Travel Tuesday: 9 Best Travel Apps

With everyone doing some traveling this summer, I thought I would share some of my favorite travel apps. I’m excited to have some exciting U.S and international trips ahead, and these apps are always a big help. Please leave me a comment of some of your favorites as well. I would love to hear about them.  Happy Traveling!

1. TripIt— TripIt links to your e-mail account and picks up every confirmation number that comes into your inbox.  Any flight, hotel, or even dinner reservation that contains a confirmation number will be put into an organized itinerary, all in one place.  Flight delays and last-minute changes sent to your e-mail will be updated automatically.

2KayakThe easiest place to search for flight, rental cars and hotels in one place. Known to be Apple’s most popular travel app, Kayak even features a function for a packing list.

3. OpenTable—OpenTable lets you make reservations at more than 13,000 restaurants in the U.S., Canada, and abroad, and shows you what reservation times are available before you put in your request. You can also read diner reviews and view menus, both especially valuable when traveling.

4. Postagram-This is the coolest app ever. For only 99 cents, you can send anyone a postcard from one of your pictures on your phone library to anyone in the world. You provide the address, and Postagram will send a personalized postcard with your travel photography through the mail. This is a lot cheaper and easier than taking time to buy stamps and post cards in a foreign country.

5. Packing Pro-If you stress about packing, this app is for you. You can create packing lists for yourself and the entire family and email them easily. If you tend to forget things on a trip or are running around at the last minute, give this one a try.

6. Flightaware-This is an easy app to track your flight. Provide your airline and flight number and let FlightAware do the rest. If you accept the push notification feature, you will receive updates on flight delays, gate changes or cancellations.

7. HotelTonight— This app could save you from spending the night on the airport floor should a summer storm ground your flight. It works equally as well for those on a road trip or travelers inclined to book getaways at the (very) last minute. One important note about HotelTonight is that it’s good for same-day hotel bookings only.

8. Google Translate If you’re headed anywhere outside the English-speaking world, chances are this app will come in handy on your trip. Even if many of the people in your intended destination speak English, they really prefer if you give their language a try.

9. XE Currency XE Currency is a super useful tool for converting money from all over the world, helping users to better understand just how much cash they should expect to receive in the event of an exchange.

Photo above from last years trip to the Le Marche region of Italy.

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: Four Seasons Atlanta Golfer’s Massage

While the 2012 Masters was in full swing in the state of Georgia, The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta introduced an innovative idea in spa treatments: The Golfer Package. The Golfer Massage is a unique massage utilizing warmed golf balls and stretching techniques for a full-body therapeutic treatment. Designed to knead tight muscles and ease any golf-related stiffness, the therapist works to rejuvenate the overall body. Golfer or not, I think any man or woman would love this. What a great concept!

Post-treatment guests are invited to the Relaxation Room for a cool and refreshing Arnold Palmer, the half iced tea/lemonade beverage named after the famous golfer (Yum!!). Finally, guests are sent home with a set of Four Seasons branded golf balls (my sons would love these).

On the greens, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta has partnered with highly-rated and local golf course, Heritage Golf Links. As part of the package, guests can book a round of golf (18 holes) at Heritage for an exclusive rate of USD 49.00, including a complimentary bucket of practice balls and a golf cart.

Spa Director, Jacqueline Ang, is inviting guests and locals to take a break from spring cleaning and stop by The Spa for this unique massage. She says, “Not a golfer? Don’t worry. This massage is designed to relieve the stress and muscle tension many carry around daily.” I believe it, and I’m a fan already.

The Golfer Package is available until June 30, 2012, and is priced at USD 165.00 for 50 minutes and USD 220.00 for 80 minutes. Appointments are available every day from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm, and Spa guests are encouraged to arrive at least 20 minutes early to take advantage of all other Spa amenities including the sauna and steam room.

Quinoa Chicken Fried Rice Recipe

My oldest son, Alec, has been begging me to make homemade fried rice for a while. I decided to twist the basic recipe and make it with quinoa instead of rice. This Quinoa Chicken Fried Rice recipe is a hit for something new and different for your weeknight table, especially if you’re looking for something gluten-free, healthy and hearty. Feel free to substitute rice for the quinoa if you wish, but I love that quinoa is a gluten-free, nutty grain that is a complete protein which is high in fiber, low in calories and is high in iron, magnesium and calcium.

Travel Tuesday: Peninsula Spa in Chicago & Mother’s Day

If you’re traveling to Chicago this spring, or live there, take note of the The Peninsula Spa in the Peninsula Chicago. This spa, located on the top two floors in the Peninsula Chicago, offers a holistic approach to mind, body and spirit wellness. The Peninsula Spa introduces monthly specials this spring and summer to celebrate and rejuvenate by combining healthy cuisine, state of the art fitness techniques and all-natural beauty treatments in packages for men and women. Check out their Facebook Page.

This urban retreat offers a variety of signature treatments that uniquely layer European and Asian philosophies using all-natural products, a half-Olympic-length swimming pool surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows with city views, and a state-of-the-art fitness center with expertly trained personal trainers and advanced group fitness classes.  ESPA’s newest product line, which is proudly used at The Spa, offers updated formulas that average over 99% all-natural ingredients to ensure each product is as efficacious, luxurious and natural as possible.

Mother’s Day Promotion

Book a massage, facial or body treatment and receive:

50% off an additional treatment for your Mother or loved one

Available Mondays through Thursdays

Price: Treatments begin at US$ 160

Valid: May 1 through 31, 2012

Mother’s Day Gift Certificate Promotion

Purchase a Mankind Massage or Tension Relief Massage and receive:

A complimentary one-week membership to The Spa

A one-hour personal training session

Price: US$ 245 (valued at US$ 405)

Valid: May 1 through 31, 2012

Travel Tuesday: Put Atlanta Food & Wine Festival on Your List

Mark your calendars now for an event you won’t want to miss. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival will be held May 10-13, 2012, and tickets are on sale now. This Southern festival is like no other, and event organizers call it, “A four-day culinary exploration of the South”.  This is the event to eat, drink and enjoy all that is Southern: chefs, sommeliers, beverage innovator and industry leaders and experts on food and beverages in the south.  I was lucky enough to attend and speak at the festival last year, and I thought, “This is the perfect event to come with your girlfriends or significant other.” It’s the ideal Mother’s Day gift. Here are some highlights of this years event:

-200+ Award-Winning chefs, mixologist, sommeliers and beverage innovators

-88 Demonstrations, seminars, discussions & trade programs

-3 tasting tents with more than 100 chefs participating

-14 unique dinners and events

Most of the events will take place in, or within walking distance of, the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown. For more information on tickets, hotel and complete schedule, see The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.

First and third photos by AFWF/Raftermen.

Photo credit for second photo Michael Paley, Proof on Main and Garage Bar, Louisville, KY

Fitness Friday: The Power of Twist or Rotational Moves

I do a lot of twisting when I do abdominal workouts and strength training, but I don’t think I truly understood the power of “twisting exercises” and why rotational exercises are so valuable until now. “Twisting or throwing exercises engage more muscles, improve your balance, and build functional, real-world strength,” says Tony Gentilcore, a strength coach at Cressey Performance in Hudson, Massachusetts. “Plus, the rotation comes from the core, so you’ll gain power and carve flat abs while you’re at it.” That’s a pretty awesome bonus. Check out these moves below and do them as a circuit, going from one to the next without taking a break. Then rest 60 seconds. Do the circuit four times. These, and a few more, can be found and are courtesy of Women’s Health Magazine. Photo credit by Jeff Lipsky.

Move 1

Medicine-Ball Reverse Lunge and Shot Put

Stand 10 feet from a wall, holding a medicine ball at your chest. Step your right leg back and lower into a lunge, rotating your torso and bringing the ball to your right shoulder. Throw the ball at the wall, then push yourself back to start, catching the ball on the rebound. That’s one rep. Do five, then switch sides.

Move 2

Barbell Twist

lace a barbell on the floor in the corner of a room, and hold one end with both hands at eye level, feet hip-width apart. Rotate your hips, torso, and feet to the right and bend your knees to lower the bar, without bending your arms. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do five on each side.

Move 3

Rotational Cable Row

Adjust the cable station to its lowest setting and stand to the right of it (or use a resistance band), handle in your right hand, feet slightly more than hip-width apart. Pivot to the left, bending both knees and extending your right arm toward the pulley. Pull the handle across to your right hip as you rotate into a standing position. That’s one rep. Do 10, then switch sides.

Boosting Your Metabolism: Speaking Event Saturday

How can you boost your metabolism? I’ll be speaking this weekend at Bikram Yoga Birmingham on Saturday at 11:15 (immediately after the 9:30 class) on this important topic. I’ll be talking about the top foods, drinks, tips and types of workouts that will maximize your metabolism to its fullest potential. If you can’t attend, check out my “small group coaching series online” this month being held online for The FoodLife Project.