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Spa Week
Spa Week October 12th – 18th

Story by Ruth J. Katz

he growth of the spa industry – not only in America, but around the globe – has been overwhelming in the past fifteen-plus years. Today it is impossible to build a prestigious hotel that does not have a glamorous and well-designed spa; similarly, spas that were constructed fifteen and twenty years ago are being transformed into more user-friendly and up-to-date sybaritic palaces. So, wherever your travels may take you in October, remember that a spa treatment is but a (hot) stone's throw away – and is, for Spa Week, affordable, as well.

Photo Courtesy of Spa Week Media Group, Ltd

It is worth noting, also, that these spa havens of sanctum for feeling whole and well are not only for "the fairer sex," but also for the Y-chromosome set – that is to say for anyone seeking to relieve anxiety and stress, elevate self-awareness and -consciousness, and boost performance levels. Anyone who wants to indulge in one of life's greatest joys – an afternoon at the spa, during which time you can be pampered and can also forget the troubles of the day – can happily plunk down the necessary silver to achieve the goal of inner balance and physical release: What may once have been considered a luxury is today a necessity.

To make that goal much more achievable and certainly more palatable on the pocketbook, Spa Week takes a bite out of traditional spa pricing. A bi-annual event, this season's celebration of a healthier self is scheduled for October 12th to the 18th, with hundreds of spas, wellness, and fitness facilities around the country offering premium, full-service treatments at major discounts! Spa Week was created in 2004 by Spa Week Media Group with the goal of not only introducing healing and therapeutic spa treatments to the uninitiated, but also, to make these indulgent and/or wellness treatments available to all, at prices that aren't off-putting. By heavily discounting costly spa and wellness services on a national scale, Spa Week has played a major role in opening the spa world to the masses, while dispelling the notion that spas are for the privileged only. For the past eleven years, consumers from diverse demographics have experienced physical and mental relief and gained tools for healthier living by taking advantage of a plethora of spa and wellness treatments at affordable prices.

Photo Courtesy of Spa Week Media Group, Ltd

Many signature treatments will be offered at a special rate of $50/treatment (normally $100-$500/treatment) at participating day, medical, and resort spas; yoga and Pilates studios; fitness and nutrition centers. Millions of spa-goers will look to these treatments to enrich their personal health and well-being, rather than solely to pamper themselves. From the most innovative massage and bodywork techniques, to cutting-edge skincare procedures, to classes focusing on fitness, nutrition, and mind/body, there's something for everyone on the Spa Week menu.

Just a few of the highlights from Spa Week's selections of treatments from disparate locations around the country, all being offered for $50.

  • Ling Skin Care (New York City): Fifty-minute charcoal facial, usually $260.

  • Hey Gorgeous! Spa and Wellness (San Antonio, TX): Fifty-minute sea salt/honey-pumpkin scrub and massage, usually $135.

  • Advanced Laser & Skin Center (Woburn, MA): Standard hydrafacial/ medical grade, usually $169.

  • Onsen Spa (Los Angeles, CA): Sixty-minute 24-karat gold, Japanese facial, usually $245.

That is but a tiny sampling of what will be on the menu during Spa Week, and it is also important to note that participating spas (day, medical, and resort), yoga and Pilates studios, fitness and nutrition centers will be offering gift cards that can ultimately be used at over 8,000 spas and wellness locations across North America. Millions of spa-goers will look to experience these treatments to enrich their personal health and well-being, rather than to merely pamper themselves. From the most modern massage and bodywork techniques, to cutting-edge skincare procedures, to classes focusing on fitness, nutrition, and mind/body synergy, there's something for everyone on the Spa Week menu.

Photo Courtesy of Spa Week Media Group, Ltd

I road-tested a neighborhood spa, in prep for Spa Week , and want to report back that I had a lovely experience, for a pittance of the regular price. I didn't want to stray too far from my nabe, given that the Pope was in NYC and that Obama was coming, so I chose Yin Beauty and Arts Spa, near my home. It is a neighborhood place, with a local clientele, not fancy (a store-front entrance), but clean and neat and with a very dedicated staff. Julie Kilder took care of me and was the perfect aesthetician for a deep-cleansing facial.

For the Spa Week $50 offerings, there are a few choices:

  • Deep-cleansing, purifying facial (normally $130, for the record) or a Microdermbrasion Glow Facial (anywhere from $75 to $95 normally), both about an hour.

  • Radio Frequency skin tightening (regularly $350), which supplies RF technology, delivering a sort of non-invasive "face lift." It stimulates deep collagen production, and with luck, you'll see a lifting of the eyebrows, tightening of the forehead, the jaw line, and around the eyes, cheeks, and neck. Say goodbye to sagging.

  • Lipo Cavitation (regularly $200), which is a new and revolutionary alternative to liposuction using Ultrasound Cavitation to help breakdown fat cells and reduce cellulite. The released fat is then metabolized though the body's normal metabolic process. This treatment is perfect for people with fat deposits on the abdomen, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms, back and chin areas.

In order to receive information on participating spa and wellness locations and their $50 services, spa-goers should register on as early as possible. The complete directory launched on September 9th will allow consumers to begin booking their desired services. It is recommended that spa-goers sign up and book in advance to ensure they reserve their top treatment choices – and thereby help their minds and bodies emerge from summer's slow-speed mindset to fall's reinvigorated energy.

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Let Ruth know what you think about her traveling adventure.

* * * * *

Ed Boitano's travel blog/review
Journey to the Bottom of the Globe: Exploring the White Continent of Antarctica

nguins on  shore as writer's cruise ship passes by, Antarctica
As a travel journalist I am constantly asked what are some of my favorite travel experiences. The list is endless. But there is one destination that seems to raise the most eyebrows. That destination is a cruise to Antarctica. Sadly, that cruise line I was on is no more, but today there is a plethora of cruise lines that offer similar packages. Here's a look back at my Antarctica cruise.

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Tom Weber's travel blog/review
Treasures of Ireland: Food, Fun and Falconry at Ashford Castle (Dispatch #18)

sunset at Galway Bay

The Palladian Traveler soars above the crowd with a gal named Lima, cruises across a lake dotted with hundreds of islands, and feasts like a king in a regal dining room.

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John Clayton's travel blog/review
Would You Believe She Can Carry 800 (Yes, 800!) People!

Emirates Airbus A-380
As she came around the corner we could not believe how big she was. Massive, and yet incredibly beautiful – almost elegant in fact. Her lines were so symmetrical she seemed to blend into a classic example of astonishing good looks. The other fact that amazed all of us was how quiet she was. We felt sure that with the obvious overwhelming power she evidenced, she'd be extra loud. It's a cliché, but she was as quiet as a church mouse – or "as quiet as dreaming trees."

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Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's Gold Country

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
In the 1840s, the population of California was only 14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived from all over the world – and they came for one reason: gold. James Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in El Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.

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Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Lake Charles’ Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras

dressed-up for the Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their children’s eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from last year’s Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already fed and are rubbing their stomachs.

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Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing as the Man who Lived There

Cedar Hill, Washington DC
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from the president during Black History Month – Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job... – it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC – surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself – would be a good place to start.

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Tim Mattox's travel article
John Nemeth Doubles Down

Nemeth and Deanna Bogart performing at Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico

John Nemeth is a busy guy. He and his band, the Blue Dreamers, tour constantly and rarely leave the road. But when they do it's just long enough to feed the heads of their rabid and enthusiastic fan base. Personally, I've witnessed multiple Nemeth shows in both intimate and festival settings and not once have I ever seen a patron stagger away without a face full of grin. So when word came down that a new recording was in the works, my grin got wider.

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Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Hanging Out in Huntington Beach, California

Greg at Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is legendary around the world as one of the best surfing spots. Its waves and beaches are so great, it is also officially known as "Surf City." But as I learned on a recent getaway, the town is more than just tasty swells and beautiful white sand; it also boasts gourmet restaurants, luxury, ocean-front hotels, great shopping, and tons of California coastal charm.

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Richard Frisbie's travel blog/review
Seville – The Most Gay-Friendly City in Spain

Seville tower

I find it nearly impossible to sleep on airplanes. When I couldn't sleep on the overnight Delta flight from New York to Andalusia last September, I scrolled through the movies (blah) and other entertainment (double blah) until I came across the TV show "Game of Thrones". I knew of it, that it was bloody and sexy, but had never seen it. I watched more than heard three episodes before dozing off. As I found out later, it was the perfect introduction to my visit to Seville, Spain.

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Raoul Pascual's travel blog
Leviticus 20:13
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA

It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana was legalized in the last election. Leviticus 20:13 states
"If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned..." We've been interpreting it wrong all these years!

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Roger Fallihee's travel blog/review
Love Is Better the Second Time Around (Lake Como)

Lake Como
As our wedding plans came together in the summer of 2007 my fiancée Dorothy and I began to focus on the honeymoon. Hawaii? New York? London? Paris? Rome? Both of us had travelled to these iconic places in the past, but in our conversations we quickly realized that neither one of us had ever had a truly romantic visit to any of these wonderful destinations. Dot and I had both been in long-term, "complicated" marriages, where romance had not been on the plate for many, many years.

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James Thomas Boitano's travel blog
The Last Place You’d Visit: A Few Days in Europe’s Least Visited Country

Chisinau panorama from the Cosmos Hotel
I’m a biased traveler. Having fallen in love with Europe on my first trip to Italy with my father as a 14 year old, it is to this continent that my travel plans always seem to lead. I return to somewhere in Europe now every May to see old friends and favorite cities. But with each trip, I have a firm goal: to fit in at least one new country every year.

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Deb Roskamp's travel photo blog
Tahiti and Her Islands


Just their names (pronounce each vowel!) conjure up romantic images: Tahiti Nui, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea, Taha'a. Her people are gentle; the air, tiare-perfumed. Warm lagoons, majestic peaks, tropical fruits from the land and bounty from the sea all tantalize the senses. Paradise! As near as can be found on planet earth. And, in my experience, the finest way to explore her is on a ship designed for that single purpose.

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Gary Singh's travel blog/review
Monte Verità: In the Footsteps of Anarchy

Chiara's Rainbow, Monte Verita, Switzerland
Just as I reach the end of a squiggling, multicolored path, an acorn plummets from an oak tree above me. It lands at my feet, just as the path culminates at a mandala of Venetian glass, eight feet in diameter. On the worn-out front lawn of Monte Verità, the Mountain of Truth, this path, Chiara's Rainbow, evolves through the colors of the spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and finally violet – before arriving at the mosaic mandala where psychic energies supposedly prevail. The falling acorn brings me to the present moment.

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Terry Cassel's travel blog
The Impossible Happened: Itís Time to Get to Work

the White House

All of us are stunned, across the entire political spectrum, by the results of this election. Many are both sickened and saddened, while others are jubilant. I am guardedly optimistic. I think it's too early to despair, or to celebrate. In my experience nothing is ever as bad as it seems, or as good. But there is great cause for concern.

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Jim Friend's travel blog/review
Japan: Bullet Trains, Monkey Shows and Whale Steaks

Nikko Temple gate
Last month, I went to Japan for three things... Ok, let me back up a little bit already. The #1 reason I went to Japan was to visit my girlfriend, Yuki, and she will kill me if I don't say that, so there it is. Hi Yuki! Anyway, so after that, reasons number 2, 3, and 4 were the following: I wanted to ride a bullet train, go to a monkey show, and eat a whale steak. That's right. That's right.

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