Archive for the ‘Elderly Problems’ Category

Luxurious Las Vegas

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Fabulous Las Vegas

Fabulous Las Vegas

By Barbara Stitzer for Boomeryearbook.com

My father was in WWI!, and watched so many people that he was in charge of die in combat that he swore that he’d never be in charge of any one ever again, so he became a starving award winning insurance salesman. We’d drive out to Vegas from Lakewood, California every single weekend until I was a teenager, stay at his friend, Doc Bailey’s Hacienda Hotel, where my parents would drop me off so that Dad would play blackjack until he doubled his salary, and then we’d go home. Sometimes it would take two hours, sometimes I barely made it back to school on Monday, and sitting by myself in that dingy hotel room made me hate Las Vegas with a passion. Buzz, a Midwest boy, hadn’t been to Vegas, and he had that “stars in your eyes” look on his face that resigned me to not letting him down, so I prepared a special trip for him.

The place to stay in Las Vegas is Bellagio. If you book a regular room through your American Express Platinum card, they will upgrade you to a suite with a fountain view if it’s available, which is a wonderful thing, because all night long, the fountain dances to music that you can hear from your am/fm/ cd player in the bedroom. The fountains are great from the street side, but I’m not into elbowing for space in extreme weather, so sipping champagne while the lights changed and the fountains danced from our own room really did it for us. Buzz’s favorite part of the Bellagio wasn’t the opulent gardens that change with the seasons, not the magnificent Murano glass on the ceiling, not the bevy of “A”list restaurants and clubs. His favorite thing was the electric window covers. He worked them so hard and loved them so much that we had to get them for our own windows at home. Now that’s luxury.

I love all of the restaurants at Bellagio. You cannot go wrong at any restaurant in the hotel. But if you must leave, there are two outstanding dinners that I must let you know about; the first, the buffet in the Paris hotel, where every single morsel, from the coq au vin to the escargot is absolutely delectable, and doesn’t taste anything like normal buffet food.

If you have a car, or rented a Jacuzzi limo, Rosemary’s restaurant is my first choice for off-strip dining. About 20 minutes away from the strip, it’s a schlep, and when you get to the location, a strip mall, you might be cursing my name, but the food is amazing, the service impeccable, the atmosphere so romantic you’d fall in love with the UPS man if he were sitting across from you.

Experience the spa at Bellagio, shop at the Wynn or the Forum shops at Caesars Palace, get your man the most amazing shave of his live at the aptly named “Shave” in the breezeway between the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor, and, of course, try your hand at gambling. Stay on the strip to gamble, and hold on to your wallet…there’s a reason that the casinos are so well appointed…the odds are on their side!

Stay tuned for more travel tips at Boomer Yearbook.

www.boomeryearbook.com is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.

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Kaua’I part 2

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Kauai Beach

Kauai Beach

By Barbara Stitzer for Boomeryearbook.com

You made it to Kaua’I and are luxuriously ensconced in either the Hyatt or Princeville Hotel leaving your wallet flapping in the wind. No Worries, Brah! Even a luxury lover likes to go check out the local flavor. If you plan to explore and rough it outside of your resort, dress in old clothes that you don’t care about. The beautiful red dirt on Kaua’I will not come out of your shoes, socks or clothes. And no matter how careful you are, you’ll be covered in it. So bring clothes and shoes that will allow you to dig in and get dirty, and then toss before you go back to the Mainland…notice I said Mainland, and not back to the United States. Hawai’I has been a state for almost 60 years, and nothing will make you feel more unwelcome than your saying it isn’t so with locals in ear shot. Most of the great parts of Kaua’I are unmarked, hard to find and totally worth it once you do. My favorite thing to visit close to Poipu is Glass Beach, a totally unmarked slice of nowhere in an industrial area of Hanapepe. It used to be the island dump, where they would burn all of their trash and then send it out to sea, but hurricanes brought back the little glass and pottery pieces, and the surf tosses them up on the beach where they glitter like diamonds. Salt pond is out there as well, and people come to farm Kaua’I’s famous pink salt known for its brine shrimp that give the salt its delectable flavor. It isn’t sold, as a rule, so if you’re lucky enough to have someone offer you some, grab it fast and run. Stop at Kipu Falls for a quick dip in pristine water…wear your hiking shoes, it’s worth it.

On your way back to the Hyatt, Go to Lapperts for Kaua’I Pie ice cream. Mr. Lappert is famous throughout Hawai’I, and after one lick, you’ll be hooked.

There are several great places to eat on Kaua’I, but my very favorite is Hamaura Saimin. Located in Lihue on a side street that you just have to find, it’s the quintessential Local’s Only spot. Order the special saimin and a stick of yakitori chicken and try not to look in the kitchen, or at the locals who are probably giving you stink eye for sitting in their restaurant, slap a huge dollop of hot mustard in the bowl and just inhale that saimin. It is a slice of heaven that will have you craving it years later.

Back up north, you absolutely must do the horseback riding at Princeville Stables. The horses fan out, not just nose to tail, and you can gallop them into a cloud and out through a rainbow. Walk across the waterfall and swim in the waterfall’s pool while your guides make you lunch. After lunch, grab your mask, fins and snorkel and drive past the buffalo farm, past the taro fields, past Hanalei to Haena, and go to the end of the road. Flop down in knee deep water and experience the most breathtaking array of exotic fish you’ll ever see north of the Great Barrier reef. Stop for a shave ice in Hanalei on the way back, or a fresh cut coconut and you’re ready to get back to your luxurious life at the Princeville Hotel.

Leaving you craving more exotic travel? Stay tuned at Boomer Yearbook.

www.boomeryearbook.com is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.

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Kauai Hawaii:The Magnificent Misunderstood Island

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Kauai Beach

Kauai Beach

By Barbara Stitzer for Boomeryearbook.com

I was lucky enough to have lived on the most beautiful, subtle, amazing, misunderstood island in the world, and it’s right here in the United States; Kauai. I used to shoot tourist magazine covers for the four major islands of Hawaii, so I flew every day. I’d always ask my morning seatmates what they thought of Kaua’i. The answers were always extreme; either they totally got it and were mortgaging their souls to buy a slice of paradise, or they thought it was hideously boring and were on their way to bomb their travel agent’s office.

There are two luxurious places to stay on Kaua’i, the Hyatt, in sunny, happy Poipu, and The Princeville Hotel in waterfall, rainbow filled Princeville. If you can swing it, do a week at each. Don’t stay in Lihu’e, you’ll be inundated by the cruise ship yentas, and don’t stay on the East or west sides. The West side is too hot and isolated, and the East side is too windy and miserable. When you enter the Hyatt Poipu, on the South side of the island, it’s almost as if the soul of Kauai has stepped out and wrapped its arms around you. It’s so warm and inviting. The open air breakfast room has swans swimming around. Every single thing says quality and tranquility, and they teach a mean hula daily, as well. You could leave the resort, but why? Take your haku lei making class, sip a pina colada, and chill. If you want adventure, go jump off nearby Shipwrecks rock, a 45 feet of sheer terror leap that some locals take daily to clear their heads and ready them for their days. Time it right, so that the wave is coming in when you jump and make sure you keep your body ramrod straight on entry. It’s exhilarating.

You must check out the spa at the Hyatt. Get one of the utterly amazing specialty treatments and massages; they’re all worth it, and make sure not to skip the indoor/outdoor lava showers which are just the nicest little slice of heaven.

The Princeville Hotel is located on the north side of the island at the base of Mount Wai’ Oli’ Oli’, the rainiest spot in North America, so with more than 500 inches of rain a year, it’s a lush, green rainbow filled paradise. One thing that makes the Princeville Hotel so unique is its bathrooms…every bathroom has an ocean view. It has a different feel from the Hyatt….austere, classy, elegant, and dressy; a place to see and be seen. From there it’s a tiny hike to the coolest activity on the island; horseback riding to a waterfall, and a short hop to the quaint town of Hanalei.

Want to know what else to do on Kaua’i? You’ll be surprised… tune in next time.

www.boomeryearbook.com is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.

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Watercolor, Florida, Fun for the Whole Family

Friday, January 9th, 2009

By Barbara Stitzer, for Boomeryearbook.com

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As stated before, I’m a luxury person, so I was a little wary of staying in the middle of the “Redneck Riviera”, the sugar white sandy beaches of Florida’s panhandle route 30A, but the town names of Seaside, Watercolor, Alys Beach, and Rosemary Beach took my heart, so away we went.

We rented a 3000 square foot home, quaintly named “Squeeze Me Inn” with a pool in Watercolor Florida fourth of July weekend for $5400 for the week, gulp, but we brought Buzz’s best friend from life and his family to share the fun and the bills, which is what everyone does out there. It is rare when a vacation home outdoes my own home. I’m not being rude, it’s just true. We have a very resortish, luxurious home. But we were blown away by our home in Watercolor. There was more than enough room for the ten of us, including a bunk room that could have held our four girls, separate rooms for the teenage boys and two master suites.

30A has so many things for families to do. It’s more than a vacation; it’s a good, clean fun lifestyle. Everyone rents bikes and leaves their cars, and attitudes behind. They bike to the beach, where the ocean is warm and clear and you can learn to surf in the gentle waves. There is a roaming sandcastle guy who trains you to transform the usual sloppy monstrosities into true palaces, s’mores roasts, evening plays and movies under the stars, a cheese shop with the most exotic cheeses and meats I have ever had, a little goofy airstream trailer that churns out the best “mounds” shave ices in the world, outrageous, one of a kind shopping, and tons of award winning five star restaurants you can wear a sarong and flip flops to without feeling out of place; our favorite is A Fish Out of Water, in the Watercolor hotel, which is the epitome of luxury and always wins Southern Living magazine’s best family resort award. For casual dining, Pizza by the Sea couldn’t be beat. They had hula hoops and toys for the kids to play with while they waited…I actually learned to hula while I was there! And their pizza really ruled. When it rained, I took the four girls out and we jumped in puddles until we were soaked, then we jumped in one of the many Watercolor pools with our pajamas on, which was definitely a highlight of the trip.

While we were lounging on the beach, Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo took up the beach umbrellas next to us, and NO ONE bothered them. I did have to stuff a couple of tongues back into a couple of nameless mouths, however.

If you go, fly into the new, international Panama City airport, but bypass that touristy town. Head straight to Watercolor, remove your shoes, and chill. You deserve it!

Have you ever been to Watercolor Florida or have your own get a way you’d like to discuss. Come join others at Boomer Yearbook….and please share your experiences and pictures.

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www.boomeryearbook.com is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.

Beautiful, Perfect, Undiscovered Wakaya

Friday, January 9th, 2009

By Barbara Stitzer for boomeryearbook.com

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I am not a roughin’ it kind of gal. My idea of camping is a five star hotel whose room service is down for the day. If I don’t travel in absolute, unfettered luxury, I would rather not go. So when our plane landed in Wakaya, Fiji, and someone slapped a mosquito off my leg before it stung me, I started getting a really good feeling.

I couldn’t have been more right. Our Bure, or little house, was the epitome of luxury, resplendent with outdoor shower, 1200 thread count sheets, a giant living room, and a little glass jar of homemade cookies that got replenished by the cookie fairies as any single one cookie was eaten. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Our service people, Filo and Lemba, were superb. The first morning at breakfast, they served a little fruit cup topped with a single lychee. I love lychee more than life itself, but it’s almost impossible to get them fresh in the U.S. mainland, so when I saw the lychee, I freaked out and promptly tried to steal Buzz’s plump, tasty morsel. My husband loves his food, so a little tussle ensued. Filo noticed, and every day sent a plane and lychee pickers to get more for me.

One night, I slept through dinner, and they brought one of every single thing on their menu to tempt me. We ate every morsel, of course. The food was utterly amazing. To help keep our weight in check, we hit the immaculate tennis courts where pro, John/Charlie, (we’re not sure of his name…he answered, unfailingly politely, to both), played brilliantly while somehow still managing to let us win every time, even at croquet, of which, he is a national champion, and we, most definitely, are not. Then he brought us icy towels to wipe the sweat off with, and massaged our shoulders while we drank our fresh-squeezed fruit juices.

Buzz wanted to sing and play ukulele with the band…no problem. I wanted to take pictures in the village…in their church on Sunday; done. We went deep sea fishing with Panna, chief of the village, “Panna catch big fish”, he said, winking, and wouldn’t you know, just when I was at that point where you either have to catch a fish or hurl over the side, I caught a marlin, and five seconds later, Buzz caught a barracuda. Upon our return, the entire village came and sang songs of praise to us.

The highlight of the trip was our private picnic, where they took us by jeep to the other side of the island, dropped us off with a radio and all of our favorite foods and drinks which they had just observed, and we spent the day on our private island within a private island doing, ummm, private things, of course.

If you go, bring school supplies for the kids. They love it!

Have you ever been to Wakaya Fiji or have a magical spot of your own you’d like to discuss. Come join with others at Boomer Yearbook.

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www.boomeryearbook.com is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.