senior couple at ski resort

Winter Sports To Challenge Your Inner Olympian

All eyes are on the 2018 winter games, and as we watch global talent compete for the medal, it’s inspiring many of us to get out on the snow, and ice, to try it out ourselves. While quadruple toe loops, and freestyle ski acrobatics are probably best left to the pros, there are still plenty of high intensity winter sports that older adults can get in on. Boomers love a fitness challenge, and it’s not surprising that gyms, and ski resorts are finding the majority of their clientele to be 55 or better, so if you’re needing a reprieve from your stationary bike routine, these Olympic inspired activities will have you going for the gold.

Skiing
Boomers are still hitting the slopes with the same vitality as did decades before, and they’re not losing momentum. Driving through fresh powder is exhilarating and challenging even for the seasoned ski enthusiast, but if you’re thinking of trying it out, it’s never too late to start. Programs like Bumps For Boomers in Aspen Colorado are designed by fellow boomers to offer ski instruction, and physical conditioning for older adults either new to the sport, or wanting to get back into shape, and improve their stamina. As an added incentive, Seniorsskiing.com lists more than 100 ski resorts that offer free, or heavily discounted ski passes to 50+ folks ready to push their edge.

Carlsbad Inspires a Life of Leisure

Just under 40 minutes from San Diego, the Village By the Sea is one of those places you can’t help but fall for. It’s the perfect mix of everything a Southern California town should be, boasting youthful vibes, a touch of European class, and pristine coastal scenery. For many it’s just a vacation spot to visit popular attractions like Legoland, and the Sea Life Aquarium, but for long time residents of Carlsbad, this beachfront charmer is a safe, and friendly community with an affinity for wellness, and culture. Carlsbad made Kiplinger’s list of top retirement destinations, offering a variety of home options, reputable medical facilities, and a passion for the good life.

Carlsbad earned its namesake from the famous 19th century Czech Republic mineral water spa in Karlsbad, Bohemia, and is reminiscent of those beach vacations you never wanted to end. The entire stretch of Pacific coastline is pretty breathtaking, but the 7 miles of sand, surf, and sun that runs along the city’s edge is what converts so many snowbirds into permanent coastal dreamers. Whether you’re walking along the Carlsbad Sea Wall, or sinking your toes in the sand at Tamarack, and Carlsbad State Beach, the lifestyle is like a virtual postcard, where near perfect year round temps make it hard to want to stay indoors.

3 Reasons Airbnb Has an Advantage

Booking travel accommodations via the internet is convenient, and easy, but depending on your destination it can be an expensive way to way to go. If you’re looking to stretch your travel dollars, and try something out of the ordinary, consider making reservations with the vacation rental brand that has taken the travel industry by a storm, Airbnb has introduced an ingenious alternative to pricey hotels, and bed and breakfasts, giving travelers a budget-friendly way to see the world. Developed in 2008, Airbnb is a growing online platform for hosts to rent out everything from studio apartments, to European castles. Currently available in over 190 countries, and across the U.S, this popular booking site is changing the way the world travels.

Enjoy a Home Away From Home
The caveat to staying in someone’s home is foregoing room service, but most would prefer to supply their own pillow mints, and towels in exchange for staying in some of the most desirable destinations in the world. Along with experiencing an authentic local immersion, another benefit to staying in an Airbnb is having a space that feels more like home. Depending on where you’re staying amenities may include a fully equipped kitchen, on site laundry facilities, and extra bedrooms to save on group travel.

Uncovering the Magic of Sedona

You’ll hear about people traveling from place to place in the pursuit of self-enlightenment, but wherever their road may lead, the red rocks of Sedona should undoubtedly be a stop along the way.  It’s one of those travel experiences that people can’t stop talking about and whether they were looking for a spiritual awakening, or a panoramic, ends of the earth kind of adventure, there’s a mystical energy about Sedona that makes everyone catch their breath. Maybe it’s the way the majestic monoliths stand in stark contrast to the blue sky, or how the ghosts of an ancient civilization are eternally etched into the sandstone, but whatever draws people to this mysteriously beautiful place, it’s an experience they’ll never forget.

Chiseled by the forces of nature, Sedona’s rust-hued towers are quite possibly the most magnificent, geologic wonders of the world.  Surrounded by the Verde Valley, and flowing waters of Oak Creek Canyon, this jewel of the Southwest is located about 2 hours from the Grand Canyon, and 45 minutes from Flagstaff. Sedona encompasses 1.8 million acres of national forests, and more than 300 miles of trails for wherever your journey takes you, whether it’s channeling magnetic vortex energy, or peering over the edge of Cathedral Rock.

Feeling Puzzled May Boost Your Brain Power

If you though the therapeutic effect of crossword, and jigsaw puzzles was all in your head, you’re absolutely right. Carefully strategizing the answer to 35 across or lining up your edge pieces is like calisthenics for your brain, and something you should be doing more often. Working on a puzzle reduces stress in a way that hours spent watching mindless television can’t do, and according to researchers may also improve your long term cognitive health. Need a lift? Instead of looking for the remote, give your brain a good workout instead.

The Happiness Effect

The feeling you get when you’ve found that missing piece is the mood enhancing chemical dopamine. It makes you feel accomplished, and good about yourself, so if you’ve just completed a 1,000 piece masterpiece, your brain is likely running on all of its feel good cylinders. If you’re looking to spice up your social life, puzzles make for a fun group activity to do with family, and friends, so why not reschedule your next poker game, and brainstorm over a puzzle instead?

City Living in the Heart of Amish Country

Lancaster, Pennsylvania encompasses more than just Amish country and rolling farmland, but if rural tranquility is your idea of perfection, you’ll find a preserved pastoral beauty that’s still close enough to the city.  Ranked one of the top 50 places to retire by U.S News & World Report, Lancaster has a reputation for sustainable living through its visionary Green Infrastructure program, thriving agricultural industry, and support of family-owned businesses.  Active adults will discover a growing, close-knit community where history brushes up against a modern living, and affordable homes give them more bang for their buck.

Home to a population of about 60,000, Lancaster is located within driving distance to several major cities including Baltimore, D.C, and Harrisburg, and is home to one of the nation’s busiest Amtrak stations. Tucked within a mere seven square miles, residents of this small-scale metropolis have access to big amenities with more than a hundred restaurants, a vast array of shops, entertainment venues, and an inspiring art scene. Maintaining close ties with local artisans, Lancaster has created quite a name for itself producing a variety of homegrown offerings from rich, locally roasted coffee, to award-winning craft brews.

Townhome Living Goes Upstate

Nestled in the heart of the Hudson River Valley, surrounded by over four hundred years of history, and a downtown reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting, Toll Brother’s new community, Regency at Wappinger the Meadows, is a piece of New York luxury. Home to the existing single-family Villas Collection, this beautiful master planned community now offers a luxurious series of ninety three low-maintenance townhomes. From empty nesters, to 55+ retirees, townhomes are a popular housing trend for those looking to combine the ease of condo living, and the appeal of a single family home without sacrificing space or style.

Ranging in size from 1,492 to 2,005 square feet, these generously sized townhomes are available in eight designs, and are priced starting at $364,995. Buyers will find airy, open living areas and exquisite details from crown molding, and wainscoting, to gleaming hardwood flooring. Convenience and beauty come together with first floor master suites, expansive gourmet kitchens, and models that feature a gorgeous finished basement for entertaining. It’s the thoughtful attention to detail that makes these homes distinctly Toll Brothers with unique design elements including two-story foyers, second-floor lofts, and inviting breakfast rooms.

Bocce Ball

Viva Bocce! An Old School Favorite Still Making History

Thousands of years later, folks are still crazy about bocce. While you might think of it as just another retirement community sport, bocce ball is actually one of the oldest sports in recorded history. Said to date back to 5200 B.C., its lineage can be traced to the Egyptians, who according to the United States Bocce Federation were using round stones as their prop of choice. The game was later played by the Greeks before it was ultimately the Romans who made bocce ball what it is today. It’s ageless appeal, and accessibility is one of the main reasons most active lifestyle communities keep bocce on the amenities list. Low impact, and competitive, this easy to learn sport is fun, it’s socially engaging, and boomers can’t get enough of it.

Played by everyone from early European leaders, to George Washington, this timeless sport might be ancient history, but the novelty definitely hasn’t worn off. As Italians began to immigrate to the states their love for bocce came with them, and the rest, as they say, is history. Bocce, also known as lawn bowling, can be played indoors or out, it has a few simple rules, and requires only basic equipment. Each team of 2-4 players is given four balls with the “pallino”, (the small target ball) as the focal point. The winner of the coin toss rolls the pallino to the halfway line, chooses their color, and throws the first ball. The team furthest from the target continues to play until they’re able to edge out the competition or they run out of balls. Although official bocce courts are the ideal set-up, the game can be played on a variety of surfaces from your back lawn, to a flat driveway.