Saturday, January 30, 2016

My AeroGarden

As someone who enjoys cooking, I have maintained a small herb and vegetable garden at my home for years to complement my kitchen endeavors. In the Houston area, we have a long growing season but we do deal with excessive heat in the summer and some freezes in the winter. I have a lime tree that produces well and I am able to grow different vegetables all year long. While I keep my array of herbs going pretty strong throughout most of the year, I do have some problems. In particular, I struggle with maintaining cilantro in the summer and basil through the winter.

After years of pondering the AeroGarden system, I received one for a holiday gift last month. I have the classic design LED seven pod AeroGarden Extra. I set it up with the basic herb seed pack. Within two weeks, I had growth across all seven seed pods. It is just as simple as the advertising suggests.

I would recommend carefully considering placement of this indoor garden in your home. The bright lights can disrupt your sleep if it is not strategically placed. I have mine set up in an old desktop computer cabinet which can be closed up.

I will not be giving up my outdoor garden any time soon but I am looking forward to easily grabbing a handful of herbs as needed without having to venture out into the cold or rain. I will keep you informed when I move beyond herbs and into vegetables. As of right now, this is a highly recommended product that is performing as advertised.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

El Dorado - A Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico

I am no stranger to the delights of a Ritz-Carlton stay but the El Dorado Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico exceeded my expectations. My husband and I arrived late in the evening with a small group of friends. We were celebrating a momentous birthday for one in our group. We were quickly checked in and settled into a spacious and welcoming room. Our comfortable accommodations along with the lulling sounds of the sea right outside our terrace quickly put us to sleep after a long day of travel.

We awoke the next morning and found ourselves in paradise. The casual elegance of the room along with the capacious bathroom made a perfect temporary home. We fueled up for our day of fun with the breakfast buffet at the hotel. Omelettes to order, prosciutto and an array of fresh fruit and pastries became the way to start off each morning.

We spent most of our days enjoying the grounds; we biked, we swam and we napped poolside. The complimentary guava popsicles were a treat to look for daily by the pool. The golf course is stunning though we did not play, it was a wonderful place to walk through. The have a fabulous gym facility as well. We enjoyed some of the local seafood at the hotel restaurants; their Caribbean lobster and giant prawns were spectacular. We did have a car so we spent some of our time in San Juan.

The spa at El Dorado was one of the best that I have ever enjoyed. I did not get to try their famous treehouse massage which is reason enough to go back. My husband and I did enjoy a couple's massage in their private glass treatment room enclosed with a surrounding garden. They have separate men and women's outdoor tropical lounge areas equipped with a steam room, dry sauna, cold plunge pool, hot tub and outdoor showers. The jungle picture to the right is the women's spa area. There are also separate indoor relaxation rooms. Multiple butterflies went by the window as I looked out. My husband and I were together through the massage and for drinks in the pineapple garden afterward.

The lush landscaping, the immensity of the property, the spectacular spa, the gorgeous beaches and the impeccable service make the El Dorado Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico a highly recommended hotel destination.