2016 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K

Reggae Marathon 2015

Photography by Errol Anderson and Karen Fuchs

Are you an adventure seeker who enjoys ultimate fitness challenges while exploring the world? We are! “Vacation is to relax the mind, not the body” is a Fit Fathers mantra that we remain committed to no matter the destination, an island or the middle of the rain forest. What more can you ask for other than an extended run while jamming to the tunes of roots, rock reggae, breathing revitalizing oxygen from the Caribbean Ocean, nourishing the body with glorious ital foods from mother nature and exchanging energy with our Jamaican brothers and sisters.

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Welcome to Aruba: A Fit Fathers Active Getaway

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

Private weekends or time alone with your wife, girlfriend or significant other is a requirement for a happy and successful relationship. Just as the kids deserve a Fit Father’s attention, so does the woman in your life. For this reason my wife Misa and I hit the road at least once a quarter, sometimes as local as Miami or as far away as Phuket or Tokyo. This is in addition to our quarterly family excursions with the kids. This go-around we chose the small Caribbean Dutch Island resting 15 miles off the Northern shoreline of Venezuela.

Aruba is unique, captivating and very touristy. Strong, customary trade winds, white, sandy beaches and Spanish, Dutch, English and Papiamento lingo commingle with 82-degree breezy weather, kind-hearted inhabitants and the southwesterly bending leaning fofoti trees. Keep in mind rainy days are rare on the 19.6-mile long and 6-mile wide dry island.

To get there we flew into Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) on a 4-hour direct United Airlines flight from Newark, NJ. A car rental was a must so we could explore every nook and cranny the region had to offer including Arikok National Park which encompasses 18% of the island, the California Lighthouse named after a shipwrecked vessel coming from Liverpool, the Capital City of Oranjestad and of course as many vegan or vegetarian friendly restaurants as possible. The Lighthouse sits atop the Northern most part of the island and is the perfect locale for lunch or dinner at the well-known Faro Blanco Restaurant. With spectacular sunset views, the Italian and Aruban infused eatery serves a medley of salads, soups, risottos and pastas and hosts a daily happy hour from 5 pm to 7 pm and daily live music between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm.

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I didn’t view Aruba as an enchanting retreat or meditational destination as I do Negril, Belize or Costa Rica so it wasn’t treated like one. For that reason an entertaining beach experience can be had from the Renaissance Ocean Suites in Oranjestad where the action takes place. For example, the Renaissance Marketplace consists of a mix of hip cafes such as Sidebar Bistro, live music and a movie theater for those who become restless quickly. A main stage stayed busy with various musical acts each evening of our visit. Guests can enjoy the private beach at Renaissance Island to relax and feed the Flamingos, visit the Okeanos Spa for the Sea of Tranquility or Chocolate Embrace treatment, play volleyball or tennis, strength train at the fascinating gym, hit the running trail, kayak, sail, scuba dive, snorkel or watch a wedding on the beach as day turns to night. As well, the Patamingo Kids Club is at your disposal if you do decide to bring the young ones.

The Fit Fathers mantras is simple, “vacations are to relax the mind, not the body.” So the first morning we chose to run free for 4 miles through the hustle and bustle of downtown along a path that leads to the airport. Furthermore, each ¼-mile we knocked out 25 push ups and 25 dips for a total of 400. Yes, it felt amazing as usual. Swiftly afterwards we were able to reward ourselves with a big fat vegan grub and poolside sunbathing. I enjoy cycling equally and stopped in Tri-Bike for $25 a day loaners (24 hours that is). They have swimming, biking and running gear in addition to Trek mountain bike rentals. However my timing was off for the Duo ExTreme Mountain Bike Challenge at Rancho Notorious with 60km, 40km and sprint distance races.

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Searching for health conscious foods is always a key adventure for our excursions. The Happy Cow app typically points us to the top and most popular veggie based eateries within range. One that I can’t forget is the authentic Indonesian vegan meal at Indo in the Palm Beach area. We had potato rotis, spirited veggie rice dishes and an assortment of spicy noodles. The small joint is popular to locals and focuses strictly on the culinary experience. No need to worry about Karaoke ruining your meal.

If you want to explore a bit more try an ATV Tour, the UTV Beach and Cave Adventure or a Jeep Safari outing to traverse over the wild beauty of Aruba’s outback and rugged coastline to witness either the Natural Bridge, the Natural Pool, the Andicuri Trail, Alto Vista Chapel, Gold Mill Ruins, Cero Crystal or the Caves just to name a few. Conversely, riches can be made or lost at a multitude of Casinos where high-end shopping such as Breitling, Ralph Lauren, Cartier or Bvlgari patiently await your earnings. I’m not a gambler whatsoever so this theme never entered my consciousness.

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For the last supper we were looking for a blend of health conscious culinary experiences alongside fine dining and found the precise place. Just two years old, the luxuriant Elements Restaurant is nestled within the Bucuti & Tara resort on Aruba’s Eagle Beach. A viscous Broccoli & Carrot Soup along with a refreshing Caesar Salad with avocados tickled our pallets. For entrees, Misa ordered the Quinoa Pineapple dish consisting of quinoa sautéed with a medley of vegetables creatively stuffed in the shell of a whole pineapple, and then flamed in front of us with Caribbean rum. I went with the Wheat Spaghetti featuring squash pasta, tomatillos, leeks and Quorn which was enhanced with garlic, Dijon mustard and Riesling wine. There was nothing more enchanting during our Aruban vacation than natural and organic dining by the sea.

Visit www.Aruba.com to start planning your romantic and active itinerary to show your lady just how special she is. It’s a Fit Fathers requisite!

 

Travel St. Lucia with Sandals Regency

Ritz Ft. LauderdaleWords by Theresa Catena, Photo by Paul Aizaga / www.ecityoftravel.com

“No pressure… no problem,” is just the type of motto you’d expect to go by while on holiday in the Caribbean, but in St. Lucia, these are words they actually live by. A quick glimpse of the incredibly lush, green and mountainous island and there’s no wondering why Sandals chose to develop not only the luxurious Regency La Toc, but two others nearby – creating a trio of fun-filled, all-inclusive and self-indulgent resorts. Located in Castries, the capital of this volcanic island, the Sandals Regency is situated on an expansive, tropical estate, complete with seaside cliffs and crescent-moon-shaped beach.

Seeking to take lavish accommodations and service to the next level, the resort recently unveiled the Millionaire Suites. Perched atop the bluff’s highest edge, the collection of multi-tiered private villas offers spectacular views of the tranquil bay and flourishing landscape. Combining open-air spaces with a chic, soothing and intimate vibe, each one boasts a master bedroom to remember, where Plantation-style pocket doors retract to completely open up the room to the outdoors – allowing guests to literally step off the bedroom’s edge and plunge into an infinity pool below. What’s more, the 42” plasma TV is rigged for optimal swiveling; so die-hard Cricket fans can even watch the daylong affair from the pool or lower-level whirlpool with drink (s) in hand. [Read more…]

Costa Rica: Pura Vida at Latitude 10 Exclusive Beach Resort

Latitude 10 Exclusive Beach Resort is a romantic and private eco-getaway with just five guest casitasAfter exploring the Latin lands and waters of Costa Rica, it is an empirical fact in my synopsis that this wondrous country is perhaps the most proficient, both economically and socially, when it comes to the new-found movement of sustainability. Whether it is the auto industry attempting to reduce atmospheric toxicity from emissions, or health food practitioners championing organic vegetation and meats, the message is inherently clear that change towards the self-preservation of the planet and all things natural has to be constant and Pura Vida.    [Read more…]