|The Getaway Girl® in the News
Considering a cruise vacation this summer? Before you book that trip or board that ship, watch The Getaway Girl® on Daytime TV provide helpful tips for any cruiser to keep in mind.
Either click on the photo or link to watch. www.GirlsGetawayGuide.net.
Better TV Taping, NYC
Better, a nationally syndicated lifestyle TV show, aims to make your life "better" by focusing on trends and hot topics that affect your family and relationships. Past guests include Paula Abdul, Kim Kardashian, Jerry Seinfeld, Vanessa Williams, Ivanka Trump, Naomi Judd and Maria Shriver. Follow The Getaway Girl® on Twitter and Facebook as she travels to NYC to tape a travel segment.
Girls Getaway to Trinidad and Tobago
Located just seven miles off the coast of Venezuela, Trindad and Tobago are the southeasterly islands of the Antilles. This is the birthplace of calypso music and the steelpan, which are both evident in the variety of musical events held throughout the year. Where do I sign up for the Goat and Crab Racing??? Follow my adventures on Twitter and Facebook!
Girls Getaway to Orlando
Where can you find ziplining adventures with a ropes course offering 50 elements, PGA Tour Academy golf lessons, kayaking the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, an amazing spa experience that you can take home with you at the Spa's Scrub Bar, farm-to-fork cuisine at its best and more? Look no further than the The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, which is where I will be for a Girls Getaway to Orlando. If you don't want to see what an amazing getaway I'm indulging in, then don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook ;)!
Girls Getaway to the Beaches of Fort WaltonLooking for a relaxing beach getaway in Florida? Travel to Northwest Florida and experience a complete escape in the Beaches of South Walton, an upscale yet casual place to unwind, rejuvenate and recharge. Charm and scenic beauty define this stretch of Northwest Florida's Gulf Coast, and these sugar-white sand beaches and emerald green waters offer a natural setting for a soothing retreat. Follow my getaway on Twitter (@GetawayGirl) or on my Facebook Fan Page (Girls Getaway Guide).
Girls Getaway to Montreal
Dear Mom and Dad, I ran away and joined the circus! Well, sort of. During our Girls Getaway to Montreal, we will enjoy this unique Euro-esque destination during its Circus Arts Festival. As home to Cirque du Soleil and La TOHU (the world's largest gathering places for circus arts), its only natural that Montréal is the venue for this summer's "Montréal Complètement Cirque." The city will play host to more than 100 circus artists from Belgium, Germany, Spain, Canada and Wales who will awe audiences with their most spectacular work. Plus, they told me I could try to trapeze! Follow my adventures on Twitter and Facebook!
|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 Girlfriend Getaway photo was submitted by Taylor Carson of Sebring, FL. Taylor writes: "When summertime came my childhood best friends and I couldn't wait to reunite and escape the stresses of our college schedules in the Florida Keys. We stayed canal-side in a private residental rental in Hawks Cay. , which is on Duck Key. We had the time of our lives together boating, sun bathing, and snorkeling. We even managed to wrangle a shark to dock!"
Pictured (left to right): Lauren Johnson, Kendall Carson, Allison Hancock, Marti Hancock, Megan Freeland, Jocelyn Dunn, Taylor Carson, and Amanda Hill proudly pose in front of a shark the group reeled in off the canal-side dock in Hawk's Cay.
To submit your girl getaway photos, email us at info@GirlsGetawayGuide.net.
Make Your Multigenerational Getaway Memorable! When many people think of multi-generational getaways, they may envision the nightmare vacation experienced by the Griswold family in the Chevy Chase movie Vacation (grandma on the car roof and the dog accidentally left tied to the car) or piling the entire family into an RV and driving across the country. Not a fun idea for most of us. But getaways with various generations don't have to be so traumatic. Because of all the different ages, multi-generational getaways are typically better when the participants go to and stay in one place versus the added stress of being confined in a small space and packing/unpacking several times.
The one exception is a cruise. My family did a Caribbean cruise a few years ago for my grandparents' anniversary. Ages ranged from 75 to 10 years of age. It worked really well because everyone could go at their own pace, yet we still came together as a group during key times, such as dinner.
As far as destinations, I love traveling to historic places when senior travelers accompany me. I learn a lot from their past history, knowledge and experience and I get a whole new appreciation for the historical attributes of the area. Great places for this are Europe, Boston, Charleston, St Augustine and Washington, DC.
The entire continent of Europe is full of culture and history, so you cannot go wrong with key destinations (Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Germany). It is also a great place to trace your family's roots, which makes for a fantastic multi-generational getaway experience.
In Boston, check out a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, take in the natural world at the New England Aquarium, and walk the Boston Freedom Trail where you'll see Paul Revere's house and the Benjamin Franklin statue.
In the Southeastern U.S., Charleston has strong historical roots with unique places to visit such as Middleton Place and Fort Sumter National Monument. It also offers carriage rides, which are fun ways to see the sights for kids of any age.
Aside from the lovely Florida beaches, St Augustine, America's oldest city offers many cultural and historical attractions for every generation, such as Fountain of Youth Discovery Park and the Oldest House, as well as many annual events throughout the year.
There is no better place for U.S. history that our nation's capital. All 19 of Washington's Smithsonian museums are free. At the Air and Space Museum, kids of all ages enjoy climbing into the nose of a Boeing 747 jumbo jet or touching a piece "lunar moon."
No matter where your generational getaway takes you, be sure there is a variety of activities for all ages and all attendees are well aware of what the trip entails. Have fun!
Perfect Pet Getaways After our Girls (and Dogs) Getaway to Miami, we had requests for the best pet-friendly hotel packages in the U.S. Here is what we found for every type of pet owner, pet and destination imaginable!
Super Hero Pet Getaway at EPIC Hotel in Miami
Where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay, the EPIC Hotel (www.EPICHotel.com), a Kimpton property, is located in one of Miami's most flourishing neighborhoods. The EPIC has not forgotten about our four-legged friends with their fantastic pet getaway at no additional charge to bring your pet. This two night package includes:
Sleeping accommodations, pet bed and food and water bowl for use during stay, pet toys, Super Hero Pet welcome gift, complimentary Paw Treat Hour, continental breakfast for two in Area 31 daily for humans ($25 credit).
Choice of two pet services:
Pawdicure and shampoo from spa service
One hour daily dog play time
One hour daily dog walk at Flamingo Bark ParkBONE Appetit at Firesky Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ
90 minute massages for two humans
It's reigning cats and dogs at the FireSky Resort & Spa (www.FireskyResort.com). Bosco, Director of Pet Relations, is a three-year-old Cocker Spaniel that frequented the FireSky Resort & Spa before being offered this elite position. Bosco enjoys serving as a host alongside his Pet Ambassador, Wendy Zane. Enjoy the pampering you both deserve with this package, which includes:
Beautifully appointed accommodations (either patio or courtyard); arrival treat, including Bosco's Brew (a pet-friendly beer), gourmet doggie treats, a top-quality chew toy and a logo leash; use of their desert doggie bed and water bowl during your stay; human companions enjoy morning coffee and tea service in living room, daily newspaper delivered to room, hosted evening wine reception, 24-hour access to in-house fitness room, standard high speed wired and wireless Internet access, and of course, enjoyment of the pool and gardens.
Welcome board with pets' names arriving that day, dog walking/sitting services available, exercise area within walking distance, complimentary goldfish upon request, no additional charge for pets, no deposit required, list of nearby veterinarians upon request, pooper Scooper bag and walking map, in room bowl for food and water, Doggie Bed for use during your stay.
Su'Ruff Camp - Loews Coronado Bay Hotel, San Diego
Teach your dog to ride the waves like a pro at Coronado Dog Beach! Then, enjoy deluxe accommodations, a Surf & Turf room service pet meal, plus board shorts and bandana for your dog. Rates start at $449/night. Loews Coronado Bay is the San Diego choice of every pet lover. Put simply: Loews loves pets. As part of the Loews Loves Pets program, your VIP (Very Important Pet) will be waited on hand and paw, traveling in first-class comfort. At Loews Coronado Bay, you have everything you need to feel right at home with your four-legged friend:
Gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, prepared by our award-winning Master Chef Creature comforts like specialized bedding, leashes, collars, litter boxes (and litter), pooper scoopers and more; Tail-wagging amenities such as dog-walking routes, pet placemats, water bowls, treats, doggie poop bags and more; Purr-fect indulgences like rawhide bones, catnip and scratch poles; Pet-walking and pet-sitting services; and Loews Surf Dog Competition, where you can see Spot surf during the Loews Surf Dog Competition, the first of its kind. There's no dog paddling for these surf dogs-they are invited to hang 20. If your pooch is a surfing champion, you could win a getaway at Loews Coronado Bay Hotel...and endless bragging rights that come with owning the waves of San Diego. For more information, visit http://www.loewshotels.com/.
The Girls Getaway Guide is always looking to share helpful travel and girlfriend getaway information with its readers. This month's Enews sponsor brings girlfriends fabulous spa savings, which we love! spa50.com is a website that connects savvy spa-goers to participating spas offering week-long, full length spa treatments for $50 in the Spring and Fall. The other 50 weeks of the year, spa50 is the place to find printable coupons for spa specials, amazing Register to Win spa packages, cool, free stuff and articles on health, wellness and the importance of spa-ing. Be sure to become a FREE member of spa50 and visit them at www.spa50.com!
You heard me talk about Hot Springs, Arkansas as a top travel trend for 2010 in a recent Daytime TV interview. Well, I recently got to experience the state that calls itself "The Natural State."
I arrived in Little Rock and was greeted at the airport by Zoie. She drove me to downtown Little Rock where we toured the University of Arkansas Clinton School for Public Service (http://www.clintonschool.uasys.edu/) and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library (www.ClintonLibrary.gov). Regardless of how you feel about Clinton, it was interesting to see the presidential memorabilia. In the library, visitors can find a replica of the Oval Office and (my favorite) a timeline of historical events that occurred while Clinton was in office.
We left the car at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center and walked along the river to one of the four bridges that connect Little Rock with North Little Rock. As we strolled across the bridge we noticed a submarine along the shores of North Little Rock. Eager to investigate, we arrived just in time for the last tour of the day hosted by Greg Zonner, who was responsible for getting the submarine to North Little Rock. Greg explained that this submarine, the USS Razorback, was one of the longest-serving World War II submarines and was most recently used by the Turkish military prior to its retirement in Arkansas as part of the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum (http://www.aimm.museum/). We made our way down the stairs into the sub and walked the entire length of the vessel where we saw the bunks, mess hall, missiles, missile loaders, bathrooms and control room. Razorback conducted five combat patrols during World War II, sinking Japanese vessels, capturing Japanese POWs and rescuing American pilots who had been shot down. At the end of WWII, she was one of only 12 submarines selected to be present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrender was signed. What a great piece of history parked here in Arkansas!
After all this sightseeing, it was time for a nice dinner with the girls at Lulav Eatery (http://www.lulaveatery.com/) in Downtown Little Rock. I had the Mediterranean Pork - braised medallions of tenderloin topped with cranberry-bourbon dijon crème,served with gnocchi pasta and roasted vegetable medley. After dinner, we drove about 90 minutes to Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa (http://www.mountainharborresort.com/) located in Mt Ida and situated on the shores of Lake Ouachita. What impressed me as soon as I arrived was the attention to detail and personal service found at Mountain Harbor. Although we arrived late at night, I was so excited to see my name on the Welcome Sign and a personal greeting by Lodge Manager Pati Brown as she escorted us to our 3-bedroom, lakeside cabin. Mountain Harbor is owned by Bill Barnes and was the vision of his father, Hal. Bill lives and operates Mountain Harbor with his exceptional staff, most have been with him for more than 10 years. At Mountain Harbor, I felt like I joined a special family as I was greeted with some of the most hospitable and genuine people I have ever met.
Dena and I woke up the next morning to see the beautiful lake, and I realized just how gorgeous and serene this setting really is. After enjoying the view and coffee, it was time to tour Mountain Harbor and have lunch at Turtle Cove Spa. Pati (who I named the Martha Stewart of Arkansas) drove us around the 900-acre resort, which includes its award-winning marina, full-service spa, restaurant, cabins, condos and meeting space.After the tour and a delicious lunch at Turtle Cove Spa (www.TurtleCoveSpa.com), it was treatment time. Many thanks to spa owner Deb and spa manager Kristi for such a warm welcome. I cannot thank Jennifer enough for the wonderful facial. I enjoyed learning about all of the products she was using, and her helpful "wrinkle eraser" tips are much appreciated! Tranquility is the key here at Turtle Cove, and you will find more than 100 turtles nestled throughout the spa. They even have their own turtle candles and turtle tea, so clever!
After learning about the city's "underground" gangster life and hearing some of the history, it was time to check out these famous bath houses. Eight bath houses make up Bath House Row, located in the Hot Springs National Park which is in Downtown Hot Springs. We toured the Quapaw Bath House (http://www.quapawbath.com/)which is a 24,000-square foot Spanish Colonial revival style building built in 1922. Although it once served guests in the early part of the century, it has been completely renovated and offers massages, facials, thermal baths and body treatments. While this is the only bath house of the eight to be renovated for modern spa use, a few of the other bath houses have been restored for other uses.
As I left the spa, I was completely relaxed. In fact, we were so relaxed back at the cabin that we opted for dinner in. Yes, the Mountain Harbor folks delivered dinner to our cabin, and Pati poured her delicious Pomegranate Cocktails and even made brie with my initials on it. I love her! After dinner, Dena and I jumped into the hot tub and watched the lake sparkle as the moon hit the water just right. With wine in hand, we chatted and laughed for several hours.
The next day we were en route to Mufreesboro to dig for diamonds. Crater of Diamonds State Park (http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/
) is the only place in North America where you can dig for
diamonds and the only place in the world where you can keep what you find. We arrived to find all kinds of people scattered throughout the park's diamond search area, a 37-acre plowed field that is the eroded surface of an ancient volcanic pipe that 95 million years ago. The volcanic activity brought to the surface the diamonds and some of the semi-precious stones lucky visitors find here today. While any color diamond can be found at the park, the three most common colors unearthed by visitors are white, brown and yellow, as well as more than 40 types of rocks and minerals, such as lamproite, amethyst, banded agate, jasper, peridot, garnet, quartz, calcite, barite, and hematite. Margi got us geared up (rubber boot covers, shovel, two-level sifters, apron and gloves) and taught us how to prospect. We were digging, dumping, sifting and searching all morning trying to find the perfect diamond to take home. While we didn't find our "retirement," we had fun (and were entertained) and realized we need to set aside an entire day (not just a few hours) for diamond mining next time.
The hard work from diamond digging made us drive straight to the closest restaurant, which was Buddy's Ranch House Cafe. I tweeted: "You know you're in Arkansas when you order The Big Bad Buddy Burger for lunch while surrounded by Razorback decor & signs: Go hogs!" While surrounded by Razorback fanatics, I was deathly afraid to tell anyone I was a Florida Gator. I quickly ate my Big Bad Buddy Burger and we got back on the road.
Next stop: Hot Springs and the Gangster Museum of America (http://www.tgmoa.org/
which depicts a historic account of the life and times of the most notorious gangsters in America and their relationships in the spa city. During the 20s-40s, Hot Springs was the Las Vegas of the U.S. Notable villains such as Al Capone, Alvin "Creepy" Karpis, Frank Costello and Lucky Luciano all vacationed in Hot Springs in an effort to treat illnesses and find comfort in the hot water.
which specializes in home-made pastas and specialty dishes. This is one very authentic Italian dining experience in the heart of the bath house historic district, courtesy of owners Penny & Chef Joe Gargano.
After touring the Quapaw, we found several of the hot springs around town. It was evident because the steam from the hot water would fill the air above these openings. This water coming out stays a nice 143 degrees year round and is known to be more than 4,000 years old. Very cool....or should I say hot?
We opted for dinner at Belle Art Italian Ristorante (http://www.belleartigroup.com/),
The next morning we arrived at the Oaklawn Horse Racing Park (http://www.oaklawn.com/) and were
greeted by Lou, who served as our VIP escort for the day. He made sure we received the full tour of the race stadium, including the press box, announcers' booth, paddocks, Oaklawn Club and gaming area. With Lou's connections, we were able to watch Race #3 trackside and got a photo with race winner Speedy Escape. After the grand tour, we were ready to eat, drink and place bets! We ordered a few dozen raw oysters and as many Bloody Marys as we could carry and made our way to the betting window, then to our box to watch the races. We cheered on our favorites and collected our winnings. Our next stop was the Club Room where we met Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who is originally from Arkansas. We had such a great time!!! Does an afternoon in Arkansas get any better? As the races came to an end, we went to Oaklawn's gaming room for some more gambling. From slots to craps to blackjack, the gaming room has it all and offers something for any level gambler.
for my last night in Arkansas. Since 1924, this Arlington (there were two others prior) has served as one of the most prominent structures in downtown Hot Springs, and it was designed for vacationers and bathers who traveled to Hot Springs for the thermal waters The hotel has hosted notables such as Barbara Streisand, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Yoko Ono, Tony Bennett and Babe Ruth. One of the hotels most notorious guests was Al Capone, who stayed in room 442, and rented the entire floor for his staff and bodyguards. Capone was such a fixture here that his car is on display in the hotel's lobby.
The lobby and restaurants of the Arlington have undergone recent renovations; however, the hotel rooms still represent the nostalgia of the past. In fact, on the back of our hotel room (#911) is some of the original thermal bathing instructions from the 1960s for guests to know what temperature and duration their soaks should be. The information certainly served as entertainment for the evening.
My last Arkansas dinner was at Angel's Italian Restaurant in downtown Hot Springs. We sat down and were immediately greeted by Debbie, who was a wonderful hostess for the evening. We started asking Debbie about the restaurant and owners and she told us all about the nice couple who own this restaurant and a few other businesses in town. It was refreshing to hear someone speak so highly of their boss, and Debbie's loyalty to them was undeniable. Our meal was delicious and Debbie made us feel right at home.
After dinner, we checked out the Hot Springs nightlife, which included Maxine's (named after Hot Springs most famous madam, Maxine Temple Jones) and Lucky's (named after gangster Lucky Luciano). Both venues featured live music and were a lot of fun (what happens in Hot Springs stays in Hot Springs).
With the Ouachitas Mountains as our backdrop, I regretfully said goodbye to Arkansas. Not only were there some really amazing things to do here, but the people were exceptionally nice and are already missed. I was so impressed by the wine...can't wait to come back for more.
Once I arrived back in Florida, I was so excited to get a message, "Would you be interested in serving as Grand Marshall for our Bikes, Babes and Bling event in July?" My answer: Absolutely! Arkansas, I will be back!
|Thanks for reading! Wishing you safe travels!
Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl® & Author of the
Girls Getaway Guide series