Provisions: How to enhance your recreational or travel experience.

08/31/2013 12:00 AM

08/29/2013 1:08 PM

READ

•  “Sacramento & The Gold Country,” by Christopher Arns

$16.99, 319 pages, Avalon Travel

OK, so why would we Sacramentans need a thorough guide to our stamping grounds? Don’t we, like, live here already? It’s a valid question, but let me counter by asking this: Quick, name the best Thai restaurant in Nevada City. Well, this guidebook gives you the answer (Sopa’s, by the way). Especially helpful to city and suburban folk is the guide of the Southern Gold Country (Jackson, Sutter Creek, Volcano).

BUY

•  Japanese Hizamakura Lap Pillow

$101; http://www.japantrendshop.com/hizamakura-lap-pillow-p-64.html

If you happen to find yourself at Narita International Airport duty-free shop, you must pick up a novelty pillow shaped like a woman’s legs kneeling, covered by a skimpy miniskirt. Buy it even if you find it disturbing or absurd, because you can probably turn around and sell it on e-Bay for three times the price. The Japanese are wild about this pillow and worldwide the stock has sold out on the online Japan Trend Shop. The legs are soft polyurethane, the skirt polyester. Might as well name the thing Poly. Why the popularity? Travel expert Oonagh Shiel told the London Daily Mail, “Sometimes all you really want is a home comfort close at hand. What could be better than a pack-away lap to soothe those occasional bouts of homesickness?”

BUY

•  Pure Protein’s Soft Baked Bars

$10.50 for a pack of six www.pureprotein.net

Because we always listen to “the experts,” we make sure to ingurgitate some protein after an extended endurance workout. (They say it helps muscle recovery.) Often, though, the protein bars are hard and tasteless, and threaten to crack one of your molars. Pure Protein has released a squishy, flavorful bar that contains 17 grams of protein, three grams less than most protein bars. This is truly like having a candy bar — but go ahead and tell yourself it’s “nutritional refueling.” There are two flavors: Double Chocolate Vanilla Crunch and Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch.

THE LIST

•  Cheapflights.com’s Top Art Beaches

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cheapflights/top-10-art-beaches_b_3714661.html

That uber-aggregator, the Huffington Post, passes along Cheapflights.com’s top beaches featuring artwork:

1. “Another Place,” Crosby Beach, Sefton, England; 100 life-size figures in the shallows

2. “L’Estel Ferit,” Barceloneta Beach, Barcelona; 33-foot tower-of-cubes sculpture

3. Chain Link Sculpture, Stewart Island, New Zealand; based on Maori legend

4. “Neptune,” Virginia Beach, Va.; 34-foot sculpture of the mythical figure

5. “Serpent d’Ocean,” Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, western France; 426-foot snake skeleton made of aluminum

6. “Sculpture by the Sea,” Sydney, Australia; a yearly festival

7. “Sculpture by the Sea,” Aarhus, Denmark; an affiliated yearly festival

8. “Sculpture on the Beach,” Dubai, United Arab Emerites; not affiliated with the above festivals

9. “Monumento al Ahogado,” Punta del Este, Uruguay; five massive sculptures of human fingers emerging from the sand

10. “Inukshuk,” English Bay, Vancouver, Canada; as Inuit stone landmark

THE TWEET

Justin Throneberry (@tberry82): “Loudspeaker announced someone forgot their grandmother at the gate. #travelfail”

— Compiled by Sam McManis/smcmanis@sacbee.com

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