Fernwood Resort: Creating Year-Round Family Experiences
Family Engagement the Focus at Fernwood
Family fun…Have you taken the time to create lasting memories with your family? You likely won’t hear any complaints of boredom from your kids or partner while you’re vacationing at Fernwood. The resort is surrounded by woods in a peaceful setting that’s ideal for hiking, foraging among the trees, or participation in a variety of activities.
Creating an experience that’s all-encompassing for families and guests of all ages is one of the challenges Gina Bertucci, Fernwood Resort co-owner, embraces.
With more than 18,000 member families, Fernwood Resort and the Villas at Tree Tops & Fairway®, 2157 River Rd, East Stroudsburg, PA, is part of RCI and is one of the largest vacation ownership properties in the Mid-Atlantic region with 650 beautifully-appointed villas.
“We have both timeshares and rentals so we’re a mixed-use property,” Bertucci explained. Lodging options range from one-to-four bedrooms with accommodations for every taste, with a home-like feeling and amenities from simple and economical to deluxe and spacious.
When you’re ready to venture out onto the property, you’ll also see why Fernwood has received “green” awards.
According to Bertucci, “As a business, when we were looking at how to develop these pieces of property, what did we do?”
The Pocono TreeVentures and zip line courses are examples of the extraordinary measures Bertucci and her partners have taken to preserve the beauty and nature on the property.
“We looked at ways to preserve this property. There’s a stream that goes through it, but really when you’re up in the trees, you really do appreciate the nature and the beauty of this region.”
Everywhere you turn at Fernwood, there’s an activity that encourages family engagement. A few of the free on-site activities are swimming and weekly pool parties, summer family movie nights, picnics and BBQ nights. At an additional cost, try horseback riding at Bushkill Stables, Pocono TreeVentures Ropes and Zipline courses, Blue and White Lightning Tubing and Paintball. Visit Fernwood Resort’s website for prices and hours of operation.
Approximately 17 years ago, Bertucci and other businesses affiliated with the Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau got together to answer the question, how can we continue to showcase the Poconos as a region to explore and enjoy, and at the same time, preserve its natural beauty?
The Fernwood partners, for example, utilized approximately 10 acres of gorgeous farmland for the TreeVentures and Zip Line courses.
“It’s beautiful and challenging and when you’re finished, you think I just did something and it’s great exercise. It’s about authenticity,” commented Bertucci. “And not everyone has had a chance to try horseback riding? For other people, it’s shopping at the Crossings (Premium Outlets), canoeing on the Delaware River, bike riding, seeing nearby Bushkill Falls or following a lovely natural walking path at the 77,000-acre at the Delaware Water Gap National Historic site.”
What’s our recommendation for off-site family engagement?
Don’t leave the Poconos without a stop at Bushkill Falls, known as “The Niagara of Pennsylvania.” With each season the landscape changes, providing a unique experience each time you visit. We suggest you reserve a half-day for your adventure.
Bushkill Falls is the “Niagara of Pennsylvania”
Why should you plan a trip to the Pocono Mountains’ region?
As the nights turn chillier and the leaves that adorn the trees of the Pocono Mountains fall to the ground and create a gentle blanket of vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange, celebrate fall by tuning into the sounds of freshly fallen leaves underfoot. Celebrate the four seasons in the Pocono Mountains.
“There’s something for everyone in the Pocono Mountains. It’s all here and that’s fortunate for us. Family time is part of the fabric of our lives. You remember those moments together.” Gina Bertucci, Fernwood Resort.
My stay at Fernwood Resort was comped but my opinions are my own.
Singer, actor, TV host, producer, songwriter, author, motivational speaker, TV pitchman, radio personality, record company head, TV station and sports team owner, family man, and humanitarian are all titles attached to the legendary and iconic Pat Boone whose career has spanned more than five decades.
Pat Boone was the first child born to Archie Boone, a building contractor, and his wife, Margaret, in Jacksonville, FL on June 1, 1934. He described his life growing up in Nashville with his parents and siblings – a brother and two sisters, as “wonderful” and “idyllic.”
Although no one in his family was a musician by trade, his mother played some ukelele and taught Pat and his brother to play some chords. Pat became known as “the Boy on Roanoke Rd” – “the kid who knows all the pop songs of the day and will come to sing for you with no strings attached.”
“We entertained our family at all our gatherings as we were headed toward our teen years. So in the midst of my athletics and school and other activities, I became an amateur singer, a little dreaming that might lead to a career.” ~Pat Boone (via an email interview)
Indeed, a professional career followed – one that has endured more than 50 years. Pat is 83-years-old with a long list of accolades and recordings to his name; a record company, “The Gold Label” that’s dedicated to legendary and accomplished artists, (who incidentally, all come with million-selling gold records to their credit); and he is regarded as the #10 all-time top recording artist, according to music industry magazine, “Billboard.” His career has spanned more than five decades. Read a full list of his accomplishments at patboone.com.
As much as music has been an integral part of his life from an early age, Pat says reading the Bible and attending church services are the backbone of his life, then and now.
I learned that the whole Bible from the first words in Genesis, “In the beginning…” to the last words from the book of Revelation in the New Testament…all the Bible was written by Jews about Jews and for Jews, and focused on Israel and God’s chosen people.
While attending a Christian high school in Nashville, he met his wife, Shirley, whom he lovingly refers to as his high school sweetheart. They were married when Pat was nineteen and by the time he had graduated from Columbia University (Magna Cum Laude), Pat quips, he had four girls, only three-and-a-half years apart.
I should have been neutered or perhaps jailed – but my wife did become a great mother as well as a wonderful wife and having those responsibilities kept my feet on the ground when my career took off like a whirlwind, luckily 11 months ahead of Elvis and “Heartbreak Hotel”.
His affinity for music continued through his teens and adulthood. In late 1959, a love affair with the Ernest Gold melody to the movie Exodus and the theme song led Pat to put his faith and songwriting skills to work when he subsequently wrote the words “This Land is Mine,” the lyrics behind the esteemed show tune. The song is referred to by many as “the second Jewish national anthem.”
How do his Christian beliefs tie in with his connection with Israel?
He explained, “We knew then, and I know now, that we Gentiles get in on this exquisite and unique relationship with God through our acceptance of Jesus the Jewish Messiah, the one who fulfilled all the prophesies of Isaiah about the One who would come to lead his people out of captivity and bless them more then all the people in the world.”
He further explained Christianity, properly understood is a direct outgrowth of historic Judaism and it’s clear that God wants every believer to understand our “Jewishness” as well as our Christianity and the word. Christ, he noted, is a Greek translation of the word “Messiah” or God’s anointed one.
“When I’ve spoken to groups of Rabbis in the past, I tell them I’m representing the 4th branch of Judaism; there is Orthodox, Reformed, Conservative and Messianic. Everything we believers in Jesus hold sacred and true is a direct outgrowth of the Bible which deals ‘explicitly with Jews and God’s promises to the people of Israel.”
According to Pat, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, a longtime friend, has said on many occasions, “Evangelical Christians are Israel’s best friends in the world – we know that.” He and the Israel Prime Minister got to know one another during an Israeli water function at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
“He (Benjamin Netanyahu) became of fan of mine when he was at M.I.T. in his college days, and loved my record of ‘Speedy Gonzales.’ We’ve been good friends ever since,” Pat remarked.
Although the prime minister was not able to attend Pat’s Tel Aviv concert three years ago for security reasons, Pat met with him privately, “just the two of us at his request, the night before in his office in Jerusalem,” he says. When Pat walked into his office they shook hands and Netanyahu said, “Hello Speedy, come on in!”
“And the beaming smile on his face made some of my Israeli friends jealous. Our friendship is real, deep, and based on our understanding of God’s expressed intentions for his chosen people…,” says Pat.
HISTORIC PILGRIMAGE TO THE HOLY LAND PLANNED
Pat has joined forces with Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, an Israeli American Rabbi, and the founder and current president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews headquartered in Chicago and Jerusalem, as they host a most memorable “Historic Pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” a 10-day journey that will depart North America on May 9, 2018. In addition to sightseeing opportunities at some of Israel’s most cherished sites, the tour coincides with the actual 70th birthday of the modern state of Israel and the dedication of the U.S. Embassy on May 14. As part of the celebration, Pat will film a TV special in the Roman amphitheater in Caesarea for national and international distribution.
He referred to the tour as “a loving seminar in the things that we hold in common, much more than things that might divide us in understandings or beliefs.” The trip is a historic pilgrimage designed for Christians and Jews, with sites selected that are of particular interest to the Fellowship of Christians and Jews and “we” the believers in Jesus as the Messiah.
“We believe that everyone who comes back from this tour, whether invited by Rabbi Eckstein or me or a couple of other co-hosts, will have a lasting and permanent sense of identification to Israel, the Jews, the one God of the Bible and the sense of destiny that unites us.”
Together, he and Rabbi Eckstein’s collaborations have helped to fulfill God’s prophecy by paving the way for tens of thousands of poor and persecuted Jews from all over the world to return to and settle permanently in the land God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Their efforts, particularly a television special Rabbi Eckstein and Pat co-hosted, prompted the Christian community to donate tens of millions of dollars to relocate and care for the displaced Jews in modern Israel.
Pat said, “I’m proud of that.”
From his days as a budding entertainer on Roanoke Rd. to his humanitarian work in Israel, Pat believes God will continue to bless his efforts if they’re good and ensure the happiest life he could possibly live.
“I’m convinced God won’t let horrible things happen to me. If all young people today could have that kind of assurance we would have a better society. And most psychiatrists would be out of work.” ~Pat Boone
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.
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.
Chakra Bowls in the entrance at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Calm your mind, awaken your soul
Spending a day at The Lodge at Woodloch is synonymous with a day in heaven.
The Lodge at Woodloch is a family-owned, one-stop spa destination located in the Lakes Region of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Individuals who want to experience a complete overhaul will find a phenomenal setting for total mind and body rejuvenation.
You’ll need to tailor your stay at this award-winning resort and allow time to savor every class, activity, and meal you choose. Depending on the length of your stay, I suggest you select one or two indoor spa services and one or two classes or activities and plan to venture outdoors. Use your time to tap into the adventure in your soul.
I arrived there eager for my massage session but immediately picked up a schedule of events and classes at the registration desk before heading to my room to change. A complete list of classes is available at the front desk and in each of the guest rooms, but if narrowing the selection is a bit daunting, a personal concierge can assist you with scheduling. You can view a current schedule of activities here.
Even if the thought of being out-of-doors in the cold Pocono Mountain air sends chills up your spine, bundle up and take a walk. The property is so picturesque throughout the year, with scenic hiking and bike trails that are a favorite among nature-lovers.
The dock at The Lodge at Woodloch is a vantage point for observing waterfowl and other wildlife. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Your comfort is a number one priority to the management and staff at The Lodge at Woodloch. Feel free to drop in at the coffee and tea kiosk for a glass of fruit infused water, high-end herbal tea with locally-produced honey or artisan coffee. Lucious treats are available throughout the day. Hydration is important after a day of activity and guests receive a complimentary refillable water bottle and shopping bag branded with The Lodge at Woodloch name and logo. Filtered water is available in each guest room, so guests can refill their water bottles as needed.
Find Time to Socialize
If you’re traveling alone, ask to dine with other solo guests. The main dining room and bar area are warm and friendly and a popular spot for great conversation.
Unleash Your Spirit
If exercise isn’t your bag, try a gentle chakra yoga session to free the creative flow you’ll need for a cooking demonstration or a watercolor painting class. Daytime and evening events are available.
Learn New Skills
Flyfishing? Betterment is often the result of branching out and learning a new hobby. Join the knowledgeable team at the lodge and allow them to introduce you to the joys of fly fishing.
Stick with the familiar or try something new when you join in on an organized fly-fishing class designed for aspiring fly anglers who yearn to be on the water. Full and half-day guided fishing trips on the Lackawaxen and Delaware Rivers can be arranged with advanced notice.
On your way through the lobby, take note of the art that hangs on the walls in the corridors. The Lodge at Woodloch has created a venue for regional artists to display their wares, which is indicative of the management’s commitment to the arts. The paintings displayed during my visit provided a visual appeal and warmth that original art evokes.
Art at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
Dining at TREE, The Lodge at Woodloch restaurant, is an experience you’ll relish. The naturally-raised meats, fish, seafood; organic, locally grown vegetables and wholesome grains are combined and presented with an artistic flair.
A few of the entrees from a sample menu are Oven Dried Tomato & Charred Broccoli Flatbread – Basil Pesto, Homemade Ricotta, Calkin’s Creamery Vampire Slayer, Balsamic Reduction (veg) Shrimp Pad Thai – Shaved Root Vegetables, Local Cabbage, Scrambled Farm Egg, Pistachio, Hoisin Sauce (gf) Eggplant Cutlet Parmesan – Smoked Mozzarella, Oven Dried Tomato & Olive Tapenade, Arugula and Roasted Pepper Aioli (veg). Samples menus are available here.
Many of the selections are plant and vegetable-based and bursting with flavor and texture that’s sure to please. Feel free to begin your lunch at the Buffet Station Salad Bar & Seasonal Condiments that’s brimming with a Chef Inspired Daily Soup and energy and protein-packed selections for vegan and vegetarians. There’s no guesswork as you’re helping yourself at the stations or ordering from the menu. Vegan and vegetarians are clearly marked.
If you need a getaway, visit The Lodge at Woodloch’s website where you’ll find a package to suit your needs. All packages include accommodations in one of 57 extravagant guest rooms, three gourmet meals per night of stay, speakers and workshops, creative arts, scheduled group fitness classes throughout the day, lectures, chef’s cooking and baking demonstrations, guided group adventure outings, a personal spa concierge, pools with hydro massage waterfalls, indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis®, steam rooms, saunas, and a 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art cardio weight studio.
Accommodations at The Lodge at Woodloch. Photo by Joan Mead-Matsui.
The Lodge at Woodloch WILL exceed your expectations. The resort has consistently received a wide array of awards over the years from the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award to the Travelers’ Choice Award by TripAdvisor.
Resorts in the Green Mountain state boast an early, strong opening
Earliest Opening in Five Years
Information Courtesy of /PRNewswire-PRWeb: MONTPELIER, Vt., Nov. 16, 2017
When Mother Nature hands out cold weather, Vermonters make snow with it, and November’s chilly temperatures coupled with the Green Mountain State’s world-class snowmaking power allowed for Vermont’s resorts to open early and open strong for the 2017-18 season.
Killington Resort stayed true to their legacy by being the first Eastern resort to open on November 8 and Mount Snow Resort took home a new accolade by opening on November 11 with the most open terrain East of the Rockies with 108 acres. Okemo Mountain Resort also began spinning their lifts on November 11. “This was our earliest opening in five years,” said Okemo Vice President and General Manager Bruce Schmidt. Come Thanksgiving weekend, skiers and snowboarders will have access to over half of Vermont’s mountains, with most major resorts opening by Friday, November 24.
Thanks to a successful 2016-17 season, skiers and snowboarders are eager to return to the slopes of Vermont’s alpine resorts this winter. “We’re seeing really strong demand from both the U.S. and Canadian markets,” said Jay Peak Resort’s Director of Communications JJ Toland. “The Toronto ski show posted a record amount of bookings and revenue, virtually selling out the 10-day Ontario break in March. The Boston Snowsports Expo experienced that type of compression with December and February timeframes selling out and on the season pass front, Jay Peak is pacing 22% ahead in unit sales against the 2016-17 season.”
Thanksgiving in Vermont will once again go down in history as the world’s fastest female ski racers prepare for their return to Killington Resort for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup. Last year, a record-breaking 30,000 fans descended upon the Killington Village as Vermonters and visitors alike cheered in unison for the event’s return to the East Coast and Vermont. “When it comes to snowmaking and grooming, we have some of the best team members and tools in the industry to prepare Killington for the winter season and World Cup on Thanksgiving weekend,” said Mike Solimano, President and General Manager of Killington Resort. The free event will take place Thanksgiving weekend, November 24-26.
As one season ends, another begins, and Vermont’s resorts spend each season bettering themselves to the next. New this season, snowmaking upgrades have been made across the state. Investments like Mount Snow Resort’s $30 million-dollar West Lake Water Project, Bolton Valley’s expanded line of guns and hoses, Burke Mountain’s installation of 13,400 feet. of new snowmaking pipe, and Stratton Mountain Resort’s switch to electric compressors, which resulted in a 40% decrease in diesel use, all continue to prove that Vermont’s resorts truly are at the forefront of sustainable and efficient resort practices.
While the snowmaking upgrades get skiers and snowboarders on the slopes faster, new RFID gates at Sugarbush Resort and Smugglers’ Notch Resort will get visitors out of the lift line and back on the hill quicker than before. Magic Mountain’s two new lifts, the 170’ Magic Carpet and the base to mid-mountain, Green Chair Lift, will open up novice and intermediate terrain to skiers and snowboarders, allowing for a better learning experience and more time spent going down the hill rather than up.
Off-slope renovations at resorts span from the family-friendly Adventure Center at Stowe Mountain Resort to the Fun Zone 2.0 at Smugglers’ Notch Resort and Jay Peak Resort’s new Clip and Reel indoor movie theater and rock wall facility. Skiers and riders can après at Suicide Six Ski Area in Perley’s Pourhouse bar with their new 6-tap system or relax on Bromley Mountain Resort’s completely refurbished sun deck, complete with cozy fire pits.
Winter has arrived in the Green Mountain State and Vermont’s resorts are ready and eager to welcome in new faces and old friends for the holidays and beyond. Stay up to date with all winter happenings by receiving Ski Vermont’s daily snow reports.
You’ll find your idea of fun at Dunes Manor Hotel & Suites, Ocean City, MD. Building on a dream vacation is exactly what the management at the Dunes Manor Hotel & Suites has done since April Fool’s Day, 1987.
Milton and Thelma Conner dreamt of owning a full-service hotel on an inherited vacant oceanfront block of land. Tenacity is what kept Mrs. Conner from selling the Dunes Manor Hotel & Suites after her husband’s death.
To carry on the tradition, the Dunes Manor creates year-round opportunities for guests to interact and mingle or find plenty of activities both on-site and in and around Ocean City.
The Dunes Manor is a landmark property along that popular stretch of Maryland beach. Before I give you a rundown of the new fall activities in the works, you should understand you won’t EVER be bored during your visit. In fact, the variety of weekly activities for guests of all ages is what has kept couples and families coming back year after year. There’s so much to see and do from the moment you arrive. The mood is family-oriented but there were also couples traveling alone and in small groups. I refer to those as a “mini-reunion” and the Dunes is an ideal location to meet and spend time with friends.
Wave Goodbye to Boredom
What’s Happening at Dunes Manor Hotel & Suites?
Guests who want to integrate fitness, frolic and fantasy into a beach getaway can participate in these fall activities free of charge. Schedules vary from season-to-season but organized events and classes are planned if you want to join the fun.
Monday Night Football – featuring door prizes, football bingo, big screen viewing of the games, and food/drink specials. (Mondays, beginning at 8 p.m.)
Girls Night Out – featuring rotating activities through the month that will be led by local artisans, including paint n’ sip, makeovers/stylings, cupcake decorating, jewelry making, and crafting. (Thursdays, 6 – 8 p.m.)
Mind & Body Class – featuring weekly rotating themes of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, barre workouts, and Bootcamp workouts. (Saturdays, 8 – 9 a.m.)
Swim-In Movie Night – featuring screenings of popular movies at the hotel’s indoor pool, complimentary candy and popcorn, and food/drink specials. (Fridays, 7 – 9 p.m.)
Beach Treasure & Scavenger Hunt – featuring puzzles, trivia, and searches for trinkets at local arcades and retailers. All participants will receive souvenirs and hotel swag. The grand prize winner will receive a free hotel stay. (Sundays, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
Beach Photo Op – featuring free 5” x 7” or telescope photos taken on the beach. (Sundays, 4 – 5 p.m.)
Whether you prefer to spend your day sprawled on a beach blanket or you’re an itinerant explorer yearning to visit each and every attraction, it’s time to book your fall ocean getaway or plan your 2018 summer family vacation.
A Lasting Impression
If you envision crowded Ocean City beaches where you’re elbow-to-elbow with fellow beach-goers, you should know the boardwalk’s shops, arcades and amusement areas absorb a significant amount of traffic. We visited during one of the busiest times of the year and found the crowd evenly dispersed along the three-mile boardwalk. My kids had ample space to create sandcastles and forts in the sand.
Keep in mind we arrived in Ocean City during a tropical storm warning. Driving rain, powerful wind gusts that were strong enough to knock me off my feet and some rather extreme waves greeted us. As with any vacation, travelers should keep in mind inclement weather is always a possibility and have a “Plan B” set in case sun-bathing and riding the waves are not options.
Fortunately, the weather continued to improve and the next morning we awakened to a clearing sky and partial sunshine.
I enjoyed my time at the hotel very much. It was wonderful to be able to see the beach from my room and wake up to the smell of sea air. I left the door open at night to let the air in. The beds were very comfortable and I slept well that night. We had our own kitchen where we were able to cook or we were near the boardwalk restaurants if we didn’t want to. We were also oceanfront, so I could walk out onto the beach whenever I wanted. ~ Kento Matsui
As I prepared breakfast in our newly-renovated one-bedroom suite, we planned our day to include a few hours on the beach followed by activities the hotel offers.
Don’t forget to take time to relax
Newly-decorated rooms are dressed in colors and patterns that are best described as inviting and calming. The pink headboards in our suite remind me of pinkish sand and seashells you’ll find on the Ocean City, MD beaches.
Signature Afternoon Tea, a Photo Op (on the beach), Morning Yoga, and the much celebrated “Pirate” Scavenger Hunt are four of the most popular planned activities at Dunes Manor.
A Tradition of Afternoon Tea
One of Mrs. Conner’s signature events that have endured for years is Afternoon Signature Tea. Her goal was to mingle with and also encourage interaction among her guests. Wherever you roam during your stay, be sure to set your alarm for 3 p.m. and make your way back to Dunes Manor for tea time.
Afternoon Photo Op?
Chances are you are the photographer in charge of capturing your family vacations. Is someone in your family left out of a prized vacation photo? What if you could preserve those precious memories with the entire family present? Dunes Manor has a professional photographer available for a family photo or couples’ photo op. Inquire about the date and time when you book your stay at the hotel.
The hotel offers a one-hour window for families to meet on the beach and the most current package includes a free 5″ x 7″ or telescope photos with the Atlantic Ocean as the backdrop.
“Be” a MORNING person at the beach
Good Morning, Beach
Dunes Manor was exciting. When I was there (in August), I wanted to go to the beach every day. The waves were big, (because of a tropical storm) so it was fun to mess around in the water. I also liked the boardwalk because of the varieties of shops and restaurants. The room was fantastic and we had a great view (of the ocean) from our balcony. I also enjoyed the Saltwater Taffy. ~ Yoshihiko Matsui
Usher in your day with “Morning Yoga”
Make Yoga a part of your day. Even if you’re not a yogi, a gentle morning stretch can work wonders for a variety of health ailments and prepare you for a day that might include walking along the boardwalk, shopping, or visiting one of the local attractions. Inquire about the yoga and fitness schedule at the registration desk when you check in.
PIRATE Scavenger Hunt
You never know where you’ll meet a “PIRATE”
Quick! Take cover when you meet a Pirate face-to-face in a Dunes Manor corridor.
The Pirate Scavenger Hunt gets underway in the foyer of the lobby at Dunes Manor. After a quick introduction, kids embark on a mission to uncover treasure hidden throughout the hotel. Parents tag along for support so it’s a safe, fun-filled event. The aim is to meet the pirate character at the last stop of the hunt and collect prizes.
Activities are free for hotel guests and local residents are also invited to participate for a nominal fee. No registration or RSVP is required. For more information, contact Tracy Rice (firstname.lastname@example.org, 410.289.1100).
Why the luggage manufacturing business will probably never fail.
Written by Renee McDermott
One item travelers cannot do without is a suitcase. From rolling duffels and hard shell suitcases to backpacks and designer bags, the vast array of styles and options they offer consumers is enough to make your head spin.
And make your wallet a bit thinner.
Is Your Wallet FAT or Thin?
Many shoppers still head to brick and mortar stores when it comes to the final luggage purchase. After all, this is where you can open, close, lift, touch, zip, snap and test every aspect of a suitcase before you buy it. However, the price tag dangling from each bag is printed with a relatively high number compared to what you would find online.
Purchase Your Luggage Online?
Did you know that 88 percent of luggage is available online and that you can save an average of $110 by opting to purchase it there?
It is certainly a wakeup call for many travelers who think that the cheapest way to purchase luggage is during a seasonal sale or from the clearance section.
Let’s face it – traveling is expensive, and luggage isn’t always at the top of the priority list.
Thanks to the help of an in-depth study done by Test Facts, shoppers will be pleased to know that Delsey, Samsonite, American Tourister, and many more brands are all available online for less.
So should you head to your favorite online shop and start adding luggage to your cart?
Yes, but be aware of a few traps along the way.
For example, products with a high volume of negative reviews usually have a higher discount. While you may be getting a great deal on a heavily discounted bag, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is worth the purchase.
Do you want the zipper to fly off the track after your first trip with it or the retractable handle to break?
You get what you pay for, so shop wisely and make sure you understand the average lifespan of a suitcase or bag before you purchase it.
While you may not be able to touch or feel a potential piece of luggage on your computer screen, you can gain useful insight into its quality and durability by referring to customers’ comments. Many include photos of their purchase or detailed explanations of the product, which will put the wary shopper at ease. Popular products will have a high quantity of reviews, so it is easy to find all of the information you need to make a confident purchase online.
Based on the study, the three luggage manufacturers that offer themost savings (in dollar amounts) are Nautica, Kenneth Cole, and Victorinox.
And which online stores offer the most savings?
Surprisingly, Walmart online store is at the top of the list, followed by Century 21 and Target. Kohl’s and Macy’s, it seems, aren’t even worth considering.
The Bottom Line
Regardless of the brand you prefer, the statistics show that online shopping is best when it comes to purchasing luggage. Travelers on a budget can always turn to brick and mortar stores when it comes to touching and testing a product, but to save some real cash, be sure to make your final purchase online.
Gluten-free diets are all the rage. The proportions of the American population who follow a gluten-free diet have tripled between 2009 and 2014, despite not having any indications of Celiac Disease, according to the American Medical Association.
Celiac disease can be devastating, and a gluten-free diet is an essential measure to combat this condition. However, the question remains why so many others’ have chosen to go carb free?
Gluten is a protein found in plant foods such as wheat, barley, and rye that can cause a wide variety of ailments in those with Celiac disease, including severe stomach pains, lead to the formation of ulcers, permanently impact the linings of the intestines and may result in anemia.
Furthermore, there are many benefits to going gluten free including losing a whole host of undesirable issues for people who don’t have Celiac disease but may have gluten intolerance. The symptoms typically associated with gluten intolerance include severe headaches, stomach pains, bloating, excessive flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, loss of feeling in your joints, skin rashes, acne and low concentration capacities.
Interestingly enough, the ingestion of wheat has been very strongly linked to the formation of eczema, and to the prevalence of sinus allergies, stomach pains and eye conditions, such as dryness. A reaction to wheat that leads to eczema can be caused by both an intolerance to wheat and by an allergy, as both affect the autoimmune system, which in turn affects the skin.
One of the first things that most people remark on when cutting out the gluten from the diets is the high amount of fruits and vegetables they have added to increase their fiber intake and, thereby, also increasing their subsequent stores of vitamins and minerals in their daily diets as well. It also leads to a much stronger immune system, helping you to fend off the cold and other seasonal bugs that may try and take you down during the year.
The second and probably one of the most lauded benefits is how much easier it is to lose weight without all of the common gluten-containing products on your plate. This weight loss can also be associated with an increase in vegetables and other complex carbohydrates over naturally refined carbohydrates that are typically eaten before going on a gluten-free diet.
A further benefit is that bloating will be significantly reduced, as well as constipation which is always a bonus. Also, the high levels of vigor and vitality people experience from this lifestyle is almost unanimous. It may be because when you eat gluten with other foods, the ability of your body to digest the other foods nutrients is impaired and therefore, you have far lower levels of the necessary nutrients entering your bloodstream.
If you are considering trying out this way of eating, you will most certainly not be alone. It is estimated that 22% of the global population are choosing to eat gluten free for either personal choice or because of allergies and intolerances. And the vast majority of these consumers seem to be between the ages of 25-34 or 50-64. However, age is just a number, and you really should do whatever you feel is best for you.
Tips to Stay Gluten Free While Travelling
For those of you who are not allowed to eat gluten due to your intolerance, but would still love to experience the tastes that travelling the globe has to offer, we have a few tips in mind that will keep your diet gluten-free.
Know what’s on the menu
Don’t ask the waiter or server if the food is gluten-free. Some will say it is gluten-free, when in fact, it may have a huge percentage of it in the meal itself. There is a small amount that can be tolerated, but it is best to know what the ingredients of the delicacy are before ordering. You may ask that of the server, but you’re better off Googling the dish before ordering.
Live in a place with a kitchen
It may feel tedious, but you can still enjoy local food offerings by cooking using local ingredients. Choose ones that are gluten-free. By now, you know which ones those are. If you must add an unknown ingredient, do your research first before adding it to your meal.
Find the nearest vegetarian or vegan restaurant
Most vegan and vegetarian restaurants nowadays serve gluten-free food because of the high demand. If you are in a place that has caught up with the GF trend, you may find a place or two that can cater to your dietary needs.
Bring your own food
Just don’t bring fruits or vegetables. You may bring packs of food in boxes; however, they will be checked and verified by airport authorities. Most airports do now allow fruits and vegetables to be brought in from other countries because of its risk to the ecosystem. That is why you are better off bringing pre-packaged gluten-free food if necessary – and it has to be checked in.
Customize your meal
Go to a reputable restaurant in the area that allows for customization of food based on allergies and dietary needs. They may be more expensive than local restaurants, but it is worth it if you do not have any adverse reactions. Reputable restaurants follow rules to the tee because they want to keep their reputation intact.
A final tip: Don’t be demanding about it. Request, ask, be polite. Your food may be gluten-free, but it won’t be spit-free if you’re demanding and irate while asking for your diet to be accommodated. And it helps to be friendly when you’re in a different place, right?
Choosing to eat in a way that will uplift your energy, mood, cognitive and physical function, while helping you to lose weight seems like a rather simple way to engage in with your whole self. So, the only thing left to ask is, are you going to be gluten free, too?
Many thanks to Sarah Jones for sharing facts you should know about gluten. Sarah writes for Simmer and Zest, and “cooks, slices, and dices,” to be sure she stays healthy. More importantly, Sarah shares what she knows so others can enjoy cooking as well!
Amazon books related to Gluten-Free Diets and online resources for Gluten-Free Products
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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.