Archive for June, 2013

Pure Luxury: The Million Dollar Safari

Spot of tea on safari, anyone?

Spot of tea on safari, anyone?

This is pure luxury. Africa-style. Picture this: A 36-day adventure, complete with your own private plane and expert guide to take you through some of the most breathtaking experiences some may only dream of: Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Big Five game-viewing in the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti, a visit to Victoria Falls and South Africa’s Winelands.  Extraordinary Journeys offers the ultimate “Million Dollar Safari, starting at a mere $809,600 for four people, affording travelers with the utmost in luxurious accommodations at lodges and camps all throughout Africa and exclusive access to once-in-a-lifetime bush experiences. 

For a price tag this rich, I truly hope that kind of money helps build a school or save a pride or two! I can’t tell if this is CRAZY, or brilliant.



Renowned private guide Mark Homan, who with 18 years of expert experience, will lead travelers on a full immersion safari, providing them with first-hand knowledge of life in the wild.  Travelers will visit exclusive areas where the ordinary dare not venture: Rwanda (Ruhengeri/Kingi)Kenya (Nairobi and the Maasai Mara), Tanzania(The Serengeti and Lake Tanganyika), Zambia (South Luangwa and Victoria Falls), Botswana (Linyanti and Okavango), South Africa (Cape Town and Winelands) and Mozambique (Quirimbas Archipelago).

Highlights include:

·  Two-day gorilla trekking  through the Volocanoes National Park

·  One-on-one with giraffe at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi

·  Hot air balloon ride at Sasakwa Lodge

·  Swim in the Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls

·  Tour of Robbin Island (where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison)

·  Taste South Africa’s best wines on a visit to the Winelands

·  Relax on your very own private beach on Vamizi Island

Pricing for the 36-day “Million Dollar Safari” begins at $202,400 per person ($809,600 for a family of four), and includes luxury accommodations at renowned lodges and camps, private plane from the U.S. and tour guide, all meals, drinks, game drives, activities per the itinerary, 4×4 vehicles and entrance fees to game parks.

For a detailed itinerary:

Is Biking The New Running?


The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

We’re starting to really see a trend – a demand for vacations that feature a bicycling component and while May is National Bike Month, we’re seeing trips for cycling enthusiasts pop up from Nantucket to New Zealand.  Adventure travelers are now seeking an endurance challenge that long-distance cycling provides; it’s no longer just about a quick-fix adrenaline rush.  Others enjoy biking as a way to stay fit on a vacation while exploring the destination. (Is it perhaps the death of the hotel fitness center?) By riding through a locale, travelers have the opportunity to meet new people, feel the fresh air, see the scenery, and venture off the beaten path.

Be it a Bhutan trek or a brewery tour, itineraries exist to suit all interests.

Here are some to inspire you!

1)      Cycle from Mountains to Monasteries

To fully engage with the Kingdom of Bhutan, its people, culture, and landscapes, there are few better ways than by bike.  One can bike the 350 miles between COMO’s two Bhutan properties, Uma Punakha and Uma Paro.  Highlights include the first designated mountain biking trail in Bhutan, a descent from the highest road pass in the country, a roundtrip ride in the magical Phobjikha valley, and cultural rides in the Paro, Punakha, and Haa Valleys.

Bike & Brew in Nantucket

Bike & Brew in Nantucket

2)      Bike and Brew on Nantucket

For bikers and beer enthusiasts, The White Elephant Village and The Wauwinet offer a “Bike and Brew” package for two that includes a two-night stay in a one bedroom residence overlooking the stunning Nantucket Bay, bike rental, tour of the local Cisco brewery, and a picnic to go.

3)      Heli-Bike in New Zealand 

Bikers at the Matakauri Lodge in Queenstown, New Zealand, can ride on the same trails as the world’s top mountain bikers by heli-biking.  Guests are flown to the mountains above Queenstown and are given the freedom to ride down at their own pace.

4)      6,000 Acres of Bike Trails on The Farm

While Queenstown caters to the thrill-seeking crowd, The Farm at Cape Kidnappers in the Hawke’s Bay of New Zealand offers three diverse trails across 6,000 acres of sheep farm, coastline, wetland, and wineries.

5)      Mountain Bike Treasure Hunt

Explore The New Forest, the original hunting ground of William the Conqueror, by taking part in a treasure hunt.  Chewton Glen in Hampshire, England, offers themed treasure hunts for teams of up to eight people, all armed with mission packs containing clues, photo challenges, digital cameras, and maps.  Treasure hunt themes include “The Olympic Challenge” and “The Italian Job.”

6)      Aquabiking: St. Barth’s Answer to Spinning

Sibarth, the trend-setting villa rental company on St. Barth, is now leading the latest fitness trend, aquabiking.  The underwater fitness equipment tones muscles with minimal joint strain.  Instructor Jean Marc Outil leads in-villa and pool sessions that involve a series of cycling rhythms set to his specially selected tunes.


Sibarth’s Aquabiking

7)      Bike Valet in Napa

Napa Valley visitors can experience miles of vineyards from the seat of a bike rather than through the window of a car.  Many Napa Valley hotels such as Solage CalistogaBardessonoAuberge du Soleil, and Villagio Inn offer complimentary bicycle rentals to guests, and some area resorts, restaurants, and other venues offer a bicycle valet service so that biking does not hinder the ability to shop along the way.  Many tour operators offer organized packages and guided bicycle excursions that include pick-up and delivery of wine purchases.

8)      Biking Adventure by Day, Casinos and Musical Performances by Night

Crystal Cruises offers offshore biking excursions, available for different age groups and skill levels, that feature historical monuments and famous restaurants.  New for 2013 is the “Montenegro Bicycle Discovery.”  Guests on this trek ride through olive groves with backdrop views of the Adriatic Sea and the bays of Herceg Novi and Tivat.  Along the way, bikers enjoy lunch at a restaurant with local specialties and panoramic bay views.

Bike Paris? Oui.

Bike Paris? Oui.

9)      Bike like a Local in Paris

Pavillon des Lettres and Pavillon de la Reine make it easy for guests to take advantage of the many bike routes throughout Paris with their complimentary bike service.  Parisians have long been infatuated with biking.  It has grown even more popular since the city implemented its bike-sharing service that provides 20,000 bikes and 1,800 stands that are available twenty-four hours a day.  Join the groups of fashionable Parisian cyclists on a ride along the Seine or through the Marais.

10)   Biking Globe Trekkers Choose Park Hyatt

Spin the globe and land at one of the 31 Park Hyatt hotels and resorts worldwide.  The Park Hyatt Bicycle Valet Program invites guests to uncover the city’s best sites with the use of a bicycle and the following amenities, a lock, helmet, lights, pump, kickstand, bottled water, and biking maps.  From Beaver Creek to Sydney, bikers can explore their natural surroundings and find a shady spot to enjoy a gourmet picnic basket provided by Park Hyatt.

Fun Fact: According to a study in the Environmental Science and Technology Journal, just FIVE minutes of exercise in a green space can improve mood and self-esteem.

Wonderful Skin? Look No Further Than Organic Skincare Line: SeabuckWonders

Natural-Skin-Care-ProgramI’ll be honest. At one point in my adult life, my skin looked like Britney Spears’ skin after a fast food bender. I think it had something to do with wearing too much make-up and eating too many carbs. It took a few years (and my husband’s wise words) to figure out the simple fact that less is more. Once I stopped wearing all that cover-up to cover-up my skin, it healed and looked better than ever. I also decided then to switch to healthier beauty products. Now, I try out a slew of different products and this recent product right here was one of my favorites.
Light, natural, and full of Omegas,  SeabuckWonders, a source for personal care products made from the Himalayan sea buckthorn berry, is also known as the Dr. Oz ‘miracle berry’, because the robust superfruit is packed full of powerful antioxidants, vitamins, essential fatty acids and the entire family of Omegas (3, 6, 9 AND the rare Omega 7) to enhance daily health and beauty.
What’s more?
SeabuckWonders is offering the first and ONLY full line of products made with 100% USDA Certified Organic Himalayan Sea Buckthorn. Products contain the highest concentration of sea buckthorn and Omega-7 for better results and come in an assortment of body lotion, supplements, facial cleanser, seed and berry oils, hydrating serums and creams.
SeabuckWonders products are also made of sea buckthorn oils only from the Tibetan Plateau. This is where high altitude, strong ultraviolet radiation, severe cold, scorching heat, and dry and barren soil have equipped the remarkable sea buckthorn plant with an extraordinary bio-defense mechanism that breeds substantial life-giving nutrients for enhancing health and beauty.  The Tibetan local green environment makes their sea buckthorn oils amazingly pure, naturally boosting the content of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E over other varieties, and the supercritical fluid extraction process in one of the most advanced facilities makes their sea buckthorn oils the best in quality. The fact that their products are certified organic is also a win win!
Facial Cream:  $19.97
Facial Cleanser:  $16.97
Deep Hydrating Serum:  $34.97
Body Lotion (winner of Delicious Living Beauty & Body Awards 2013):  $14.97
Berry Oil:  $15.97
Seed Oil:  $32.97
Omega-7 Complete:  $29.97
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