Archive for August, 2009

Botanical Travel Beauty

Philip B Green Eco Travel Kit Hair Shampoo ConditionerThat’s right… we have tired travel tresses.  As a result, we’re always on the hunt for the best eco-friendly hair and beauty products (that are 3 oz. or less, of course).  That way, we can haul our gorgeous mane from Guadalajara to Geneva without looking like Roseanne Rosannadanna.  Our hair is volatile and when we travel it’s somewhere between frizzy, flat, and funky.  So, when we happened upon the botanical travel products for tired tresses, we happened upon Philip B.’s four pack of shampoos and conditioners.  Say hello to botanical and bodacious!

The package contains:

  • 2 fl oz/60ml Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo
  • 2 fl oz/60 ml African Shea Butter Gentle & Conditioning Shampoo
  • 2 fl oz/60ml Nordic Wood Hair & Body Shampoo
  • 2 fl oz/60ml Light-Weight Deep Conditioning Crème Rinse (Paraben Free Formula)

For only $30.00, it’s a botanical steal.

http://www.philipb.com/travel-paraben-free-p-1958.html

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InterContinental Moorea: The Turtle Care Center

Tahiti Moorea Honeymoon Turtle Swimming Luxury HotelHere little Chordata…

Oh, we can’t say enough about how much we love the Marquesas. We also can’t say enough about turtles.  We’re wild about them. We don’t know what’s wrong with us, but… we’re a little obsessed.

Apparently, we’re not the only ones.  In February 2004, amid concerns for the green and hawkbill turtles that were found wounded or ill, the InterContinental Moorea actually did something about it.  Now, if it’s not enough to be in one of the most beautiful places in the world, on one of the most beautiful properties, the InterCon Moorea has created a turtle clinic to fit out part of its private lagoon!  We have to say… the water of Moorea is truly like nothing you’ve ever seen.  Light blues clearer than a swimming pool, bright greens and aquas, sting rays and turtles swimming side by side right in front of your face, the fresh seafood, the kind people, ah!  The champagne…

Among the glorious Tahitian island chains, Eco-Adventurers have voted: Bora Bora and Moorea, those are the favorites.

InterContinental Moorea Over Water BungalowWhen it comes to properties, the InterContinental is right up there (if not finer) than competing properties island/motu wide.  It’s the choice of seasoned diplomats, Hollywood celebs, wealthy Japanese couples, your regular run-of-the-mill high-end honeymooners, and you. If that doesn’t motivate you to start stacking your clams, maybe this might… the turtle center has already successfully released over thirteen turtles and rescued fifty more! Oh, and did we mention they also have a Dolphin Center?  The only dolphin center in the area?

Moorea DolphinquestHere they have created a huge natural home for four bottlenose dolphins brought from a similar facility in Hawaii or “retired” from the US Navy. Aware of its pedagogical role and educational mission, some of the proceeds will benefit Te Mana O Te Moana, a non-profit association focusing on the protection of the stunning Polynesian environment.

Prices from $345/per night and up

http://www.moorea.intercontinental.com

Quebec: Eco-Travel, The Summit of Mt. Tremblant

I love a good gondola experience.  There’s nothing quite as breathtaking (and as terrifying) as teetering on a wire suspended above a mountain in mid-air.  So we say, “Scale new heights with the Exhibit at the Summit at Fairmont Tremblant!” It’s easy to think green with packages like the following, offered by Fairmont resorts.

Quebec Mt. Tremblant Scenic GondolaThis package provides two special treats.  1. The chance to hang on a ski mountain in the summer and enjoy that crisp sweet mountain air.  2. Learn a bit about climate change.  Guests at the Fairmont can take a panoramic gondola ride to the top of Mont-Tremblant followed by an interactive tour through the ‘Under the Weather exhibit,’ a fun science exhibit incorporating games, models and hands-on activities provide an informative and entertaining way to learn more about our precious planet.  We say, ‘Bring the kids or bring out the little kid in you.’ Afterward, sit back with organic cocktails for two in the new Nansen Lounge and admire the green vistas of this pristine mountain resort.

Fairmont Quebec Tremblant RoomRooms are comfortable, tastefully designed, and right in the heart of the bustling mountain town.  Breakfast for two at the Windigo restaurant is also included, along with complimentary valet parking for hybrid vehicles.

Available until October 13, 2009, rates start from $249 CAD (~$228 USD) per night.

http://www.fairmont.com/tremblant/

Volunteer Travels: How to Choose Your Program

The world of Voluntourism is growing each and every year, and truthfully, we couldn’t be happier.  These days, it seems that global nomads everywhere don’t just want to take in a pretty sight, they want to improve upon it.

VoluntourismTo that end, we receive countless emails asking us which programs are the best or most rewarding.  Since each and every one of us is different, we decided to scour the internet and ask around to fill you in on a great site that matches voluntourists with the programs that might be right for them. Volunteer International is one such organization that offers an in-depth overview of programs from all over the world. The International Volunteer Programs Association (IVPA) is an association of non-governmental organizations involved in international volunteer work and internship exchanges.  Specifically, IVPA is an association of volunteer sending organizations but does not organize or run its own volunteer programs.  Rather, they introduce you to all the best.

When you visit their site, go to ‘Current Members’ and scroll down to ‘Search Member’s Programs.’ Here, you can choose by region, countries, skills, and duration.  We think it’s the Google of the Voluntourism World. So go forth, young one… inspire those around and within.

http://www.volunteerinternational.org

Thailand’s Golden Triangle: Spun Silk at The Four Seasons Tented Camp

In the jungles of Thailand’s lush Golden Triangle, there’s an up-and-coming house of haute couture, but no… it’s not Karl Lagerfeld’s new Southeast Asian textile studio.  It’s a handful of designers at the Four Seasons Tented Camp in Northern Thailand. Overseeing the making of silk from start to finish and then dying the raw threads and weaving them into vibrantly coloured shawls, it’s a silk-worm farm run by the talented wives of the Four Seasons pro elephant drivers!

Golden Triangle ThailandIt all started when the crafty wives of the drivers, or mahouts, decided to find a way to augment their families’ livelihood. And so, they started hatching delicate silk worm eggs on paper towels soaked in sugar water. It’s not what you’d call high-tech, but it works.  A week to 10 days later when the eggs hatch, the hungry newborn critters start munching on mulberry leaves — their favourite snack. After molting four times, they enclose themselves in a silk cocoon. That’s where the wives come in; boiling the worms so they can unravel the silk threads before dying them. It’s no simple task: each worm produces one silk thread from 1,000 to 3,000 feet long.

Four Seasons Tented Camp Golden Triangle

The intricate shawls that result from the wives’ handiwork are the perfect souvenir for Four Seasons guests who’ve spent their stay learning to train and ride the property’s elephants through verdant tropical paths. Proceeds from the shawls go to the mahouts’ families and the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which assists in the conservation and care of domestic elephants.

So far, the women have sold more than 100 of these stylish stoles. To purchase one of these beautiful stoles or to make a reservation and watch these women in action, check out:

http://www.fourseasons.com/goldentriangle/


West Hollywood: The Veggie Grill

Veggie Grill Chickin Caesar WrapYum… Chikin always makes me hungry. You see… we like our meat now and again (if it’s organic and sustainable, of course), but there’s really nothing like some solid veggie fare to make us reconsider our carnivorous tastes altogether.  That’s why we’re whispering in the ears of our veggie loving readers to let them now of the brand new opening of The Veggie Grill this September on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Crescent Heights in Sunset Plaza. Bringing its wholesome, 100% plant-based food to West Hollywood, their food is not only delicious and healthy… it’s affordable! The menu focuses on flavor first with signature menu items including the “Santa Fe Crispy Chickin” (Crispy Fried Chickin’, Lettuce, Tomato, Red Onion, Avocado, Southwestern Spiced Vegan Mayo, $8.95), “Sweetheart Fries” (Sweet Potato Fries seasoned and served with Chipotle Ranch, $4.25); and Baja Fiesta (Chopped Romaine, Papaya, Avocado, Roasted Corn Salsa, Quinoa, Cucumber, Cilantro with a Ginger-Papaya Vinaigrette, $8.95). Some new additions to the menu include the “All Hail Kale” (Marinated Organic Kale and Red Cabbage, Roasted Corn Salsa, Agave-Roasted Walnuts with a Ginger-Papaya Vinaigrette, $7.95) and “Bayou Chickin’” (Chillin’ Chickin’, lightly blackened with Cajun Spices, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickles, Thousand Island Dressing, $8.95). With this new location, The Veggie Grill makes it even more convenient for Angelenos to enjoy premium vegetarian food in a cute, casual environment. It’s comfort food everyone can feel good about eating.

The Veggie Grill (www.veggiegrill.com) is on Facebook (www.facebook.com/veggiegrill) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/veggiegrill).

THE VEGGIE GRILL West Hollywood

Sunset Plaza

8000 Sunset Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90046

Aruba: Hyatt Regency’s EMBRACE Project

Hyatt Regency Aruba BeachWe think there’s no better way to really get a feel for a location than to dig your feet right into the proverbial sand and kick up your feet with the locals. Apparently, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino agrees. Just this May, they launched the EMBRACE Project, their newest ongoing community outreach program designed for the betterment of the island. EMBRACE stands for Employees Maintaining, Beautifying, Revitalizing Authentic Cultural Elements, as such, this volunteer initiative draws upon the generosity of resort staff and guests to aid in the cleanup of certain key Aruban landmarks. Their first event, in May 2009, aided in the cleanup of the Bushiribana Gold Smelter Ruins and the next will take place on Tuesday August 25th, 2009 at the Balashi Gold Mine Ruins. The first and only resort in Aruba to offer this unique and eco-friendly voluntourism program, Hyatt Regency Aruba’s EMBRACE Project is similar to a local sightseeing excursion. Guests can sign up with the resort concierge to join volunteer staff for a morning-long cleanup effort, which is offered once a quarter.

Hyatt Regency Aruba Eco-Travel EmbraceFor the first volunteer session, the group departed the resort for Bushiribana, built in 1872 by the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company in the hills of Ceru Plat. Bushiribana is a special landmark to the Hyatt Regency Aruba as it served as the design inspiration for the resort’s entrance as well as its Balashi Pool Bar.  For each of the ongoing cleanup sessions, Hyatt Regency Aruba provides all of the volunteers complimentary “Hyatt Force” t-shirts, snacks and drinks, roundtrip transportation on the ‘Kukoo Kunuku’ bus provided by Aruba Adventures, and, of course, all the tools necessary to spruce up the landmark.

So, after you Embrace the journey, rejoice in the beauty of your Aruban destination (insert rum cocktail here).

Summer rates start from $315/night

For more information about the Hyatt Regency Aruba EMBRACE Project, call 1-800-55-HYATT or visit www.aruba.hyatt.com

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