Friday Thoughts

After a really rough week (with some exciting things happening and bad news too), I am thrilled for opportunities such as this one in the photo above. I love travel, and I thank my lucky stars every day for the gift of travel. My mom used to tell me (when she was still alive), that “you must travel once a month”. She traveled the world with my dad. I definitely think she passed down the travel bug. Mom, you would be very proud (I miss you)! Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Travel Tuesday: Spa Hot List: Sandpearl Resort’s Spa in Clearwater

“The true purpose of recreation should be not merely to amuse, not merely to afford pleasure not merely to kill time, but to increase fitness, enhance our usefulness, spur achievement.  Any form of recreation that impairs either physical or mental efficiency, does not recreate. Real recreation quickens aspiration.” B.C Forbes (from the spa at Sandpearl Resort)

Recently, I had the amazing pleasure to head to Clearwater, Florida to the Sandpearl Resort. It was my first time in Clearwater and at the Sandpearl, and it definitely won’t be the last.

Before I arrived, I studied up on the Sandpearl Resort’s Spa menu for quite some time. So many of their services intrigued me such as water therapies, touch therapies and even their spa kids services. Lucky for me, I had the pleasure of meeting the inspiring Spa Director, Maureen Vipperman. Her wisdom in health and wellness was passionate and on the cutting edge. I loved listening to her, and I knew this resort and spa is one that needs to be seen and heard.

From restorative treatments, water massage therapies and special indulgences, this spa’s menu has it all and is done to its finest. Maureen suggested I try a treatment off the “mind, body, spirit” menu called “Clear Mind” after I told her about my mom being ill. It started with my feet being soaked and rubbed in an olive paste followed by a refreshing yet soothing experience for my mind, body and soul.

Before my treatment, the massage therapist told me to choose from a bucket of pebbles. She told me that each one had a word on the back side of the pebble, and I could look at it and keep it after the treatment is completed. Mine said “healing” which I thought was so ironic (given my situation at home). As many of you know, my mom passed away, and I have been carrying it around ever since.

While the timing of this trip was difficult for me personally, I am so glad I had the chance to experience the Sandpearl Resort. I can’t say enough about this destination. I can’t wait to go back and take my kids. They will love the beautiful beaches filled with beautiful sea shells everywhere. I have to take my my daughter, Leigh, for an “Ice Cream Pedicure”, try the “sunrise yoga”, hang with the kids at “Family S’mores Night”, indulge in the spa again, and take a walk on the beach. This is a fabulous couples or family getaway, just a short drive from the Tampa airport. Check out the Sandpearl Resort out as soon as you can. It’s currently on my “Hot List”.

Tuesday Travel: Turnberry Isle Miami Triathlete Program

Wow this really caught my eye. I have always wanted to attempt a triathlon. Honest! When I saw this awesome training program from Turnberry Isle Miami, it really got my even more interested. Turnberry Isle Miami offers a new fitness program designed to train beginner and amateur triathletes. A first of its kind at a South Florida resort, the new Tri-Turnberry program was designed by lead Fitness Director Tait Smith and Spa Director Kirstie Bolitho—who are both avid triathletes—to cater to one of America’s fastest growing sports. This program combines new Schwinn bikes, a tranquil lap pool, winding paths around two championship golf courses and a scenic 2.9 mile jogging trail, “We thought about all the beautiful surroundings at Turnberry Isle and asked ourselves how we could incorporate all the features into a workout that’s suitable for all fitness levels,” said Smith. “For triathletes, this is a course that is sure to test physical endurance and will get proven results.”

The cost to participate is $25, and triathletes can choose difficulty and speed from three different categories: Elite, Sport and Beginner. With admission, participants also receive unlimited classes and compete in a final race held at the end of each month.

For die-hard cyclists, the resort also has introduced a new Tour de Turnberry program, which takes place at the Fitness Center on New Tour de France bikes powered by Google maps with 21 stages of the tour. The bikes feature tilting mechanism and a simulation of hugging tightly to the road.

It’s $200 to participate in the Tour de Turnberry program and each participant has 30 days to complete the program and can earn prizes at each stage, such as the popular yellow and king of the mountain polka dot jerseys normally associated with the Tour de France, for having the fastest time or best climb.

Two spaces are available at the top of every hour, Monday- Friday, and then between a period of four hours on Saturday and Sunday. For inquiries, call 305-933-6930.

 

Tri-Turnberry Class Categories:

ELITE CLASS: 20 laps in the pool, 18-mile bike ride and 5k run

SPORT CLASS: 12 laps in the pool, 12-mile bike ride and 5k run

BEGINNER: 8 laps in the pool, 8-mile bike ride and one-mile fun run

Travel Tuesday: 10 Reasons to Visit Rosemary Beach

For those of you who have heard or been to Rosemary Beach, you know that everything I am about to stay is so true. For those of you who asked on twitter, “Is that near parsley beach”, and had no idea where and what it was, please keep reading. My friend, Candace, who was in Rosemary Beach, recently told me she had told her father, “Rosemary Beach is in my heart.” I can totally relate.

Located in the northwest panhandle of Florida, Rosemary Beach is a neo-tradional beach town located on the eastern end of Scenic Route 30A that was founded in 1995. Rosemary incorporates “green” concepts into the design and function of the entire community.

1. The Accommodations: The homes and architecture are breathtaking, and the decor is described as “New Orleans meets West Indies, Charleston and the Caribbean.” More than 100 rental accommodations are available, and guests can choose from cozy studios, to one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes, lofts, flats and cottages that are gulf-front, gulf-side, park-side, and park-views. Rosemary is a wonderful place for romantic getaways, weddings, snowbirds, family or to work, live and retire.

2. The Restaurants: Rosemary Beach is filled with shops and restaurants. Restaurants in Rosemary Beach are dedicated to the “green living” theme. The Amavida Coffee, a family owned business, motto is “Love for Life”. It produces 100 percent natural Fair Trade Certified Coffee. Restaurant Paradis, Onano, Edwards and Summer Kitchen use locally grown ingredients and fresh Gulf seafood. Cowgirl Kitchen is perfect for the kids, and a great spot for lunch off the beach and to take food to-go. All of the restaurants get high accolades from me. You honestly never have to get in your car. 

3. The Shopping: From antiques and interior design shops to children’s and women’s fashion, the shopping in Rosemary is always a must. Some of my favorites are: Tracery (interiors), Willow (designer clothing for women), Rosemary Beach Trading (gift shop), Bombora Sun & Surf (beach apparel), Moonpize (ladies shoes), and Gigi’s (fabulous kids fashion and toys).

4. The Beauty: The walkways and gardens are picturesque and unique. The arrangement of homes, boardwalks, pedestrian lanes, and footpaths all lead to the amazing town square, tennis courts, swimming pools and the beach.

5. Fitness Activities: Rosemary Beach has an incredible fitness  center, biking and running paths, lap pool, yoga, as well as its amazing tennis facility, The Rosemary Beach Racquet Club. I can’t say enough about the tennis pros, tennis clinics, pro shop and eight wonderful clay courts. If you’re a tennis player, you will spend a great deal of time here.

6. The Pools: Rosemary Beach has four unique pools on the property. The Coquina Pool (pictured above) is a negative-edge pool meant for lounging and relaxing, The Cabana Pool, a family friendly pool area with a Mediterranean design, The Sky Pool, which is the lap pool heated for warm or cooler weather, and The Barbados Pool, designed in French West Indies architectural style. With such different character and design, it is absolutely worth spending time at all of them.

7. The Gardens: Common “green” areas are located throughout Rosemary Beach. Various gardens exist featuring children’s park space, fountains, sitting areas, herb gardens and a butterfly garden.

8. The Spa: Every resort area must have a day spa, and Vivo Spa Salon is located in downtown Rosemary Beach featuring an Aveda hair salon and makeup services, massage, skin care, body treatments and nail service. All services are offered in a “Bali” inspired tropical setting.

9. The Beach: The beauty of the beaches at Rosemary speak for themselves. Feel free to enjoy the umbrellas and chairs, cabanas, hammocks, kayaks, catamarans, surfboards and sea school which offers children classes on surf, sail, kayak and skim boarding.

10. The Views: This view speaks for itself. The beauty here in Rosemary Beach is almost unreal to see with your own eyes and undeniable.

Need a Getaway? Rosemary Beach, Florida

Last week I went on my first nonworking vacation in a long time. I chose one of my favorite spots to take the kids: Rosemary Beach, Florida. It’s a spectacular community that is great for anyone: families, couples, girls trips, guys trips and retired people. The town is adorable, filled with cool architecture, eclectic shops, galleries and wonderful restaurants. Can you say white sand? It’s breathtaking.

From the shopping to the food, there is something for everyone. I couldn’t include them all,  but I thought I would share a few. Gigi’s is an adorable spot with incredible unique toys and baby clothes.

The restaurants in Rosemary are fantastic and diverse. They really have covered the bases: family-friendly restaurants, casual dining, tapas and chocolate fare to fine dining. One of our child-friendly favorites is Cowgirl Kitchen which serves anything from nachos to healthy salads and great pizza (ideal for kids).

My favorite adult restaurant is Restaurant Paradis which has anything from Oysters Rockefeller to the best Ahi Tuna I have ever had. It’s romantic, fresh and divine all in one.

The kids have plenty to do in Rosemary Beach from pools to awesome beaches and plenty of bike riding. Rosemary even has a well organized kid’s camp to give parents a break. Mine were particularly fond of the very famous Sugar Shack and newer New Orleans Snow Balls where they had so many incredible flavors (even pomegranate).

Leigh enjoyed it just slightly. That smile never lies…

Rosemary’s newest addition happened to be one of our favorites. The Hidden Lantern is an old-time English style book store. The layout and books are amazing. Honestly, you could sit and read all day long.

The book store has children’s events for different ages, and a great spot for other events as well. We bought three books and one card as gifts, and we almost didn’t make it out to the beach the morning we stopped in there.

What I really love about Rosemary is that when you come, you really don’t need to leave very often. With great running paths and trails, tennis courts, pools, great workout facilities, Aveda Spa and more, everything is so close and easy to get to (no car needed). Bike riding is huge, and I love this shot of all the bikes parked one morning right in front of the beach walkway.

I highly recommend a vacation at Rosemary Beach. It was a wonderful getaway.

Rosemary has a lot of great events coming up including Rosemary Uncorked in October, writing festivals, girls getaways and more. For more information see Rosemary, see http://www.rosemarybeach.com/