Comfort food at its best
Why do you travel?
I travel to learn new cultures, consider new customs, see how people live their lives, connect with locals, try new foods and activities, challenge myself physically and mentally, to relax, and to be an ambassador.
Where should you go?
Wherever you want! Global tourism is flourishing. But, consider going to a less-loved destination. Sustainability and environmental care are travel trends for 2019.
This year I began reading an eye-opening book entitled, Factfulness, by Hans Rowling. He presents “Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think.” He gives us a world view based on facts, and it turns out that the world is in a much better state than we might think.
I bring this up here because our perceptions can keep us from traveling. If you study the facts, you should feel more comfortable exploring the world.
What do these countries have in common?
United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Germany, Canada, The Bahamas, France, New Zealand, The United Kingdom.
The United States of America (in January) was on the “Do Not Travel” list of these countries.
While being on this list may be politically motivated, as an American it is hard to believe that our country could possibly be on such a list. However, if you watch or listen to the news on any given day, we hear about dramatic events because that type of communication sells.
Overrun with tourists, the popularity of some destinations actually hurt the locals. Consider Venice, Italy. Day-trippers do not contribute to the economy. With the city’s population decreasing and tourists increasing, drastic measures to reduce the number of visitors include fines for sitting in a particular area. If you do go, eat in the cafés, shop in the local shops outside of St. Mark’s Square. We stayed in a flat on Giudecca Island, a quick vaporetto ride across the channel and lived like locals.
Other options are Umbria instead of Tuscany, Italy. They are neighbors and enjoy the same landscape. Matera, Italy, in the arch of the boot, offers history like no other place in the world. The oldest inhabitant from 7,000 BC was discovered here. Instead of Iceland, go to the Farro Islands. The terrain and Northern Lights are just as breathtaking. Airfare wars on flights to Tahiti with the new airline make this a good alternative.
Want to get outdoors? The United States has 58 national parks. They are affordable, convenient, are a tremendous educational opportunity where you can learn about a broad mix of ecosystems, disconnect from technology, relax, exercise, breathe fresh air. These travel trends are right in our backyards.
Machu Picchu, Peru
Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
Wadi Rum, Jordan
Fjords of Norway
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
New Caledonia Lagoon, French Oceania
Belize Barrier Reef
Bristol Bay, Alaska
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Grand Canyon, Arizona
Vohibola Forest, Madagascar
Salt Flats of Bolivia
Lake Titicaca, Peru-Bolivia border
Prague, Czech Republic
Taj Mahal, India
Glacier National Park, Montana
Hufi Glacier, Glarus Alps, Switzerland
Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland
Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers, Tanzania
Quelccaya Glacier, Peru
Charleston, South Carolina
NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida
New York City
Tangier Island, Virginia
Authentic experiences result from respect for local communities and the environment and leave a positive impact on them and us.
Sources: LA Travel and Adventure Show, Travel Trends for 2019 discovered at the San Diego Travel and Adventure Show, Airbnb, Factfulness by Hans Rosling
You will get into hot water when you get naked at the River Oaks Hot Springs spa.
Shuffling down the quiet hall in my plush spa slippers and fluffy white robe, I heard the faint sound of bubbling water. The light aroma of sulfur and minerals drew me like a magnet. My destination was behind the closed door at the end of the hall. Pushing the door open and peering around it, I spied the solace to my aching body, a private open-air room with a substantial mineral springs spa that holds up to six people. As I was the only guest, it was easy to get naked.
I let the robe slip off my shoulders and land like a heap of snow at my feet. Kicking off the spa slippers, I carefully made my way up the platform stairs to enter this mystical energy source and begin the relaxation and rejuvenation process.
The River Oaks Hot Springs Spa in Paso Robles, California, was originally a historic landmark formerly known as
Paso Robles Hot Springs
The land around it was developed, the hot springs were modernized, and the spa is now tucked into a residential neighborhood with golfing nearby.
Paso Robles is famous for its artesian thermal spring waters for over 200 years. Situated in the midst of rolling hills and vineyards near Central California’s coast, it endures as one of the most significant natural thermal mineral aquifers in the region.
The Central Coast aquifer is not small. While one might think of it as a basin, it is more aptly referred to as “strata” and separated by faults. It may be the largest in the state, and most of the water is deep.
The water, heated by the earth in these deep aquifers, bubbles to the top at 117 degrees. They say that the warmer the water, the more mineral content. These minerals are thought to increase metabolism, soothe muscles, detoxify the body’s lymphatic system and accelerate healing. River Oaks Hot Springs Spa maintains the temperature in their spas between 96 and 102 degrees.
Preparing for the luxurious soaking experience begins in the upscale and fully equipped locker room. Robes are provided along with slippers, towels, and all the personal grooming products a girl could want. I assume the men’s locker room is similarly equipped.
Leave your pain with Jayne…
River Oaks Hot Springs Spa is a luxury spa with at least one talented massage therapist. Jayne’s tagline, “Leave your pain with Jayne,” was developed from many years of practice attending to client’s tired and aching muscles. My 30-minute session with Jayne was the best deep tissue massage I’ve ever experienced.
If you are timid about getting naked, you can visit any of the 200+ wineries in the region to drink a little bubbly before getting naked and soaking in the bubbly. Reservations are available for single or group bubbles as well as.
With packages such as “The Good Life Getaway,” “Winemaker’s Couples Package,” “Chocolate Lovers Package,” and “Let’s Celebrate!”, you can create a memorable spa experience that will stay with you for a very long time.
After a long soak in the mineral spa and leaving my pain with Jayne, I realized just how easy it was to get naked in Paso Robles.
If you go:
River Oaks Hot Springs Spa
800 Clubhouse Dr.
Paso Robles, CA 93446
Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm, Sunday through Saturday
Phone: (805) 238-4600
It took two billion years to create the geological formations in the Morongo Valley in Southern California.
Read all about it with the link below and at http://www.hbcoutdoors.com
Last year I joined the
Oregon Shores CoastWatch
program and adopted Mile 315. I am volunteering my photography skills and time to report on the mile between Ecola State Park and North Chapman Beach which is just north of Cannon Beach. I adopted the mile in order to get to know the coast more intimately, enjoy some recreation by hiking and being outdoors, and to help protect the Oregon coastline. I’m not a “tree hugger” necessarily, but this is a good cause and fulfills my need to participate in something outside my “normal”.
This is an interesting part of the ocean’s edge for many reasons but one of my favorites is the deactivated lighthouse,
Tillamook Rock Light
just a few miles out in the water. Below are the Wikipedia details with lots of links for more information.
“Tillamook Rock Light is a deactivated lighthouse on the Oregon Coast of the United States. It is located approximately 1.2 miles (1.9 km) offshore from Tillamook Head, and 20 miles (32 km) south of the Columbia River, situated on less than an acre of basalt rock in the Pacific Ocean. The construction of the lighthouse was commissioned in 1878 by the United States Congress, and began in 1880. The construction took more than 500 days to finish, with its completion in January 1881. In early January 1881, when the lighthouse was near completion, the barque Lupatia was wrecked near the rock during inclement weather and sank, killing all 16 crew members.
The Light was officially lit on January 21, 1881. At the time, it was the most expensive West Coast lighthouse ever built. Due to the erratic weather conditions, and the dangerous commute for both keepers and suppliers, the lighthouse was nicknamed “Terrible Tilly” (or Tillie). Over the years, storms have damaged the lighthouse, shattered the lens, and eroded the rock. It was decommissioned in 1957, and has since been sold to private owners. Until its license was revoked in 1999, it functioned as a columbarium, and today remains privately owned. The light is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and is part of the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge. It is visible from the coastal cities of Seaside, Cannon Beach, as well as from Ecola State Park.”