My Viking Journey: The Secrets of the Ancient City of Acre

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50

It was Friday, our final day in Israel. After visiting Jerusalem and Haifa earlier in the week, our excursion would take us to the ancient city of Acre. For sure, my Viking journey on the luxurious Viking Star ocean liner to the Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land was exceeding expectations. My boyfriend L and I were traveling courtesy of Viking Cruises.* 

 

Viking Ocean Cruises; Israel; Ancient City of Acre; luxury cruises; Viking Star

My boyfriend L and I traveled to Israel with Viking Ocean Cruises.

“Tomorrow will be Shabbat, so we say ‘Shabbat Shalom’ because it is the Sabbath,” said our tour guide Simon. “Acre’s markets will be crowded as people shop for food before sundown.”

Viking Ocean Cruises; Israel; Ancient City of Acre; luxury cruises; Viking Star; Market Street in Acre

Fishmongers sell fresh fish on Market Street.

A City Above and A City Below
“Acre is a 2000 year old city,” Simon said. “Acre was the main port in the north of the country during the 19th century. Then the port of Haifa was built and became the main port.”

Viking Ocean Cruises; Israel; Ancient City of Acre; luxury cruises; Viking Star; Acre port

The port of Acre is home to sailboats and fishermen.

The Old City of Akko (Akko means Acre) is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is an historic walled port-city with continuous settlement from the Phoenician period. As we walked, we learned more about its secrets. According to the Israel Ministry of Tourism, “Only in the Old City of Akko will you discover a perfectly preserved Crusader city being unearthed and brought back to life, located directly under the city built above it. Continue reading

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Help! My Body Is Aging And I Want To Make Peace With It

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersLately I’ve been feeling that my body is aging rather quickly. I know I’ve always been an optimist, but as I progress in my 60th year and into my sixth decade, I’ve noticed my body is shifting and I want to make peace with it.

My Cholesterol Is Rising
“My cholesterol has gone up more than 50 points since last year,” I said to my BFF M. “It’s at 297. It’s my genetic makeup.” “Mine is really high too,” said M. “Mine is hereditary too. I’m not worried about it,” said M. I wish I could make peace with it like M.

“I’ve tried two different statins,” I told Dr. S at my annual physical. “Each time I have muscle problems.” “We usually try three different statins and then if it doesn’t work we’ll have to see what’s next,” said Dr. S as she wrote the prescription for a low dose of pravastatin. “Your HDL, the happy cholesterol, is really good at 86. Your LDL at 189 is high.” She also recommended I try CoQ10 as a supplement to help with any side effects.

I so wanted the pravastatin to work. After three nights of pills, my muscles were weak.

“I know what I can do,” I told myself. “I’ll lower my LDL on my own.” My heart was listening yet my emoji was sending LOL signals.

I exercise each morning on my stationary bicycle, do yoga, and try to get in my thousands of steps each day. I’ll do more cardio. Maybe that’s it. I’ll work out more to lower my LDL. There goes my emoji again sending more LOL signals. Make peace with it Judi, make peace.

aging

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My Viking Journey: Sightseeing In The Beautiful City Of Haifa

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50The snow may be piled up from our fourth nor’easter, but I’m going to take myself back to the beautiful city of Haifa. Come join me for a sightseeing tour of some of Israel’s spectacular natural beauty including the Baha’i Gardens at Bahji in Acres and Rosh Hanikra National Park, the only point in Israel where the sea meets the cliff.

We’ll also make a stop at the Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra, which was part of our optional excursion during my Viking journey on the luxurious Viking Star ocean liner to the Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land. My boyfriend L and I were traveling courtesy of Viking Cruises.* 

Port of Haifa; Israel; Haifa; Viking Ocean Cruises

The sun was shining as we pulled into the Port of Haifa.

It was my first-ever visit to Israel and after a memorable day in Old Jerusalem, I couldn’t wait to see our next city. According to the Viking Daily, “Haifa is one of Israel’s most important and beautiful cities.” It’s stunning because it is built on the slopes of Mount Carmel and overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Haifa; Israel; Viking Ocean Cruises

The view of Haifa from Mt. Carmel is stunning.

An Introduction to Haifa
“Good morning. Welcome to Haifa,” said our tour guide Abby. “This is an awesome tour. There’s never a dull moment.” We hopped on the bus and drove up Ben Guerion Street which is the German colony of Haifa. Supposedly World War II changed things. Many Holocaust survivors came to Haifa after the war and restored the houses around this area. Continue reading

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My Viking Journey: A Day To Remember In Old Jerusalem

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It was the seventh day of my Viking journey on the luxurious Viking Star ocean liner to the Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land. We docked early morning in the port of Ashdod, Israel. My boyfriend L and I were traveling courtesy of Viking Cruises.I had been happily anticipating this part of the trip and my first-ever visit to Israel. It would be a day to remember in Old Jerusalem.

“Welcome to Israel,” said our guide Isaac. “How many of you have been to Israel before?” he asked. Only one out of 35 guests in our group raised a hand. “We’ve been waiting for you for 70 years. Better late than never,” he added.

Israel; Ashdod; Jerusalem; Viking Ocean Cruise; luxury travel

We arrived in Israel at the Ashdod port.

A Tiny But Mighty Country
I was amazed at how tiny Israel is. Isaac said the country is about the size of New Jersey, 350 miles north to south and 50 miles east to west. Wow-o-wow! “We are the only non-Muslim country in the region. We are surrounded by Muslim countries. That’s why we have such issues,” he said. Despite the ongoing friction around the edges, I felt safe during our excursion.

Isaac was quite an accomplished Israeli guide. “In the east we have a long border with Jordan and we have a peace treaty. In the southwest is the border with Egypt and we have a peace treaty with Egypt. The northeast border is Syria and we don’t have a peace treaty with them,” he explained.

Israel; Ashod; Jerusalem; Viking Ocean Cruise; luxury travel

On our way to Jerusalem.

Isaac told us about the population of Israel. “We have 8.5 million inhabitants. Eighty percent are Jewish. A majority of the remaining 20 percent are Arabic.”

We learned about Israel’s vibrant agriculture with olive trees, fresh fruits and vegetables. He especially encouraged us to try Israeli peppers and eggplants.

We learned about the country’s terrain: to the west is the coast of the country, in the middle the mountains of Judea and the Negev, the Jordan Valley to the east, the Sea of Galilee in the north and Dead Sea in the south. (I didn’t get a chance to swim in the Dead Sea, which is 34 percent salt! Definitely have to plan another visit to Israel.)

Israel; Ashod; Jerusalem; Viking Ocean Cruise; luxury travel

A panorama view leading into the Holy City.

Learning The History of The Holy City
After our scenic drive across Israel’s lowlands and into the Judea mountains, we entered the Holy City. It was an amazing feeling to walk around in the Old City of Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world and a pilgrimage site for major world religions. Continue reading

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Where Do You Want To Travel In 2018?

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50As we chatted during our girlfriends’ dinner a few weeks ago, our talk was all about travel. My friend J was getting ready to take a winter vacation to Sarasota, Florida and planning a springtime trip to London. My friend N was debating where to take her husband for his milestone birthday. No talk of kids or health ailments, it was all about getting away and exploring the world during life after 60 (we are all now post 60).

Travel Is A Popular Pastime 
A month earlier, I had been to media day at The New York Times Travel Show. The Travel Show takes place annually at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. It’s a fun event to attend. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the show, setting new records with more than 600 companies representing over 176 countries and 32,398 participants—the highest in the Show’s history.  The New York Times Travel Show is the largest travel industry show in North America.

The New York Times Travel Show

The New York Times Travel Show is held annually in NYC.

“Each year, more and more travel professionals and enthusiasts attend The New York Times Travel Show and for good reason,” says Maggie Kiselick, vice president of advertising and managing director, The New York Times Magazine. “People rely on the Show to provide both exceptional travel offerings and helpful information to help them plan their trips to see the world.

Australia; New York Times Travel Show 2018; travel; boomer travel

Have you traveled to Australia yet? It’s a hot destination for 2018.

Where Do You Want To Travel In 2018?
I always like to see what places The New York Times Travel recommends each year. On the list of 52 for 2018, I’ve been to New Orleans, Cincinnati, Glasgow (Scotland), Baltimore, Germany’s Western States, Seattle and Denver. That’s only 17 spots. Looks like I have much more traveling to do. Continue reading

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Seeing Clearly Is The Key To A Happy Retirement

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life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersWhen I was asked to write this sponsored post for the brand VSP Individual Vision Plans,* I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. Then it hit me, seeing clearly is the key to a happy retirement. Yes, yes, yes, in every area of my life, I want to have sparkling vision for what and how I want my post 50, or as of last month, post 60 years to play out.

First, I’ll tell you what sparkling vision has meant, and continues to mean, to my retirement. Maybe some of these tips and suggestions will be helpful as you plan for your future. Then I’ll explain why you should check out the vision plans that VSP offers for retirees or those who no longer have coverage through an employer plan. Whether you need vision correction or not, everyone needs quality vision care.

VSP Individual Plans; vision insurance plans; retirement

Do you have a clear path for health and happiness in retirement?

Calculating A Fabulous Fiscal Life 
How you manage your finances can make or break your retirement. Everyone says to save, save, save for retirement. So that’s exactly what I did, did, did.

A few years before I took the plunge to leave my full-time job, I started making a list of my monthly totals so I could clearly see my spending habits, how to set my monthly budget for retirement, and if I could afford to retire early. It’s a good fiscal exercise whether you intend to retire or not. I added up my necessities, like my mortgage, car insurance, food, taxes, medical and dental expenses, gas & electric & cable bills. I also examined my non-essential spending for things like clothing, dining out, and other entertainment and travel. Continue reading

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My Viking Journey: A Visit To Cyprus & The Goddess of Love

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50This week is Valentine’s Day, a perfect time to take you to Petra tou Romiou in Cyprus, also know as Aphrodite’s Rock, where legend says that the Cypriot goddess of love and beauty first stepped on land after waves carried her here. This destination was part of my Viking journey on the luxurious Viking Star ocean liner to the Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land. My boyfriend L and I traveled courtesy of Viking Cruises.* 

The Birthplace of Aphrodite
After leaving ports in Greece, we docked in Limassol, the historic capital of Cyprus. Cyprus is strategically located in the Eastern Mediterranean along the magnificent Aegean Sea.

Petra tou Romiou, Aphrodite's Rock, Cyprus, Viking Ocean Cruise

A higher view of the Cyprus coast.

“We are driving to the birthplace of Aphrodite,” said our tour guide Irene as we neared Petra. “She rose out of the sea. She is the goddess of love and beauty.” Continue reading

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Managing Your Medications Is A Serious Matter

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers“Remember to take your pills after you get home from breakfast” I told my boyfriend L this past weekend. “Yep,” he replied. Mind you,  I’m such a nice girlfriend to make breakfast for L most Saturday mornings.

Thankfully, I only have to remember to take a probiotic, multi-vitamin and cranberry and turmeric supplements each morning — and sometimes I forget to take one or the other. However, when I was having lots of UTIs a few months ago, I had to take two antibiotics, one 3x/day and one 4x/day — I wrote down when I took each dose so that I would not miss any. The woes of an aging mind.

According to my friends at CVS Pharmacy: “Studies show that a third of patients do not take their medications as prescribed and nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic conditions stop taking their medications within the first year of diagnosis.” Wow-o-wow, that’s not a good way to stay healthy and happy.

CVS Pharmacy; ScriptPath; medication adherence; boomer wellness

CVS Pharmacy has a new innovative system to improve medication adherence.

CVS  Pharmacy Introduces New ScriptPath System To Manage Medications
Managing your medications involves many factors including getting a first prescription filled, remembering to take medications on time and understanding the directions. But never fear, the experts at CVS Pharmacy are here — with a new prescription management system called ScriptPath. Since they are my friends, they asked me to share all the details in this sponsored post. After all, that’s what friends are for! Remember, I only share information that I agree with and feel is a benefit to my readers.*

Whether you have to manage your own medications or are a caregiver to a spouse or partner, or an aging parent or relative, ScriptPath can help ease these daily demands — so definitely ask your CVS Pharmacist about it.

ScriptPath prescription management system; CVS Pharmacy; medication adherence; boomer wellness

The ScriptPath bag provides more details about your prescription.

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A Fun Family Retreat To St Pete For My 60th Birthday!

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50“Where do you want to go for your 60th birthday?” asked my daughter A and son D last year when we were planning our family getaway for my milestone year. Since my birthday falls in January, I knew I wanted to go someplace warm, someplace not too far, and someplace fun. I had so enjoyed my time in Pass-a-Grille in St. Pete Beach, Florida last January, that I decided it was a perfect spot for my 60th celebration weekend.

St. Pete Beach, Pass-a-Grille, Florida, 60th birthday

Pass-a-Grille has the most beautiful sunsets.

In July, we booked a large beach house on AirBnb. It had three bedrooms and three baths. My boyfriend L and I stayed upstairs in the master suite and A and D each had their own bedroom on the first level. The kitchen was fully equipped with everything you would need and there were decks off almost every room for soaking up the sun.

St. Pete Beach, Pass-a-Grille, Florida, 60th birthday, Airbnb

We rented a large house on AirBnb.

It was rather chilly during our stay but we didn’t let it dampen our spirits. Thankfully, the sun was shining more days than not — so we were able to be outside most of the time even if we couldn’t wear our flip flops.

Many Reasons To Love Pass-a-Grille
There are many reasons to love Pass-a-Grille. Nestled between the gulf beaches and the bay, it’s quaint, quiet and a great place to relax. The town has cute shops and seafood cafes. There are no high-rise hotels, except for The Don CeSar, an Historic Hotel at the entrance to the island. Continue reading

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My Viking Journey: A Visit To The Beautiful Island of Mykonos

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50It’s so cold outside that I’m going to click my slippers three times and see if they will take me back to the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos. Join me as I reminisce about the luxurious Viking Star ocean liner and my Viking journey to the Cities of Antiquity & The Holy Land. My boyfriend L and I traveled courtesy of Viking Cruises.*

A Tour and Taste of Mykonos
Are you ready? We just docked in sun-drenched Mykonos, the smallest of the Greek islands. Can you feel the warmth on your face? The island boasts white-washed houses, centuries-old windmills, and stunning landscapes over the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

Mykonos; Viking Ocean Cruise; Greece; luxury travel

Mykonos is one of the most famous islands in the world.

We’re going on a tour called The Tastes of Mykonos, which includes a walking tour through a labyrinth of narrow streets, a stop at the old bakery of Gioras, and a tasting at a private organic farm and vineyard.

Vioma Organic Farm; Mykonos; Greece; Viking Ocean Cruise; luxury travel

The owner of Vioma Organic Farm plays classical music in the vineyards and has a pet sheep.

A Famous Island For Famous People
Our tour guide Amaryllis likes to share the history of the island: Continue reading

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