Safety Harbor Spa

Safety Harbor Spa

Safety Harbor Spa

Have you ever just needed to unplug from the world and recharge? Well, The Safety Harbor Spa is the perfect place for you. There is no better place to unwind and practice self-love all day. The safety harbor spa offers a 50,000 square foot spa and fitness center and so much more.

When visiting the spa, you will first receive a robe and a locker key. Once you get them you will walk through a door that leads to the spa. Tranquility hits you right a way. In the women’s locker room there is a lounge to relax, fresh lemon water, tea and coffee. Soft music plays in the background. Once you change into your robe you are ready to go.

Directly outside of the locker room you will find steam rooms, sauna, and a natural spring water pool. If that isn’t enough there is also two other natural spring water pools, whirlpools, and a fitness center. You get all day access to all of this if you book even just one service. But why settle for just one? Go to their website and check out their daily deals. https://www.safetyharborspa.com/en-us/spa-fitness/spa-daily-deals

Safety Harbor Spa

Safety Harbor Spa

This is the bath area. This picture is from one of my visits a few years ago. They have updated this area so that all baths are in private rooms.

I try to go once a year. The list of services offered is large and diverse. Facials, massages, and body treatments oh my. From personal experience, I can tell you that the facials, massages, herbal wraps, and the Espiritu Springs Mineral Bath are all fantastic options. They offer a plethora of services for men as well.

In between services you can head up to the main restaurant in your robe. It might seem odd at first, but it is really quite nice. The menu is vast and the food is wonderful. Make sure that you bring your appetite.

Safety Harbor SpaSafety Harbor Spa

Customer service is the best I have ever seen. The spa manager Heather Blake was fabulous. She went above and beyond to make my visit perfect. When talking to her, you will feel like you are old friends.

You couldn’t ask for a more perfect location. The spa is located at the end of Main St. Main St is literally covered with remarkable bars, restaurants, art galleries, bookstores and more.

Disconnecting from everything is so beneficial and much needed. When visiting the Safety Harbor Spa I turn my phone off. No talking, texting or social media. I do bring a book to read while eating. Serenity guaranteed!

You can go for the day or spend the weekend. Check out The Safety Harbor Spa!

 

https://www.safetyharborspa.com/

 

Until next time….

 

 

 

 

Chicago Buildings THINGS TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELING TO CHICAGO

THINGS TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELING TO CHICAGO

Chicago often times gets a bad rap for crime, big city, etc. Well let me tell you, I just came back from four days in downtown Chicago and it was one of the best trips I have ever taken. Don’t get me wrong there are some imperfect things there, just like anywhere you will go. Chicago is rich in history and architecture. When you are walking downtown it is easy to be mesmerized by the sights, sounds, and smells.

Things to Know When Traveling to Chicago

There is so much to do there, if you are only going for a few days it will be difficult to take it all in. I would definitely have a plan for each day to maximize your time in Chicago. Research is key! I wasted considerable time, by visiting several attractions twice. I scheduled a food tour for my second day there, and did not know that in addition to the food tour, we would also go to Millennium Park, visit the bean really named Cloud Gate, and more. It is imperative to find out the time, location, and what exactly will be included in each tour. Most noteworthy opening and closing times for attractions must also be taken into account. Because many of the attractions close by 4:00 pm, making it difficult to see everything. Here are a few of the attractions that close early.

Attractions That Close By 4:00 pm

* ADLER PLANETARIUM closes at 4:00 pm.
* SHED AQUARIUM closes at 5:00 pm M-F closes at 6:00 pm SAT- SUN
* ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO closes at 5:00 pm every day except Thursday, they close at 8:00 pm
* FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY closes daily at 5:00 pm
* LINCOLN PARK ZOO closes daily at 4:30

There are several attractions and tours I wouldn’t miss!

* Famous Tastes of Chicago Food Tour – This can be booked on TripAdvisor. It is a walking tour. The tour begins at Pizano’s Pizza. It included the Berghoff (German restaurant), Fannie May (chocolate shop), and a few more. We also went to Millennial Park, the Palmer House Hotel, and other historical buildings including the Chicago Cultural Center. I absolutely loved this tour and had a wonderful tour guide!

* Chicago Architecture River Cruise – This was another of my favorite experiences while in Chicago. There are two possible departure points when booking this tour. We departed from Navy Pier, which saved me a trip, as I was able to see both. This river ride takes you on a trip though the history and architecture of the city. There is live narration by the tour guide. There is a bar on board. I was extremely fortunate, as my trip was during St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so the river was green for part of our cruise. Chicago dyes the river green every year for St. Patrick’s Day. On this tour you will be able to take some marvelous pictures!

* SHED AQUARIUM – If you love animals you do not want to miss this. Stop by my Facebook page to see the photos. You will be able to see live shows, 4-D shows, touch live star fish, see dolphins, beluga whales, and so much more!

* Millennium Park – You will be able to enjoy this attraction for FREE! This is home of Cloud Gate (better known as The Bean). There are also art exhibitions there that are free. I saw Chakaia Booker Exhibition when I was there. There is so much to see here.

* Chicago Helicopter Tour Nighttime Experience – This is a more expensive adventure. Flying over the city at night viewing the city illuminated by lights is unreal. The tour lasts about 20 minutes. I loved my tour!

* 360 Chicago – This building formally knows as The John Hancock Building offers a breathtaking 360 degree view of Lake Michigan, the skyline, and the city itself. You can also purchase a ticket to walk into a glass “box” and be tilted out over the city.

***FREE THINGS TO DO IN CHICAGO
* Lincoln Park Zoo
*Chicago Cultural Center
* Navy Pier
* Chicago Botanical Garden
* Grant Park
* Millennium Park
Obviously many of the attractions you are going to want to see are not free. I strongly suggest getting a City Pass. You can order the City Pass on TripAdvisor. You will exchange your voucher at your first attraction accepting the City Pass for a City Pass book. DO NOT RIP OUT ANY OF THE TICKETS BECAUSE THAT WILL VOID THEM. LET THE EMPLOYEES AT THE ATTRACTIONS DO THIS. Attractions included are as follows:

 Shedd Aquarium
The Field Museum
Skydeck Chicago
Choice ticket: Admission to 360 Chicago (formerly John Hancock Observatory) OR Museum of Science and Industry
Choice ticket: Admission to Adler Planetarium OR Art Institute of Chicago (includes audio tour)
The City Pass will also give you discounts for shopping at the attractions.

THINGS NOT TO DO:
*Tommy Gun’s Garage Dinner and Show – I found this to be boring and time-consuming. The food was not very good at all. You cannot leave until the end of the show. The servers are all in the show so you can only get service at certain times. The staff aggressively tries to sell you things for a good part of the night. This is also interactive and you have no choice whether or not to participate once they choose you. This is definitely a PASS!
*The Hop on Hop Off Tour/Bus – I purchased a ticket and never used it. Many of the places you can walk to and others you can Uber to or take the subway.

THINGS TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELING TO CHICAGO
* Wear comfortable shoes!! There is no way to avoid walking and you will be doing plenty of it.
* They call it the Windy City for a reason. Check the weather and dress accordingly.
* Utilize the option to share rides when using Uber there and you will save a decent amount of money and not waste much time at all. When using Uber be careful because they will not always pick you up on the side of the road you are waiting on. Also, the GPS can be finicky there so your auto location is not always accurate. If taking a Uber to the airport know that they don’t always send a vehicle with the ability to accommodate your luggage. If you have to cancel the ride for that they will try to charge you a $5 fee for the “driver’s inconvenience”.
* Maps Apps – These to can be finicky and will redirect you many times. I found it worth the time though. I walked the entire city.
* When shopping on Michigan Ave or the Magnificent Mile buyer beware. You will be charged 2%-3% more in taxes.

**MUST TRY FOODS –
* Pizza – Duh, but did you know that not only does Chicago make a mean deep dish pizza, but they also have a delicious thin crust? Try both!
* Chicago beef – often offered with sweet or hot peppers and either dipped, partially dipped, or not dipped. This means the sandwich will be dunked in the au jus.
* Chicago hot dog – common Chicago Style – yellow mustard, chopped onions, relish, pickle spear (dill), peppers, sliced tomato, and celery salt. Most places not only do not offer ketchup, but do not carry ketchup.
* This one might sound gross, I sure thought it did. Once I tasted it I was addicted. Caramel and Cheddar popcorn. You have to go to Garrett’s for this, it is the best!

** RESTAURANTS TO TRY
* Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta
* Volare Restaurant – Italian
* Rosebud – Italian and has more than one location
* Berghoff’s

Do not be shocked by the prices, the food is very expensive. The prices go down if you are off of The Magnificent Mile.
Chicago is abundant in culture, history, architecture, wonderful food, and art. It is easy to fall in love with the city. Research and planning are the key to getting to see as much as you can in a short time. There are many things to know when traveling to Chicago check out the link below for more information.

https://www.choosechicago.com/things-to-do/attractions-and-tours/

Until next time…

Things to Know When Traveling

I only began traveling about three years ago. Traveling was something I had always wanted to do, but repeatedly let others hold me back. When I first made the decision to join my friends on a seven day cruise, I was scared. Unprepared was an understatement, I didn’t even have a passport. I had to use my birth certificate (not the best thing to do, but always an option). I wish I had a list of things to know when traveling then.

It was on that trip that I fell in love with traveling. This is when I decided that I was going to attempt to visit at least one country a year. So far I have met my goal. My next trip was to Paris and London, and that is where travel became very daunting for me. I had my first intercontinental flight, and to make things more interesting I flew there alone and met my friend there. I wanted to share what I have learned with others who want to begin traveling.

So these are things to know when traveling.

Make sure your passport is up to date. Although you can take a cruise with a birth certificate, I recommend having your passport when ever leaving the country. If you need to fly to or from a port, you will need a passport. When going through security and customs, take your passport out of its holder and have it open to the page with your information. Pack photo copies of your passport, just in case it gets lost or stolen. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports.html

 

Hotels can be expensive and touristy. You won’t always be able to enjoy the beauty of the locals staying in a hotel. Try an apartment, Airbnb, or other local rentals. Staying in a residential area will give you a totally different experience then staying in a touristy area. I stayed at a small apartment in a residential area when I visited Paris, and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

Pay the extra for travel insurance. Travel insurance is coverage for the unexpected, emphasis on unexpected. There are definitely ways to save money when traveling, cutting out travel insurance is not one of them. Travel insurance can cover medical expenses, canceled trips, lost luggage and more.

Research your destination. You will want to know at least the basics as far as their customs, a few common phrases, tipping practices, etc. Try the Dulingo app for learning the language it is free and easy. Look at a map of the area you are staying and what it is you want to see while there. Look into local means of transportation. Make sure you know if you need a voltage converter and bring one with you.

Call your phone company and find the best international plan for you. Keep your phone on airplane mode when you are not using it. Try Facebook video messaging to avoid extra service charges and share where you are with those at home.

When I went to Canada, mu Hulu didn’t work. It said it could only work in the U.S. So if you want to watch TV either on the plane of in your room download from Netflix, and you can also pack your Fire stick.

Look into all of your credit cards and see which ones will not charge you for international use. Make sure to call the company and make them aware of your travel plans. I always notify a secondary credit card company and bring that card for emergencies. Take money with you, even though you may plan to use your credit card. Although most places take cards, not all do. Also, you will need cash for tipping shuttle drivers, tour guides, etc. Check the currency exchange rate.

Security is something that always makes me nervous. To make going through security easier make sure you are wearing shoes that are easy to get on and off. Take off all of your jewelry before entering the security line. Pull your clear bags (either Ziploc or purchased) out of your carry on and put in a bin, pull out any electronics larger than a cell phone out and put them in a separate bin, remove your shoes, coat, and empty out your pockets and put everything in bins. If you are going to take a Xanax do not take it before going through security.

Make sure you go through your makeup bag, purse, etc you can not pack tweezers, cosmetic scissors, etc in your carry on.

Do not walk around buried in your phone, maps, etc. Look confident and pay attention to your surroundings. Smile, relax, and ask for help if you need it.

There are so many things to know when traveling, you will make mistakes. These mistakes are learning lessons. I still make mistakes, but instead of getting upset I write what happened down so I know better for next time. I was very lucky to have a couple of great friends share with me what they know when I began traveling. Things to know when traveling will be very helpful for traveling beginners. Now I am so happy that I have been able to share what I have learned with you.

Check out some of my other blogs on traveling.

http://www.fabulouslysingle.life/things-to-know-when-traveling-to-chicago/

Until next time..