Thursday, July 30, 2009

Curious About Adventure Travel? Read On…

Okay, what exactly is “adventure” travel? Heard the buzz and wonder what it entails (and if it is for you)? If so, you aren’t alone. We hear those questions a lot at Tomgirl Tours. So, to answer them, this September I’ll be hosting a webinar “Adventure Travel Demystified,” along with travel agent Ann Petronio of Annie’s Escapes. Ann and I decided to offer this informational webinar because so many women want to try an adventure tour but haven’t—whether due to uncertainty over the itinerary, safety, or required fitness levels (short answer on the latter: if you can walk a couple of miles, you’ll be just fine on a Tomgirl tour!). Our goal with this webinar is to debunk people’s fears of the unknown in adventure travel.

Here at Tomgirl, for example, we focus on “soft adventure”: we’re not climbing glaciers, but we’re not spending our tours indoors getting manicures either (although we do understand that a girl wants to be pampered, and add a touch of that to every tour!). Our recent White Mountain Adventure excursion in New Hampshire is the epitome of soft adventure: a zip line canopy tour and indoor skydiving lesson, balanced by a morning of shopping in the heart of North Conway.

Right now, we’re in the planning stages for the webinar, figuring out which of the many questions about adventure travel we should really tackle. Any subjects you’d like us to address? I’d love to hear from you (feel free to comment or send us an email directly). The webinar is slated for September 23, so you can get started on figuring out your 2010 vacation with your travel consultant and tour provider. We’ll give more details and remind you again as the date approaches, but mark your calendars and please do chime in to let us know what information you’d like to hear about in the webinar.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Providence's Magical Waterfire, A Bonus for Savory City Travelers!

Saturday was a Waterfire evening here in Providence and I, along with my son Jesse (see, right) and some friends, was lucky enough to be there (videos below). What magic! Those of you who have been to a Waterfire know it is nearly impossible to describe the experience in words. For those who may not have heard of Waterfire, it is an event that takes place several times each summer in beautiful, historic downtown Providence, R.I. Waterfire features one hundred sparkling bonfires, the fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, flickering firelight on the city's arched bridges, torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and enchanting music from around the world (click here for more). While I live here in Providence, whenever I go, I am somehow surprised again by the experience. I'm not at all surprised, however, that National Geographic Traveler magazine has named it one of only 20 "must-see" events in the United States! (For the first-hand experience of a first-time attendee, a writer from Travel Writer's
magazine click here).

So, as I continue to savor my Waterfire experience, I could not be more thrilled that our final Savory City ~ Providence tour (Sept. 18-20) falls on a Waterfire weekend! Meaning: anyone lucky enough (and quick enough!) to book one of the coveted remaining spots on that tour will not only dine at Providence's fabulous Italian Federal Hill restaurants
(more on that later!), learn how to prepare local cuisine during an al fresco cooking class, and take a day trip to gorgeous Newport, R.I., but they will also experience the unique magic of Waterfire! (Waterfire weekends regularly draw 70,000+ visitors and sell out hotel rooms throughout the city). What a fabulous weekend it will be! Hope to see you then...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Shout-Out and a BIG Thank You to Our Media Friends

As we were ziplining, indoor skydiving, and generally being Tomgirls on our White Mountains Adventure, several prominent media were featuring Tomgirl Tours last weekend. Wow. Thanks so much to both nationally syndicated radio travel guru Stephanie Abrams (listen here) and travel writer Terecille Basa-Ong at the (NJ) Record (read here). We couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Next Up: A Culinary Adventure in Providence!

We are all still smiling and talking about our adventure in New Hampshire, so here are a few more videos

Lisa's fun zip:

Tomgirls on the bridge:

Caroline rappelling:

But now, it's time to shift gears to the upcoming Savory City
Tours in Providence, R.I. - two amazing culinary adventures. I am
especially excited about the September 18-20 tour because it includes an amazing Providence WaterFire where tens of thousands of people converge to see this series of bonfires installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence. National Geographic Traveler named it one of the 20 “must see” events in the U.S. and we are hoping to see folks from the many nearby (or far away) U.S. cities that have direct flights right into Providence. We would love to see you, too!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Action Video from Our White Mountains Adventure!

You saw the photos, now videos of our tomgirls in action on the zipline Sunday! First Thea, then Vicki...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tomgirls on an Indoor Skydiving Adventure!

Another great day! After a little shopping in downtown North Conway  (Tomgirl guest Lisa Nelson bought the cutest stuffed moose... and we are not sure yet if it's for her grandson or if she is going to keep it :-)  Vicki Malchar, meanwhile, found her aviator sport pants - finally, yeah!  

We arrived at Skyventure at around 2 p.m. and quickly went into our "aviator" class, suited up (including helmets, goggles, and ear plugs) and 

headed into the wind tunnel.  We had an incredible time - especially Tomgirl traveler Thea Zumwalt, who laughed the entire time she was in the tunnel.  In fact her continued giggling (and screaming) made all the staff start laughing as well.  You made a very positive impact Thea!  Vicki had great form  - maybe she was a ballerina as a child?! We think - dare we say it - that Lisa has overcome her fear of heights!  She soared with her wind tunnel trainer nearly to the top.  Tomgirl's intern Caroline Oppel was a smooth operator in the tunnel and she kept us clapping and laughing with her performance. What an amazing day! (That's me, above, in the wind tunnel)

Thanks for following us on Tomgirl ToursWhite Mountain Adventure! We're home safe and sound now and will share video and more photos here in the next few days. Meanwhile, check out upcoming dates on our website... there are three more White Mountains Adventure tours this year!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Exhilarating Zip = Happy Tomgirls

As Day 1 of our White Mountains Adventure comes to a close, we are a happy group of tomgirls here in New Hampshire! The zip in Bretton Woods was an exhilarating experience enjoyed by all; here are a few photos of our guests gearing up earlier today (more to come, along with video, later this week!) Tomorrow we'll continue the excitement as we give indoor skydiving a shot. Stay tuned for more on that tomorrow. 

Tomgirls and friends ready to zip!

Safety First

Gearing up...

Ready to go!

Our fantastic guides, Bobby and Steve

Greetings from New Hampshire!

We've arrived in New Hampshire and enjoyed lunch at the beautiful Mount Washington Resort. Here's a glimpse of this beautiful hotel and the gorgeous view we're enjoying. This afternoon, we are off to zip line and are all very excited. More later from our White Mountains Adventure!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And, We're Off! (On our White Mountains Adventure)

We are all ready to hit the road for Tomgirl Tours' White Mountains Adventure in New Hampshire tomorrow and everyone is very excited! We have folks flying in from the Washington, D.C. area and several others coming from different parts of Rhode Island. It looks like we are going to have perfect weather if the forecast holds up! (Which was not the case mid week and had me fretting).  

I was up in New Hampshire last weekend and, with all the rain we've had in New England recently, it was the most plush, green scenery I've experienced in years - just gorgeous!  

We're bringing along our newest tech gadget - the Flip Video - so we can capture our zip lining experience "in motion"... the perfect memento for guests to receive as part of their tour experience (and for us to share here on Travel for Tomgirls).  Stay tuned to the blog, as we'll be posting photos and sharing stories from our trip as they happen this weekend. We can't wait to hear your comments and feedback! 

So, until tomorrow, have a great day and we'll "see" you after the zip!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Hello, and welcome to Travel for Tomgirls!

You may be asking yourself: what, exactly, is a tomgirl? As the self-proclaimed ultimate Tomgirl, let me explain: Tomgirls love the outdoors, nature and adventure; they love to explore the world—they zip line through the forest, hot air balloon above the Arizona desert, and seek out culinary expeditions and fresh local cuisine when they travel. Tomgirls enjoy challenges, yet they balance it out with some pampering and “girly” activities - like messages, private art tours, or a bit of shopping.

So, what makes me the ultimate Tomgirl? Well, I grew up on a New England farm with five older brothers and two sisters and spent my youth swimming, fishing and endlessly exploring the forests and ocean. With a childhood like that, I was hooked on nature and the outdoors from an early age. From the farm, I headed to the city in search for new adventures. I spent 25 years as a corporate executive where customer service and travel refined my tastes and broadened my perspective.

I found myself questioning: how does one blend these different interests--outdoors; nature; adventure; boutique, upscale and refined--into a new vocation that includes it all? Well, I started with a sabbatical from the corporate world and, after reflection on those passions and talents, I founded Tomgirl Tours, which has become the natural extension of both. As the CEO of Tomgirl Tours, I get to use my business and service expertise to create memorable adventure travel excursions for active women like me who love travel, adventure and the outdoors. 

I’m so excited to be here blogging… sharing my love for adventure travel and new culinary experiences with others who love to do the same. If you love adventure, but haven't had enough of it lately, then you've found the perfect person to help you get outdoors.  On Travel For Tomgirls, we'll talk about travel insights, personal adventure and culinary experiences, and share every exciting Tomgirl Tours journey. I can’t wait to meet all the wonderful adventurers here in the blogosphere, and hope to meet you in person on one of our Tomgirl Tours sometime soon!