Viewing entries tagged Travel News
I'm headed off for a weekend in the woods near Aspen at North America's most elevated hot springs. I'll be drinking lots of water and eating trail mix, but here's some food for thought to hammer out over the breakfast table this weekend:
The Foie Gras Debate: At the beginning of July, it became illegal to produce or sell foie gras in California. The state cites the force feeding of animals via a tube to fatten and enlarge their livers as inhumane. The law was signed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2004, but he postponed it eight years so the state's main producer, Artisan Sonoma Foie Gras, could amend its business practices.
Studies have revealed that factory-farmed animals can suffer from extreme stress during their "lives" up to and including slaughter. This physical stress results in hormone production that ends up in the meat that we eat as consumers. Even though the effect it has on our health is still being debated, one thing is for sure in my mind: Even if it's not affecting our health, it should still affect our conscience.
Not everyone seems to be worried about the animals, though, with profits and lifestyle taking precedence over ethical treatment. Chefs on the Golden Coast don't just plan to fight the ban, they plan to ignore it:
Many California chefs call the ban "absurd," and pledge to use loopholes to serve the dish anyway. One loophole restaurants have figured out is a BYOF policy, meaning Bring Your Own Foie. If you supply the foie gras, they'll cook it for free -- and maybe charge you $20 for the toast it's served on."
PETA photo showing a duck being force fed to fatten its liver.
The city of Chicago passed a similar ban on foie gras in 2006, but it was overturned in 2008 by former Mayor Richard Daley, who called it a source of embarrassment after the locals accused the government of micromanaging their choices. Proponents of the ethical treatment of animals have continued their push to make the public aware of how the product is produced, including a call for a nationwide ban. In July, PETA posted a few humbling photos that show the process of force feeding.
I have eaten foie gras many times - so I'm no Judge Judy - but I think I've had my fill. I don't blame people who enjoy the taste of liver, however I have to raise an eyebrow to anyone who can read the facts of its production and feel good about the whole thing. To hear chefs pledge to use "loopholes" is sort of disturbing. I'm all for personal freedoms, but they can't come at another's expense. We would never tolerate humans being treated in this way, nor dogs or cats or horses. What makes ducks and geese so much different?
I've got a few guesses, and they all start and end with dollars and cents.
For couples searching for the perfect fall vacation - or making honeymoon plans - Four Seasons Resort Maui literally has it all. Think relaxation, pampering, sports, beach and water activities, hiking, Spa treatments, the best in food and wine from three top restaurants - and even boutique trunk shows featuring chic designer fashions not easily found in stores at home. Plan a tropical stay in paradise to coincide with September is Couples Month.
The trunk shows, scheduled to run throughout the month at the Resort's distinctive boutique shops Cabana and 22 Knots, will feature a number of inspired designers including Vincent Peach artistically crafted collection of leather and beautiful fresh water and black Tahitian pearls; Ranjana Khan exclusive and elegant charmeuse silk sarongs - ideal travel apparel; and Letarte luxe bathing suits, coordinated cover-ups and sportswear. Personal stylist Jessica Grant, senior buyer for Seaside Luxe LLC, creator of the Resort shops, will be on hand from September 11-16, 2012. Maui Mari Ocean Jewelry, Jemma Sands (jewelry), OluKai (men’s and women’s sandals), Helen Kaminski Australia (hats) and PilyQ Barcelona (swim and resort wear) are among other featured trunk shows.
The Resort is going all out by offering up a host of specially-designed activities sure to capture the interest of couples. Most of the activities are being offered on a complimentary basis, including cooking, cocktail-making and wellness talks and demonstrations. Couples can attend cooking demonstrations en cuisine with Master Executive Chef Roger Stettler, Maui’s 2012 Chef of the Year. The Resort’s charismatic bartenders will teach the secrets of how to make some of the most popular and exotic cocktails with names such as Smile, Hana Haze, and Blueberry Mojito. A series of outdoor wellness classes will feature experts in energy healing, couples’ meditation and relationship work, all arranged by the Resort’s award-winning Spa. There will be more activities from which to choose - everything from beachside yoga, golf and tennis to zip-lining, snorkeling and hiking, with a long menu of other options in between.
The London 2012 Festival has been one of the most successful elements of the London 2012 Olympic Games – and some of the most ambitious and exciting commissions are still to come. The festival has so far been enjoyed by more than 12 million people in events ranging from a bouncy-castle version of Stonehenge to the World Shakespeare Festival. The fun continues for another three and a half weeks until 9 September with events all over Britain.
Through the festival the nation has been transformed into a canvas for innovative and unique events. Those coming up over the next two weeks are among the most extraordinary. Walking sees a stretch of North Norfolk’s wild coastline transformed by sculptural installations and outdoor theatre. The stunning landscape, which many people will have already admired on screen as the setting for the final scene of Shakespeare in Love, will become the stage for an extraordinary outdoor adventure. Set over a three mile stretch of the Holkham estate in Norfolk – some sections of which are not usually open to the public – this is part walk and part theatrical experience, punctuated by gigantic architectural installations along the way.
Flags is internationally renowned German artist Hans Peter Kuhn’s new installation artwork set against the backdrop of the spectacular Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. The work stretches along the length of the bay, just beyond the stones, and features a series of randomly positioned flags along the trail and the banks of the cliff face. The flags, red on one side and yellow on the other, will rotate in the wind creating a flickering pattern against the dramatic landscape.
Mittwoch aus Licht is the world premiere performance of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen’s monumental opera cycle Licht/Light, directed by Graham Vick and staged by Birmingham Opera Company. For the first time, all six parts of this opera will be staged, featuring two choirs, flying solo instrumentalists, live electronic and acoustic music and a string quartet streamed live from four flying helicopters. YesYesNo - Connecting Light is a new art installation along the line of Hadrian's Wall, designed by New York based digital arts collective YesYesNo. Using a series of weather balloons lit by internal LED lights, the installation will become a line of pulsating colours as 'messages' are sent along the Wall. The installation will be visible in the evening and accessible to visitors at several locations, creating a unique way to experience one of Britain’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Africa Express is the train to take. The concept is simple: take some of the best African and Western musicians, put them in a train and send them around Britain to entertain the nation with fantastic music. The train leaves London on 2 September and travels through England, Scotland and Wales. There are scheduled concerts in Middlesbrough, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol & London as well as pop-up performances at railway stations, schools, factories, offices, shopping centres and homes. Michael Clark – Barrowlands Project. Iconic Scottish dancer, choreographer and artist Michael Clark will take over the celebrated Glasgow Barrowlands, now a legendary rock music venue and with a history as Glasgow’s premier dance hall to create a powerful dance event with local people, who have been invited to perform alongside company dancers to create a communal dance experience.
Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Maldives
Discover a blend of convenience, adventure and wonderful child friendly rewards with a special “Family Special” package at Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa, Maldives, up until 9th January 2013.
Anantara Dhigu Resort & Spa extends a gracious welcome to families with excellent accommodation, a Kids Club and an abundance of enriching activities for guests of eleven and under to explore the exuberant personality of the Maldives.
The Dhoni Kids Club awakens pirate fantasies in a Dhoni (traditional Maldivian sailboat) club house. Here daily supervised programmes offer kid’s fun filled opportunities to discover the island’s friendly wildlife inhabitants, fun arts and crafts activities, indoor and outdoor sports and games, even introducing them to new games inspired by local culture. Activities include paper weaving, henna tattoo, hair braiding, coloured sand art and coconut painting classes. Other cultural and educational excursions include a visit to a coral nursery and reef regeneration project with the resident Marine Biologist, island exploration and chef’s garden discovery.
A tailor made, fun filled educational excursion affords Anantara Dhigu’s younger guests an exciting adventure of discovery to experience and interact with essential coral reef conservation and regeneration projects. A visit to the coral nursery sees the resort’s resident Marine Biologist sharing valuable information for developing minds when she explains how coral grows to protect the pristine beaches at Anantara Dhigu and guard the island’s crystal-clear lagoon, all while the children touch and feel the coral. Topics like marine life in the surrounding waters are also covered, after which theory turns into reality when the children paddle across the resort’s shallow lagoon in glass bottom kayaks to look at the astounding array of tropical fish, crustaceans and bizarre-looking molluscs below. Closer to the lagoon’s edge they paddle over a newly created coral reef that joins two existing reefs, with more than 450 different coral species, including faster growing acropora coral such as staghorn and table coral.
No fun filled day of adventure and discovery is complete without budding Picassos returning to the Dhoni Kids Club to pencil the day’s unforgettable scenes on paper to take home unforgettable memories from the greatest underwater paradise on earth, followed by a scavenger hunt and crab hunting and race before dinner time.
Family accommodation options include Sunset Family Villas and Two Bedroom Anantara Pool Villas nestled along a pristine stretch of beach.
The Sunset Family Villas are ideal for families with young children, affording comfortable accommodation for two adults and up to three young children in luxurious surroundings. It consists of two bedrooms – one with a king size bed, the other with two single beds and room for a third single bed or baby cot – two bathrooms and a sundeck that extends out to a white powdery beach. The parents’ bathroom features an open bathhouse garden with a rain shower, outdoor shower and a signature Anantara terrazzo bathtub. The kids’ bathroom includes both a semi indoor and outdoor shower.
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico DF offers unique and authentic massages that are true to the traditions of the beautiful country of Mexico. A full menu of massages is offered, but the ones that have drawn the most interest are the Pre-
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico DF
Hispanic Massage and the Mexican Massage, which were introduced this year with great success. The Pre-Hispanic Massage is a magical journey that takes guests to the country's origins through the elements that compose it with pre-Hispanic music with the sounds of drums, conchs and whistles.
The combination of these elements helps balance the harmony of the body by activating the emotional energetic blood circulation. It provides a deep meditation because it concentrates the mind; the massage relaxes the muscles and increases inner strength, relieves pain and prevents diseases, soothes emotions and feelings that have been kept in the corporal memory. This massage has indigenous elements such as the mezcal - a drink processed through cooking, fermentation and distillation of the maguey from the region of Oaxaca; amaranth - a plant of the same name that contains high nutritional value, calcium, protein and iron; and semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa beans.
When ingesting these elements, substances such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphin and cytosine, which are the hormones of happiness, and cell regenerators are released. Other elements that are used for this massage are the ambiance of the place with pre-Hispanic special music, copal incense, oil prepared with citrus essence, a thermal blanket and refreshing lavender lotion. The latter two produce the effect of a temazcal, an ancient method of purification, physical and emotional cleansing, calming at the psychic level. The massage technique includes soft circular movements for open cleansing. Everything applied in this massage stimulates the senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste, leading guests to experience well-being, pleasure and relaxation.
The Mexican massage is an extraordinary Mexican experience, in which guests can enjoy an exquisite massage, making it possible to enjoy an ancestral experience. It focuses on physical well-being, since tequila is a Mexican drink that helps control some diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and colon problems when ingested. During this exquisite massage, application of oil on the body is an antiseptic that helps to eliminate bacteria. In addition, with this massage, the sensation is of total relaxation and comfort since sage is a muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory.