Best U.S. Beercations - Daytime TV Show
Do you love beer? Do you love to travel? Why not combine the two for a fun-filled Beercation? The Getaway Girl Casey Wohl shares some of the top destinations you can enjoy for a 'drink-tastic' vacation on this Daytime TV Show travel segment.
Honeymoon Hot Spots - Daytime TV ShowLooking for the best honeymoon hot spots that may not be on your radar screen? Check out this Daytime TV Show travel segment.
Congrats 'Win Free Stuff' Winners
The Happy Hour Effect: 12 Secrets to Minimize Stress & Maximize Life' Book
Winners: Nydia G. Sebring, FL; Dan C. Baltimore, MD; Patti R. Okeechobee, FL
The Happy Hour Effect provides easy, fun, and powerful solutions to minimize your stress and maximize your life. Kristen's voice is inspiring, motivating, witty, funny, and down to earth, and her book provides specific and actionable steps to stress less now. It isn't hard. It isn't confusing. It's a simple, straightforward, fun approach to stress relief.
Donated by: Kristen Brown
PADI Open Water Diver eLearning Gift Pass
Winner: Brandon B. San Diego, CA
Welcome to the World of Scuba Diving! PADI is the world's leading scuba diving training organization. With more than 40 years experience, over 136,000 PADI Professionals and more than 6,200 dive shops worldwide, PADI training materials and services let you experience scuba diving from nearly anywhere.
Donated by: Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI)
Aqua Lung Women's Line "Details Prize Pack"
Winner: Kelly O., Tallahassee, FL
Aqua Lung, the world's leading professional and recreational dive equipment innovator, recently launched of Details, the first-of-its kind dive line designed by women for women. Aqua Lung's new Details line offers a full range of gear to revolutionize the scuba experience for women, including the items listed below, which we're giving away to one lucky Getaway Girl reader.
Aqua Lung Details Dive Line Package
-Details hooded long sleeve shirt, $48
-Twilight Rashguard, $39
-Twilight Zypher snorkel,$35.50
-Twilight Shot FX fins, $169
-Twilight Linea mask, $90
-Twilight Ellie boots 5mm, $53
Donated by: Aqua Lung
August 16: Daytime TV Show Tapings
The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl will be in Tampa, FL to record two travel segments for the nationally-syndicated TV show, Daytime
. The first one will air on Aug. 20. For times/channels in your area, visit www.DaytimeOnline.tvAugust 16: FOX TV Tampa
Tune in to Tampa's FOX 13 or www.MyFOXTampaBay.com
to watch The Getaway Girl's® travel segment on Labor Day Travel Deals. August 18 - Hall Communications Lakeland Radio: 97.5 FM
Tune in to WPCV 97.5FM on Sunday, Aug. 18 at 8:00 AM when The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl talk all things travel with News Director Andrea Oliver. To listen online, visit www.WPCV.com.
Summer is almost over, but there is still time to book a few more Girls Getaways this year. Looking for some Labor Day Travel Deals? Or how about the best places in Europe to spend Fashion Week? Check out the Girls Getaway Guide blog for details. Or if a Beercation is more your speed, watch the recent Daytime TV Show segment on the left.
Girls Getaway to a Chicago Legend
(By Amber Gibson)
For a truly Chicago experience, spend a few days at the Palmer House. There are such rich stories behind the hotel and it's just across the street from Millennium Park and the Art Institute. The first thing you'll notice once inside is the building's breathtaking lobby. It's the grandest and arguably most beautiful and historically significant hotel in Chicago. When I ascended the street level escalators and got my first glimpse of the restored ceilings depicting Greek mythology, along with 24-karet gold Louis Comfort Tiffany chandeliers and Tiffany's "Winged Angels" leading up to the Empire ballroom,I couldn't help but gasp in awe.
The hotel is a historic landmark and has a bit of a tragic history. It was first built in 1871 as a wedding gift from business tycoon Potter Palmer to his young wife, Bertha. However, 13 days later the Great Chicago Fire burned the building to the ground. Palmer was not to be deterred and rebuilt the world's first fireproof hotel across the street, opening in 1873. The Palmer House is also the first hotel with an elevator or electric lights. One hundred and forty years later, the nation's longest continually operating hotel is still going strong, and one of the largest in Chicago with 1,639 guest rooms.
My stay here was quite comfortable and the staff was so friendly, making the enormous hotel feel like home. The Palmer House gets the little details right, from Peter Thomas Roth toiletries in the bathroom to conveniently located outlets at the base of the bedside lamps.
Just off the lobby, Potter's Lounge is a great place to grab a drink and gab with girlfriends. You can't go wrong with a classic Manhattan or Dark and Stormy at this 1920's club-style bar, but I preferred the Cool as a Cucumber gin cocktail with lemon and cucumber, or a Pineapple Coconut Mojito. Just be careful, the food here is pretty good too. If you order the truffle chips, you'll probably end up eating them all, like we did.
Like most great hotels, the Palmer House boasts an excellent full-service spa. What's most striking about Balance Spa is there is no traditional locker room set up where you change into a robe and slippers. Instead, each treatment room is its own private suite, which makes for a more luxurious and intimate experience. There's even a tote bag provided to put all of your belongings, which your masseuse or esthetician will graciously tote around for you, so you don't leave anything behind. An express soak takes place in a fancy bathtub that looks like a contraption from an alien spaceship. The soothing jet stream was noisy, but after a few minutes almost lulled me to sleep. Just be careful getting up 25 minutes later - I was a bit dizzy from the heat. Afterwards, a lemongrass body scrub under a vichy shower left my skin soft and smelling fresh. Each suite is impeccably organized and the stark white almost seems sterile, but when the lights dim and the rainforest sounds are piped into the room, I couldn't help but close my eyes and drift away. With an array of treatments from massages and facials to manicures, pedicures and a small hair salon, it would be easy to spend an entire afternoon here. I felt like a million bucks after all the pampering.
Friday morning, the Palmer House's Historian Ken Price took us on an enchanting historical tour of the hotel, illuminating the love story between Potter and Bertha Palmer and the strong will, talent, hard work and luck that brought the hotel to life. We had a chance to explore the Empire Room, which used to be one of the swankiest nightclubs in the country, hosting performers like Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. Now, it's available for private events.
In the pastry kitchen we stole bites of Bertha Palmer's brownie, the original dense, fudgy recipe topped with walnuts from when it was invented in 1893 during the World's Fair. The most exciting part of the day was sneaking into the hotel's secret vault, where millions of dollars of fine china and crystal glasses from Bertha's fantastic parties are stored. I was so scared that I would knock something over and spend the rest of my life indebted to the Palmer House. Ken, who has been with the Palmer House for 31 years, leads his "History is Hott!" tours daily, and the luncheon plus tour is just $65, a great value for history buffs or anyone looking to learn more about Chicago.
Later that day, I enjoyed afternoon tea for the first time. My French super blue lavender tea was fragrant and soothing, a perfect pairing with cucumber watercress and egg salad finger sandwiches, along with scones, petit fours and a host of other goodies. The treats come out on a three-tier platter and are more than enough for lunch.
That same evening, Lockwood's talented Executive Chef Joseph Rose treated us to an elaborate six-course tasting menu. A perfectly cooked Skuna Bay salmon dish with morels and English peas still has my mouth watering. Wine Steward Britton Sendra did a phenomenal job of choosing wine pairings, my favorite of which was the earthy 2007 Planeta Burdese she paired with beef filet, asparagus and blue cheese potatoes gratin. The rich red wine had notes of cherries and a little spiciness, to match the bold-flavored beef and blue cheese.
Since Bertha Palmer had the largest collection of Impressionist artwork outside of France, a trip to the Art Institute was a fitting way to conclude our stay on Saturday. The Palmers donated many works to the museum, including Monet's "On the Bank of the Seine" and Pierre-August Renoir's "Two Little Circus Girls," which Mrs. Palmer was said to travel with. The current special exhibition, "Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity," is the perfect encapsulation of Mrs. Palmer's lifestyle and affinity for Impressionist art. She most definitely was a modern woman and championed women's rights, although she was not affiliated with the suffragette movement. The exhibit runs through September 29, so if you are in Chicago soon, you still have a chance to see it.
Author Amber Gibson is a Food/Travel Writer, Model & Actress from Chicago. To find out more about Amber, visit www.ambergibson.me.
Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you soon. Safe travels!
Sincerely, Casey Wohl, The Getaway Girl®,