It's always refreshing to see a new choice of hotel property near the San Francisco Airport and recently the options have gotten even better.Just a half mile from the airport, this hip and ultra modern new property is a great choice for a comfortable stay before or after flying or when visiting the [ ... ]
Although summer vacation in Massachusetts will start later than usual due to many snow days, it's time to start planning those summer family vacations in Massachusetts! For a small state, Massachusetts boasts some fabulous summer vacation spots - here are a few of the best, along with some insider t [ ... ]
The thought of driving an electric car always seemed a little intimidating to me. Is there a learning curve? What happens when you are in the middle of the highway and the battery runs out? When it comes to the technology of electric cars I am a bit of an auto-techno peasant but I recently had a cha [ ... ]
Christians travel for reasons that are almost as varied as the denominations that exist. Here are a few reasons I love, and need, to travel, along with some ideas for where to go:
For fans of natural history museums, New York's American Museum of Natural History, DC’s ithsonian National Museum of History, and London’s tural Museum of History draw the masses when it comes to tourists and locals alike. But just past Boston’s Harvard Yard sits a hidden gem of a museum [ ... ]
The History Colorado Center is one of the newest museums in Downtown Denver. Since its opening last year, the History Colorado Center has been teaching visitors about Colorado in a fun and interactive way. The brightly colored displays draw visitors in and the hands-on activities will ke [ ... ]
How many of y’all knew that the origin of Dr Pepper was a small Texas town called Waco? There is a unique story to its creation. On the site of the original bottling factory sits the Dr Pepper Museum, so you can learn all about it.
r/>Dr Pepper was created in 1885 in Morrison's Old Country Store in W [ ... ]
Watching ‘Little House on the Prairie’ as a kid in 70’s suburban England two distinct words jumped out at me each episode. They were remote, unfamiliar words to me and they seemed to be an intrinsic part of the American Dream. The first of those iconic words was ‘chores’ and the second ‘candy.’
Fast forward thirty years and I’m a grown-up mom of two based in suburban America living that American Dream. Sadly, for all their troublesome, ceaseless, reality, I’ve come to loathe ‘chores’ and revile ‘candy’. Time to embrace a fresh sense of the American Dream. This time embodied within two more meaningful mid 40's mum words: ‘relax’ and ‘retreat.’
An hour’s drive from the knotted nerviness of LA, Ojai Valley Inn & Resort sits in an unassuming corner of California, down a tranquil farmland track. The white walled, colonial architecture, red tile roofs and wrought ironwork lend it a refined, Mediterranean look with distinct Spanish overtones. The buzz-word here is wellbeing. The resort knows all about realigning strung-out parents feeling out of kilter. Here it’s about moderation, sleeping again and feeling energized without a dozen hits of caffeine. Our room boasted two plush beds, wifi, a cozy fireplace and a roomy balcony. With a palpable air of casual luxury and refinement here, it’s not la-di-da, there’s no glitz ‘n gold. Ojai Valley Inn is familial. It’s the kind of place where you feel cradled.
Most importantly, nothing’s too much trouble when it comes to your kids. Jack (4) was enrolled in Camp Ojai, a supervised half or full-day camp that focuses on the native Chumash Indians who first made Ojai their home. A bellman drew up in a fancy golf cart and chauffeured him there. I barely got a wave goodbye.
George (13) dipped in and out of The Nest, a no-fuss teen hangout complete with x-box games, a pool table and foosball. Meanwhile I padded over to the cool and calm Spa and opted for an Ayurvedic synchronized massage – two therapists, long calming strokes, medicated herbal oil, - mummy nirvana.
But it’s not only worn-out wimps like me who get to savor the magnitude of this gorgeous resort. For fitness fans there’s a gym plus daily schedule of free mind/body classes including t’ai chi, yoga, qi gong, meditation, spinning, water aerobics, power walks and nature hikes. There are three pools, a full service tennis center offering private tuition. Heck you can even take out a cruiser bike and pedal into town.
Fresh from the Nest, George made the most of the resort’s rolling 18-hole championship golf course. He was indulged by Tom with two hours of pro instruction and came back spurting all sorts of mature, unintelligible golf jargon. I celebrated his move toward manhood with a cocktail on the lawn while George set about righting his little brother’s dubious putting skills.
Next day I righted my slackness on the hiking trails of the Los Padres National Forest. We took a guided geocache hike - a fancy treasure hunt using GPS - that had the kids enthralled for mile upon mile (that translated into mile upon mile of work out for me)
Our reward was studio time back at the resort’s private, hacienda-style Artist’s Cottage. With gentle guidance from a local artist we worked on a family art-piece. Of course it wasn’t the end result that mattered, it was a chance to fuse our self-expression, to share, to laugh, to get all lovey.
An evening stroll into Ojai itself revealed no Macdonalds, no fancy postcards, no overly-manicured walkways. It’s not a place that’s big on pandering to tourists. At Ojai’s heart is Libbey Park. Here the mighty oaks give shade to a playground for children, there are plenty of meandering paths and picnic areas, summer concerts at the bandstand and an annual music festival. The delightfully unspoiled town is a haven for an eclectic blend of writers, artists and hush-hush celebrities. Small wonder.
Ojai is a place you embrace like it’s home. It’s here you get to live the Dream (to relax and to retreat)... if only for the weekend.