Manhattan’s famous Central Park is New York City’s public haven for recreation, entertainment, community, or solitude. Look in one direction to be greeted by towering monuments. Turn and see. As you stroll in the shadow of the Wisteria Pergola, take a moment to gaze above at the delicate purple tendrils. Inhale the fragrance. Cross over another stone foot bridge, paying close attention to embellished details in ornate finials. The architecture is magnificent. Hear the soothing sound of water spewing forth from angelic fountains. Close your eyes, make a wish, and toss a coin into the crystal clear waters. Natural beauty is visible at every turn. Sights, sounds, and aromas fill the air. What’s that smell? At the edge of the park sits a legendary hot dog vendor offering tasteful sausages in steamed buns with condiment combinations for every palate. Well done, Central Park.
“Leave all the afternoon
for exercise and recreation,
which are as necessary
I would rather say
more necessary because
health is worth more
~ Thomas Jefferson
A couple times a week the beach is inundated with tourists when a luxury cruise ship pulls into Nawiliwili Harbor and docks for a short period of time. Hoards of beach lovers pour down the gang plank to enjoy the pebbly soft beach of Kalapaki Bay. With colorful towels, bamboo mats, swim fins, and boogie boards in tow, families stake a claim along the shoreline to gather and sunbathe. Within minutes children squeal with laughter, splashing each other and running away. A slender middle-aged European man stands with feet firmly planted squinting out to sea. As if deep in thought, he raises a cigarette to his lips and takes a long drag before flicking the ash into the wind. Loose strands of black hair fall across his wrinkled brow causing him to pivot a half turn and then back again. Over his shoulder, an energetic group of millennials mark off the sand and choose sides for a pickup game of soccer. Shouting in an unfamiliar language, they slap each other on the back before aggressively kicking, chasing, and passing the ball back and forth toward the goal. So much activity. So much joy. This is how to spend a day in paradise. After awhile, short toots from the bridge of the huge vessel signal it’s time to head back. Beach towels are rolled up, soccer games disperse, umbrellas are left vacant, and the sand is brushed away as flip flops are slid into place. The boarding process begins for passengers to depart “Fantasy Island” and return to sea until we meet again.
Dining Outside the Home: The Fireweed Grill in Kananaskis Village, Canada! With an stunning view of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, it’s not too difficult to appreciate a traditional breakfast of Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict. Outside the temperature may be around freezing, but the warm sunlight casting shadows over the natural beauty intensifies every adventure, especially dining. An impressive menu features personalized service at the International Breakfast Buffet or from the a-la-carte menu instead. Not an early riser? No worries. The Fireweed Grill offers unforgettable dinner options as well. Think about adding a wilderness back-country retreat to your already lengthy delicious Bucket List.
Fairmont Chateau on Lake Louise is Canadian Wonderland! Deep into the Canadian Rockies, up a narrow winding road, is a prestigious hotel known as the Fairmont Chateau. This world-class mountain resort, in Alberta, Canada, is nestled along the banks of the emerald green waters of Lake Louise. Not only is it a romantic backdrop for a destination wedding, but the view from a sloping back Adirondack chair, planted among the manicured gardens, is unrivaled. Imagine walking trails, canoe paddling, downhill skiing, or horseback riding on a carefree vacation for rest and relaxation. Don’t forget to pack your camera.