Surprising Greenville SC to Awesome Asheville NC

Surprising Greenville SC to Awesome Asheville NC

We took a great trip to Greenville in the Upcountry of South Carolina and then took a mini road trip up to Asheville NC with a couple of stops along the way. Next time you are looking for a 5 or 6 day getaway, this could be a great trip for you.

Driving up I-85 from our home in Atlanta, a brief stop at Chateau Elan, a winery – resort would be a good stop. It is right off Exit 126 in Braselton.

Hampton Inn Downtown Greenville
Hampton Inn Greenville

The drive up to Greenville is a pleasant drive of only a little over 2 hours. We stayed at the Hampton Inn Downtown at River Place  which has a great location on the Reedy River and next to Main Street and Falls Park on the Reedy. We parked our car and didn’t touch it until our departure. Continue reading “Surprising Greenville SC to Awesome Asheville NC”



Boomers Participate in Senior Games

Boomers Participate in Senior Games

This week I was a participant in the North Fulton Golden Games, a collaborative effort by 5 local cities that provides a month-long series of Olympic-style events and activities (shot put, discus, one-half and one mile walk, one-mile run, tennis, golf, and bowling) for adults age 50 and older.

Participants compete in track and field events, pickleball, tennis tournament, golf tournament, Bocce ball competition, ball room dancing, swimming and more. I came in first in the one-half mile walk in my age group and enjoyed several other activities. Our senior center helped with sign up and even transportation.

There is a state competition and in my state it is the Georgia Golden Olympics which is scheduled for September 17-20, 2014 in Warner Robins, GA. Every state has a similar event and here a senior games list by state. All this feeds into the National Senior Games Association which will have the 2015 National Senior Games in Bloomington/Minneapolis/St. Paul in July 3-16, 2015 in which they are expecting 12,000 athletes ages 50 and up from all over the county.

Here are some photos from our local senior games.

senior games torch ceremony
senior games torch ceremony

 

discus throw at golden games
discus throw

 

shot put at senior games
shot put

 

mile walk at senior games
mile walk
toss event
Toss event
football toss at senior games
football toss – good throw!
brisbee throw event for seniors
frisbee throw
seniors horseshoe event
horseshoe
crowd at senior games
crowd at senior games

National Senior Games will be in Minnesota July 3-16, 2015.

See post about my visit to the Georgia Golden Olympics



Celebrity Equinox Cruise Ship Photo Blog

Photo blog of the Celebrity Equinox. Just back from a 10 night Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship, my second cruise on this beautiful ship.

Just back from a 10 night Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship, my second cruise on this beautiful ship.  I have now taken 19 cruises and I think the Equinox is the best so far. Here are some of my photos of the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship.

Photo Blog of Celebrity Equinox Cruise Ship

The Lawn Club on the Deck 12
The Lawn Club on the Deck 12

The lawn club is amazing. Up on the top of the ship are two large areas of real grass!  We played bocce ball and was in a golf putting contest (which I won, see photo below).  The lawn club area makes this ship and the other solstice class ships really unique.

ship lawn putting contest
Putting contest at Lawn Club

 Well that is not all, right next to the Lawn Club is the Corning Glass Show. Given a couple of times a day while at sea, you have got to see this. True artisans at work.

Corning Glass Show on Equinox
Corning Glass Show
Rear deck of Celebrity Equinox
Rear deck of Celebrity Equinox

On the same level at the rear of the ship, there is a bar and sitting area. Up above you will the outside tables from the appropriately named Oceanview Cafe. This must have been St Thomas.

Dance Class
Dance Class

There is always some activity going on in the many foyers of the Equinox.  I believe this is some sort of dance exercise group. You don’t sign up, just show up. In the evenings there  games here.

Speaking of foyers, this one below is the Grand Foyer on Deck 3. Part of this foyer is the elevator atrium that shows four glass elevators as they go all the way to the top of the ship. Quite a sight. In the Grand Foyer there is always something going on, like dance classes, demonstrations, formal dancing, and mini “interactive” shows by the ship’s entertainment cast.

Grand Foyer on Eqinox
Grand Foyer

One evening the cast came down the stairs of the Grand Foyer and gave a mini show which turned into a dance party. It was wild!

Interactive Show on Equinox
Interactive Show on Equinox

The main entertainment area is the Princess Theater where two shows a night are staged. I liked this theater because there were no chairs and tables to bang around and camp your sitting.  Comfortable and every seat is a good seat, even in the balcony.

Princess Theater on Equinox
Princess Theater

On a returning sea day there is a great brunch from 10am to 2pm.  Do not miss this, it is excellent.

Brunch on Equinox
Brunch

 

One reason not to miss the brunch is the beautiful original food and ice carvings. Bring your camera like I did.

Food Carving on ship
Food Carvings

By the way, we took a cooking class at the Murano Specialty restaurant and really enjoyed it.  You get a great meal with the package. You have to ask the restaurant about this as I don’t think it is advertised.

Cooking Class Murano
Cooking Class

Of course there is a 24 hour computer room (staffed during the day)

computer room aboard the Equinox
Computer Room

Other rooms include a library

Library on Equinox
Library

 

And a card game room

card game roon on the Equinox
Card Game Room

Of course on a Caribbean cruise the pool area is very popular. Entertainment stage, hamburger and hotdog grill and bar right there too.

pool on the Equinox
Outdoor pool

But we liked the Adult Pool in the Solarium.

adult pool Equinox
Adult Pool

This little cafe is also in the solarium. They serve healthy food and have fresh fruit drinks and smoothies which we like.

Cafe in the solarium
Cafe in the solarium

Well there are many more attractive places on the Celebrity Equinox but this should give you an impression of this beautiful ship.

Boomer Cruise Vacations
Boomer Travel

Oh, I better let you see the outside of the Equinox.

Celebrity Equinox
Celebrity Equinox


Retirement Activities – Enjoy Your Local Park

Retirement Activities for Boomers –
Enjoy Your Local Park

at the park

It is nice being a retired baby boomer and having the time to enjoy the outdoors.  I especially enjoy visiting Newtown Park, one of our nice parks in Johns Creek GA. I bet you have a nice park near you too that could be enjoyed.

Parks Are For Enjoying

Everyone has a park nearby, maybe they observed from the road as they drove to work or visited for a short time on the weekend. But when you have the time you can really enjoy a nice park, all free of charge which is something when you are retired.

Spend some of your time at your park and you may make it a regular retirement activity and place to enjoy like I do. I usually visit my park about 5 days a week, sometimes with more than one visit per day. Some of the things I enjoy at our park I have listed here.

Observe nature at the park whether it is a trail through the woods, native plants, ducks on the pond, blue birds nesting on a fence post, tad poles and fish in the lake or squirrels running about.

This morning, I took the photo above of sun lighting up the top of tall ornamental grass on the border of the community vegetable gardens.

Get some sunshine and fresh air. Even a short time will give you some vitamin D. Fresh air is good for your lungs and spirit. Getting out in nature is rejuvenating. It is good to get away from the computer and TV for awhile.

walking at the parkGet your exercise at the park in a natural way by using the walking trails. Join a walking club or walk with a friend and the time will fly by. I am a member of the Park Place Pacers that walks every Tuesday and Thursday and sometimes more. Many parks have a recreation center with a gym. Swimming pools are common at parks. In the community building or in our case the active adult center, my wife takes yoga, I take Dancing with the Stars and there is Zumba and Silversneakers exercise classes too.

Use the shelters and other park facilities.  Our park has a community building and an active adult center and is building an amphitheater.  There are picnic pavilions and bar-b-que grills. Many parks have recreation centers at the park.

games at the parkPlay games at the park. There is all kinds of kid’s atheletic fields at the park and it is nice to stop for awhile to watch a 3 year old take his first turn at T-ball or the older kids playing baseball, soccer or lacrosse. Our park has two Bocce Ball courts and we have a regular baby boomer team that plays on Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. Playing Bocce is great for socialization and physical activity. Boomer games that can be played at a park include adult softball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, badminton, pickleball, tennis, volleyball, table tennis, bean bag toss or cornhole as it is sometimes called.

Inside the community buildings, in our case the active adult center, there are board games, bridge games enjoyed by a large number of folks and of course bingo.

Enjoy your hobby at the park. As you can see I like to take photographs at the park. There are countless ever changing scenes providing subjects for you. I have seen people with the artist easels painting watercolors scenes at our park.

dog parkEnjoy the dog park Bring your dog to the park and spend some time together or just stop by and enjoy seeing the dogs running around chasing things and playing with other dogs.

Farmers Market is held every Saturday morning during the Summer at our park and it is an exciting time to visit the park. Fresh vegetables and home products, crafts, jellies, breads, fruits, and lots more.

Arts in the park is held several times during the year with art displays or craft shows where local artist have their wares for sale.

Entertainment in the park including a movie night with big screen movies after dark and on weekends a band plays music sometimes. Can’t wait for the new amphitheater to be finished and see what that brings.

Meditate and live in the present at the park. Just sit in the sunshine on a park bench and do nothing. Watch as people and pets go by. Sit and gaze at the pond and all the things happening in nature there. Stroll over to the community gardens and see how things are growing. Watch a bocce ball or softball game for awhile.

Visiting the park is fun, affordable and good for you.

Parks are not just for kids, they can be a great retirement activity as well. Get out and take some time to enjoy your local park. Do you go to the park now? Do you like the outdoors? Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.



Boomers: Losing Weight After 50

Losing weight after 50 tips: Simple sugars, like the infamous whites (white rice, white bread, etc.) are known trigger foods. But did you know that some fruits can be a problem too, because of the fructose content? You still need fruits as part of a healthy diet; just choose fruits higher in fiber.

Weight Loss After Age 50

What’s so hard about losing weight after 50? From the commercials and ads you’ve on TV and in magazines, it looks like it ought to be easy enough. Just take this wonder pill and you’re trim practically overnight.You probably already know – getting rid of that extra weight isn’t that easy! If it really was, you’d be slim already, right?

But there is good news — it is possible to lose weight after you’re 50 (or even 60). You just need a different strategy. Your body is adjusting and re-adjusting to aging, and weight loss probably won’t happen quickly (sorry).

The Menopause Factor and Weight Loss

What can you do about it? Weight loss after (and during, for that matter) menopause is harder now than it was at any other time during your life. Maybe you could lose 10 pounds fairly easily, now three pounds seems like an impossible goal.

Realize that your hormones are working against you; you therefore need to take charge of your diet and cut out foods that spell trouble for you.

Simple sugars, like the infamous whites (white rice, white bread, etc.) are known trigger foods. But did you know that some fruits can be a problem too, because of the fructose content? You still need fruits as part of a healthy diet; just choose fruits higher in fiber.

Here’s one you’ve heard before, but it’s still true — don’t skip meals. It spells trouble when your blood sugar falters, as it makes you more likely to snack.

Bones that are frailer bones, muscle loses mass and you metabolism goes south; and there are still issues. For example, you may have stress bladder problem and your body loses flexibility as well.

Losing Weight After 50 Tips

It seems like you’ve got the deck stacked against you, doesn’t it? Is there anything you can do to help with losing weight after 50?

If you’re eating a balanced diet, exercise is the next most important thing you can do. Without it, your bones will continue to become frailer and your muscles continue to weaken. This weakening, and accompanying loss of mass, means it will be even harder to lose weight!

You don’t need to worry about walking miles or heavy cardio routines; in fact they may hurt more than help at first. Even if you should have mobility problems, you most likely can still work with hand weights, wrist weights and/or resistance bands. These help to re-build muscle mass, and therefore increase your metabolism.

Yes, it’s possible to lose weight after 50, and you can do it. It’s just a matter of taking it one day at a time, and know that with every pound you lose, you’re increasing your health!



Boomers Seek Affordable Retirement Cities and Towns

The times are ones of austerity and tight budgets. Looking at the costs of retirement is a necessity. If you are a Boomer looking for a lower cost of living in retirement, then finding affordable housing without reducing your quality of life would help. Housing is one of the largest retirement expenses. So where can one find places for affordable retirement in towns and cities that boomers want to live in.

By now you have heard Boomers are turning 65 starting now.   There is much talk of delayed retirements because of the bad economy and because of the financial conditions that have wrecked havoc on our retirement savings.  However time marches on and as we Boomers enter the mid 60s, our retirements will be happening at increasing rates, no matter what.

The times are ones of austerity and tight budgets.  Looking at the costs of retirement is a necessity.  If you are a Boomer looking for a lower cost of living in retirement, then finding affordable housing without reducing your quality of life would help. Housing is one of the largest retirement expenses.  So where can one find places for affordable retirement in towns and cities that boomers want to live in.

Affordable retirement communities are listed in this article.  By communities they are talking affordable towns and cities, not specific retirement communities, but the article gives some mid size towns and cities like Asheville NC, Bellingham WA,  Charleston SC,  Fayetteville AR,  Gainesville FL to name a few.

As far as actual affordable retirement communities, being a specific property rather than a town or city, here are 194 Affordable retirement community listings in the database of 55CommunityGuide.com.

Boomers looking for affordable retirement homes should consider moving to a small town to find reduced living costs as well as Cheaper retirement homes available in small towns.

In this article a Realtor lays out the case that you may get a better price on your retirement home purchase using a Buyer Agent.

The AARP just cames out with their list of Affordable Cities for Retirement.  Three cities from Texas: San Antonio, Houston and Austin are in their top 10 Most Affordable Cities for Retirement list.  This AARP study included cities of at least 100,000 and compared cost of living, job market, and expenses like average cost of groceries, health care and transportation.  It also looked at housing costs as a portion of income. Other affordable cities from their top ten are: Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh PA, Buffalo NY, Rochester NY, Nashville TN, Louisville KY, Birmingham Alabama.

Best Cities for Boomers (CityRetirement.com) points out many of today’s retiring seniors are opting for city sidewalks over country roads, thanks to an ever-growing list of amenities. Plus, many people find that the pace of city life helps them think younger and maintain their interest in life as they age.

College towns are also very popular Boomer towns and offer a great value with lots of amenities. Boomers have a lot of reasons to retire to a college town.

Retiring overseas is also know to be among the most affordable retirements.

So these are some of the resources Boomers may use to locate affordable  places, communities, towns and cities for their retirement homes.

Additional tips:

  • Buying home resales are normally cheaper than buying new homes from the builder.
  • Tips for Buying a Home in a 55 Plus Community
  • Buying on the outskirts of the metro area is cheaper than the closer in communities
  • The government has many perfectly nice independent living communities that are income qualified.