Friday, April 22, 2011

Where to Stay and Play in Jensen Beach, Fla.

Happy Earth Day everyone! What better way to celebrate the earth than enjoying the sand and sea shells at Jensen Beach/ Hutchinson Island, Fla.? I learned about the area when I attended a friend’s beach wedding there recently. How could I have not known about this beautiful beach that is only a two-and-a-half hour drive from Orlando? It has great shelling, and the beaches are not crowded, as they are in the Port Canaveral area. 

When you go, I would recommend staying at the Courtyard by Marriott on the ocean at Jensen Beach. The suites are spacious and the bathrooms have been upgraded with marble tile and adjustable shower heads. I love the large balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. There are a lot of great restaurants in the area too. I ate at Conchy Joe’s – the food was overpriced but tasty. Still, you have to make a point to hang out there with appetizers and drinks for the spectacular view. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Area's Top Food & Wine Represented at Taste of Winter Park

Where can you eat food from several of Orlando’s top restaurants in one place? At the Taste of Winter Park, happening this Wednesday, April 20, from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. I have heard so much about the high quality of food at The Ravenous Pig and Orchid Thai, that I am excited to try their samples. Other top restaurants that will be represented include: Shula’s Steakhouse, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, Fiddler’s Green Irish Pub, Mitchell’s Fish Market, and P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. For dessert, you can choose from Peterbrooke Chocolatier, Schakolad Chocolate, Sprinkles Cakes, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, and others.
The Taste of Winter Park offers unlimited food and drink samples, for $40 per person.
Speaking of good food, I had the opportunity to try Monte Bene Low Fat Vodka Sauce with my pasta the other night, and was impressed at how delicious it tastes, for something that is so healthy. The sauce has no sugar and little salt; it is just natural ingredients. I love that!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Cruise Deals - Book by April 16

The deals on cruises are out in full force this spring. First, I want to let my readers know about a very time-sensitive offer from Royal Caribbean through Orbitz. Four-night cruises to the Bahamas are priced starting at $199, and many other Royal Caribbean cruises are also discounted. Royal Caribbean is also offering a $1,000 airfare credit on specific cruises, free pre-paid gratuities, and $100 in spending. The catch? You must book by midnight on April 15. Click this link to book:

Another amazing cruise deal this week is from via Travelocity: you can get a seven-night Mediterranean and Greek Island cruise starting at $399. For information, visit: If you are not signed up for TravelZoo’s e-newsletter already, you are missing out on great last-minute deals on hotels, cruises, and vacation packages.
Where are you cruising to this year?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to Help Japan

Just like in the Gulf oil spill, some of the most affected people in Japan are the numerous fishermen and fishing companies whose livelihoods have been destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami.
I strongly recommend one U.S. organization that makes sure donated funds go directly to these fishing families. The Alaska Fishing Industry Relief Mission (AFIRM), which donated money to fishing families during Hurricane Rita and the BP oil spill, is raising money for the Japanese fishing communities. The all-volunteer organization sends 100 percent of donated funds directly to fishing communities. AFIRM has already donated $20,000 to the cause.
“Our hearts and prayers are with the Japanese people as they seek to recover from the terrible tragedy, and we will look for guidance from them on how best to use the resources we raise to assist their fishing communities,” said Larry Cotter, chair of AFIRM. To find out more about AFIRM’s relief efforts, visit or call 907-586-2820.