Sunday, July 31, 2011
In July, I made my way to Gaylord, Michigan, which is home to Treetops Resort. I went from New York City to Detroit to Traverse City, MI by plane, and then on to Gaylord which was a 75-minute car ride northeast from Traverse City.
During the drive to Gaylord, I saw Lake Michigan, as well as the rugged natural charm and gorgeous landscapes that resonate so well with the state’s tagline: Pure Michigan. I was surprised by the abundance of locally-produced fudge shops in the area...these people must REALLY love their fudge here. Plus, I had one of the best shuttle drivers ever....Pat Sheridan. This guy had me laughing the entire car ride...what a comedian! I will never forget him.
I arrived at Treetops Resort, which is situated on 3,500 acres of pristine Michigan soil. The property is beautiful. In fact, when Travel Michigan filmed the Pure Michigan Campaign they came to Treetops. The resort boasts 81 holes of championship golf designed by golf greats Robert Trent Jones Sr., Tom Fazio and Rick Smith. Treetops is home to a full-service spa, conference and meeting facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools, along with a variety of dining and accommodations options, and award-winning children's programs with a fully-certified daycare facility on site. Plus, they are well known for their winter ski programs for families.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
And Key West, FL is home to one of the only JetLev flight schools, Jetpack Adventures (www.JetPackAdventures.com). Here you will get flight instruction and learn how to maneuver yourself in the Jetlev harness.
Many thanks to Dave, Justin and Nick for the opportunity to fly around like a superhero! I had a blast (literally)!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Thursday, July 14, 2011
The name Trump is synonymous with “the best,” so I was well prepared to encounter an exceptional level of hospitality during my stay at the Trump SoHo New York. Located on Spring Street and just blocks away from some of the city’s best galleries, boutiques and restaurants, this 46-story luxury property is home to guests and owners of the 391 guestrooms and suites.
I was worried the hotel would reflect an “opulent” Trump-esque feel to it (after all, I have seen the inside of his house on TV). Although that décor is nice to look at, it certainly isn’t my taste or the atmosphere I want to spend three nights in. However, when I arrived at the 46-story property, I immediately felt at home. From the welcoming staff to the grand yet intimate lobby, this hotel has a boutique feel to it despite its large capacity. The décor is reminiscent of the old neighborhood with woods, metals, chocolates and browns, all providing a very comfortable feel, which is not easily done in a hotel.
I checked in and arrived at my suite on the 27th floor. Unlike many cramped hotel rooms in NYC, the suite featured a huge bathroom, plus a half bath, living room, microwave and ample storage space. But the best feature was its incredible views of the city’s spectacular skyline, the Hudson River, Empire State Building and the surrounding neighborhoods, which were accessible by a touch of a button by opening and closing the drapes in the living room, bedroom and bathroom. In fact, the bedroom featured floor to ceiling windows on two walls. The views were breathtaking!
Located on the seventh floor, the 6,000 square-foot outdoor pool deck provided a relaxing Sunday afternoon atmosphere for me and the girls. Although lounge chairs were difficult to come by, Peter finally reserved some space for us and we indulged in the sunny NYC day and alfresco cocktails from the full-service Bar d’ Eau, which is open seasonally during the summer.
At first glace, the 11,000-square-foot Spa at Trump, located on the seventh and eighth floors, appeared to be a typical luxury hotel spa. However, I soon learned that it is home to two separate luxury hammam rooms (a Turkish bath that functions like a steam bath but with a focus on water), the first in New York and something I have never seen in a U.S. spa before. A must do! And if an all-day spa day is what you and the girls are seeking, you can reserve one of Trump SoHo’s three luxurious spa suites, located on the eighth floor. At Spa at Trump, each person’s spa journey caters to the individual guest’s desires, expressed through his or her selected Trump Personal Intention: Calm, Balance, Purify, Heal or Revitalize.
And the Trump Soho has several packages guaranteed to help you make the most of your NYC getaway. From the Retail Therapy Package (starting at $387/night) to the Escape to New York Package at $414/night to the Diamond Indulgence Package for $29,000 for two nights, there is something to fit every budget.
For more information on this fabulous property and its offerings, visit www.TrumpSoHoHotel.com
Sunday, July 10, 2011
With an invitation to check out the Trump SoHo New York, how could we say no to a weekend in the Big Apple? Stay tuned and follow our adventures on Facebook and Twitter. More details at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net
Saturday, July 9, 2011
After brunch at The Plantation House where I devoured every bit of my Cajun Ahi Benedict, we called it an afternoon and headed in for some R&R. That afternoon, we met up with Tara to say goodbye and spend my last Maui evening aboard the Trilogy for a Sunset Sail. Many thanks to the Captain, Caleb and Jordan for a beautiful afternoon at sea with great PuPu’s, cocktails and entertainment (Jordan sings and plays the ukulele). This was the perfect way to end the trip....with old and new friends on The Valley Isle.
As they say in Hawaii, “O ke aloha ke kuleana o kahi malihini,” which means “love is the host in strange lands.” I certainly felt the love during my stay in Maui, and I cannot wait to return. Mahalo!
Friday, July 8, 2011
After working up an appetite, we went for breakfast at the Sea House Restaurant at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. With options like the Homemade Macadamia Cinnamon Roll and the Molokai Sweet Potato Egg Frittata, the choice was difficult. I ended up trying the Loco Moco Country Style, which is the classic local style breakfast with a twist. Yum!
After breakfast and a few minutes laying out at Slaughterhouse Beach, we met up with Tara for some cliff diving (or at least jumping). The worst part about the jumping was climbing the rocks barefoot after we tore up our feet earlier that morning surfing. Once we jumped, we were hooked. Thanks Tara for two awesome experiences in one day!
Thursday, July 7, 2011
That evening, Tatianna and I were excited to experience the Old Lahaina Luau, which is considered by everyone the best luau on the island. We were greeted by Kawika who was our host for the evening. As we entered, we received our lei and quickly picked up a few Mai Tais to start the evening. Kawika gave us the grand tour prior to the general public arriving. Along the waterfront were authentic Hawaiian artisans featuring everything from basket weaving to wood carving to lei making. We even got our very own hula lesson, and an overview of the Imu Pit where they cook the pig for the evening’s feast. I was somewhat confused as Kawika showed us a bunch of dirt and said that’s where the pig is. I quickly realized that the pig was buried under the dirt and was cooking, a 12-hour process.
After the pig was unearthed, dinner was served. We feasted on traditional luau fare, such as Poi, Pulehu Steak and Ahi Poke. I especially loved the Chicken Long Rice, which looked like clear gummy noodles. It was delicious! After dinner, the show began with a tribute to the compelling tradition of the pahu (drum) with the Ote’a, the famous and festive drum dance of Tahiti. Afterwards, the ancient hula and modern hula were featured and each one told a story, as all hulas do. It is a beautiful display of Hawaii’s most popular performing arts with lovely movements, colorful costumes and an authentic feel of the island’s history. Mahalo to Kawika and the fantastic staff at Old Lahaina Luau..this was one terrific evening!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
As soon as I could, I said “Aloha” to her in person at the Kahului Airport. We traveled 45 minutes from the airport to her town of Lahaina, which is a quaint little town on Maui’s leeward coast that is full of sites, shops, restaurants and art galleries (which is where Tatianna works).
We woke up the first morning ready for our day of hiking with Wade Holmes of No Ka Oi Adventures. Wade specializes in private tours of Maui’s most beautiful places, some well known and others hidden treasures. We were very impressed with Wade’s vast knowledge of the biodiversity and history here and how the two are very intertwined. As Tatianna said, “Wade is a walking encyclopedia.” He truly made our hikes that much more interesting and entertaining. First, we hiked Iao Valley State Park, which features the Iao Needle and beautiful natural landscapes and waterfalls. After this hike, we traveled to Wade’s secret spot (reserved only for his favorite clients). After hiking down the mountain and down the roots of an enormous Banyan Tree, we arrived at the perfect picnic spot nestled perfectly next to a beautiful waterfall. Wade really knows how treat his guests as he came fully prepared with guava juice and Cacao Goji Maca Nut Balls from Living Foods Maui. This was the perfect!
After about 30 minutes of R&R, we regretfully packed up and hiked back up the mountain and headed to the town of Paia. I immediately fell in love with Paia as it features several quaint shops, such as Alice in Hulaland, and restaurants that were all within walking distance of the public parking area. We dined at Cafe Des Amis, which features both French and Indian cuisine. My Italian crepe was delicious, and Tatianna loved her Shrimp Curry.
After taking a much-needed shower and watching the sunset from Tatianna’s oceanfront balcony, I met up with her in Downtown Lahaina at the art gallery she manages, Kush Fine Art. We strolled down Front Street, which is very reminiscent of Duval Street in Key West, and stopped for some Ahi Poke Tuna for dinner.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
With the summer here, everyone’s is gearing up for the big travel season. To keep you and your loved ones healthy on the road, here are some insider’s travel secrets from The Getaway Girl® to keep you in tip top shape during your own getaway.
• Eat several small meals during the day versus just a few large, heavy meals.
• Pack healthy snacks (veggies, almonds, fruit); avoid fast food.
• Stay hydrated; drink lots of water (add lemon or flavored mixes if it helps increase your water intake).
• Ask for salad dressings, heavy sauces, etc on the side and use them as dips.
• I ask for no bread and/or croutons. Those carbs add up, especially when you are on vacation.
• Don’t forget fiber-rich foods. Traveling is one of the worst culprits for digestive problems.
• If your hotel doesn’t have a workout room, don’t use that as an excuse. In your hotel room, water bottles can serve as hand weights, towels can help you stretch better, and you can do squats while watching TV.
• Hotel rooms and hallways are great places to do walking lunges.
• Use stairs (versus the elevator) as much as possible.
• Ask for restaurants and attractions you can walk to/from the hotel. This gives you the opportunity to walk off your meal after you have eaten.
• Whether traveling by car, train or plane, be sure you get up and walk around to stretch your legs and keep circulation active.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Bring (and use) hand sanitizer.
• Bring tissues - if you do get a cold, this will help protect those around you.
• Maintain a diet with lots of antioxidant-rich foods to boost your immune system around and during your time of travel.
• Use popular remedies to try to prevent illness such as vitamin C, echinacea, and zinc.
• The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine prior to travel as an important way to protect yourself and others from the flu virus.
Stay healthy so that you can enjoy your travels. There's nothing worse than being sick while you are away from home. Safe travels everyone!
Friday, July 1, 2011
"The girls and I had a fabulous time in New York City to celebrate my 40th birthday. I had never been to NYC before. We saw Wicked, visited Time Square, stop by Hogs & Heifers & stopped by a rooftop bar 230 Fifth where we enjoyed a view of the Empire State Building at night. What a great way to spend my birthday!"