My Fabulous Vacation to Italy: “The Best Day Of My Life” In Capri

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50My family vacation to Italy with stops in Rome, Florence and a full week’s stay in Positano was already the best it could be — so how could it possibly get better? “I booked the six of us on Blue Star for a day trip to the Isle of Capri,” said my daughter A. She reserved spots ($60EU pp) in advance for my sister N and me, A and her friend J, and my son D and his girlfriend Jo, for a midweek voyage from Positano to Capri.

Capri; Isle of Capri; Amalfi Coast; Blue Star Boat Company; travel; Italy

I’m so glad I followed this advice.

Sailing To Capri
“Welcome aboard,” said our captain Pepe as we climbed onto the boat at the dock early Wednesday morning. The water was choppy and the boat wavered in the waves. Those who had eaten were feeling seasick. (I highly advise not eating during sailing and was glad my stomach was empty. If not, I recommend taking Dramamine beforehand.)

Blue Star Boat Company; Capri; Italy; Amalfi Coast; travel

Pepe was our captain on Blue Star.

“Unfortunately, the Blue Grotto is closed today due to high winds. I’ll take you to the Green Grotto, we’ll go swimming in the Mediterranean, you’ll have time to explore Capri, and we’ll stop for a swim on the way back,” Pepe said.

Capri; Amalfi Coast; Green Grotto; Italy; travel

The Green Grotto Cave is awesome.

He revved up the motor and off we sailed. Pepe told tales about mermaids and the Romans along the way. Halfway there he dropped anchor at the bay as promised and offered us a chance to jump into the clear aquamarine water. My companions obliged and took the plunge. Not wanting to walk around Capri in a wet bathing suit, I held off. (Note: Wear your bathing suit if you plan to go swimming. Towels are provided.)

Capri; Amalfi Coast; Italy; boomer travel

The two rocks leading to Capri are a landmark for lovers.

Once everyone was back on board, we traveled between the two landmark rocks leading to Capri. “You are supposed to kiss your lover when you go through for good luck and good life,” Pepe said. My son D and Jo did the honorary gesture. Continue reading

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My Fabulous Vacation to Italy: Paradise Awaits in Positano

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Can’t wait to share more stories about my family vacation to Italy. If you haven’t left for Rome and Florence after reading my earlier posts, you’ll definitely be booking your trip once you read, or rather view, what paradise awaits in Positano.

A Week On The Amalfi Coast
On Monday, our group of six (my daughter A and her friend J, my son D and his girlfriend Jo, and my sister N and I) said goodbye to the Eternal City for a week in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. We walked with our luggage to Termini Station where we caught a train to Salerno. (Note: We bought our tickets in advance on Eurail.) The ride is about 2.5 hours.

Positano

Along the way to Positano we passed Mt. Vesuvius near Pompeii.

All went well with our pre-arranged transportation pickup at Salerno. The path to Positano around winding cliffs and narrow two-way roads is not for the faint of heart. So pleased that we had a skilled roadster at the wheel. (Glad we decided not to rent a car. While we ended up walking most everywhere, buses and taxis were readily available to get around Positano and from town to town. Our legs got an incredible workout from climbing thousands of steps.)

Casa Orizzonte Villa With Breathtaking Views
“I’ll be waiting to greet you at Casa Orizzonte,” said the owner Gerardo.

Positano; Casa Orizzonte; Italy; Amalfi Coast

The view from Casa Orizzonte villa.

About 70 minutes later we were there — pure heaven. We had booked our villa using Homeaway (actually we were directed to My Rental Homes for the booking) in early January. Lodging came to less than $650US per person for our entire stay. Gerardo welcomed us and carried our luggage down the steps to the entryway.

Positano; Italy; Amalfi Coast; Casa Orizzonte; boomer travel

There were 40 steps down to Casa Orizzonte villa.

“The villa was handed down to me after hundreds of years in my family,” said Gerardo. High up on the hilltop, Casa Orizzonte is magnificent with three bedrooms, each with a door to the villa’s patio overlooking the Mediterranean. There were two full baths, a large living room, full-service kitchen, and absolutely ah-may-zing views. (Let’s just say I wanted to cry when I had to go home the following Sunday. I think we all would have stayed longer if we could. May have to spend a summer in Positano sometime. JudiBoomergirl can dream!) Continue reading

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Your Post 50 Feet Will Love These Comfortable Shoes

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIt was around the time I reached my late 40s that I started having issues with shoes. Before then, I couldn’t wait for Lord & Taylor to have their fall sale. Each year, I would race to the store to pick out three pairs so I could get 30% off. Sometimes I would buy more than three. My closet racks were filled with shoes.

As I approached my early 50s, finding shoes to fit proved more difficult. I went from heels to ballet flats. In the winter I wore Uggs for casual wear and high black leather boots when I was going to the office.

When I retired from my full-time job I started doing lots of yoga without shoes or socks.

comfortable shoes; SAS shoes; San Antonio Shoemakers; post 50 feet; boomer women

I have flat feet from aging and going barefoot so much during my life after 50.

A Visit To The Podiatrist
“I used to be able to walk all over New York City, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park and now my feet hurt after a short distance,” I told the podiatrist during my appointment last winter. “You have flat feet,” said Dr. L. “Your arches can flatten out as you age, especially if you are going barefoot all the time. You need more supportive shoes.” He also recommended orthotics.

The Hunt For Comfortable Cold Weather Shoes
I bought Dr. Scholl’s orthotic inserts which worked well in my sneakers. But I couldn’t find comfortable shoes. That’s when I turned to SAS also know as San Antonio Shoemakers. I went to the shoe store in town where I used to take my kids when they were toddlers. Unlike many department stores, the saleswoman measured my feet and brought out several pairs of shoes. I felt like Goldilocks.

“This pair is too tight,” I said about the first shoes I tried on.
“This pair is too lose,” I said about the second.
“I have narrow heels. My foot is slipping out of this pair,” I said about the third.
“The arch is too high in this shoe,” I said about the fourth.

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS shoes; SAS Freetime shoes; boomer fashions; flat feet; comfortable shoes

I wore my SAS Freetime shoes with jeans to the NY NOW Show in NYC this winter.

Finally after trying on about 15 different shoes, the saleswoman brought out a pair of SAS shoes — the Freetime style, with a removable, cushioned foot bed and a soft sole for shock absorption. I have to admit that they weren’t the most glamorous shoes I ever owned but my feet felt like they were walking on a cloud. I wore them all winter with jeans, leggings, even tights and a skirt and was able to walk all over NYC on multiple occasions. My feet were so happy and my boyfriend L said I looked cool in my Freetime black Nubuck shoes, like a fashionable hipster.

Not Just Your Nana’s and Papa’s Shoes
As the weather warmed up, I had a new dilemma. I couldn’t  wear my Freetime black Nubuck shoes during the summer months. Oh no, oh no, oh no – not another search for shoes!

Then I saw an ad on Facebook. It featured a new stylish collection of SAS shoes. Could it be possible that the same company that inspired an ardent customer-base of elderly nanas and papas was now targeting boomer women? I was so excited.

I quickly contacted the marketing team and told them I would love to learn more about their 40th anniversary line. The nice marketing manager offered to send a pair of their casual shoes to me in collaboration for a blog post.* (Did I say I love being a blogger? I do! I do!)

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS Breezy shoes; SAS Breezy Periwinkle shoes; boomer fashions; comfortable shoes; flat feet

I wore my Breezy shoes to the shore.

I picked out the Breezy casual with genuine moccasin construction in trendy Periwinkle. I liked that these shoes had side perforations to vent heat, and a foam foot bed topped with striped microfiber for all-day comfort. I bought a size 8 so I could add my orthotics. Continue reading

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My Fabulous Vacation to Italy: A Fun Day In Florence

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50On Sunday, we headed off on a day trip from Rome during my family vacation to Italy this past June. Despite rainy weather, our train from Termini Station to Santa Maria Novella Station took about 90 minutes. We bought roundtrip tickets in the machine with return reservations for early evening. The best thing about arriving in Florence by train is that you can walk into town.

The Duomo and The David
Our team of six divided up to see the sights. Unfortunately none of us bought passes in advance — so we missed the opportunity to climb the 400 steps of the Duomo church. We admired the exterior which is as beautiful as ever. The piazza is also a great place to peruse paintings from local artists. My son D and I each bought watercolor art.

Florence; Italy; Duomo; boomer travel

The Duomo is a landmark in the center of Florence.

My son D and his girlfriend Jo, and my daughter A and her friend J ventured around the city since Jo and J had never been. They were eager to go shopping for Italian leather goods in the open-air marketplace.

My sister N and I walked to the Galleria Dell’Accademia where Michelangelo’s David stands tall. Although we had both visited Florence previously, we had never seen the David. Sadly there were no more online passes available so we stood in line for more than an hour to buy our entry.

Was it worth the wait? Yes, yes, yes. David is an astounding masterpiece and well worth oohing and ahhing over.

Michaelangelo; The David; Florence; Italy; boomer travel

Michaelangelo’s masterpiece.

More Sights and Shopping In Florence
With little time left to shop after the David, N and I stopped for a quick pizza break near the piazza that’s home to a carousel, then met up with our fellow travelers to shop for Italian leather goods. A and J bought leather jackets, Jo bought an orange leather tote, and with little coaxing, convinced me to buy one in eggplant. (Note: The link provided offers a very similar tote to the ones we bought.) Continue reading

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Why I’m Voting For Replens™ in the 2016 Election

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

Sit down. We have to talk. There’s a crisis that’s about to happen in the coming years that none of the presidential candidates are talking about. It’s bigger than global warming. It’s “so huge” that it may cause emotional upheaval in this country due to the enormity of the population that is currently — and is going to be — impacted by this unfortunate feminine physical condition.

What am I talking about? Can you guess?

The Trends Tell The Story
I’ll give you some hints. It has to do with post 50 women. Just listen to these stats. These facts are from The National Association of Baby Boomer Women:

By 2030, 54% of the 78 million American Boomers will be women.
By 2030, there will be 71.5 million Americans age 65 or older, more than double the number currently within that demographic. And more than half of them will be women. We’re a mammoth population that is growing. And you know what physical changes happen during our post 50 years?

Can you guess what I’m talking about now?

Okay, let me give you some additional clues:
It happens during menopause, or sometimes when you are peri-or-post.
It’s part of the changes that occur during our midlife years, especially with the decrease in estrogen in our body.
You may even be experiencing it now and don’t know what to do.

Still trying to figure it out?

Okay, I’m going to tell you. It’s vaginal dryness. No wonder none of the candidates are taking on this issue. There is nothing to debate. (Although you would think Hillary would be aware of the importance of solving this problem and have a Town Hall on the subject. It might make her more relatable.) 

vaginal dryness; Replens; post 50 women; baby boomer women

Boomer women have been a force for change since the 60s, so we can talk openly about this subject and others. There’s no need to live in what feels like a desert of dryness. My friends at the Replens™ brand know the repercussions and have figured out solutions. They clearly see what’s ahead with the increasing population of post 50 women. They want us to be happy and well moisturized for our second act. They asked me to share their news with you so I thought I’d tackle the topic head on.

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My Fabulous Vacation To Italy: More To See In Rome

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50If you didn’t buy your ticket to Italy after my last blog post (First Stop Rome), I think this one will make you hit the purchase button.

Rome was the first stop on a fabulous family vacation to Italy this past June. I traveled with my sister N, my daughter A and her friend J, and my son D and his girlfriend Jo. The first day in Rome we walked more than seven miles. On the second day we added another nine.

Rome; Italy; boomer travel

Day Two In Rome
On Day Two in Rome, we divided up to conquer the parts of Rome that we hadn’t seen on Day One. The four millennials left early to go to Vatican City to see the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica and Square, (it’s good to go early to these areas and buy tickets for tours) and then to Trevi Fountain (one of my favorite tourist’s spots in Rome). They also stopped at Bonci, where they had what looked to be a best-ever pizza. (Wish I hadn’t missed this pizza. Adding it to my “to eat” list for my next trip to Italy. You should too!)

Italy; Rome; Vatican City; Sistine Chapel; St. Peter's Square and Basiclica

Vatican City includes the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica and Square

Italy; Rome; Bonci; pizza

I missed this best-ever pizza from Bonci.

Since my sister N and I had already seen these landmarks on a previous trip to Rome, we took off in a different direction to do some window shopping and see other historic monuments.

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“Absolutely Fabulous – The Movie” Is Fabulous, Fashionable, and Fun

This post is made possible by support from Fox Searchlight Pictures. All opinions are my own.

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenThe crowd cheered as Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, the stars of Absolutely Fabulous – The Movie, walked into the Chelsea Bowtie theatre in New York City on Tuesday evening for an advance screening of their new film. Not knowing much about the British series of the same name, I was eager to learn more about their characters Edina and Patsy. Edina runs a PR agency and Patsy is a magazine editor.

#AbFabMovie; Absolutely Fabulous - The Movie; Jennifer Saunders; Joanna Lumley; boomer movies

Crowds cheered when “Absolutely Fabulous -The Movie” stars Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley entered the theatre at the screening in NYC.

An Hilarious Twosome
My friend J and I quickly became Edina and Patsy fans, laughing our way through the hilarious twosomes shopping, drinking, clubbing, and escapades around London’s trendiest hotspots. The two are post 60 women with attitude and not afraid to pop themselves with Botox, wear outlandish designer outfits, and say whatever they feel like saying, whenever they feel like saying it. Maybe that’s why I found myself cheering on this dynamic duo for the entire 90 minutes. Having worked in PR for most of my previous career, I could empathize with Edina’s and Patsy’s outrageous behavior to win a prized client or placement.

Absolutely Fabulous - The Movie; Absolutely Fabulous; Edina and Patsy;  boomer movies, post 50 chick flick; Jennifer Saunders; Joanna Lumley

Edina and Patsy are cohorts and best friends in “Absolutely Fabulous – The Movie.”

A Fabulous, Fashionable, and Fun Movie

Absolutely Fabulous - The Movie
In the movie, Edina and Patsy push their way into an uber fashionable launch party to gain access to model Kate Moss as a potential PR client. When Edina happens to push Kate into the river and potentially kill her, all hell breaks loose and they are relentlessly pursued by the media and paparazzi. Penniless, they escape to the French Riviera, planning a way to make their stay there permanent so they can live the high life forever. Continue reading

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My Fabulous Vacation To Italy: First Stop Rome

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Are you ready for a world wind tour of Rome? By the time you finish reading this post you’ll want to book your ticket. Rome was the first stop on a fabulous family vacation to Italy this past June. It was an adventure of a lifetime and I can’t wait to share the wonderful memories with you.

Traveling to Rome
The six of us — me, my sister N, my daughter A and her friend J, and my son D and his girlfriend Jo — left in early June for 10 glorious days in Italy. The trip was in honor of a big birthday celebration for my daughter A. We headed out via Alitalia from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Rome; Italy; travel; Capri; Amalfi Coast; Positano

We were six gladiators ready to explore the sites, sounds, and tastes of Italy.

 

Alitalia; Rome; travel; Italy

We flew to Rome on Alitalia.

An Apartment for Six
After about eight hours, we touched down at the Rome airport and were picked up by a car service with a van large enough to fit six and all our luggage. I was so glad we had pre-planned pick-up with our VRBO hosts. It went so smoothly. Zip zip and we were at 59 Via Mecenate in a great three bedroom/two bath apartment on a beautiful tree-lined street near the Colosseum. Owners P and V let us freshen up before we ventured out on the town.

Rome apartments; VRBO; Ancient Rome; travel; Italy

Our apartment in Rome was near the Colosseum.

A Seven Mile Walk Around Rome
Despite being exhausted, we were on an adrenaline high, like gladiators ready to conquer the eternal city in all its glory. With only two days in Rome, we wanted to hit all the hot spots, especially since J and Jo had never been. N had visited once, I had been twice, and A and D were our go-to guides since they both lived in Rome during their college semesters abroad.  (Note: It is interesting to read my blog posts from my first trip to Rome  in 2007 pre-50 and my second trip to Rome in 2011 post-50. My blogging skills and my life skills have changed a great deal since those days.) Continue reading

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My Foodie Favorites At The 2016 Fancy Food Show

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

A few weeks ago, I went to the 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center NYC. As a post 50 foodie, I gravitate toward wellness trends. In my mind that includes dark chocolate (which BTW is supposedly filled with healthful benefits) and frozen treats (Okay some were low fat ice pops. However, I couldn’t resist the full fat ice cream too. Boomer girls gotta live a little.)

“Judi The Foodie” Shares Food Trends
After sipping and nibbling my way through 363,000 square feet filled with 2670 exhibiting companies (I clocked 6+ miles in my comfy Breezy shoes provided by SAS Shoemakers), I’m pleased to share some of the food trends and favorites from the show. You may find these products in your local supermarket. If not check Whole Foods, Amazon, or online links provided.

2016 Summer Fancy Food Show; SAS Shoemakers; boomer food trends

I walked 6+ miles around the 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show. Glad I wore my comfy SAS Shoemaker Breezy shoes. I could have eaten this entire barrel of Romano cheese.

BEVERAGES
♥ Tons of Teas:
According to The Tea Association of the U.S.A., tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. No wonder there were many cold-brewed and hot varieties. I drank:
* Thea’s English Standard Tea, the proper iced tea, sugar-free, sweetener-free, and calorie-free — the Wonderberry flavor is decaf.
* ASI Tea, brewed from Wild Picked American Yaupon Leaves, the only significant native source of caffeine in North America. (I try to stay caffeine-free, but there are many high caffeine products out there.)
* SenCha Green Tea + C, sugar-free with natural vitamin C. They offer Green Tea mints and  Matcha Powder. Numi organic Tumeric teas were available. Turmeric is a BIG trend in wellness.
*CHAM cold-brewed wellness teas, which claim to calm, revitalize and provide defense.
* Tea Forte TEA OVER ICE Steeping Tea Pitcher — a neat idea that looked pretty.

2016 Summer Fancy Food Show; boomer food trends; boomer wellness; tea; ASI tea;

Tea is trending with hot and cold brewed varieties.

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Stylish and Safe Ways to Protect Skin From the Sun

boomer beauty, life after 50, makeup for 50+ women, over 50“Your skin looks good,” said Dr. A at my recent checkup.  “Unless you see any other odd spots, I don’t need to see you for a year.” He did take off a small mole on my tummy that was irritated but didn’t think it was pre-cancerous. Good thing I don’t wear bikinis anymore.

Since my mom had surgery for melanoma when she was post 50, I’m very conscientious  about my visits to the dermatologist and staying safe in the sun. Growing up in the 60s, there wasn’t as much focus on sun protection. My mom worshiped the sun and usually had a deep Ban de Soliel tan every summer. I had a deep tan too and now I’m paying for the beach days of my youth with lots of wrinkles and dark spots on my face.

A Sun Protective Clothing Line
In addition to lathering on SPF creams and sprays, now there is protective fashion made with fabrics that block the skin from harmful UVA/UVB rays. I had a chance to try some styles from the Sundriven® brand and really like them. The founder Mitzi Runyan is from California and shared more details on why she developed the line and its benefits.

Sundriven Age Defying UV Wear; sun protective clothing; UVA/UVB  fabrics; sunscreen; Mitzi Runyan; Sundriven clothing; skin care

Mitzi Runyan is founder of Sundriven Age-Defying UV Wear.

“From my early time as a makeup artist for top luxury brands to more recent years in the Beverly Hills medical spa industry, one question was asked again and again: How old do I look?” said Mitzi. “While I did everything possible to help hide the aging on their face, the sun damage on their hands always gave away their true age. And no matter what I did, the sun would cause their wrinkles and lines to reappear.”

After her grandparents were diagnosed with melanoma, she decided to change her outdoor habits and find a way to enable women of all ages to embrace the outdoors while looking stylish and staying safe.

“I came to the conclusion that women need something new to protect them from UV rays year round: A highly fashionable, extremely effective line of products to protect their skin from sun damage and aging. Thus, the Sundriven® brand was born,” said Mitzi. Continue reading

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