Headed to Disneyland

Today, my three kids and I are headed to Disneyland! Last summer, I attended the third year of Evo Conference in Park City, and I was the luckiest person! Not because my daughter, Leigh, came with me, but because I won the conference grand prize: a trip to Disneyland in California including four airfare tickets on Southwest airlines. We are headed there this weekend, and we are so excited!

This photo was taken after we had just found out that we had won.

Check out the newest conference, Family Forward, coming up in August created by one of the founders of Evo Conference. How cool does this look? I would love to go! Have a great, safe weekend everyone 🙂

Where to Go Skiing in June: Tuesday Travel

So who wants to go skiing in June? Doesn’t that sound like a cool idea for your summer family vacation?  Turismo Chile, has announced a number of family friendly deals throughout the season. Families can take advantage of the reverse seasons and hit the slopes in Chile. Doesn’t that sound amazing? Chile’s more than 2,600 miles offer some of the most fascinating and diverse landscapes found anywhere in Latin America and the country’s steep discounts and special offers at top resorts for families are available now through the end of their winter season in October. Interested? Read on…

New Gondolas, Ski Lessons and Third Person Stays Free at Valle Nevado

Valle Nevado ski resort, located in the heart of the Andes Mountains and just one hour outside of Santiago, continues its transformation into a mountain village by the year 2022 with the debut of the first ski resort gondola in Chile. The resort is also unveiling new slopes for adult beginners complete with Magic Carpet lifts to ease the learning process and is introducing a new ski and snowboard school this season, offering group and customized private classes complete with a dormitory for children to take a break after a lesson. Two hour lessons are $57 for children and $61 for adults.

The ski resort is also offering a “third person free” deal during the weeks of July 12 – 19 and August 23 – 30. This offer is available at the resort’s Tres Puntas and Puerta del Sol properties and includes lodging in a double room, lift tickets, breakfast and dinner. Rates for the special offer begin at $3,486. Visit http://www.vallenevado.com/en/promotions-ski/ for more information.

Kids Ski Free at Hotel Portillo

Hotel Portillo has been a name associated with Chilean skiing for the past 60 years. For several weeks throughout the 2013 season, a parent who is a paying guest in the hotel may bring one of their children between 4 and 11 years old (inclusive) for a completely free Portillo ski week. Free ski weeks for children are: June 16 – 23, June 23 – 30, September 1 – 8, September 8 – 15, and September 15 – 22. Two children can ski free the week of September 28 – October 5.

Prices for the 2013 season begin at $1,950 at Hotel Portillo, $1,300 at the Octagon Lodge, or $950 at the Inca Lodge. Restrictions apply and are detailed on www.skiportillo.com.

Special Family Rates at Awasi Atacama

Awasi, situated inside an ancient site in Chile’s archeological capital of San Pedro de Atacama, is offering exclusive discounts for families. Now through the end of September, children up to age 12 stay free when accompanied by two adults. Children between 13 and 18 receive a special rate of 70 percent off the all-inclusive programs which include private airport transfers, lodging, all meals, private excursions and a personal concierge. All inclusive rates for the 2013 winter season begin at $1,545 for a two night program. Visit www.awasi.com for more information. I want to go skiing in June. Who wants to go with me?

Travel Tuesday: Amazing St. Barts: Isle De France Resort

What’s on the top of your travel bucket list? One of mine is St. Barts, and summer is a great time to go with many specials as well as great healthy and cultural events. The amazing resort, Isle de France, has quite a special offering a special friends and family summer holiday packages which includes accommodations with 2 garden rooms or bungalows; round trip airport transfers by hotel chauffeur; daily continental breakfast; welcome complimentary mini bar (soft drinks and canapĂ©s), Friday night wine tasting at the bar of the Isle de France; one cocktail every evening by the pool to enjoy the sunset; one dinner at the beach restaurant on the day of arrival (excluding drinks); access to all facilities: pool, fitness center, boutique; access to the beach, the beach bar & restaurant, the beach chairs, snorkeling equipment, shower on the beach, towels; and car rental. This package is effective from April 9th to August 31st and from October 15th to October 31st.  Need I say more? Who is ready to go? ME! Okay, so here’s a little tour of the resort:  To start, here’s a view from the pool (below) Can you say heaven?

Beach Suite Living Room View (below)

Spa Reception area (below) I could hang out here for a very long time…

Thai Massage (below) I need one of these!

Other great summer events include:

  • Diana Bourel’s signature yoga summer camp challenge will be held from July 1 to August 5. You can channel your inner yogi, get strong and lean, make new friends and find out just how magnificent you are in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. This 5-week yoga and fitness program will challenge you to discover your personal best.
  • St. Barts also has a strong artistic and cultural heritage, which is celebrated in the island’s many festivals. Tourists can experience 10 days of live music with St. Barts Summer Sessions from August 5 to 16; and concerts of Caribbean music with St. Barts JAM Music Festival from August 15 to 18.
  • For those of you in need of some retail therapy, the stores in the port of Gustavia offer a wide selection of leading international brands and creations by local designers. Summer sales on the island are from August 6 to 18th, during the St. Barts Shopping Festival where promotions, sales and fairs are held in various shops on the island.

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”.