|The Getaway Girl® In The News
Even though Valentine's Day is over, you can still enjoy most of these great travel deals through April. Tune in to this Daytime TV segment to find out what The Getaway Girl's® top picks are for some affordable and romantic getaways. Visit www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net/news.html .
What are this year's top Travel Trends? From Singapore to Santa Fe, The Getaway Girl® chats about the best places to visit this year and why. There's still time to book your trip! Visit www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net/news.html to watch the clip.
Love to Win Free Travel Prizes?
Love to win free stuff? Looking for prizes to help you getaway and travel the world? Be sure to visit the updated "Win Free Stuff" section of the Girls Getaway Guide website at www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net where you will find more than $2,000 in fun and travel-related prizes. Every few months we will post new and exciting prizes for Girls Getaway Guide fans, so be sure to check back regularly.
Current prizes include:
·Café Tu Tu Tango ($50 value)
·Travel Perfume Gift Set ($54 value)
·Dove® Visibly Smooth Travel Package
·Red Mountain Resort & Spa's
SignaturePackage Stay for Two
"Win Free Stuff" section.
February 27 - March 3: Girls Getaway to Cancun
Follow my getaway to Cancun where I find all the best this destination has to offer in fashion, food and fun! The trip includes a fashion show from two top Mexican designers, launch party food prepared by some of Mexico's best chefs, swim with the whale sharks, snorkeling on one of the world's largest barrier reefs and swinging through the canopy by zip line.
March 5: Satellite Media Tour
Tune in to your local radio and TV stations...you just might hear The Getaway Girl® talking about Spring Travel Deals live from Gatorland in Orlando.
March 24-28: Girls Getaway to Arkansas
You heard me talk about Hot Springs, Arkansas a top travel trend for 2010. Now follow my travels at I visit this southern state whose eastern border is the Mississippi River. With the Ouachitas Mountains as our backdrop, we will be mining for diamonds, cheering on Thoroughbred horse racing, visiting a Gangster Museum, indulging in state-of-the-art spa facilities and, of course, soaking in the hot springs, which stay a nice 143 degrees year round.
May 13: eWomen's Network, Orlando
Join The Getaway Girl® as she serves as a speaker at the eWomenNetwork's monthly luncheon on Thursday, May 13 at the Orlando Marriott Downtown. Registration and networking begin at 11:00 a.m., lunch served and program begins promptly at 11:30 a.m., event concludes 1:30 p.m. eWomenNetwork is a community of women helping women to support, promote and showcase our members' products and services and to help them achieve their professional goals. Register online: www.ewomannetwork.com
May 28: Sex and the City Movie 2 Premiere, Orlando
If you joined us at the first movie premiere, you know how much fun we had with a special VIP Reception at Neiman Marcus, complete with martinis, makeovers and Manolo Blahniks! Not to mention our very own movie theater with cocktails! Put this on your calendar as more details about this exciting night will be coming soon!
Best U.S. St. Patrick's Day Celebrations
St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, is one of Christianity's most widely known figures. But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of years of exaggerated storytelling.
Today, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated by people of all backgrounds in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Although North America is home to the largest celebrations, St. Patrick's Day has been honored in other locations far from Ireland, including Japan, Singapore, and Russia. Here are some popular St. Paddy's Day celebration destinations in the U.S.:
Savannah's St. Patrick's Day celebration is the city's largest annual gathering. Compared by many to a Mardi Gras celebration, Savannah's St. Patrick's Day festivities attract roughly 400,000 Irish and "honorary" Irish visitors each year. Popular events include the traditional Savannah St. Patrick's Day Parade, a packed street festival along historic River Street, as well as parties at City Market with live entertainment and many other celebrations, including green-dyed fountains.
A city with strong Irish roots, Chicago comes alive with its annual St. Patrick's Day festivities. Come rain, snow or shine, the Chicago St. Patrick's Day Parade is always held the Saturday before March 17 (if St. Patrick's Day is not on a Saturday) and begins at noon. The Parade route begins on the corner of Columbus Drive and Balbo. A tradition since 1962, the dyeing of the Chicago River starts at 10:45 a.m. the day of the parade with ideal viewing areas at the intersection of Michigan Avenue, Wacker Drive and the river.
New York City, NY
Home of the world's very first (1766) and largest (150,000 participants and 3 million spectators). New York City's St Patrick's Day parade is always held on March 17 and lasts about five hours. The city's largest parade marches up 5th Avenue, from 44th to 86th streets starting at 11:00 a.m.St. Patrick's Day is serious business in New York City. Even non-Irish New Yorkers Wear the Green, drink Guinness and get excited about the St. Patrick's Day Parade. In NYC, you will see green beers, green bagels, green water fountains, and even a green Empire State Building!
Even if you don't live in Southie and your name isn't O'Donnell, Casey or Shannon - you're Irish by association on St. Patrick's Day in Boston, which is draws more than 500,000 visitors to the city with a long-standing Irish tradition. Boston held America's first St. Patrick's Day celebration in 1737, and the city still boasts one of the nation's largest St. Patrick's Day parades. Join the estimated 600,000 people who will attend the annual parade beginning at the Broadway MBTA station and ending in Andrew Square. Your best bet for viewing the parade is to stake out a spot anywhere along Broadway and arrive early. The three-hour parade features floats and dozens of marching bands and pipe bands from Ireland and the U.S.
With more than 1 million Atlanta residents claiming Irish ancestry, Atlanta ranks as the 7th largest "Irish City" in North America. The Georgians host two weeks worth of St. Patrick's Day festivities kicking off with Lucky Fest, beginning March 7, and then culminates with Atlanta's biggest street party. The annual parade, which has been held since 1858, will include more than 200 entries. The route is 1.1 miles from the start at Ralph McGill to the end at Martin Luther King at Underground. Get there early for good seats, and be sure to stop by Fado Irish Pub for a pint.
|Where To Purchase Merchandise |
Barnes & Noble (select stores)
Gift Basket Boutique, Lakeland
Cat's On Main, Wauchula
Highlands Art League, Sebring
Key West Art Bar, Key West
Peppers of Key West, Key West
Red Geranium, Winter Haven
Urban Think! Bookstore, Orlando
Submit Your Girls Getaway Photos
This month's Girls Getaway photo was submitted by Andrea Bass of Wauchula, FL who wrote about her Girls Getaway to Atlanta. Andrea says: "We had a great Girls Getaway to Atlanta in July for a combined birthday party weekend. We stayed in Buckhead where we lounged by the pool during the day, and then took our limo out to dinner at Twisters. Followed by some dancing at Fever, East Andrews, and Fado Irish Pub."
Pictured from left Kristin Mathias, Becca Elliot, Kristin Necochea. Brittany Morely, Kelly Chase, Ashley Kerns, Lauren Rainey, Andrea Bass, Maddie Suber, and Jesse Goodmaninfo@GirlsGetawayGuide.net.
To submit your girl getaway photos, email
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Girls Getaway to Duck Key
With a chill in the air in Central Florida, I was more than happy to accept an invitation to Duck Key in the Florida Keys to find some warmer weather and some fun in the sun activities. Before I knew it, I was on a plane for Miami.
Sharon, I knew she was not only a gracious host, but a fun-loving girl just like us. We chatted about all things chocolate, sampled the delicious treats, and I hand-dipped my very own bottle of wine into creamy milk chocolate! It was so much fun (and I got to decorate it too). If you are ever near Coral Gables, be sure and stop by Peterbrooke to say hello to Sharon and sample her yummy store goods. Sharon was also nice enough to send us to the Keys with bags of her chocolate-covered popcorn, which we enjoyed fully!
Upon arriving in Miami, Grace picked me up at the airport and we headed to Downtown Coral Gables for some shopping and lunch while we waited for more of the girls to arrive. Our first stop was Hip.e Boutique (www.hip-e-boutique.com
), a cute and trendy boutique located along the city's trendy Miracle Mile. We both tried on several dresses, and Grace purchased a new Diane Von Furstenberg bathing suit for our trip south.
Next stop was Peterbrooke Chocolatier just a few blocks away. I told Grace I was familiar with Peterbrooke since there is one located on Park Avenue in Winter Park. "You must see this store and meet the owner, Sharon," Grace said. And she was right. As soon as I walked in and shook hands with
We made one more shopping stop at Habit where you can find trendy pieces at very reasonable prices. The store owner posts all new deliveries on their Facebook page, and within a few hours, most of it is gone. After all of the clothes shopping, we couldn't forget about the shoes! With several brands of unique designers, Dulce carries some of Miami's sexiest stilettos suitable for anyone wanting their feet to be in fashion. Dulce also carries handbags, sunglasses, jewelry and other accessories.
We worked up an appetite and stopped at Charlotte Bistro (www.Charlotte-Bistro.com
), the area's newest French restaurant, for lunch. The owner, Venezuelan-born chef Elida Villarroel, has been trained by three-Michelin-star Chef Michel Bras. The food was delish and we were now fully prepared for our two-hour drive to Duck Key in the Florida Keys. The great thing about all of our Coral Gables visits is that each business is female owned and operated. So proud of these terrific entrepreneurs. I hope to support more businesses like these!!
After a few hours of singing in the car (where's the karaoke bar?), we arrived at the 60-acre luxury resort, Hawk's Cay (www.HawksCay.com
). One step into their exquisite lobby sets you in a relaxed mood as soon as you walk in. We checked in, relaxed in our rooms, and then met our lovely hosts in the Bar at Alma, which is located in the resort lobby, for appetizers and cocktails. My favorite drink of the trip was the Little Red Dress (be sure to try while you are there) and the Lobster Risotto seemed to be a group favorite for dinner.
We woke up to a beautiful view of the Atlantic Ocean and enjoyed breakfast poolside. Then it was off to tour Hawk's Cay (www.HawksCay.com
The great thing about this resort is that everything is located on property. We saw the marina, which houses fishing boats for charter and water sports such as kayaks, jet skis, parasailing and more. Also at the marina is a small grocery store and Tom's Harbor House restaurant. The resort also boasts a lovely spa and fitness area, as well as a great kids recreational area. Our last stop was the on-site villas with 2-3 bedrooms that are perfect for a family or large group of guests who don't mind staying together (hello Girls Getaways).
After a quick bite for lunch at the poolside bar (I ate the Chicken Caesar Salad two days in a row...so good), we walked to the on-site
Dolphin Connection for our Dolphin Discovery Program. Hawks Cay is one of the only resorts in the continental U.S. to have an on-site dolphin training facility that guests can participate in. After squeezing into our wetsuits (which was entertaining), we got an overview of what we were going to do that day (keep hands on vests). Our trainer, Jeff, introduced us to all of the dolphins (Hastings, Lucky, Bolla, Sebastian) and we danced, sang, hugged and kissed them for one amazing experience!
To continue with our adventurous day, we decided it was time to try some parasailing. After a brief overview from Freddie, Grace and I were harnessed into our gear and up, up and away we went. It was much more calm and peaceful in the air than either one of us expected, and Grace pointed out that, from the air, Duck Key really does look like a duck. After about a 15-minute ride, they reeled us in and back into the boat. Hmmm...I wonder if I am now ready for skydiving??? Anyone???
Dinner that evening was at Tom's Harbor House where we ate some awesome fish dishes of snapper, grouper and mahi mahi.
As we were about to leave, we saw David Hope playing the guitar inside the bar area. Ah ha! We found our karaoke (well, sort of). With Karen channeling Janis Joplin, Grace on the tambourine, Elvis on the harmonica and Georgette and I as back-up singers/dancers, we were a force to be reckoned with! Thanks to David's gracious sharing of the stage, Elvis and the Bichons were born and will forever remain icons at Hawk's Cay.
If Friday was the day for adventure, then Saturday was our day for relaxation. First on the agenda was a yoga/pilates class at the fitness center appropriately named Midsection Meltdown.
Georgette was the star performer here while trying a new move on the fitness ball. After working out, we were ready to get worked on with massages at Calm Waters Spa. This 80-minute unique massage and energy experience is aimed to reduce stress, unblock natural energy and re-balance your mind. Afterwards, I felt like a wet noodle as Karen and I enjoyed some girl talk in the eucalyptus steam room.
We were ready for some down time as we sat poolside (the resort has two; one is adults-only) and some enjoyed the resort's lagoon, which sits between the pool and the ocean. It even has a platform in the middle that you can swim to and enjoy the saltwater. After our sun time, we were ready for our sunset cruise as no trip to the Florida Keys is complete without some time on the water. Many thanks to Lauren for keeping our wine glasses full and to Elvis for providing a great game of "One Foot Boat Balance" for our entertainment.
We had one more incredible dinner together at Alma, the resort's
tropically-inspired Nuevo Latino cuisine. The meal was complete with La Crema Pinot Noir, tasty rib eye steaks and their signature appetizers, which were delicious. For dessert, we sat by the fire pit and enjoyed more wine and our stogies (just like the guys do).
Sunday morning we said goodbye to Hawk's Cay and Duck Key. While only here for a few days, we all certainly caught a little "Keys Disease" as we reluctantly drove back home and to reality. Many thanks to Hawks Cay Resort for a wonderful time!
|Thanks for reading! Wishing you safe travels!
Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl® & Author of the
Girls Getaway Guide series