The Westin Maui Resort & Spa Introduces New Wellness Program 

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa recently announced a new program, allowing guests to participate in thoughtfully-designed ocean adventures with paddle boarders, boat captains, canoe racers, and others who want to share their respect for the water and passion for the environment with travelers, while giving back to the local community.  These watermen and women will also lead guests to learn about the national marine sanctuary fronting Ka’anapali Beach and the importance of “malama aina” (“protecting the land”) through the beach clean-up activity as the sun rises above the majestic Mauna Kahalawai (West Maui Mountains). [Read more…]

Eating Soulfully at Cafe Ono in Kona, Hawaii

Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

For three days we zipped around the Big Island of Kona, Hawaii trekking to gardens, national parks, volcano sites, healthy eats and lava attractions. We admired the natives and their beautiful lives while they ogled in reply. Fun, energetic places make you want to engage in fun active routines such as the set of reverse dips I completed on the hitched Thule rack carrying our Specialized road bike while admiring the all-mighty Pacific during lunch break. But it was the food that really set the tone of our Hawaiian vacation.   [Read more…]

WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studios introduces TRX Suspension Trainers to Create Custom Workouts for Travelers

Renowned Hospitality Brand Lengthens its Lead in Well-being with 250 Run Concierges Worldwide, Now Enhancing Group Runs with Custom TRX Pre-Run Workout

Westin Hotels & Resorts together with TRX announce a partnership that brings the global leaders in functional training and fitness equipment to more than 200 WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studios around the world. In addition to putting fitness at guests’ fingertips with curated content in the new TRX App, both brands have created a custom pre-run workout, allowing Westin Run Concierges to enhance group runs and leverage TRX equipment — including TRX Suspension Trainers and Functional Training Tools — available in the hotels. [Read more…]

Disney Cruise Line Returns to Popular Tropical Ports

In early 2019, Disney Cruise Line will return to favorite destinations on a variety of itineraries, including an expanded two-month season from San Diego to the sun-drenched Baja and Mexican Riviera. A host of options to the Bahamas and Caribbean from Florida ports, plus cruises to the Southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico, take Disney Cruise Line guests to visit timeless tropical locales and experience endless amounts of Disney magic.

From January to May, all cruises departing from Florida feature a stop at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests. The award-winning island is a pristine Bahamian oasis boasting clear turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, world-class recreation and signature Disney hospitality.

Bookings open to the public on Nov. 2, 2017. More details on 2019 itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2019 page of disneycruise.com. [Read more…]

Yokohama Tire is Sending 12 US Youth Soccer Members to England for a ‘Chelsea FC Experience’

London’s calling…and Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) is answering. YTC, in conjunction with US Youth Soccer, is sending 12 Yokohama Skills Challenge participants (along with chaperones) to England for a “Chelsea FC Experience,” including a visit to legendary Stamford Bridge.

The contest, which runs through June 3, is open to US Youth Soccer members, ages 13-18, who compete in select Yokohama Skills Challenge events across the U.S., including the Needham Memorial Day Tournament Driven by Yokohama, May 26-29. There’s also a chance to win by going online at http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/YTCPromotion/. [Read more…]

Meatless Monday in Israel Celebrates Four Fantastic Years

It’s amazing how a good idea and some strong enthusiasm can make an incredible difference. Here’s proof. Just four years ago, Miki Haimovich decided to launch Meatless Monday in Israel. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Miki was a well-known and trusted figure in her country. She had worked as a TV news anchorwoman for nine years.

“When we brought the Meatless Monday global campaign to Israel four years ago, few people had heard of it. What’s more, most couldn’t understand why reducing meat consumption was an issue that needed to be addressed,” said Ms. Haimovich, “Things have come a long way since.”

Over Half a Million Meatless Monday Supporters

Based on a recent survey, nearly 65% of the Jewish population have now heard about Meatless Monday. More importantly, over 500,000 respondents say they are currently choosing not to eat meat one day a week. These results are particularly impressive because they were achieved only through public relations and word of mouth – not paid advertising.

Meatless Monday Embraced by Leading Israeli Organizations

The growing support for Meatless Monday is rooted in partnerships that have been developed at leading organizations, such as caterers Sodexo, ISS, Shultz and Idit, as well as health and environmental protection agencies and animal welfare organizations.

“We offer a win-win-win proposition,” said Or Benjamin, Meatless Monday campaign manager for the past year and a half, “Employees are happier because they get a greater choice of healthy foods. The service providers like it because plant-based meals cost less to make. And our country’s Corporate Social Responsibility officers are pleased because it reduces greenhouse gases.”

Gala Event to Celebrate Four Years of Meatless Monday

Late last February, partners, volunteers, friends and family attended a special Meatless Monday event held in Tel Aviv to celebrate the four-year anniversary. Awards were presented to leading partners, including Intel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Rabin Medical Center. This festive gathering doubled as a fund raiser to help finance future Meatless Monday campaign efforts. Catch up on their latest news on their Facebook page.

Get Involved. Join the Meatless Monday Movement

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re interested in eating healthier and maybe helping to protect the environment. Why not take a moment and think if you know someone who might also share these interests. You could talk to them about Meatless Monday, or send them an email, or maybe forward this article. Like to know other ways you can help? Please get in touch with us at info@MeatlessMonday.org

Meanwhile, in honor of Israel’s four year Meatless Monday anniversary, here’s a one of our favorite traditional Jewish meatless recipes. Enjoy!

Eggplant Bell Pepper Kugel

Let’s Rise Wellness Program by Westin Hotels & Resorts

Westin Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., unveiled its first global brand campaign in more than five years, taking on the disruptions, distractions and unpredictability of travel and empowering travelers to embrace well-being as a way to regain control of their routines and be their best while on the road. The $30 million dollar, integrated advertising campaign – called Let’s Rise – communicates Westin’s commitment to its guests’ well-being before, during and after their stay. The Let’s Rise mantra will also serve as an anchor for the wellness programs and partnerships that roll out for guests and associates throughout the year. [Read more…]

Baltimore Center Stage Announces Honorees for 31st Annual Young Playwrights Festival

Baltimore Center Stage is pleased to announce the honorees for the 31st Annual Young Playwrights Festival, a yearly competition that invites students in kindergarten through 12th grade in Maryland to submit original writing. The winning playwrights will be honored with workshops and in-school performances. A selection of plays will be staged at the Annual Young Playwrights Festival, which will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 1, at Baltimore Center Stage, 700 North Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21202. [Read more…]

The White Snake: Baltimore Center Stage Announces Cast and Artistic Team

Baltimore Center Stage is pleased to announce the cast and artistic team for The White Snake. Opening Night of The White Snake, March 3, will mark the grand reopening of the theater after its $28 million renovation. The White Snake will be the debut production in Baltimore Center Stage’s completely redesigned Head Theater.

“We are so excited to open our doors and welcome the community as they experience our remarkable transformation,” said Baltimore Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah. “We chose Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of The White Snake as the first production in our completely redesigned Head Theater because it is a visually stunning piece. I know our audiences will be swept away with delight.”

Mystery and magic intertwine in this fantastical tale brought to life in grand spectacle in the newly renovated Head Theater. Originating from an ancient Chinese fable, The White Snake tells the story of animal spirits White Snake and Green Snake, who take human form as a beautiful woman and her sly servant. White Snake soon falls passionately in love with a poor fisherman, but their relationship is reviled by a conservative monk and tragedy lurks behind their newfound happiness.

Adapted by the award-winning playwright Mary Zimmerman—known for her stage adaptions of Metamorphoses, The Odysseyand The Jungle Book, and for Metropolitan Opera productions of Lucia di Lammermoor, Armida, La Sonnambula and the this year’s Rusalka—this production of The White Snake will be directed by Natsu Onoda Power, a Washington, DC-based author, playwright, director, designer and professor.

Power’s recent directing credits include Wind Me Up, Maria! A Go-Go Musical at Georgetown University; The T Party (which she also wrote) at Forum Theatre and Company One Theater Boston; A Trip to the Moon (which she wrote and illustrated) at Synetic Theatre; and the Elliot Norton Award-winning Astro Boy and the God of Comics (which she wrote) at Studio Theatre and Company One Theatre. She is also an associate professor in Georgetown’s Theater and Performance Studies program and the author of God of Comics: Osamu Tezuka and the Creation of Post World War II Manga.

“The power of this story is that it transcends everything that divides us, culturally, historically, politically,” said Power. “It is important to me, however, that we do not simply call the story ‘universal’— because that sounds like a move to ignore all cultural specificity and differences. It is the opposite: the characters clearly see their differences, and still make the commitment to love the other person, whatever it entails.”

The cast includes Aimé Donn Kelly* (White Snake), Eileen Rivera* (Green Snake), Joe Ngo* (Xu Xian), Peter Van Wagner*(Fa Hai),  Caitlin Cisco* (Ensemble), Samy el-Noury (Ensemble),Lucy Lavely* (Ensemble), Brett Messiora (Ensemble), Pooya Mohseni* (Ensemble), Linden Tailor* (Ensemble), Damian Thompson* (Ensemble), Jason Kao Hwang (Actor-Musician/Composer – violin/viola), Joshua Ziemann (Actor-Musician/Composer – marimba, percussion), Yukio Tsuji (Actor-Musician/Composer – shakuhachi, percussion).

The artistic team includes Mary Zimmerman (Playwright), Natsu Onoda Power (Director), Jeff Song (Actor-Musician/Musician/Music Director/Composer), Hana S. Kim (Scenic and Projection Designer), Nicole Wee (Costume Designer), Rui Rita (Lighting Designer), Alex Hawthorn (Sound Designer), Andrea “Dre” Moore (Puppet Designer and Constructor), Tommy Kurzman(Hair, Wig & Makeup Design), Rick Sordelet (Fight Director),Deanie Vallone (Production Dramaturg), Stephanie Klapper(Casting Director), Larry Smiglewski* (Stage Manager) andAlison Kochman* (Assistant Stage Manager).

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association

The White Snake opens Friday, March 3, with previews Feb. 24 to March 2, and closes Sunday, March 26. For more information, visit www.centerstage.org or call the box office at 410.332.0033. Press night is Friday, March 3.

The White Snake is made possible by Miles & Stockbridge PC and T. Rowe Price. The White Snake media partner is Maryland Public Television. Baltimore Center Stage is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business and Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the MSAC is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences. Center Stage’s 2016/17 Season is made possible by The Shubert Foundation and the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences.

About Baltimore Center Stage

Baltimore Center Stage is a professional, nonprofit institution committed to entertaining, engaging and enriching audiences through bold, innovative and thought-provoking classical and contemporary theater.

Named the State Theater of Maryland in 1978, Baltimore Center Stage has steadily grown as a leader in the national regional theater scene. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE and Managing Director Michael Ross, Baltimore Center Stage is committed to creating and presenting a diverse array of world premieres and exhilarating interpretations of established works.

Baltimore Center Stage believes in access for all—creating a welcoming environment for everyone who enters its theater doors and, at the same time, striving to meet audiences where they are. In addition to its Mainstage, Off Center and Family Series productions in the historic Mount Vernon neighborhood, Baltimore Center Stage ignites conversations among a global audience through digital initiatives, which explore how technology and the arts intersect. The theater also nurtures the next generation of artists and theater-goers through the Young Playwrights Festival, Student Matinee Series and many other educational programs for students, families and professionals.

Disney Cruise Line Returning to New York, California and Texas in Fall 2017

Disney Cruise Line returns to New York City in fall 2017 with a mix of voyages to the Canada coast and the Bahamas, which includes a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. (Chloe Rice, photographer).

In the fall of 2017, Disney Cruise Line will return to New York with sailings to the Bahamas and the Canadian coast – including a new seven-night Canada cruise. San Diego will serve as a home port with cruises to Mexico, and Galveston will again be a homeport with sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas.

Bookings open to the public May 26, 2016. More details on the itineraries can be found on the Ports and Itineraries for 2017 page of disneycruise.com.

[Read more…]