Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tomgirl Empowers Women (Physically and Financially)



(transitive verb)

to promote the self-actualization or influence of...

We're always talking about the fun, the laughter and the breath-taking scenery and adventure of Tomgirl Tours. One thing we (and travelers) don't often verbalize, but which has been on my mind lately, is how these experiences empower women. And I don't use that word lightly. Take, for example, just a few of our recent Tomgirl guests who have commented on this blog:

"What they offer... should be considered a public service... I encourage all cancer survivors to take off your wig, put on a helmet, and change your perception of yourself." --Carol

"Thank you so much, Lori, for putting together a wonderful package of fun and adventure that helped get me out of my way-too-restrictive comfort zone!!" --Lisa

So, to complement the physical and mental empowerment our brand of adventure offers to travelers, I'm very excited about a special feature of our November Red Rock Rendezvous in Sedona, Ariz. (click here for additional 2010 dates). I've teamed up with Edward Jones financial planner Kira Golden to offer Tomgirl guests an optional financially empowering element on these Sedona tours. Golden will guide guests who choose to participate (no extra cost) through financial visioning, planning and execution strategies; including risk exposure, investment policies, legacy planning, tax minimization tools, and passive or passion income streams. (Meanwhile, Tomgirl is in talks with a couple of our favorite New England financial planners to possibly do something similar on our tours in this region).

What better time to clearly visualize our dreams and goals than while feeling our adrenaline pump on an outdoor adventure--perhaps as you step off a zip line platform and realize that you really can accomplish anything... physically or financially... if you are willing to take that leap of faith in yourself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Let Us Answer Your Adventure Travel Questions

“Adventure” is like the words wealthy, attractive, or intelligent: its meaning is almost always relative to the speaker or the audience. To some, an “adventure” getaway entails journeying to a hotel that doesn’t have an in-house spa. To others, it requires jumping out of a plane.

In travel circles we use the adjectives hard (like Bungee jumping or white water rafting) and soft (bird watching or culinary tours), to help define the level of adventure. But activities in the two categories swing to extremes, begging the question: what about someone who might want to try something that gets her heart pumping a bit, but isn’t quite ready for a vertical ice climb?

For starters, you fit into the Tomgirl category. And for that category we’ve coined the term “mildly adventurous.” What does that mean? Well, as you’ve seen here on our blog, our activities range from zip-lining and indoor skydiving, to ropes courses and Segway riding.

Mild adventure is our style and, as such, we’re working on our upcoming webinar, Adventure Travel 101, to help explain the differences in adventure excursions, answer questions would-be Tomgirls have, and ease the minds of anyone who has considered an adventure tour, but is still hesitating.

During the Webinar Ann Petronio of Annie’s Escapes and I will answer questions about how to plan an adventure vacation and provide food for thought on choosing the right tour (addressing topics like travel goals, destination choices, desired activities and budget planning).

But we know there are other questions out there so, throw ‘em at us and we’ll be sure to address your queries. Have you taken an adventure vacation? What was your experience? If you haven’t yet experienced an adventure tour, what questions or concerns have stopped you? Do you have fears about the level of adventure or fitness required to participate? Do you wonder about the safety of the activities?

Feel free to post any questions in the comment section here or email them directly to me: lori@tomgirltours.

The Webinar is Sept. 23; we’ll have registration available next week but, if you’d like advance information, just let me know!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

It's Official! Tomgirl Has a New Tour Package for 2010: Gorgeous Vermont!

As I’m sure you could tell from all our posts about the trip to Vermont, we absolutely loved the Essex resort, the area, and, especially, the adventure experiences. So, I’m happy to announce that Tomgirl Tours has officially included a Green Mountains Getaway to our 2010 menu of tours (check out our website for details on this and all our 2009 and 2010 tours)! We hope you’ll join us for the ropes course, the zip-line, the hot air ballooning, the Segway experience, the phenomenal New England scenery and, of course (this is a Tomgirl tour, afterall!): the amazing culinary experiences, top-flight spa pampering, and immersion into the local culture. Speaking of those last items, here’s a few photos from our trip last week—both of the incredible spa at the Essex and of the postcard-perfect villages and countryside in the area.

First, the spa at the Essex: the décor sets the immediate tone for this relaxing and luxurious environment, providing the perfect end to a perfect few adventure-filled days at the Essex. The colors, the aromas of the incredible products and relaxing music put me into the right frame of mind for a great signature massage... My only complaint? That the 80 minutes flew by like 10! (I definitely plan to spend more time in the spa during my next trip!)

Now onto the other gems we discovered (and will share with our Tomgirl guests on the Green Mountain Getaway tours): Shelburne Farm, a beautiful and historic former Vanderbilt estate, is situated on Lake Champlain and serves as the home of our wine and cheese tastings during the Green Mountain Getaway tours in 2010.

Finally, on the leisurely drive back to my home in Rhode Island, we had the good fortune of traveling through gorgeous Woodstock, Vt. The incredible two lane roads with picturesque views were like stepping back to a simpler time - this beautiful, quaint covered bridge punctuated the area’s charm.

As we drove through the center of Woodstock, I had to stop and photograph this quaint building with their fences covered in beautifully blooming flowers of all colors.

Indeed, the drive was almost as much fun as the adventure tour... almost.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Videos from Vermont... Check Out the Action!

We've returned from our fabulous Vermont adventure (and are still savoring the fun!). Here's a peek at Carol and I in action the past few days at the Essex in Burlington...

My Segway trip through the park near Lake Champlain, what a great way to enjoy a fantastic day in beautiful downtown Burlington Vt.

Carol rope climbing and making her way to the top platform at Northern Lights (no easy task!)

Carol takes a break and bursts out laughing – she is so happy to be back on stable ground (42 feet in the air on a platform, that is)!

Then it was on to the next part of the adventure, where Carol took her first zip line to the base.

Lori makes her way to the top on the ropes while posing for photos for Charlie King, the summer resident photographer at The Essex.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Update from Vermont! On the Ropes and Climbing the Wall

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and I agree! So, what better way to explain the adventures Tomgirl is enjoying at the Essex in Vermont than with these photos... (more to come later!)

Our wonderful guides, Tommy and Frank

Carol and I climbing

Me, flying!

Here I am on the ropes

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Greetings from Gorgeous Vermont and the Essex Resort!

What a beautiful summer day in gorgeous northern New England! Today, I traveled with friend and tour operator Carol Conley from Rhode Island to Vermont to check out a possible 2010 Tomgirl tour at the Essex resort and spa, in the Burlington area. The scenery along the way was amazing. (check out the Vermont countryside we witnessed along the way):

At our destination, the Essex, we were warmly greeted by business development director at the resort, Dave Hakins. Here are some pictures of the resort (though, really, photos don't do justice to the experience of generous hospitality and an utterly relaxing vibe at this resort):

Soon, we met Christine, the owner of Northern Lights Rock and Ice, and were whisked away by Tommy and Frank, our guides for the afternoon "ropes" adventure. (Below: Carol with our guides):

What a wonderful day! Stay tuned tomorrow for more from the rope and wall climb, hot air balloon photos and vids, and more!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Join Me in Vermont to Check Out a Possible 2010 Tomgirl Tour!

We've been busy planning our 2010 tours and tomorrow I'm off to Vermont for a few days to investigate the Essex, a culinary resort and spa in lovely Burlington, Vt. On my itinerary as possible elements of a 2010 Tomgirl tour: a ropes and rock climbing course, a tour of Lake Champlain, a hot air balloon ride and a sampling of the resort's spa offerings. The mix is right up our alley: outdoor adventure, fine cuisine (the Essex is home to the New England Culinary Institute), upscale accommodations, beautiful surroundings, and a touch of girly pampering.

Stay tuned for some action blogs the next few days as I report back on this possible tour. If you have any thoughts, do share; as always, I love hearing from you!