I’m not a newcomer to Saratoga Springs
New York, home of the infamous race track and spring water. In fact, I grew up in the Adirondacks as regular readers of this site know, so truth be told, I am biased (in a positive way
) about the area. I know how locals think, tick, create, cook and sleep.
As much as I understand upstate New Yorkers, I’ve never known or looked at Saratoga through editorial eyes. When I was a little girl, my Uncle Mel and Aunt Betty used to pick me up not quite an hour away and drag me to the race track in August, which Saratoga is most known for. My uncle was always dressed to the nines in his vibrantly colorful checkered suits — sometimes bright orange, other times, green, or more often than not, a combination of several wild colors no one else dared to wear. Aunt Betty was always adorned in traditional floral dresses, which seemed to be influenced by her Eastern European heritage. On the way to the track, my Uncle Mel always had a lesson he “needed”
to teach me; some of it was related to how to pick horses, but most of…
There are certain destinations that truly “live up” to their hype and Aruba is definitely among them. I can’t begin to tell you how many people I met on the island who return year after year. A special place for so many people, it didn’t take long to understand the island’s mass appeal. During my four days on Aruba, I made the most of my time while not outdoing myself (it happens).
Whatever brings you to Aruba, whether the warm weather or the turquoise ocean waves, here are 5 soft-adventure activities for the wellness-minded traveler.
1) Snorkel in Clear Blue Waters
Aruba is a snorkel and scuba destination so this is a “must” activity in my opinion. As stunning as the turquoise water is, the vibrant fish below the surface are even more colorful. During our four-hour cruise with De Palms Tours, we stopped at three different snorkel sites: Catalina Bay, Arashi Reef, and the site of the World War II wreck aka the Antilla. This wasn’t my first time snorkeling but I felt the same rush of excitement I always do whenever I’m about to dive into the ocean. I still think I’m part-mermaid! That, plus, this was my first time snorkeling with my very first…
Yoga is a great way to enhance other sporting and fitness activities that you do – and it brings a mindfulness to your life. It’s important to slow down and be present and aware, all lessons that we learn from yoga that can benefit other areas of our lives. Here are six great retreats you can do around the world.
1) Permaculture & Yoga Retreat (Costa Rica)
Spend some time with Rancho Delicioso and Anamaya in the jungle of Costa Rica and learn to plant a life-supporting garden. Modern consumerism causes the world to face many challenges from loss of habitat to environmental degradation and social disconnection. Rancho Delicioso believes it’s time to educate and to cultivate opportunities for positive change. Permaculture — derived from the words permanent and culture – uses scientific design to mimic efficient patterns and relationships found in nature and promote self-sustainability. Permaculture is yoga for the land, as yoga is permaculture for the body. Their permaculture and yoga retreat includes daily yoga and permaculture gardening classes, aerial silk and archery classes and healthy cooking workshops.
Yoga in Aerial Silks in Costa Rica. Photo courtesy of Rancho Delicioso.
Have you ever been to a hotel that enchanted you? That enveloped you in an atmosphere completely apart from the world you left behind? That made you feel like a different version of yourself? That’s how I feel about The Imperial Hotel
in Delhi, India
. When I walk through the door, flanked by robust men wearing scarlet braid on their jackets and fantastic turbans, I feel different. I feel like the storybook version of me.
The Atrium lounge
The Imperial Hotel’s elegant Art Deco-inspired architecture, sprawling green lawns and glamorous palm trees exemplify a bygone era. It’s an integral part of the planned city of New Delhi, built by the British Raj between 1912 and 1931. This is the commercial and political centre of Delhi, where wide leafy boulevards, white colonnaded buildings and symbols of power predominate.
The Imperial is my favourite hotel in Delhi because of its unique combination of historical significance,…
Ever since learning about Crystal River Florida
early last year, it’s been on the top of my travel list. Crystal River, the gem of Florida’s beautiful Nature Coast, is about a two hour drive from Tampa/St. Petersburg and they are situated around the magnificent Kings Bay, Florida Waterway which means it’s a great spot for boating, diving, swimming, fishing as well as a variety of Manatee and Eco-Tours.
While my main focus for coming to Citrus County was to interact with manatees in a safe and natural environment, that ended up being only one facet of my trip. Plantation on Crystal River proved the perfect home away from home. It had all the conveniences of the modern traveler and yet, it wasn’t over-the-top luxurious. Even though I rented a car, most of my activities took place on property, which made things extra convenient. Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, you can (and should) treat yourself.
1) Make time for wellness
This might seem like a no brainer but you’d be surprised how many people (myself included) fully anticipate disconnecting from technology and taking it easy but who fail miserably. We live busy lives and it’s not exactly easy to forget out check lists…
I wasn’t sure what to expect from fairly newly opened J House Hotel & Spa
in Greenwich Connecticut
. First of all, we had kids in tow, secondly, the weather was miserable so we knew we wouldn’t be able to explore the property’s greatest asset during warmer months: the outside decks and swimming pool and three, it was in Greenwich, a place I only knew from visiting friends and the last time was over ten years ago.
The cold spell had at least finished by the time we pulled into the hotel’s on-site parking lot. With seven below temperatures showing on our Buick LaCrosse more than once during the previous week, we were happy with the balmy 35 degree temperatures that graced us on our final days of the trip.
The hotel has a number of suites and rooms with separated sitting areas, the couches and Murphy beds all top notch features for a family traveling together. While we love old world hotels and restaurants (remember how long I lived in Europe and the fact that I grew up in New England),
we have learned to appreciate modern and chic properties and know that our readers do too.
A great way to spice up your yoga practice or fitness routine is to use principles from yoga to enhance your other activities. Slowing down, being present and cultivating awareness are all lessons that we learn from yoga that can benefit other areas of our lives. Try these retreats that allow you to build your practice and enjoy other activities, whether it be hiking, surfing, cooking or learning about permaculture.
Yoga at Red Rocks. Photo courtesy of Get in the Wild.
1) Yoga & Hiking Retreat (Goblin Valley State Park, Utah)
Get In the Wild combines invigorating and restorative yoga practices with canyoneering adventures to create the unforgettable Red Rock Yoga and Hiking Retreat. You’ll feel like you’re doing yoga on Mars in Utah’s Goblin State Valley Park where goblin-shaped stones lure visitors to their desert playground (and provide the perfect place for after dark stargazing). This retreat includes guided hikes and an all day canyoneering adventure as well as free time to explore the mysterious valley. If you can’t do the full retreat, they offer single-day yoga and hiking adventures offered throughout the year.
2) Yoga, Hot Springs & Horseback Riding (Gunnison, Colorado)
What a better way to spend a cold afternoon in February on America’s East Coast then pampering yourself at a spa? A great weekend getaway within four hours of both Boston and New York City is the Pavilion Grand Hotel
, which is also home to luxury boutique spa All Good Things
in Saratoga Springs New York
. Be sure to read my separate write-up and review on the hotel, where we stayed for a few nights
during our February stay.
I love the name and their philosophy — All Good Things started as a juice bar and later, a spa was added to the concept. From the very beginning, their belief to having great skin is working from the inside out, starting with a whole lotta water, organic ingredients, vegetable juices and reducing stress in your life.
Today, they offer traditional spa services and private yoga classes, which can be in the privacy of your suite or in their yoga studio on-site.
The spa offers skin care and massage services that are 100% natural and organic and all their facials, massage and body treatments can be performed in-spa or in-suite,…
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