So Many Reasons To Fall In Love With Clearwater Beach

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50

Glorious sunshine by day and picturesque sunsets at dusk, miles of pearly white sugar sand beaches, clear blue gulf waters, an abundance of restaurants with fresh fish and seafood, and luxurious resorts with gulf coast views — there are so many reasons to fall in love with Clearwater Beach.

It’s easy to see why this Florida spot has won multiple accolades in recent years, including #1 Best Beach in the US and #20 Best Beach in the world by TripAdvisor, plus “Best Beach” recognition from USA Today, Travel Channel, Condé Nast Traveler and Fodor’s Travel Publications.

Clearwater Beach; City of Clearwater; best beach; Florida

I had a chance to soak it all in courtesy of The City Of Clearwater and I’m back to share the details.* My lucky boyfriend L joined me for five fantastic days at the new Wyndham Grand Resort Clearwater Beach, the second biggest hotel on the beach with waterfront vistas and waterside bar and restaurant.

Wyndham Grand Clearwater Hotel; Clearwater Beach; City of Clearwater; best beach; Florida; Florida beaches; gulf coast; boomer travel

Wyndham Grand Clearwater Hotel; Clearwater Beach; City of Clearwater; best beaches; Florida; Florida beaches; boomer travel

It was nice to meet other writers on the FAM trip including Lisa Niver from WeSaidGoTravel.com and Jason Frye from TeaKettle Junction Productions, Inc. (Note: A familiarization trip, known as FAM Trip, is where media are invited to visit a city by the Tourism Board or Visitor Bureau or City Marketing Organization.)

Clearwater Beach; #1 best beach by Tripadvisor; Florida

My new FAM friends and travel mates.

Easy To Travel To
We flew into Tampa International Airport, which is about a 30 – 40 minute ride to Clearwater Beach. (Note there is also a Clearwater/St. Pete airport that services many cities.) There’s free local transportation with FloridaFreeRides.com, so we didn’t need to rent a car. You just call for a ride and tip the driver afterwards. It was very convenient. There is also Jolley Trolley that runs up and down the beach and coastal route 7 days a week. Plus Uber is available if you need a ride.

The Best Beaches
I had heard that there was something special about Clearwater Beach. The minute we stepped on the sand with our bare feet we smiled. “Ooh, aah, ooh, ahh! This is amazing sand,” I said to L. It felt so good to stroll along the soft sand. My Fitbit quickly hit 10,000 steps. We walked along the water’s edge, the water was warm. It was relaxing, shedding our worries and enjoying our time together.

Clearwater Beach; # 1 TripAdvisor Best Beach USA; Florida; boomer travel

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JudiBoomergirl Is A 2017 Webby Award Honoree

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

I’m super thrilled to announce that A Baby Boomer Woman’s Life After 50 was recognized with a 2017 Webby Award Honoree in the Personal Blogs category. This is my second time being honored by the Webby Awards, the first time was in 2013 when I had just retired from my full time corporate career to pursue my blogging.

 

2017 Webby Awards

What does it mean to be a Webby Honoree?

2017 Webby Award Honoree; 2017 Webby Awards

The annual Webby Awards are like the Oscars for the best of the web. The five top entries in each category become nominees and the public can vote online for one winner in each category. Nevertheless, I am still honored to be an Honoree. Here’s what my congratulatory note said:

“In recognition of the exceptional quality of submissions received this year, the Academy has acknowledged outstanding entries as Official Honorees, alongside our Nominees. With 13,000 entries received from all 50 states and over 70 countries this year, the 21st Annual Webby Awards has been our most competitive season yet. Continue reading

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Making The Most Of My Mindfulness Journey

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellnessIt has been almost 10 years since I studied mindfulness meditation. My therapist C at the time had suggested I sign up for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Management Program at The Penn Medicine Program for Mindfulness. It was right after my husband M died and she thought learning these new skills would help me process my grief and reduce my stress. I went to an 8-week program and began my mindfulness journey. It changed my life.

Last night I was reminded of these changes as I sat among mindfulness newbies in one of Penn’s 2-hour introductory classes. As a yoga instructor, I wanted to brush up on my mindfulness skills so I can share the benefits with my yoga students.

“Mindfulness originated in India. It comes from a word that translates as heartfulness,” said our leader M. “It is a way of bringing your attention to the present moment.” Like yoga, mindfulness is a practice. You have to work at it to experience the changes it can bring.

The Penn Program is modeled after the philosophy of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., who has done landmark work on mindfulness meditation and healing, and is the author of the bestseller Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, Illness. M noted that “Dr. Kabat-Zinn says mindfulness is when you are bringing your attention on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgement.” (Note: If you want to learn more about Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn check out his 60 Minutes interview from 2014 with Anderson Cooper.)

How Do You Practice Mindfulness?
During the evening session, M guided us through different exercises to bring us into the present moment. We did a 25 minute meditation, closing our eyes and bringing our attention to various parts of our body, such as noticing the top of our head when M would mention it, or our fingers or toes. For many of the newbies, their thoughts wandered during the meditation. Each time M reminded us to bring our attention back to the body. My mind wandered too, but not as much as in earlier days.

“You become more aware of your thoughts as you practice,” M said. “You are strengthening your attention like you would strengthen a muscle during exercise.”
Rock Cotton, Rock Cotton , tee shirt dress, yoga, mindfulness

Using Mindfulness To Manage Stress
“What is stress for you personally?” M asked. We gathered in groups to discuss our stress. “Lack of sleep,” said one participant. “Pain,” said another. “Worry,” said another. “Perfectionism and over thinking,” chimed in two more. Continue reading

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Are There Advantages To Being A Woman Over 50?

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers “Are there advantages to being a single woman over 50?” I was asked this question by journalist Jackie Pilossoph, who writes the weekly “Love Essentially” column in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, a suburban paper in Chicago. Jackie, who is divorced and in her fifties, is also the author of a blog called Divorce Girl Smiling, where she offers advice and support to women going through a divorce and dating after divorce.

She was prompted to write about women over 50 after receiving an email from a 53 year old divorced male reader. He said that he would rather date a woman in her fifties than a younger woman “because we exude radiance” and “we have a sense of who we are and what we want in a relationship.”

Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press; women over 50Jackie was full of questions: ” What are the benefits of being a single woman in your fifties? What do we have that we never did in our younger days? Is it more gratitude? Is it an appreciation for life and small things? Is it that we are smarter? Do things mean more? I guess what I want to know is, what are women over 50 bringing to the table more than younger women?” Continue reading

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You May Be Getting Older, But You Can Still Have Fun!

This post is sponsored by Warner Bros. Pictures. All opinions are my own.

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer women

Since turning 50 my philosophy has been that while I may be getting older, I can still have fun. That’s why when the PR team at Warner Brothers contacted me about writing about this topic, I said “absolutely.” It’s one of the key themes of their new movie, Going In Style, which will premiere in theaters on April 7th.

Going In Style
The new comedy stars some of my favorite Oscar-winning actors, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. They play lifelong buddies Willie, Joe and Al, who decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow for the first time in their lives when their pension fund becomes a corporate casualty.

Going in Style; #GoingInStyle;

Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

Ann Margaret, who BTW is 75 years old, plays Al’s love interest. She looks amazing and her voice is just as lovely as when she was a teenager in Bye, Bye Birdie. The director of Going in Style is actor, director, and screenwriter Zach Braff (who starred in the television series Scrubs and was born and bred in New Jersey).

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“Boomer Reinvention: How To Create Your Dream Career Over 50”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenEver since I’ve been on Twitter, @johntarnoff has been following me. He retweets my blog post almost every week. Who is this nice person, I wondered? I clicked on his Twitter handle and saw that he has more than 97,000 followers and is a super handsome, sixty-something, former Hollywood entertainment executive.

Wow-o-wow! 

John Tarnoff is also a very smart reinvention career coach, speaker and writer for baby boomers. He holds a B.A. magna-cum-laude from Amherst College, and a M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. He grew up in New York and Paris, and lives in Los Angeles. (All my favorite places,  another reason why I like him.)

Boomer Reinvention; John Tarnoff

John Tarnoff is author of “Boomer Reinvention.”

John has been reinventing himself for much of his forty-year career. In fact, he has just written a book called Boomer Reinvention: How To Create Your Dream Career Over 50. His publicist sent a copy to me. The book won high praise from noteworthy boomers such as Arianna Huffington, CEO and Founder of Thrive Global; Ken Burns, filmmaker; and Richard Eisenberg, Nextavenue.org, so I am pleased to share some highlights with you. (Note: Be sure to enter my Rafflecopter Giveaway below to win a copy!)

Boomer Reinvention; John Tarnoff

Statistics Set The Stage For Second-Acts
According to the 2014 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 65% of baby boomers working plan to work past age 65 or do not plan to retire. And 68% of Americans age 50-64 are worried about not having enough for retirement. (Gallup, April 2014). “Yikes,” says John. “Most boomers will have to work through their 60s and many even into their 70s. But that’s why I wrote Boomer Reinvention — to help boomers create sustainable second-act careers that are appropriate, authentic, meaningful and purposeful.” Continue reading

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“Welkom” to the Beauty of the Philadelphia Flower Show

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50Welkom to my blog this week where I share beauty from the 2017 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show. I welcome you in Dutch because this year’s Flower Show celebrates “Holland: Flowering the World.” According to Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS): “No other country is as well know for its floral industry as the Netherlands, which fills the world with color.” Having traveled to Amsterdam and Kinderdijk on my Viking River Cruise last summer, I was especially excited to hear about the Flower Show theme.

Philadelphia Flower Show; tulips

A Visit To The Philadelphia Flower Show
It was my first time attending the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show, which is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event. Special thanks to sponsor FTD Flowers for providing my tickets and honoring inspiring women as part of its #ILooktoHer campaign. (Note: If you stop by the FTD booth and take a photo and tag a woman who has inspired you personally using the hashtag above, they will be surprising some participants with free bouquets!)

The Flower Show is at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from March 11 – 19. If you love flowers and have never been, it’s well worth a visit. In addition to the major garden displays, the Flower Show hosts world-renowned competitions in horticulture and artistic floral arranging. There’s also a World Marketplace where you can purchase seeds, bulbs, flowers, and anything to do with gardening.

Philadelphia Flower Show; tulips

My BFF L (not my boyfriend L — who I might add that I adore because he still brings me flowers after eight years of courtship) and I spent more than two hours walking the Flower Show, admiring the rainbow of gardens and award-winning flower arrangements, blooms and plants. There was jewelry made with seeds and bark and paintings made with pressed flowers too. Continue reading

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Be Inspired: This Boomer Girl Designs Activewear For Post 50 Women

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIt’s Women’s History Month and March 8th is International Woman’s Day. According to Women@Forbes, economists and academics agree women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion. In fact, based on the 2012 U.S. Census, women own 36% of all businesses,  ‒ a jump of 30% over 2007.

This week, I’m delighted to feature an interview with a post 60 female entrepreneur from San Diego (who I might add was originally from New Jersey). Her name is Jacqueline Hook and she is the creator of Tenáz Athletics. A 62-year-old fitness fanatic (and mother to three grown children and grandmother to five), Jacqui has emerged from years of chronic back pain to enjoy all  manner of physical activity, from surfing to yoga to flying trapeze. She has run two full marathons and 13 half-marathons, all in her fifties and sixties, and recently set state and national records for powerlifting. No wonder she started an activewear company!

Tenaz Activewear; activewear for post 50 women; female entrepreneurs; Jacqueline Hook

Jacqueline Hook started an activewear company during her life after 60.

Enjoy our conversation. Hope you will be inspired by Jacqui’s story.

Q: What prompted you to start a new business during your life post 60?
Jacqui: “I was prompted by a feeling that had been gnawing at me for months. Last year I had reached 25 years at my corporate job— wonderful company, awesome people, great leadership—but the work wasn’t getting my creative juices flowing anymore. I remember this particular day when I was working from home, gazing out the window and sighing, when it occurred to me that I was craving the energized feeling I get when I’m in a creative flow. It was like needing air to breathe. Then it hit me, this idea of starting a business. In that moment I made the decision, like flipping a switch, and I perked up with excitement.” Continue reading

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A Podcast Interview: Sharing My Reinvention After 50

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

Last week, I had a chance to share my reinvention after 50 during an interview with Mary Rogers from Experience 50 – The Podcast. It’s an audio show that as Mary says “Kicks Your Midlife Into Gear.” It was my second-ever podcast and a change of pace from the written word.

 

 

Experience 50 - The Podcast; reinvention after 50

An Experienced Host
Mary is a a mentor, entrepreneur, entertainer and former talk radio host with over 3,000 interviews under her belt including celebrities and public figures. Since launching Experience 50 – The Podcast, Mary says ” I’m enjoying having real conversations with real people about their stories, life lessons, pivots and also with topic experts who can provide the information they need as they navigate changes that come with balancing a bucket list with grown kids and aging parents.”

Experience 50 - The Podcast; Mary Rogers; reinvention after 50

Mary Rogers is the host of Experience 50 – The Podcast.

To quote her website: “With The Experience 50 Podcast and Experience50.com, she is rapidly expanding her following of highly motivated midlifers looking to make the most of this life and have an awesome third quarter. From teaching confidence building skills to sharing tips on how to gracefully become an in-law or grandparent, Mary just has a way of making the road to change smoother and a helluva lot more fun.”

Reflecting on a Decade of Change
Mary asked me to reflect on my decade of reinvention from 49 – 59, after losing my spouse, selling my house, emptying out my nest and retiring from my full-time job. During our conversation I talked about how I used my yoga and mindfulness practice and blogging to successfully transition into my second act. I spoke about the role of gratitude, about making new friends, and working with a coach to help me make the right choices.

reinvention after 50

Next month will mark four years since I retired from my full-time job.

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Where Do You Want To Travel During Your Life After 50?

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50From my visit to The New York Times Travel Show held at the Jacob K. Javits Center, N.Y.C. in January, it’s clear that boomers are a prime audience for many destinations. From Costa Rica to California, from Florida to the Philippines, from Morocco to Martinique, and everywhere else you can take a plane, ship, train or drive to visit, the post 50 market is on the move and so are their millennial children.

In fact, The New York Times announced that its annual Travel Show reached a new record of 30,099 participants during the three-day event —the highest attendance in the Show’s history.

The New York Times Travel Show; boomer travel; travel

The New York Times Travel Show reached a new record of more than 30,000 attendees.

So where do you want to travel during your life after 50?

I always like to see what places The New York Times Travel recommends each year. On the list of 52 for 2017, I’ve been to Canada (a variety of eastern and western cities), Detroit, Hamburg (Germany), Minneapolis, Kingston (Jamaica), Napa Valley (California), Sedona (Arizona), Madrid (Spain), Portland (Oregon), and yes, believe it or not South Bronx, N.Y., which is on the list. Since I was born in the Bronx I am curious to know more about this “industrial neighborhood’s revival!” That’s only 10 spots. Looks like I have much more traveling to do in my lifetime.

What’s Trending In Travel?
There were a few trends that I noticed from the panels at the Show. I also attended a media event sponsored by Trav Media, where I met with Convention and Visitor’s Bureau representatives to learn about their destinations and chat with Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) members to hear about their itineraries. Continue reading

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