Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Celebrity Wellness Coach and Author to Host Exclusive Clean Living Retreat

When your life is as messy as a hoarder’s apartment, it’s time for a deep clean. Join New York Times bestseller, Tosca Reno at Villa Estrella in Costa Rica for the first Clean Living® retreat February 4-8, 2018.

For over 17 years Reno has helped millions of individuals transform their lives through her coaching, EatClean® programs, 17 books and countless speaking engagements.

“Participating in this wellness retreat with me, will give you the personal touch and guidance I strive to offer via my books and speaking engagements, but at Villa Estrella, I will be right there beside you.  Together we will practice – how to care for ourselves in practical, powerful ways through the tools of Eating Clean®, functional fitness and gratitude journaling,” said Reno.

Villa Estrella is set atop a private hilltop in an exclusive community in Playa Ocotal in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. Participants will have stunning vistas of the ocean and mountains and easy access to an array of outdoor activities.

Highlights of the Clean Living ® Retreat include:
  • Individual sessions with Tosca
  • Meals featuring EatClean® recipes and cooking demos
  • Morning hikes and resistance training fitness
  • Meditation workshops
  • Educational sessions with Tosca
  • Local excursions

The retreat includes five-days/four nights luxury accommodation, all meals, taxes, tips, snacks and a swag bag. Prices start from $2,936.25 and are based on room type and single or double occupancy.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Allegretto Vineyard Resort Earns Coveted AAA Rating

The Allegretto Vineyard Resort has been placed in exclusive company with its recent selection as a Four Diamond hotel by AAA. This achievement ranks the Allegretto Vineyard Resort as a premier establishment esteemed by AAA’s professional inspectors, the hospitality industry, and over 57 million AAA/CAA members. Fewer than six percent of the nearly 28,000 properties approved by AAA achieve this prestigious honor. Such a distinction is a testament to the commitment of the resort’s management and staff to cultivate excellence.

“There is a calming energy present in this resort that is palpable as soon as guests arrive,” said Rich Verruni, general manager of Allegretto Vineyard Resort. “Each detail tells a story and creates a connection, inviting guests to have their own reaction to the space. We take great pride in creating those special moments for our visitors,” Verruni added.

AAA’s Diamond Rating is determined not only by the hotel’s features and amenities, but also its level of service with a focus on overall guest experience. Since opening its doors in September of 2015, the Allegretto has dedicated itself to creating a sanctuary for visitors, inviting them to find respite in the resort’s 20 acres filled with vineyards, orchards, chef’s garden, walking paths and central piazza. The resort is distinguished by its commitment to the museum-quality art and artifacts which have found their place throughout the Tuscan-inspired retreat and are all carefully curated by visionary Douglas Ayres. Visitors to the resort are treated to gracious hospitality and a guest-first approach that focuses on attention to detail and creating a memorable and personalized experience for all.

AAA dedicates itself to providing travel information to its 57 million members and has been using the Diamond Rating System since 1977. The Guidelines are regularly updated to reflect evolving industry trends and guest expectations. An inspector’s Diamond Rating recommendation is based on both personal professional judgment and the agency’s Diamond Rating Guidelines. A Four Diamond rating means a hotel is “refined, stylish wit upscale physical attributes, extensive amenities and a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail.”

The Allegretto Vineyard Resort prides itself on providing each of its guests with a first-class experience that stays with them long after their stay is over. The Four Diamond distinction from AAA solidifies that the Allegretto, the premiere destination resort in the wine country of Paso Robles, California, has established itself as the premium choice for travelers to the area.
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Thursday, October 19, 2017

5 Reasons to Consider a Disney Vacation Land Trip to Hawaii's Aulani Resort

Finding an exceptional travel agency is not easy. Finding a Disney specialist is even more difficult. Fortunately, Crown Cruise Vacations President Ross Spalding and his team of exceptional travel and cruise specialists are readily available to help consumers find their dream cruise vacations to Disney resorts–and also offer exciting and valuable land packages through a number of top vacation and tour operators.

A Very Special Disney Hotel Called Aulani
1.The Ultimate Family Getaway
Walt Disney Imagineers worked hand in hand with locals to create Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii. Inspired by the natural wonders and rich traditions of Hawaii, Aulani Resort is the ultimate family getaway—celebrating the beauty, history and welcoming spirit of the island. Aulani Resort is perfectly positioned on the beautiful beaches of Ko Olina on the leeward coast of Oahu.
2. Cultural Connection
“Aulani” means “messenger of a chief.” Here, you'll discover the legends of the Hawaiian Islands. Multiple pools, waterslides and a lazy river can be found between the two towers of Aulani.
3. Resort History
Aulani Resort opened in August 2011. A major expansion project was completed in fall 2013, offering families even more to enjoy!
4. Dining and Disney
Experience the vibrant setting of Aulani’s restaurant, Makahiki. Satisfy your appetite with fresh, local foods and international flavors with a buffet dinner or delightful Disney Character Breakfast. At dinner, join Aulani Resort's beloved "Uncle" and some favorite Disney Characters for a musical, story-filled Character Dining experience for the whole family!
5. Resort Highlights
  • Rooms & Suites: 351 hotel rooms, including 16 suites
  • Villas: 481 Disney Vacation Club units, including 19 Grand Villas
  • Dining: 2 restaurants, 3 lounges and several quick-service dining venues
  • Laniwai – A Disney Spa
  • Fitness center
  • Aunty's Beach House kids club
  • Painted Sky Teen Spa teen spa
  • Pools, waterslides and more
More Disney Special Offerings Include Disney Vacation Special Offers:
  • Save up to 25% on rooms at Walt Disney World.
  • Save up to 20% on Premium Rooms at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa and Disneyland Hotel.
Sophisticated cruise and travel specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations provide exclusive offers, exceptional value & unparalleled service and can assist with experienced cruise information and bookings. Be sure to check out the Crown Cruise Vacations blog. To learn more about Disney vacations, the abundance of land vacations, cruise sailings and other offers, please contact a travel specialist at Crown Cruise Vacations at 1-877-283-1114 (toll-free USA/Canada) +1-609-945-9801 (direct-dial) or visit

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Fall Festival Season in Ocala/Marion County

Enjoy the upcoming festival season in beautiful Ocala/Marion County, a Central Florida destination perfect for visitors and residents alike to experience many of the cultural and historic events the County has to offer.
Start your engines! ‘Horsepower in Horse Country’ is the perennial theme at the sixth annual “Ocala Pumpkin Run” at Castro Farms. This three-day classic car show will feature premier cars of all makes and models, from all eras, as well as local bands, unique displays and demonstrations, and free activities for the kids. Scheduled for the weekend of October 27-29, guests from all over will get to enjoy three days of music, fun, and fast cars.
This year will mark the 51th anniversary of the “Ocala Arts Festival” in Historic Downtown Ocala. Voted one of the most loved events in Ocala/Marion County, this year’s event will be held on October 28-29 and is free to the public. Special guest and featured artist, Dustin Goolsby, a native of Polk County, Florida. Goolsby see surfaces which are usually ignored or unseen by many, they capture his attention and have inspire him to share his unique perspective with the world. The competition phase of the event will be judged by an independent panel, which will then select 155 artists from all over the United States, for the chance to compete for $22,000 in awards. Drawing crowds of more than 25,000 visitors each year, this event will also include live entertainment, local food vendors, and plenty of activities for the kids.
Friends of McIntosh, a nonprofit organization created to preserve and enhance the natural and historic beauty of its namesake area, will host its yearly McIntosh “1890’s Festival”, coming this October to raise funds for community renovations. Visitors can enjoy handcrafted antiques, crafts, and local food options from more than 250 vendors. The contributions of more than 35,000 visitors annually have helped set up everything from scholarship funds and renovations to the community center, to the installation of playground equipment for children.
Experience Ocala’s only full-day, multi-stage music festival November 11, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. The Harvest Fest Music & Food Truck Festival, located in Tuscawilla Park, 500 NE 9th the heart of Downtown Ocala. This year’s event will feature national and regional recording artists as well as a dozen food trucks. The festival is free to the public with a canned food donation. All donated canned foods will benefit “Project Hope”.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

International Black Film Festival of Nashville Celebrates 11 Years October 5-8

The 11th Annual International Black Film Festival of Nashville will be held October 5-8 at various locations throughout the city. To purchase festival passes, please visit

The IBFF is honored to announce the highly anticipated, critically acclaimed feature film "Marshall" as the Opening Night Film. Directed by Academy Award Nominee, Reginald Hudlin, "Marshall" chronicles significant events of the life of Attorney Thurgood Marshall before being appointed as the first African American Supreme Court Justice. "Marshall" screens as the Opening Night Film on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm on The Johnson on the campus on the campus of Belmont University. The will be a live Skype Q&A immediately following the screening with Director Reginald Hudlin.

Throughout the 4-day event, the festival will serve the full spectrum of the industry by providing a venue to showcase the work of filmmakers from around the globe. Patrons will have the opportunity to view unreleased, independent and studio films, participate in industry-level workshops, master classes, industry parties, and high profile red carpet events with celebrity appearances.

"We are excited to have such an amazing lineup for the 2017 festival," says founder Hazel Joyner Smith. "We are expecting filmmakers and patrons from all over the world to touchdown in Nashville in just a couple of weeks. Screening the highly anticipated feature film 'Marshall' as the Opening Night Film is a special honor, as Justice Thurgood Marshall did significant work right here in Nashville for the local office of the NAACP as well as at the prestigious Fisk University."

The 11th Annual International Black Film Festival of Nashville is sponsored by Urban Movie Channel, Tennessee Entertainment Commission, The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Belmont University, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, SAG-AFTRA and more.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Meet a NASA Astronaut at WonderWorks, As Science & Space Fans Enjoy an Intergalactic Weekend

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge has planned a temporary exhibit that is out of this world, and everyone is invited to blast off with it. The indoor park that combines amusement and educational opportunities is hosting a NASA exhibit from October 5-8, 2017 that will focus on the amazing world of science and the planets. The exhibit will feature scaled models of spacecraft and a virtual reality experience of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System. There will also be artifacts such as a real moon rock that people can touch, and a meet and greet with former space shuttle astronaut Captain Robert “Hoot” Gibson. The fun and educational exhibit is slated to help further interest in STEM education and careers and is ideal for all ages.

“This is such an exciting exhibit for people and we are thrilled to be hosting it,” states Ed Shaffer, General Manager for WonderWorks. “Being able to meet a real astronaut and touch a moon rock is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that you don’t want to miss.”

The NASA exhibit will kick off with Captain Gibson visiting local middle schools to speak to students about his experience being in space. He will be at WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge on Saturday, October 7, 2017. Meet and greet opportunities are from 11 a.m. to noon, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., and from 3:00 p.m.  - 4:00 p.m., where he will answer questions, pose for photos, and give autographs. Media interviews will also be available.
The NASA exhibit will feature:
  • The Exploration Systems virtual tour allows participants to experience the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft up close as they sit on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center. Users will be transported to Launchpad 39B where they will receive a brief overview of the different components that make up the most powerful rocket ever built, the SLS. Once the overview is complete, they will then be placed inside an Orion Spacecraft virtual environment prior to launch.
  • Guest will be able to take and print a photo of themselves in a spacesuit with either an SLS, Orion, Mars rover, or International Space Station background. This is a one-of-a-kind keepsake!
  • Space Launch System 1:50 scale model on a mobile launcher and a 1:20 scale Orion Spacecraft table top model.
  • Touchable moon rock from the Apollo 17 mission.
“We are ready to grow interest in space explorations,” added Shaffer. “There will be plenty of opportunities for pictures, asking questions, and observing, making it an amazing experience for all.”
Capt. Robert “Hoot” Gibson served as a NASA astronaut from 1979 until 1996 and is a veteran of five space shuttle flights. He has logged more than 36 days in space, including having commanded the first docking of the space shuttle to the Russian space station Mir. He is also a graduate of the TOPGUN Navy Fighter Weapons School.

WonderWorks in Pigeon Forge offers 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” opportunities, billing itself as an amusement park for the mind. They offer over 100 hands-on exhibits covering natural disasters, space discovery, an imagination lab, a physical challenge zone, a far out art gallery, and a light and sound zone. WonderWorks is open daily from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information or to register for the event, log onto their site:
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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Historic Austin Bed and Breakfast Celebrates its 3rd Year by Offering Free Rides to Guests from the Airport

Fasten your seat belts: The innkeepers at The Fairview in downtown Austin are celebrating their 3rd year running the bed and breakfast by teaming up with RideAustin to offer guests free transportation from the Austin–Bergstrom International Airport to the B&B.

“We see a lot of guests who want to have an authentic Austin experience but use one of the run-of-the-mill ride-sharing apps to hail a ride,” said Jimi Ballard, who co-owns The Fairview bed and breakfast with his wife. “We work really hard to provide a truly localized stay and partnering with RideAustin makes a lot of sense,” added Vivian.

RideAustin is an Austin-based non-profit ride-sharing app. Starting September 15th, on The Fairview’s anniversary date, a special promo code will enable guests to travel from the airport to the property for free. The partnership is expected to last indefinitely.

“We’re seeing true grassroots support from all sorts of Austin businesses. The Fairview is a special place in the heart of Travis Heights, and we’re proud they’ve chosen RideAustin as their rideshare partner. We are excited about the camaraderie we’re finding among businesses in Austin,” expressed Bobbi Kommineni, Vice President - Operations & Strategic Programs with RideAustin.
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