table or the floor without toppling over unlike my previous computer case.

The case, made of 1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon in black with Top Grain Leather Trim, hold laptops of up to 15.4” (MacBook Pro need not apply) and sells for $99. It weighs 4 pounds and measures 13″ x 8″ x 17″. It has multiple compartments where I can place business cards, pens, small electronics and file folders. It has become my new favorite carry on bag when I travel with my laptop computer.


The bag lies flat, allowing screeners to see the laptop securely in its pocket

Well situated Paris restaurant serves gourmet fare


Our server shaved white truffles over our gnocchi dish


Our cheese course at Ledoyen

Ledoyen, a short distance from the famed Champs Elysees, offered delicious gourmet food in a desirable venue. Its location within a historical building and dining room surrounded by large windows enhanced the ambiance. Tables were set discretely apart within the sunlit second floor dining room, close enough to feel cozy yet far enough that we didn’t hear neighboring conversations.


There were beautiful hibiscus flowers at our table

One beautifully presented dish after another arrived as part of our tasting menu. We were especially impressed with two of them: melt-in-your-mouth gnocchis served with freshly shaved white truffles from Alba. The sweetbreads were also particularly delicious. Click here to read our latest dedicated article on Ledoyen, one of the top foodie addresses in Paris.

Book illustrates evolution of famous South African safari property


 I Speak of Africa  book cover

Leopard and wildlife lovers and fans of Londolozi Game Reserve near South Africa’s may enjoy I Speak of Africa (Londolozi Publishers), a hardcover book of the game reserve and its lodges as well as and its rich wildlife, including some of the leopards that have made the property famous. Filled with color photos on almost every page, the 216-page hardcover book written by Shan Varty and Molly Buchanan tells the story of Sparta as the original farm on the Sand River was called.

Eventually Sparta became a game viewing estate with luxury guest accommodation and was renamed Londolozi, meaning “the protector of all living things” in Zulu. In the book, Varty, a member of the founding family, and Buchanan, a public relations consultant specializing in wild life conservation, share the story of the evolution of land, and four generations of the family that owns it, from farm to hunting property to a world class safari destination.

The second edition of the book, published in 2007, includes a forward by former South African President Nelson Mandela. It is divided into eleven chapters: A Long Time Ago, The Pioneering Years, Wild Days, Hard Times, The Quest for Solutions, Close Encounters, Life at Londolozi, Widening Horizons, The Development of the Model, On the Wings of the Bateleur, and The End Is the Beginning. The majority of the photos, according to the credit list, were taken by Lex Hes. There are also photos by Peter Johnson (Corbis), Richard du Toit, Guy Stubbs, James Marshall, and Mike Myers as well as library photos.

Varty is director and publisher of I Speak of Africa, and a partner in Londolozi. Prior to writing the book, she lived with her family in the African Bush for a dozen years. During that time, she dedicated herself to the development of Londolozi as a top tier safari property with an emphasis on conservation. She was a founder director of Conservation Corporation.

Buchanan met Dave and Shan Varty in 1990 at the inception of Conservation Corporation. Following the meeting she began providing publicity support for their company. She has traveled extensively in sub-Saharan Africa and specialized her public relations business in the area of wilderness conservation. Buchanan, in partnership with Peter Johnson, also launched a publishing company.

Elena and Gary visited Londolozi Tree Camp for the first time this year. To learn about this newly rebuilt safari lodge, be on the look out for the upcoming dedicated feature in our


Click here to buy I Speak of Africa – The Story of Londolozi Game Reserve

Lion Sands bush spa offers in suite, in spa options


Massage tables await us on the deck of our suite at Ivory Lodge

It is common for luxury bush properties to offer activities for guests in between the traditional early morning and late afternoon game viewing drives. Outside of meal times, guest time can be spent in suite or taking advantage of activities options on offer. In summer, guests can take a swim in the lodge pool or their suite’s private plunge pool, play a board game, work out, read a book or go for a bush walk.


The pool at River Lodge

Increasingly, luxury lodges are offering spa treatments. Lion Sands, one of the reserves within the Sabi Sand Reserve adjacent to has its own spa on site. Guests can enjoy a treatment at the spa, located at River Lodge, one of the reserve’s three properties. Alternatively, guests at the ultra exclusive Ivory Lodge and 1933, the beautiful new rental villa, can opt for treatments in the comfort of their expansive suite or at the villa’s open river facing deck. Click here to read a full length article about Lalamuka Spa at Lion Sands.