Penny-size pancakes, inch-high rice cookers, itty-bitty sushi. Re-ment—hyper-perfect plastic miniatures of foods and kitchen gadgets that I discovered in Tokyo’s legendary Kiddy Land toy store—embodies what I admire most about Japanese culture: a laser-like focus on detail, devoted to even the most mundane parts of life, and a near-religious obsession with cuteness. Re-ment is a spin on Cracker Jack: a toy comes in a small box with a token piece of candy, and you never know what you’re going to get (please, let it be the vintage toaster!). Some surprises even grown-ups can’t resist.
Jennifer Flowers is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.
Southwest Airlines—which once upon a time, sprang earnestly from a place called Love Field—is inspiring more ill will again.
A Tennessee woman has filed an $800,000 suit against the airline—$300,000 for medical damages, and $500,000 in punitive damages—after she says she was scalded by hot water during a flight from Nashville to Houston.
Talk about spoiling the mood: If you’re going to the Maldives for a romantic getaway, the islands’ deposed president has a great suggestion for you: Settle into your hotel room, then watch his trial on TV.
Depending on whom you ask, Mohamed Nasheed either stepped down, or was ousted, from office earlier this year. Either way, he is now facing charges of abusing his power and will be tried by what he calls a “kangaroo court.”
The former prez says that tourists should know that some luxury resorts may have backed his coup after he had hoped to market the islands—which has long attracted both honeymooners and A-list guests such as Tom Cruise, Jennifer Aniston and Mick Jagger—to more middle-income travelers.
Say what you want about the colorful geeks who go to ComiCon every year, but give them credit: You never hear about them trying to swallow light sabers on the sly.
That wasn't the case at Facets 2012, the latest of the famed Sri Lankan gem expo. Earlier this month, police arrested a seemingly jewel-loving Chinese tourist at the exhibition after he was suspected of swallowing a $13,000 diamond and replacing it in the display case with a fake gem.
French tourist Nathalie Rollandin was shocked when a seagull swooped down and snatched her camera and her precious vacation photos. What she didn't realize was the bird was doing her a solid. It snagged her camera while recording and captured epic views of San Francisco Bay, and then genially set it down for her retrieval. Take a look at the footage caught by the mischievous bird above, and hope you're lucky enough to have a run-in with the bird on your next trip to San Francisco.
Kelsi Maree Borland is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.