Redpoint finds a culinary gem during operations tour of Laos

Posted on Posted in Redpoint Resolutions

The perks of due diligence and an overlooked Asian cuisine

Redpoint team members were touring Laos on one of their regular due diligence tours this month, when they came across a gastronomical find to remember.

One of the perks of visiting air providers, hospitals and other medical and security contacts throughout the world is the chance to sample the cuisine everywhere they go, and even find hometown favorites halfway across the globe.

One Redpoint travel specialist originally from San Antonio was surprised to find genuine barbecued brisket in Amman, Jordan, that passed the Texas test. Another time, a Redpoint team from California stumbled upon the only In-N-Out Burger in the Middle East (and one of only two outside the United States) while touring Saudi Arabia.

This time, the Asia team was fortunate enough to run across a Laotian restaurant that had recently been featured on CNN.

The Doi Ka Noi restaurant in Vientiane has been making international headlines in a country whose cuisine is not well known in the Western Hemisphere.

Redpoint’s staff had the chance to sample the national dish, larb – a meat salad flavored with mint, chili, lime and fish sauce – as well as tilapia and crispy duck.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

 

Call it bocce or pétanque: bowling is the oldest ball-sport in the world

Posted on Posted in Europe travel

Boules, bowls and bowling

When we talk about the world’s oldest competitive sports – discus throw, polo and even hockey – one of them is overlooked: Lawn bowls. Other sports like running, wrestling and boxing also have a pretty long history, but when it comes to those played with balls, bowling tops them all.

There is evidence of bowling in Egypt some 5,000 years ago, using balls made of husks, covered in leather and bound by string. The Ancient Romans had a similar game, trying to toss large round stones as close as possible to smaller ones. This developed into what the Italians call bocce, or “balls.”

As the game moved throughout Europe and the rest of the world, it took on some different looks.

When Roman soldiers brought the game to France, the locals eventually switched out the stone balls for wooden ones, and boules was born. Just like in the Italian version, players would roll the balls toward a target. Centuries later, players in the South of France preferred tossing them through the air, trading wood for steel, and the game became pétanque. Go to any small town in Provence or the Cote d’Azure on a summer day, and you are sure to find a gathering of older men on a gravel court, pastis in hand, tape measures in their back pockets, pétanquing away.

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Captain Phillips and Redpoint hit the links to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation

Posted on Posted in Fundraising, Uncategorized

‘Birdies by the Bay’

Captain Richard Phillips was the keynote speaker of the latest edition of “Birdies by the Bay,” an annual golf tournament held on Sept 24 in Half Moon Bay, California, to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation (NSF). The story of the hijacking of his ship by Somali pirates in 2009, and his rescue by Navy SEAL snipers, was retold in the 2013 movie, “Captain Phillips,” starring Tom Hanks.

As he has done for the past few years, Redpoint Resolutions Vice President Ted Muhlner assembled a team for the booster event, and brushed off the golf cleats in order to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation. Muhlner is a former SEAL and serves on the board of the Foundation. The NSF is dedicated to building a strong and resilient Naval Special Warfare community and ensuring our service members know that they and their families are well cared for.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Why is Oktoberfest held in September?

Posted on Posted in Europe travel

Three facts about the world’s biggest beer bash

  • Shouldn’t it be called Septemberfest?

The first question that invariably pops up around Oktoberfest in Munich is, why is it held in September?  The first Oktoberfest was held 108 years ago in honor of a Bavarian royal wedding, and as might be imagined it was smack in the middle of the month for which it is named:  Oct. 12 to 17th.

As it turns out, people enjoyed this excuse to binge on local brews for more than just five days, and so it was gradually extended to the current 16. It also proved much more fun to drink beer outdoors on mild sunny days, rather than under the cold rains that perennially pick up in October and last well into November. Thus, the September start. This year’s Oktoberfest runs from Sept 22 to Oct. 7.

Credit: Digital Cat/Creative Commons
  • What’s up with the leather shorts?

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Cavalry reimburses $40K for canceled trip to Morocco

Posted on Posted in reimbursements
Credit: Hunda, Creative Commons

A mother and daughter, both Cavalry Elite Travel Insurance clients, had planned a luxury trip to Morocco together: the vibrant colors of Marrakesh, pastoral scenes of the Atlas Mountains, and exotic spice markets and bazaars, when it all came crumbling down with the daughter’s hospitalization for an illness. This meant forfeiting their trip deposits and other non-refundable expenses.

As comprehensive travel insurance policyholders with Cavalry covering $40K in total trip costs, they filed a claim for their losses and Cavalry reimbursed them the full amount.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Cavalry reimburses $19K for canceled trip to Africa

Posted on Posted in Uncategorized

Tanzania, Rwanda have to wait

A family of five Cavalry Elite Travel Insurance clients was preparing for a trip of a lifetime to Africa over the holidays: It was a tailor-made luxury tour of Tanzania and Rwanda, including a trip to Mt Kilimanjaro, and a memorable visit to a gorilla sanctuary.

About five months before departure, however, they had to cancel. This meant paying airline ticket cancellation penalties adding up to $19,000 in all, or 30% of the total airline costs they had insured with Cavalry.

As comprehensive travel insurance policyholders with Cavalry’s Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) option, they could have simply decided not to go, in which case they would have been eligible to receive 75% of the claim. But because the reason for their claim fell into one of the categories of a standard comprehensive travel insurance policy – which include illness, injury, a death in the family, certain business interruptions and many other reasons – Cavalry reimbursed them the full $19,000.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Travel Tips: Prescription medicine

Posted on Posted in travel tips

Avoid a travel nightmare

When drawing up your packing list for an upcoming trip, one of the first line items should always be your medication.  Getting that part wrong could lead to, at best, a small travel headache that you don’t need on your vacation or business trip, or, at worst, a medical emergency.

Here are five tips for traveling with prescription medication.

Bring more than you think you need, when possible.

If you forget to bring enough socks and underwear, that’s an easy fix on the road, as long as you’re not in a remote destination. Finding a pharmacy that can fill your prescription is a much taller order, anywhere, and can even be impossible.

One recent example: a Redpoint client had used her last epi-pen on her trip to India, and needed more. Epi-pens are not readily available in most parts of India. Locating a new supply took a few days – an emergency that can be mitigated in the future by having an ample supply in your travel bags.

Keep them in your carry-on baggage.

As we all know, checked luggage regularly gets lost on airlines. Again, when it’s clothing that’s missing, it’s a nuisance that can be fixed by buying new ones, while replacement medication is much trickier.

Because airport security limits liquid containers to 3.4 ounces – or one quart-sized clear zip-top bag – it is always helpful to have your medication in tablet or capsule form when available, if you know you’ll be traveling in the near future.

Check to see if your medication is legal in your destination.

Classifications and regulations of pharmaceuticals, of course, vary between countries.

Some fairly common medications in the United States, especially amphetamines for the treatment of attention deficit disorder, are illegal in many countries, most notably Japan. (You can find a full list on the Center for Disease Control website here.) There have been a number of stories over the past few years of travelers in Japan who were arrested and jailed for carrying Adderall or receiving refills in the mail from family members.

It is always wise, no matter where you are traveling with these kinds of drugs, to keep your medications in the original prescription container. While ADD and ADHD prescription drugs like Adderall are in fact legal in Europe, for example, they are as closely controlled there as they are in the United States. For this and other reasons, it is important to retain copies of scripts or any other documentation you have about your prescription with you, and with a traveling friend or family member.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

Cavalry swims two miles through choppy seas in San Francisco to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation

Posted on Posted in Fundraising

Redpoint Vice President Ted Muhlner powered through two miles in choppy seas to complete the 2nd Annual Golden Gate Frogman Swim recently, in order to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation.

The mission of the NSF is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Surface Warfare community and their families. The event, held in various rough-sea courses around the country, raises tens of thousands of dollars each year for the foundation.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

 

Redpoint VP Ted Muhlner headed back to cold waters of the SF Bay for two-mile Frogman Swim

Posted on Posted in Fundraising

Raising funds for Navy SEAL families

Redpoint Vice President Ted Muhlner is headed out once again to the numbing waters where the Pacific Ocean meets the San Francisco Bay to participate in the 2nd Annual Golden Gate Frogman Swim, on July 29, 2018.

It’s a two-mile, open-water swim and fundraiser that benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation. The mission of the NSF is to provide immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Surface Warfare community and their families. The event, held in various rough-sea courses around the country, raises tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.

A quest for the most outrageously smelly cheeses in Europe

Posted on Posted in Europe travel, travel tips

From the decadent to the deadly

Smelly cheese isn’t for everyone. My mail lady, for example, wasn’t thrilled to deliver me a small, pungent wheel of Roquefort cheese, which had endured the transatlantic voyage from Southern France already and had become particularly ripe in her truck through the warm afternoon hours. It was delivered at arm’s length.

Some of us will receive that wheel of cheese with pleasure, and we will travel throughout Europe to find the most aromatic specimens. For the connoisseur, the more intense and decadent the smell, the more appealing. Here is a most-wanted list of Europe’s most odoriferous cheeses, from the enticingly offensive to the downright disturbing — and even deadly.

Stinking Bishop

This one was bound to lead off the order simply for its name, but, when overly ripe, this one truly smells like something died. Although tame in the sense that it is produced from pasteurized rather than raw cow milk, from Gloucestershire, England, it has an overpoweringly putrid perfume due to continuous washings with fermented pear cider.

Epoisses

You know you’ve got a winner in the smelly cheese category when it is banned, by law, from public transportation in France. And it is entirely illegal in the United States. Like Stinking Bishop, it is frequently doused in alcohol in the aging process to give it its distinctive odor – in this case brandy – but unlike its English counterpart it is made from raw milk, giving it that extra punch. Its aroma has been described by critics as something between the middle of compost bin and a baby’s diaper.

Cados

A properly ripened Camembert is deliciously fetid enough, but dump it in breadcrumbs and let it soak for months in Calvados – France’s famous apply brandy – and it is absolutely deadly. Think of driving by a dairy farm on a hot, humid day. The thing is, the taste itself is not like the tangy, stinky Camembert. All you can taste is the Calvados because it is positively dripping with it.

Limburger

This German entry is well known in North American supermarkets, along with Stilton and Munster, as an everyday, go-to smelly cheese. To the uninitiated, an aggressively ripe Limburger smells like used, damp rugby socks that have been sitting for weeks in a duffle bag – and for good reason. The cheese is fermented with Brevibacterium linens, a bacterium that contributes to the odor of the human body.

Casu Marzu

If you’re banned as a cheese in the United States, that’s one thing. But if you’re banned in the European Union? You’re one bad hombre of a queso.  That is the proud distinction of the Sardinian specialty, casu marzu, or rotten cheese, which has even killed a few consumers. It is a pecorino that relies on thousands of maggots to break down its milkfat, and is eaten with the larvae still inside. In fact, when diners spread it on toast, they hold one hand over the top of the slice to keep any of the worms from jumping out. As for the smell, well, you will never get near enough to this outlawed cheese to ever need to know.

 

Cavalry combines the best medevac insurance with travel insurance benefits such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, lost baggage, primary medical expense coverages, and more. Cavalry is powered by Redpoint Resolutions, a medical and travel risk security company owned and operated by special operations veterans and physicians.

Redpoint covers almost 10 million people worldwide and has evacuated clients from all seven continents.