Help Prevent Osteoporosis: “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Did you have your bone density scan?” asked Dr. S during my annual gynecological examination earlier this year. “Yep, I had my last scan in February 2015 and it indicated that I had osteopenia, a lesser degree of bone loss, which may lead to osteoporosis.”

“Okay,” said Dr. S, “No medication is indicated at this time.” Dr. S recommended that I get a DXA scan every two years to check my bone health.

I felt relieved but wanted to know more about how I could help prevent osteoporosis, a chronic disease of the bones, during my life after 50. That’s why when Hologic, Inc., a leading global healthcare and diagnostics company with a focus on women’s consumer health, asked if I would participate in their sponsored campaign, I said “yes.”

The Statistics Are Startling
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Furthermore, estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. (Isn’t it enough that I have sleepless nights due to my lack of estrogen, now my bones are less protected too!)

osteoporosis; National Osteoporosis Foundation; World Osteoporosis Day

In addition, figures from a recent Harris Poll, Omnibus Survey on Osteoporosis (April 7-11,2016) reveal 71 percent of Americans say they are aware of the effects that osteoporosis can have on their health, yet only 52 percent report taking any steps to prevent it.

Wow-o-wow! These are startling statistics. And the sad part is that many women (and men too) can help prevent this disease by following some simple tips.

Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day
While World Osteoporosis Day 2016 is October 20th, and National Osteoporosis Month is in May, it’s the theme of this year’s campaign that is especially important. It calls for individuals to “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future.” Continue reading


My Travels on “Rhineland Discovery” – Welcome to Kinderdijk and Cologne

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50After a fabulous five days on the “Rhineland Discovery” pre-trip to Bruges, Ghent, and Amsterdam, it was time to set sail aboard the Viking EIR (courtesy of Viking River Cruises).*

Welcome to Kinderdijk
By Saturday morning we arrived in Kinderdijk, a village community in the Dutch countryside, home to the largest concentration of windmills in The Netherlands. My boyfriend L and I were ready to go exploring.

“I’m very proud to have you in this area,” said our guide Hans as he led our group across the dike to the windmills. “There are 19 mills. Everything is automatic with computer systems. The pump stations do what the windmills used to do,” said Hans. “However, the windmills are in working condition if needed.”

Kinderdijk; windmills; Viking River Cruise; Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel

There are 19 windmills in Kinderdijk.

He told us about the millers, who live in the mills. “They must complete schooling to operate the mills. The millers have regular jobs and maintain the mills,” said Hans. After touring outside, we went inside, climbing up narrow ladders to reach each floor. It was amazing to think that centuries ago a family of 13 lived in such a tiny space.

Kinderdijk; windmills; Viking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery; Travel and Leisure; Boomer Travel

A very large family lived in the mill centuries ago.

Before leaving Kinderdijk, I bought a few delft blue china souvenirs and made L take a picture of me with my feet in the big wooden clogs nearby the gift shop.

Kinderdijk; Viking River Cruise; Rhineland Discovery; Boomer Travel;

I had big shoes to fill.

Setting Sail For Germany
I spent the afternoon on deck while we cruised to Germany. The Rhine was just as the Viking brochure had described it, “bucolic waters, lush landscapes, Friesian cows, and tidy villages with their neatly laid farmhouses.” It was a very relaxing ride.

Germany; Rhineland Discovery; Viking River Cruises; boomer travel; travel and leisure

Bucolic views on the Rhine.

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My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” – A Lovely Last Day in Amsterdam

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It was hard to believe that almost a week had passed on our pre-trip on “Rhineland Discovery” (courtesy of Viking River Cruises). We had enjoyed our time in Bruges, our stop in Ghent, and our stay in Amsterdam.* Soon we would board the ship for our week-long river cruise on the Rhine.

“We have a few hours before we have to check out of the hotel,” I said to my boyfriend L. “I’m going to squeeze in another museum. Then we can grab lunch at De Bakkerswinkel cafe before we leave.” L packed while I spent the morning navigating my way to the museum area where the “i am amsterdam” sculpture stands tall.

Amsterdam; i am amsterdam; Viking River Cruises;  Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel; travel

The “I am amsterdam” sculpture welcomes visitors to the Dutch capital.

There are so many fabulous sights and attractions to see in Amsterdam and I had 120 minutes to spare. I deliberated. Do I visit, as the Viking brochure says, “the remarkable light-infused building that venerates the short and productive career of tortured 19th-century artist Vincent Van Gogh?” Or do I go see the “lush paintings of Rembrandt and other Dutch masters that adorn the Rijksmuseum?”

Rijksmuseum; Amsterdam; Viking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel; travel

The Rijksmuseum houses the paintings of the Dutch masters.

A Visit To The Van Gogh Museum
I chose Van Gogh Museum and am so glad I did. I purchased my ticket in advance so I didn’t have to wait on line. (Note: I highly recommend you visit this museum when in Amsterdam and definitely buy your ticket online or in advance.) Continue reading


My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” — Adventures in Amsterdam

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50After two glorious days in Bruges, Belgium, it was time to leave for the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. The sun was shining as we boarded our bus during our pre-trip on “Rhineland Discovery” (courtesy of Viking River Cruises).*

“First, we’ll stop in Ghent, the second largest city in Belgium,” said our tour director Fred. “We’ll have a walking tour of the city, you’ll have a few hours to enjoy lunch, and then we’ll continue on a 3½ hour drive to Wyndham Apollo Amsterdam Hotel, your lodging for two nights before you embark on the Rhine.”

Ghent; Viking River Cruises; boomer travel; travel

We stopped in the university town of Ghent, Belgium, on our way to Amsterdam.

A Guided Tour of Ghent
“Ghent has 65,000 students. It’s a big university town,” said our guide Charline. She shared stories dating back to the 14th century as we walked the cobblestone streets and visited an old meat house, now a restaurant and bar, where hams were hanging to dry. She showed us special wood frames designed for Quack beer glasses. “After a few beers you see pink elephants,” said Charline.

Ghent; VIking River Cruises; boomer travel; travel and leisure

Our tour guide Charline showed us an old meat market, now a popular bar with Belgian beers.

Charline took us to the Cathedral where the Mystic Lamb is on display. We saw the replica and the original 12 panel altarpiece, which is currently being restored. If you ever saw Monuments Men with George Clooney, the artwork was one of the masterpieces captured by American soldiers after the Germans hid it during World War II (WWII).

Ghent; Ghent Cathedral; Mystic Lamb; boomer travel; Viking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery; travel

The Ghent Cathedral and copy of the Mystic Lamb masterpiece.

Ghent; Rhineland Discovery; VIking River Cruises; boomer travel

My boyfriend L and I enjoyed our brief visit in Ghent.

Arriving in Amsterdam
My boyfriend L and I had never been to Amsterdam and were excited to explore what the guidebook said was a “city of charming canals, elegant gabled houses, splendid museums, and abundant bicycles.” I couldn’t wait to see and experience it all.

Amsterdam; Wyndham Apollo Amsterdam Hotel; Viking River Cruises; boomer travel

A view of the Amstel canal from our hotel room.

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My Travels On “Rhineland Discovery” – First Stop Beautiful Bruges

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Our first stop for our pre-trip on “Rhineland Discovery” (courtesy of Viking River Cruises) was the beautiful medieval city of Bruges, Belgium. My boyfriend L and I spent time exploring on our own and with a Viking guide.*

The night before we left home we watched In Bruge, a comedic thriller with Colin Farrell. (Note: It was the movie that prompted me when I arrived in Bruges to attempt to climb the 346 spiral steps up to the top of the Belfort. I never made it to the top – I was too dizzy after the first 173 steps. I still gave myself an A+ for the awesome view halfway up and allowed myself a few extra pieces of chocolate for the calories I burned climbing.)

Belfort Bruges; VIking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel; Bruges; travel

The Belfort at night is breathtaking.

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My Travels on “Rhineland Discovery” – A Delight for the Senses

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“We would like to see if you would be interested in beginning a conversation about a potential press trip in 2016,” said the Viking River Cruises PR team last December. “OMG, OMG, OMG!,” I said to my boyfriend L. “Last year’s “Portugal’s River of Gold” was amazing. How will we top that trip? And now Viking is inviting me on another river cruise.” My heart was pounding with excitement.*

Did I say I love being a blogger during my life after 50? I do. I do. Did I tell my boyfriend L how lucky he is to be my boyfriend during my life after 50? You bet! You bet!

Viking River Cruises; Rhineland Discovery; boomer travel; travel; river cruises

The “Rhineland Discovery” EIR Longship.

Which River Cruise Should We Choose?
“There are many wonderful river cruises where should we go?” I said to L. We narrowed our choices to “Cities of Light” with romantic Paris and medieval Prague on either end; “Romantic Danube” with stops in Budapest and Vienna; and “Rhineland Discovery,” with highlights of the legendary Rhine.

Can you guess which trip we chose?  Continue reading


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


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.


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


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


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