A NEW stretch of trail in Northeastern Pennsylvania offers residents and visitors one-and-a-half miles of compacted terrain that’s ideal for jogging, walking, and cycling. The Carbondale Riverwalk opened in May (2018) and on a late spring afternoon, adults and children of all ages spent their afternoon taking in the prolific greenery along the Lackawanna River, a 40-mile long river that’s known for extraordinary fly fishing.
On that day, couples strolled hand-in-hand, children pedaled diligently to keep up with their parents, and cyclists took advantage of the safe pedestrian-only pathway.
I imagine I was among the first-timers to participate in the bike loan program. While usage statistics are not available yet, it’s safe to say exercise and nature enthusiasts continue to discover and utilize the new pathway, partly because of “BikeCarbondale,” a free bike-share program that makes it possible for individuals to borrow a bicycle so they can take in the Carbondale’s Coal Mining History. The program is managed by the Lackawanna Heritage Valley (LHV) in conjunction with two prominent Carbondale partners: Hotel Anthracite, 25 S. Main St. and the Greater Carbondale YMCA, 82 N. Main St. The program is made possible with funds made available through the Northeast Pennsylvania Healthcare Foundation. Individuals age 18 years and older are eligible to loan one of the authority’s 10 bikes available at the hotel and YMCA.
Cycling was my first activity after checking in at the Hotel Anthracite, Carbondale’s newly-renovated lodging (formerly known as Carbondale Grand Hotel). (You can read more about the hotel in an upcoming article on my website.) Chris Simpler, Hotel Anthracite general manager, was eager for me to test drive a bike and the new trail. I returned to the hotel revitalized after approximately two hours.
LHV projects stimulate the region’s economic development, enhance tourism, and strengthen community organizations with a goal to improve and increase the quality of life for area residents. The Lackawanna Heritage Valley trail system spans 70 miles from the confluence of the Lackawanna and Susquehanna Rivers in Pittston and continues north where it connects with the Delaware & Hudson Rail Trail and the Carbondale Riverwalk.
You will celebrate the sunshine and appreciate the shaded areas, too. When you stop for a break, take note of the established trees that provide a canopy and the shrubs and native plants alongside the banks that serve as a natural border. Venture into downtown Carbondale and admire the architecture.
Since 2013, LHV has opened eight miles of well-maintained heritage trails that enhance and showcase the region’s striking beauty and diverse scenery. You can watch the videos of the grand openings of the Scranton to Taylor, D&H Extension Trail, and Archbald to Jermyn stretches, and learn more about the most recent, Carbondale to Simpson.
Trail project partners were the City of Carbondale, PennDOT, DCED (Department of Commerce and Economic Development) and DCNR (Department of Conservation and Natural Resources). FABCOR (Jessup) and Rutledge Excavating Inc (Tyler Hill) completed the trail with and QPI (Carbondale) constructed the wall near the junkyard. The Riverwalk section will connect to the D&H Rail Trail later this summer to form a 20-mile stretch of fully developed trail.
Contact me via the form below if you have questions or comments.
Traveling is one of the luxuries everyone wants to enjoy, but not everyone can afford the expense needed for it. You don’t need to be rich to afford your dream travel destination. All you need to do to achieve this is to know how to save money and commit to your goals.
If you wish to travel to a destination you may think is too expensive, here are some tips on how to save for that trip.
HAVE A GOAL
Nothing seems more exciting than impulse traveling, where you take the next available flight to
your dream destination. While this may be thrilling, it’s not a smart move to make. Traveling requires careful planning and goal setting, especially if money is a little bit tight.
It may be an exciting thought to travel everywhere, but it’s more practical to set one travel goal at a time. Be specific about where you want to go. If you plan to go on multiple destination trips, make sure to carefully plan out how you can afford it without going into debt.
Plan out your travel and itinerary, calculate your budget and finances, then stick to your goals.
LEARN HOW TO BUDGET
The most important thing to do when planning a huge trip is your budget. Track your cash flow as it is essential to know where and how much of your money gets spent. This way, you know which expenses are unnecessary, you can determine where to cut back on your purchases, and you find out how much you can save.
Budget your everyday expenses with your travel goal in mind. That makes this first step easier.
COMMIT TO YOUR GOAL
Now that you have set your goal and determined your daily budget, it’s time to commit to your travel goal. Saving money can be hard and challenging. With the right mindset and constant revalidation of why you’re doing it helps.
As you establish your budget, you can now assess your expenses. Start small and avoid spending on your whims. Do this and you can save more than what you initially planned.
This process may be hard to do, so this is where goal-setting helps. Hang a map on your wall or put up pictures of your travel destinations to remind you of your goal. It may be a long way to go, but remember it’s worth it in the end.
The most challenging part of saving is differentiating needs from wants. A lot of items for sale are masked as needs when in fact, they are unnecessary expenditures. Examples of these are shopping for clothes, eating out, buying a cup of cappuccino in your favorite coffee shop, or purchasing unnecessary subscriptions.
If you examine these things, it may look as if you need to spend money on this stuff. Not so. In fact, you can actually find a cheaper or free alternative.
MAKE YOUR OWN COFFEE
Have the urge to buy that tall size Frappuccino? You may reason out that it doesn’t cost more than five dollars. But if you really think about it, it’s about $1,000 you can save a year if you just make your own espresso or coffee at home for $0.17!
If you’re in need of that coffeehouse drink so badly, start small. Cut back by buying that tall drip coffee for two dollars once a week. Then drink homemade coffee the majority of the time.
COOK YOUR OWN FOOD
Instead of opting to eat out every day, it’s a smarter choice to cook your own food. Cooking for yourself doesn’t have to be too time-consuming, especially with all the apps and recipes out there. Plus, think about the money you can save by planning out your meals weekly.
Instead, find unprocessed, healthy foods to make yourself. This might only cost you $40 to $50 a week.
This process will not only help you with your travel savings but could also result in a healthier and more active lifestyle.
CANCEL THE GYM MEMBERSHIP
While a healthy and active lifestyle should be a top priority, it doesn’t hurt to ask yourself if that a gym membership is a necessary expense.
When reviewing which subscriptions and memberships to cut back on, ask yourself these questions. “Do I maximize the use of this membership?” “Do I go to my gym often?” “Do I really need to use the gym?”
If you do realize you need the benefits a gym membership offers, you can cut back on this monthly expense by looking for a gym that offers almost the same benefits but with cheaper price.
However, if you find yourself wasting away funds that can potentially be used for your travels, it’s time to find an alternative.
Outdoor exercising, running in the park, or working out around your home are great and free alternatives you can do for cardio. You can also set up a gym in your own home and exercise with the help of workout videos for free online. By doing this, you’ll see your physique healthier and your savings account fatter.
This not only works for gym memberships but for your other subscriptions, as well. Look at your magazines, newspaper, book club, etc. subscriptions. With everything at our fingertips, it’s high time to stop spending on things you can initially find online for free.
KILL YOUR CABLE TV
As mentioned above, a lot of things are available online for less or for free. That being said, you can save more when you cut your cable subscription. Entertainment doesn’t have to cost around $1,800 a year. That could be what you spend on cable TV!
Instead of spending money on just watching TV, find a healthier and more productive entertainment alternative.
Spend your time on reading secondhand books for as low as five dollars, visit events with free admission, go to a park and witness live music, or take on a free hobby. You can also invite friends over or hang out at their place to watch some old movies. Entertainment doesn’t have to be limited inside your home.
And, if you crave a movie night or would love to binge watch a movie, Netflix subscription is always cheaper than cable.
This process can also cover a wider scope, such as your utility bills. When you ask yourself how you could cut back on your bills, there are somehabits you can do to lessen your electricity and water bill.
The secret to saving more is knowing how to spend your money. You want to spend less and have the same quality. Research and compare products, then apply your street-smart skills.
GENERIC BRANDS AND CASHBACK
One of the things you can do to spend less and save more is to consider buying generic brands. This doesn’t apply to everything, as it should be based on your judgment. But, if there’s no need for you to buy the brand name,you’ll save a lot more when you opt for the alternative.
Another thing to consider when spending is to use coupons andEbates. These can help you in saving even just a small amount. Discount coupons and cash backs are very helpful, especially for cutting down your grocery expenses.
BE SMART ABOUT YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS
It’s always smart to review your home and car insurance and find the best and cheapest options for you.
The car insurance industry is quite competitive, and your rates may be slowly increasing without you noticing it. Experts advice is you should shop for car insurance every year. Search and compare prices to find what’s best for your situation.
Know the rates of your current house and car insurance. Take the option to switch to a lower rate, without compromising the benefits. This will help increase your travel savings.
Another thing to consider when you want to maximize how you save is to cut back on your accommodations. This is a common storysuccessful travelers shared regarding how they saved for their traveling goals.
If you either rent or own a place, it can cost a lot of money living on your own. Take on a roommate or two, and help alleviate that problem. You can save more.
If you’re younger and your lease is about to expire, it’s also ideal to consider moving back to your parents’ home. This is especially important if there are only a few months left before you plan to leave for your trip. This way, you can lessen your bills and expenses, and save more for your travels.
These are just some of the many tips you can do each month to save money if you’re planning to travel more. Of course, there are many other easy ways to save every day.
One last thing to remember when saving for your trip: make sure to have a separate account for your travel savings to avoid getting tempted to spend it. Remember, out of sight, out of mind. With these easy tips, you’ll be able to save up for our dream destination in no time!
Allen Michael is the founder and editor of The Stick Vacuums (https://thestickvacuums.com/), a website focused on helping others keep a clean home as efficiently as possible. Allen stumbled onto stick vacuums while trying to help his family keep their home clean with less work, and has since become an expert on saving money and time in your home.
OAHU – The Island of Oahu, known as the Heart of Hawaii, sets the rhythm of the islands with exciting, new improvements, changes and additions on an ongoing basis. Below is a glimpse of new and dynamic updates with Oahu’s hotels & resorts, activities & entertainment, restaurants and cuisine, shopping, and festivals and events.
Hotels & Resorts
The Island of Oahu caters to travelers of all ages and budgets. A variety of hotels and resorts offer a multitude of packages to make any trip unforgettable.
Find the perfect deal and escape to Oahu.
The former Pacific Beach Hotel recently debuted as the all-new Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach following an extensive $115 million transformation. As Oahu’s sophisticated, new resort in the heart of Waikiki, Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach will offer a stylish new way to stay and play in Waikiki, which is transforming with new cultural, culinary and shopping offerings. The resort will feature star-studded collaborations with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, acclaimed New York architecture and design firm Rockwell Group, which designed the resort’s lobby, restaurant, pool deck, guestrooms and suites; and architectural firms WATG and Pacific Asia Design Group. The 839-room modern resort will feature five new culinary concepts and a destination pool deck, along with authentic design touches inspired by Oahu’s lush landscape and rich cultural heritage. AlohilaniResort.com
As one of Hawaii’s largest hotel management companies, Aqua-Aston Hospitality is proud to offer guests some of the best value in the islands. For new bookings arriving Jan. 1, 2018, Aqua-Aston is pleased to announce the expansion of its guest amenity program. Varied by hotel, the new amenity program will include valuable additions, such as exclusive discounts for Aqua-Aston guests at select Oahu eateries and attractions; discounted or free entry for Aqua-Aston guests to Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, and Waikiki Aquarium; improvements to our popular Waikiki-to-Ala Moana shuttle service; a curated roster of live, onsite entertainment; and newly-added Hawaiian cultural programs. Aqua-Aston.com
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is re-defining the luxury spa experience with the debut of Naupaka Spa & Wellness Centre. The island’s newest spa haven combines innovative health and wellness practices with traditional Hawaiian healing. On five floors, Naupaka features fourteen indoor treatment rooms, indoor hot and cold plunge pools, steam room, sauna, needle shower, two Himalayan salt chambers, relaxation areas and change rooms, and the resort’s fifth pool – a private sanctuary featuring an outdoor lap pool and whirlpool surrounded by foliage and swaying palms, overlooking the hotel’s porte cochère. A barbershop (serving local craft beer) and a feng shui-inspired Billy Yamaguchi Salon complement spa offerings. Outdoor treatments are offered in tranquil muliwai massage hales overlooking the Pacific and the resort’s lush gardens. FourSeasons.com/Oahu
Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach continues Hilton’s “Another Day in Paradise” into 2018. Guests can book five nights and get the fifth night free, opening the way for visitors to experience the stylish and modern amenities of the largest Hilton Garden Inn in the world. HGIWaikikiBeach.com
The new Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach now features a full garden of kalo (taro) plants that line the full length of the pool deck. Once a month, a Hawaiian cultural advisor will give a hands-on lesson on how to harvest kalo while sharing the history and importance of this staple to the Native Hawaiian culture. After harvesting their own kalo, participants will prepare their own lau lau (steamed pork and/or fish wrapped in taro or luau leaves) for cooking and tasting. The kalo is a “living exhibit” at Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach allowing guests to nurture this plant through its normal life cycle. HyattCentricWaikikiBeach.com
In addition to the recent Hawaiian Music & Dance Hall of Fame Historical Exhibit, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach will launch a special walking tour centered around the cultural history of the area. This tour, “E hoala e” (Revive, Renew, Restore), will be held once a week to provide guests an in-depth look at the history and culture of the island, culminating in a visit to the onsite Historical Exhibit. In the warm spirit of Hawaiian hospitality, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach will be offering a special group offer for select dates in 2018. Groups can have easy access to entertainment, shopping, dining, spa, and cultural immersion, with rooms starting at just $215 per night. The reservation must include a minimum of 10 paid rooms to take advantage of this limited time offer. Waikiki.Regency.Hyatt.com
For families visiting Oahu, the Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head provides an assortment of goodies for children of all age groups. Infants receive a new Infant Amenity Package complete with infant-safe sunscreen, fragrance-free, all-natural baby bath products, and a squeezable baby whale. Children ages 12 and under receive a complimentary box of crayons and cultural activity book of fun and educational activities celebrating all things Hawaii. Once the book is completed, children can exchange it for a souvenir gift. The property also offers complimentary souvenir boxes decorated with the child’s choice of anthurium flowers or Hawaiian fish. Onsite or at the beach, kids can choose from a selection of grab-and-go inflatable fish toys, beach balls and slippers for water play, and complimentary beach bags with a pair of children’s sunglasses. LotusHonoluluHotel.com
Waikiki Parc is offering an extensive Valentine’s Day package entitled LOVE at the Parc. The limited-time offer includes one two-hour surf lesson for two, a romantic chef’s special dinner for two at Leahi Concept Kitchen, a romantic Dive-In movie, complimentary parking and access to the Valentine’s Day Weekly Mingle, a special holiday-themed gathering with mini red velvet cupcakes, cheese and fruit platters, champagne with strawberries, and the hotel’s private-label Parc Chic wines. WaikikiParc.com
Activities & Entertainment
The Island of Oahu is brimming with fun-filled activities for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can explore Hawaii’s special culture and iconic history, or choose from a wide variety of outdoor and indoor activities to energize the spirit.
In partnership with Honolulu’s newest transportation system Biki by Bikeshare Hawaii, Aqua-Aston Hospitality now offers the “Discover Oahu” package to guests who book direct. The package is inclusive of two Biki Free Spirit bike rentals (featuring multiple trips up to 300 min.). With 100 convenient Biki bike stops from Downtown to Diamond Head, guests staying at an Aqua-Aston-managed property will be able to use Biki to discover Oahu’s varied eateries, shops and activities at their own pace and in a sustainable way. Aqua-Aston.com
Guests can marvel at Hawaii’s amazing humpback whales aboard Atlantis Cruises’ Majestic. With its sleek, modern design, the Majestic hosts three different levels for guests’ viewing pleasure. Its top level, open air deck offers 360-degree views, ideal for spotting exciting whale activity and other marine life. AtlantisAdventures.com
The “Holo Moana: Generations of Voyaging” exhibition at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum celebrates the resurgence of the centuries-old, ancestral practice of long-distance ocean voyaging. Closely following the Hawaiian sailing canoe, Hokulea, and its return to Hawaiian waters, the exhibit is based on a collaboration between Bishop Museum and the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and is on display in the J. M. Long Gallery through June 24, 2018. Cultural objects from Hokulea’s voyages are on display along with a variety of interactive stations. Visitors can step into a wind-based immersive experience that uses digital sensors and electronics to bring to life the winds used by voyagers and told of in Hawaiian cultural stories. Visitors can also enter a full-dome projection theater with audio narrated by PVS president Nainoa Thompson, master of the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigation. BishopMuseum.org
Live entertainment is featured on Saturdays at Haleiwa Store Lots in the Kamehamalu Courtyard from 2-4 p.m. Visitors can enjoy performances from local artists at the plantation-style gathering place in the heart of Haleiwa town. HaleiwaStoreLots.com
Hawaiian Ocean Adventures (HOA) will begin operating a second location on the windward side of Oahu beginning January 2018. Activities will include adventures onboard a Hawaiian sailing canoe, kayak and SUP adventures. HOA is a locally-owned and operated family eco-tour business offering true authentic ocean activities out of Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa. HawaiianOceanAdventures.com
Pacific Historic Parks is happy to announce several new tours in 2018 including a 2018 USS Arizona Memorial Tours, Pearl Harbor Visitor Center Tours, Pearl Harbor Virtual Reality Tours, Diamond Head State Monument tours, as well as a tour of the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park that includes lunch. Group, military and travel agent discounts are available. In addition, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor has added a new F-16A Fighting Falcon to its extensive collection of modern jet fighters. A new “B-17E Swamp Ghost Tour” has been added and can be booked at the front desk upon arrival. PacificHistoricParks.org or PacificAviationMuseum.org or Bowfin.org
Paradise Helicopters, a leading Hawaii helicopter tour company, is launching an adventure-packed tour of Oahu’s most historic WWII sites and iconic movie settings. In the Kualoa Expedition Tour, guests depart from Kalaeloa Airport near the Ko Olina resort area. After flying over some of Oahu’s most iconic locations, guests touch down at Kualoa Ranch where they have the option of three ground adventures: A horseback tour, ATV tour, or Kaaawa Valley zipline tour. The Kualoa Expedition Tour starts at $719 per person for an experience of up to 6.5 hours, including luxury ground transportation back to Kalaeloa Airport. The zipline experience is an additional $30 per person. ParadiseCopters.com
Roberts Hawai‘i and Hawaiian Crown have joined forces to offer a convenient new pineapple delivery service – available exclusively for domestic travelers using Roberts Hawaii’s Airport Shuttle Service on Oahu. Guests can now preorder boxes of locally grown Hawaiian Crown and Sweet Gold pineapple – picked to order, pre-inspected, packed, sealed and delivered to the airport in time for departing domestic travelers to pick up and take home. AirportShuttleHawaii.com/SweetGold
Several new events are included in the line-up at Our Kakaako for 2018. Scheduled the third Friday and Saturday of the month, Paakai Marketplace showcases unique local products and Hawaiian culture at SALT at Our Kakaako. The monthly event, held in in collaboration with PAI Foundation features live music and is a free, family and pet-friendly event starting at 5 p.m. In addition, the popular SALT Bar Crawl occurs on the third Saturday of every month starting at 5 p.m. Village Bottle Shop and Tasting Room, Moku Kitchen, and Bevy Bar at SALT at Our Kakaako feature different breweries each month. SaltAtKakaako.com
The Star of Honolulu is splashing into humpback whale season with daily whale watching cruises. From Dec. 23, 2017-April 5, 2018, kids ages three-11 can cruise aboard the Premier Whale Watch cruise for free with each paying adult. StarofHonolulu.com
Twogood Kayak’s Hawaii has announced the launch of a new kayak tour created specifically for those who enjoy being outdoors in Oahu’s exotic and tropical ocean environment. For this excursion, guests will have the option to choose the tour area from a list of options that offer the best of kayaking on Oahu. TwoGoodKayaks.com
Restaurants, Cuisine & Chefs
Oahu is known for its diverse culture, which is exhibited by the assortment of cuisine found throughout the island. With wonderful choices and an array of culinary options, there’s a restaurant fit for everyone.
Baku, Waikiki’s modern robatayaki restaurant, has introduced weekday lunch pairing specials. Each special features one of Baku’s robata-inspired or signature lunch dishes paired with a signature cocktail, craft draught beer, sake tasting flight, artisanal shochu, or wine from the restaurant’s extensive list of imported beverages, all for less than $20. Options include the robata-grilled Baku Burger, a sushi combination lunch, robata skewer platter, and more. baku-waikiki.com
After 29 years of featuring set menus, Chef Mavro has divided the restaurant into two venues and now offers a small plates menu in the main dining room and his famous Grand Tasting Menu in the upper tier. The iconic restaurant will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2018. ChefMavro.com
Located in Aqua Ohia Waikiki’s newly refreshed lobby is the local’s favorite tiki bar and lounge, Da Big Kahuna Waikiki – an ideal venue to grab a bite in-between daytime excursions or to sip a drink before heading out for evening adventures. In a casual restaurant setting, sample a tasty menu of contemporary Hawaiian and American plates. Da Big Kahuna’s menu includes juicy burgers, pub-style appetizers, and salads. Known for its iconic Fish Bowl Cocktails, Da Big Kahuna features a full bar and now offers food and beverage room service up to Aqua Ohia Waikiki’s 12th floor where guests can imbibe on their lanai (balcony) gazing out to the energizing city below. Da Big Kahuna Waikiki is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. OhiaHotel.com
Known throughout Oahu for his Poke Stop restaurants, Maui-born Chef Elmer Guzman brings his specialty to the Luana Waikiki Hotel & Suites with his latest concept, Fish Hook Café. Serving breakfast and lunch, Fish Hook Café offers an assortment of locally and sustainably-sourced grab-and-go items including salads, sandwiches, pastries, and gourmet coffee, as well as Chef Guzman’s delicacy: poke bowls, built-to-order. With the opening of Fish Hook Café guests have an additional dining option called Fish Bowl, the property’s breakfast buffet, where Chef Guzman also selects the rotating Hawaiian-style staples such as meats, cereals, pastries, and Oahu-grown fruits. Fish Hook Café is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. while Fish Bowl’s buffet is served daily from 7 to 11 a.m. FishHook.Cafe
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is thrilled to announce a new partnership with award-winning chef and restauranteur Michael Mina. Fish House, the resort’s signature line-to-table restaurant will become Mina’s Fish House. Some architectural and décor changes are planned for Four Seasons’ iconic beachside dining experience, including an outdoor bread oven and private dining room. Guests can expect an exciting new menu featuring locally-caught fish and locally-sourced produce for a unique dining experience. FourSeasons.com/Oahu
The world’s largest open-air shopping center recently unveiled a new foodie destination. Lanai @ Ala Moana Center now features local favorites and eateries new to Hawaii, including Ahi & Vegetable, BRUG, Mahaloha Burger and Sobaya. The remaining eateries, including Agave & Vine, Da Spot, HiTEA Café, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches, Musubi Cafe Iyasume, Teppanyaki Farmer and Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha are opening soon. Lanai @ Ala Moana Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. The contemporary food hall offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and grab-and-go options, and features indoor and outdoor seating for up to 450 customers. AlaMoanaCenter.com
Locals and visitors will now be able to catch some poolside rays with a mimosa in-hand at Mahina Brunch, the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club’s new musically-inclined Sunday dining experience. Centered around celebrated chef Ed Kenney’s elevated home-cooking style using locally sourced foods, Mahina & Sun’s executive chef Erik Leong incorporates seasonal ingredients into the new Mahina Brunch menu available poolside or inside the restaurant, every Sunday from 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Diners can also groove to rotating sets curated by Aloha Got Soul. MahinaandSuns.com
Oahu is home to hundreds of high-end designer stores, as well as local boutiques carrying locally-made products.
Ala Moana Center recently unveiled Hula With Aloha, an authentic Hawaiian cultural experience where kamaaina (locals) and visitors can network, practice and learn the art of hula from award winning kumu hula (hula teachers). Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Hula With Aloha is located on Level 3, Ewa Wing in the Bloomingdale’s Court and features beginning, intermediate and advanced hula classes, lei making and more. AlaMoanaCenter.com
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort recently expanded its retail offerings within the 22-acre resort. Among the most notable openings is the return of DFS to Hilton Hawaiian Village. The luxury retailer, known for its duty free airport shops and destination luxury galleries, will open an approximately 2,000-square-foot space at the resort in December 2017. Among the expanded options is the resort’s logo shop, Anuenue, which sells curated items of the cherished Rainbow Mural, Hilton Hawaiian Village logo memorabilia, and the resort’s own exclusive coconut papaya skin and hair care line. HiltonHawaiianVillage.com
Located in the heart of Waikiki, International Market Place is Oahu’s premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination. Guests can ring in Chinese New Year with festivities throughout February, enjoy “O Na Lani Sunset Stories,” the center’s free daily hula and storytelling performance, and snap a selfie with legendary Hawaii musician Don Ho’s one-of-a-kind bronze statue in the Banyan Court. Visitors can then finish the day at one of eight chef-driven restaurants on the Grand Lanai. ShopInternationalMarketPlace.com
Festivals & Events
Oahu is home to the largest number of festivals and events throughout Hawaii. Visitors can connect with the local community and experience renowned events showcasing the island’s rich arts and culture, the world’s top amateur and professional sporting competitions, and the many ethnic celebrations exclusive to Oahu.
Jan. 8 – 14, 2018, the Sony Open in Hawaii kicks off the PGA Tour by bringing 144 of the world’s best professional golfers to Oahu’s exclusive Waialae Country Club. Past participants include notable golfers including 2017 winner, Justin Thomas. Thomas also became the first to open the year with back-to-back wins in Hawaii since Ernie Els in 2003. The seven-day event is one of the largest charity events in the state of Hawaii. SonyOpenInHawaii.com
The Volcom Pipe Pro, a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000-rated event, returns Jan. 29 – Feb. 7, 2018 to cap Hawaii’s winter season of surf at one of the most iconic waves in the world, the Banzai Pipeline. The Volcom Pipe Pro’s track record of epic, barreling surf draws major talent year after year, making it a true mix of aspiring professionals and the sport’s greatest names, including 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater and Hawaii’s own John John Florence. The event is free and open to the public and also produces a world-class broadcast that is available to stream via WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL app. WorldSurfLeague.com
The 10th Annual Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii will be stringing together a day of exciting events in celebration of Hawaii’s most beloved instrument. The festivities are being held at the Kakaako Gateway Park on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 with performances by famous musicians from Hawaii and Japan, vendor booths, or you might take the opportunity to study professional Ukulele players’ techniques! All events and entertainment are free and open to the public. UkulelePicnicInHawaii.org/en/
Feb. 10 – 17, 2018, local and global artists will showcase their work in Honolulu during a widespread beautification and education of street art during POW! WOW! Hawaii. The event will include gallery shows, live panel discussions, mural projects, concerts, live art installations and more. PowWowHawaii.com
Taking place on Feb. 19, 2018, the Great Aloha Run is an 8.15-mile foot race that starts at Aloha Tower in Honolulu and ends at Aloha Stadium in Halawa. A three-day sports, health and fitness expo occurs during the weekend of the race and includes an array of exhibition booths offering unique products and services, entertainment, workshops and more. GreatAlohaRun.com
Wanderlust, the producers of the largest yoga lifestyle events in the world, is returning to Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s fabled North Shore in 2018 for Wanderlust Oahu that will unfold over Mar. 1 – 4, 2018. This beach yoga and wellness retreat at Turtle Bay Resort will kick off Wanderlust’s 2018 festival season and offer awe-inspiring experiences and settings for yoga enthusiasts, music lovers, foodies, surfers and seekers. TurtleBayResort.com
The 24th Annual Honolulu Festival is one of Hawaii’s premier cultural events, promoting understanding, economic cooperation and ethnic harmony between the people of Hawaii and the Pacific Rim region. Taking place Mar. 9 – 11, 2018 the festival draws thousands of new and returning spectators. Through educational programs and activities, the festival continues to successfully share the rich and vibrant blend of Asia, Pacific and Hawaiian cultures with the rest of the world. HonoluluFestival.com
The Prince Kuhio Festival is a series of events, ceremonies and activities organized by The Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs to celebrate the birthday of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole who founded the first Hawaiian Civic Club on Dec. 7, 1918. These celebrations began in the early 1970s and have grown to include month-long activities including a commemorative parade, choral concert, “Hoolaulea” or “Hoikeike” (celebration), and more. This year’s festival will take place on Mar. 25, 2018.
What draws someone to a particular location varies from person to person but The Eagles Mere Inn, a Sullivan County landmark, is a favorite among folks who yearn for a peaceful country setting.
After several visits to Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania over the course of 20 years, I can’t understand how anyone could forget the timeless beauty of “the town that time forgot.” In 2017, I had an opportunity to experience Eagles Mere as a guest at The Eagles Mere Inn.
“..Let’s Not Forget…The Town That Time Forgot..”
The inn is far enough from the busy Route 42, the main road through the borough, yet only a short walk to the center of town and Eagles Mere Lake – two prominent hubs for year-round activities.
Eagles Mere is a family-centered hamlet that was founded in the early 1800s as a glass factory. By the late 19th century, the town had evolved as a mountain resort community renowned for its grand turn-of-the-century Victorian summer homes or “cottages.” The population grows from 120 full-time residents during the off-season but as summer arrives that number can grow to more than 3,000.
Eagles Mere Inn
The Eagles Mere Inn was built in 1887 and each guest room highlights historic places, events, and people prominent in the borough’s history.
The Lewis Glass Suite is named after the George Lewis Glassworks Era from 1804 to 1830. Located on the second floor of the inn, this two-room suite features a painted iron and brass queen bed, five delightfully large windows, sitting room with a sliding door partition, love-seat sleeper couch, 24″ smart television, comfortable chairs, and a private bath with a shower. All but two rooms have a television but you can certainly bring a book to read, a journal, and/or a drawing pad and pencils as a much-needed break from electronics. Eagles Mere is a haven for environmental preservationists and birdwatchers so be sure to tuck a pair of binoculars in your suitcase. All four seasons afford opportunities to catch a close-up glimpse of the wildlife that roams on hundreds of acres of nearby land.
Eyelet, handmade quilts, and soft cotton linens are all part of the appeal. Each guest room has a signature style that’s in keeping with the era and name given to each accommodation.
By day, the light floods in and in the evening, the sitting area is a comfortable retreat after an activity driven day.
The Whirlpool Room, standard king and queen rooms, junior suites, deluxe suites, select king rooms and standard full rooms are your lodging options. Accommodations range from $129 to $199 and a hearty country breakfast is included in the room rate.
Romantics can explore Eagles Mere for the entire month of February thanks to a special Valentine’s Day offer. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a “romantic weekend package” when you book a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday stay. That package includes the room, breakfast, 3-course dinner, wine, roses, and chocolate.
Call the Inn (570)-525-3273 to book your stay.
Taste testing is a fantastic opportunity to sample and share a variety of menu items. Sometimes, choosing one entree is daunting if you can’t decide what suits your taste buds.
A.C.Little’s Drinkery, located on the inn’s lower level is pub-style and casual and an ideal setting to relax or catch your favorite sporting event on television. Dinner is available from the inn’s small plate menu and you can find your perfect brew from among the selections from local wineries and micro-breweries. A current menu is available at this link. The same menu is also available for diners who choose to have dinner in the dining room located next to the lobby.
Book Your Event
Couples planning to marry or individuals looking for an intimate, picturesque venue can also reserve the beautifully manicured grounds for parties and events of all kinds. Eagles Mere offers many scenic vistas and locations for photo ops.
What do snow and ice bring to Eagles Mere?
The famous toboggan slide has entertained residents and visitors since 1904. Created by the volunteer fire company, the slide is especially fun for thrill seekers. Sledders have been known to race down the hill at speeds up to 45 mph, according to townspeople, also known as “cottagers” who own second homes. Eagles Mere provides the setting for anyone with an affinity for winter. Details can be found here.
Eagles Mere Lake covers 114 acres and is surrounded by hundreds of acres of forest. Inn guests receive complimentary lake passes that can be used to swim at the beach or paddle their way around the lake in the innkeeper’s two kayaks.
Golfers can get in a round of golf during their stay at The Eagles Mere Inn. Reservations and an overnight stay are all you’ll need to enjoy the inn’s membership benefits at the Eagles Mere Country Club. Learn more about the club’s rich history that dates back to 1911.
Eagles Mere is a treat to visit. We all need a healthy dose of yesteryear and history to fully appreciate life today. Specialty shops, a noteworthy bookstore, the old-fashioned sweet shop, museums, an enchanting selection of country inns, cottages, and rentals; and a private golf club are a few of the reasons why Eagles Mere continues to draw thousands during peak tourist season.
When you want to venture out of town, on the outskirts, you’ll find spectacular waterfalls and plenty of nature on hiking trails.
During the winter months, one might see Eagles Mere as a ghost town but rest assured, that’s merely an assumption and not entirely true. Don’t let that stop you from planning a romantic fall, winter, or early spring getaway.
Follow this link for more information about Eagles Mere.
The Eagles Mere Inn is located at 29 Mary Ave., Eagles Mere, PA. You can reach out to the innkeepers at 570-525-3273 or visit eaglesmereinn.com/inn.
One of the best ways to show your appreciation for the rivers and trails you enjoy year-round is to join more than 200,000 volunteers around the country on Sat., Sept. 30, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., as they celebrate National Public Lands Day.
What is National Public Lands Day?
National Public Lands Day is an event organized by the National Environmental Education Foundation to promote enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands in the United States. The signature event is held on a Saturday in late September.
How can you help?
You can get involved and pitch in locally in Northeastern Pennsylvania at the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. Volunteers are needed to help park rangers with three projects.
Clean up trash from the river while paddling from Narrowsburg, NY to the Ten Mile River Access, NY.
Maintain the Tusten Mountain Trail near the Ten Mile River Access by helping to widen the trail and vista, install trail markers, and remove hazards from the hiking path.
Clear mile-a-minute and other invasive plant species from around the Zane Grey Museum and Lackawaxen Access.
National Public Lands Day will kick off at 9 a.m. at the Ten Mile River Access located on Crawford Road, Narrowsburg, NY. Following the kick-off reception, volunteers will be assigned to groups and move to their designated location to begin the projects.
The maintenance sessions will wrap up on a rolling basis as projects conclude.
To register, call 570-729-7134 ext. 220 or email email@example.com. Additional information can be also be found online at nps.gov/upde.
Book review and information for the itinerant traveler to make life more enjoyable while you’re on the road.
What do kids fall back on when they’re bored? Of course, most children FIDGET.
Travel by car, plane or train can drain a kid’s patience. When my son, Yoshi, bought his first Fidget Spinner, I thought the constant buzzing sound coming from my car’s back seat was REALLY annoying. But the idea behind this toy makes sense for children who are by nature, busy, young human beings inclined to keep their hands and minds busy at all times.
“Fun With Fidget Spinners: 50 Super Cool Tricks & Activities,” by David King of “Geek Bite” – with Colleen Dorsey & Katie Weeber, is the bible, or guidebook to the ABCs of fidget spinning tricks. If you’ve never seen a Fidget Spinner, it’s a multi-lobed flat toy that spins on its axis, resulting in a gentle hum or buzzing noise. They were invented as far back as 1993 but became popular in spring 2017.
With some practice, kids can show off their skills with “The Hot Potato,” “The Tower of Power,” “Dinner is Served,” and 14 other impressive tricks. “Stop Fidgeting’ and Other Bad Advice,” and “The Origin Story” are two bonus items kids will also find entertaining. Tricks and activities are categorized for the beginner, intermediate and advanced fidgeters.
Fun With Fidget Spinners is published by Design Originals, an imprint of Fox Chapel Publishing. For more details, or to buy a copy, visit d-originals.com.
Are you overwhelmed by the thought of traveling by plane with your children?
More than likely, there’ll come a time when you’ll contemplate a trip abroad or a visit with family. If traveling by plane with your kids evokes fear and anxiety and doubts about whether you have the parenting skills to pull off family travel, you’ll want to read “Super Flyers: A Parent Guidebook for Airplane Travel With Children” byDr. Lori Baudino, PsyD, BC-DMT, a licensed clinical psychologist and board-certified dance/movement therapist.
If you’re like Dr. Baudino and you love to travel, why shy away from what could be a memorable journey with your children and a valuable learning experience for children and adults?
Super Flyers is a parent’s manual that’s jam-packed with strategies you can utilize when you need support to handle those trying and awkward moments.
Dr. Baudino shares her tips to handle those fleeting moments of upset and chaos that can occur during travel when children are overtired, overstimulated or restless. She outlines skills parents can employ that will set the stage for a more joyous time.
“If you are a parent then you will eventually come across traveling with your children,” says Dr. Baudino.
Whether your child is an infant, toddler, pre-teen, or teenager, or you’ll have more than one of your brood traveling with you, Dr. Baudino’s suggestions will get you on your way. In 127 pages, she offers tips and delightful progress updates from her children, Aiden and Lyla.
Why should you buy a copy of her book?
Dr. Baudino explains, “With all that we know about parenting and helping our children succeed – I can empower parents to use these skills and take children to new heights exploring cultures, change and travel in the sky.The analogies of flying and parenting are vast- it’s a journey so we might as well share and model enjoyment for and with our children.”
You can learn more about Dr. Baudino and Super Flyers at drloribaudino.com.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.
Personal safety experts share tips that can help protect stressed out travelers
A Traveling Families’ Safety Checklist can help to prepare you and your children for a season of family fun. If you have family travel plans this summer, more than likely you’ve thought about ways to lessen the stress and safety concerns associated with summer vacations.
Krav Maga Worldwide offers a Traveling Families’ Safety Checklist to ease your concerns as you venture out this summer. Founded in 1997, the company promotes more than 150 authorized Krav Maga locations known throughout the United States and around the world. Krav Maga develops, promotes and implements self-defense and fitness programs. You can find more information at kravmaga.com.
Tips you should know before you travel
1. Traveling can frazzle your brain
Between trying to remember if you locked up the house or packed enough clothes for the kids, thinking about personal safety in airport parking lots is the last thing on most parents’ minds. However, poorly lit parking garages, arms full of luggage, confusing parking signs, forgetting where you parked and children trailing behind can make families easy targets for predators. To help families stay safe while traveling, Krav Maga Worldwide, the industry leader in self-defense and fitness, has put together a list of personal safety tips to keep in mind when at the airport, train station or in an unfamiliar city.
2. Prepare Your Kids For Travel
It is very important to prepare your children for travel. The conversation should begin prior to the trip and be reiterated in the car on the way to airport or train station. In some instances, if the importance of staying together and being prepared is not taught children can wander around potentially hurting themselves or getting lost. Airports and train stations are very large and can potentially contain different dangers.
3. Park in well-lit areas
If you are renting a car while traveling, when you park avoid spots next to vans, trucks with camper shells, or cars with tinted windows. You want to keep your car and family as visible to as many people as possible and as such you should also avoid parking next to tall shrubs or plants that could block views of your vehicle.
4. Stay Organized
If you are traveling with a family the best thing you can do is to stay organized. Know where objects are in your bags so you are not presenting all of your items to potential dangers. Make sure your kids know where their items are as well. If you and your family have to stop and look through a huge bag of luggage, pulling item after item out is not ideal instead know where your items are, grab what you need and go.
5. Always keep one arm and hand free of luggage and other gear
Many people travel with multiple bags, purses, laptop cases and other paraphernalia. But, if your arms and hands are tied up with bags you have no means of defending yourself from an attacker. Luggage that can stack together securely and be pulled by one handle is a safer choice than wearing and carrying numerous bags on your person. This goes to say that your kids should also be hands-free and in close proximity to you.
6. Stay Together
Even though it can be frustrating to travel in a large group, stay together. Airports and train stations are incredibly busy and it is very easy to get lost. Make sure you always have a head count on all members and inform your kids that this is extremely important.
Get your gear ready for the first day of trout season. Check out some of Orvis’ deals.
One of the reasons I chose to apply for The Orvis Company affiliate program is the company’s commitment to protect and preserve our natural resources.
You’ll learn more about my recent media trip to Orvis, Manchester, VT, in upcoming posts, but for now, you should know that individuals, organizations, and companies that foster a love and respect for the environment are at the top of my list. Orvis does both.
I am certainly not a master fly angler by any means, but after spending so much time wading in streams and rivers in the Northeast, with trout and other fish species swimming beside me, I understand and fully appreciate the great strides conservationists like Orvis have made in their efforts to clean up our waterways and protect them from future contamination.
Orvis donates five percent of pre-tax profits every year to protecting nature, supporting communities, and advancing canine health and well-being to the tune of $14 million in more than 25 years.
The Orvis Company is not only America’s oldest mail-order outfitter and longest continually-operating fly-fishing business. It’s an international, multi-channel retailer with a wide assortment of products and services ranging from sportswear for men and women, fine gifts and home furnishings, luggage, travel accessories, a wide assortment of pet items, and gear and technical apparel used for wing shooting and sporting clays. Orvis was founded by Charles F. Orvis in Manchester, VT in 1856.
In order to appreciate the steps already taken, you need to venture outdoors. Each hour I spend fishing, walking with my dog, Bear; and hiking is 60 or more minutes of free-time from worry or stress. It’s a therapy session for whatever ails me.
Four years ago, I participated in my first fly fishing class, sponsored by the Lackawanna Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. As time went by, I realized I needed my own equipment to fully appreciate my new hobby.
Fly fishing is a sport that takes years to master through continuous trial and error. That means hours and hours on the water and getting comfortable with your equipment.
I purchased my first Orvis fly rod and reel combo in 2012 at an Orvis-endorsed retail store, A & G Outfitters, located along the banks of the Lackawanna River in Dickson City, PA. In fact, I visit the store often during peak trout season in Northeastern Pennsylvania. A year later, I thought my youngest son, Yoshi had an interest in fly fishing so I bought an Encounter combo for him. He wasn’t overly enthusiastic about learning to fish, but I believe it’s my duty as a parent to be sure my kids get their share of the outdoors. My husband was the next recipient of an Encounter rod and reel. And yes, occasionally, we fish together.
My Orvis rods and reels have served me well. The Clearwater is an ideal rod and reel for everyone from beginners to advanced fly anglers.
Orvis’ guarantee is incredible. You can read more about guarantees here.
Along with the thrill of catching a native brook trout on the fly or whatever your catch will be, take the time to appreciate the efforts of environmental groups that have labored to clean up and preserve our waterways.
Do you want to learn more about Orvis’ products and services, which run the gamut from fly fishing to outdoor gear? Follow this link to shop Orvis’ Clearance Room.
Waders? Are you petite or tall? Do you have a difficult time finding waders that fit? Check out Orvis’ waders. You’ll find Petite sizes, too.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase but at no additional cost to you. I have experience with all of these companies and by linking to their product or a party that sells their products, I recommend the product based on their helpful and useful nature, and definitely not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something.