Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast
Gift Certificates = Gifts of Support 16 Mar 2020, 3:27 pm
As many small businesses face uncharted territory with the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to reflect and remember how to support one another with the ever evolving times. Purchasing a Gift Certificate aka a “Gift of Support” can greatly benefit small business revenue that can be extremely challenging when reservations are rescheduled and/or cancelled. Each increasing tier of support offers a better return. Please consider purchasing a Certificate of Support today not only to the Beacon House Inn, but also to any local small business in your area or in our small beach community of Carolina Beach. We are extremely grateful to our amazing returning guests and are appreciative of their continued love and support. Rest assured, and as always, we have and will continue to exceed all necessary New Hanover County Health Code and CDC cleanliness and sanitary requirements and expectations in order to keep our guests safe and healthy. Thorough deep cleans of all guest rooms, cottages, and accommodations, throughout our properties, will continue and we encourage everyone to feel secure and confident that their stay with Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast is at its highest technical excellence. We also invite you to engage in current Late Spring and Summer travel planning for your next beach getaway!
The Local “Art” of gift giving 10 Nov 2019, 10:27 am
With the holidays approaching, it is time for many of us to start thinking about how we will show our family and friends we appreciate them. Let’s explore ways we can give gifts while still being sustainable and thoughtful.
Think about the ways that traditional gift-giving impacts the environment and our local communities. With anything you could ever imagine just a click away on Amazon, it is easy to buy a gift without much thought. You buy it and within a few days your package is there. You take it out of the box that has traveled hundreds, perhaps thousands of miles to get to your doorstep. You toss out all of the packing material and re-wrap the package in shiny new wrapping paper. Maybe you don’t order every gift online, so you take a little day trip to your local shopping mall. You go into retail stores and peruse for something that catches your eye. You spend a couple hundred dollars and get all your shopping done. This is how most of us do our holiday shopping and I think it is important to look at these practices in a socially and environmentally critical way.
As an independent artist myself, I may be a little biased. I make handmade jewelry and have over ten years of experience doing what I do. I use conflict-free materials and strive to ensure I know what impact those materials have on the environment. I use recycled materials whenever possible. I pay myself a living wage for my work, unlike many major jewelry retail chains. I do not exploit the labor of people in other countries to benefit myself financially. I cannot say any of this about Amazon, or any number of other major retailers. If someone spends $50 on Amazon, Jeff Bezos isn’t going to notice. If someone spends $50 on my jewelry they are helping me pay for my groceries, my student loan payments, my car insurance, or a rare dinner out at a local restaurant. But I’m not just talking about me. This is true for many independent business, artists, restaurants, etc. Amazon isn’t going to host a benefit night for your kids soccer team. Belk’s or Wal-Mart won’t be actively putting your money back into your local community.
So how can you individually make small changes to make your holiday gift giving more sustainable and thoughtful? First of all you don’t have to give anyone anything physical to be a great gift-giver. Instead, buy someone tickets to a concert, local play, or museum exhibit and take them to it! Not only are you giving the gift of an experience but you get to spend time with the people you love, with the money spent being recycled back into your community. The same idea goes for restaurants! Take your loved ones out to a local restaurant, or give them a gift card they can use locally. If a restaurant is too expensive for you, take someone to a local coffee shop, brewery, wine bar or bottle shop. Many people I know (including myself) have a lot of ‘stuff’, so giving the gift of an experience is a beautiful way to reduce the wasteful nature of traditional gift giving.
If you are set on giving a physical gift, shop local! Go to local art walks, craft fairs, festivals and farmers markets. Shop in stores that are locally owned, by people participating in your community. When you shop local you can ask critical questions like where the materials for products came from and what techniques are used to make and finish them, so you can ensure your gift is sustainable and your money is going to something that will positively impact your community and the people in it. If you choose to buy physical gifts this year, also think about the impact that wrapping paper and gift wrap accessories have on the environment. Instead of buying tons of wrapping paper this year, wrap your gifts in reusable or sustainable things. Swap out wrapping paper for recycled magazines or newspaper. Use cloth bags that can double as reusable shopping bags! Wrap things in recycled fabric such as old sheets or pillowcases (you can find beautiful vintage linens at any thrift shop). The negative environmental impact of wrapping accessories greatly outweighs the aesthetic of a perfectly wrapped gift.
For the Love of Beer! 2 Mar 2019, 1:47 pm
The Wilmington area local beer scene is exploding! We have 15 local breweries in the Wilmington area and one on Pleasure Island. Each brewery is a little different so we want to tell you about all of them starting with Good Hops in Carolina Beach.
Carolina Beach / Pleasure Island
Located at 811 Harper Avenue, Good Hops is the only brewery on Pleasure Island. Good Hops has a large outdoor area, is dog and kid friendly, and just a mile and a half from the Inn. Flagship year round brews include an IPA, Pale Ale, Golden Ale and Brown Ale. Regular rotating beers include a Double IPA, Pilsner, Hazy IPA and Irish Ale. A few Seasonal Favorites coming soon include a Blood Rose Belgian, Imperial Russian Stout and the Donna Pineapple Golden Ale. Regular events involve live music, trivia, darts, disc golf, food trucks and Saturday morning ‘pay what you can’ yoga classes.
If you’re staying at our City Flat, you are just a short Uber/Lyft, walk, or bike ride away from six local breweries.
Waterline Brewery is Located at 721 Surry St. right next to the Art Factory Gallery. The brewery is located in a renovated 1940’s warehouse and located under the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. The expansive taproom or outdoor beer garden is a perfect place to sip one of their many beers. Flagship beers include an IPA, Tripel, Oatmeal Stout, Red, Kolsch and American Pale Ale. Seasonal brews currently on tap include a Black IPA, Coffee & Cream, Porter and a Pale Ale. Check out their events page for information on live music, food trucks, art events, comedy, yoga classes and more.
New Anthem Beer Project is located on Dock Street, a short walk from the City Flat. Weekly events include Tuesday Night Jazz and live music every other Wednesday. This place is perfect for the IPA lover! New Anthem currently has eight different styles of IPA on tap including a wheat IPA and a New England IPA.
Front Street Brewery is a Wilmington Downtown Staple. They are a full brewery and restaurant, serving their full food menu until 12 PM every night. Every day at 3:15 and 4:15 the Brewmaster provides a free tour and tasting of the brewery and beers. Flagship beers include a Raspberry Wheat Ale, ESB, and a Scottish Ale among many others. Some seasonal favorites include a Strawberry Rubarb Sour and a Honey Beer.
Iron Clad Brewery is located in a historic building dating back to 1925. The brick, roof and some original wood were repaired, re-purposed and remain as part of the structure. Iron Clad is not only a taproom, but a rent-able venue accommodating up to 500 people. Some of their house beers include a Golden Ale, IPA and Stout.
Fly Trap Brewing is located in the Brooklyn Arts District Downtown. They specialize in Belgian Style Ales, brewed in small batches. Fly Trap focuses on supporting and giving back to the local community. Art exhibitions of two local featured artists are displayed in the taproom, rotating every two months. Fly Trap has a variety of rotating food trucks Thursdays-Saturdays as well as art events, live music and more!
Edward Teach is located in a historic building, built in 1907, that served as the fire house until 1971. Named after the famous pirate Blackbeard, the downstairs bar is modeled after the ship ‘Queen Anne’s Revenge’ and the entire building is meant to feel at sea. They provide a variety of styles of beer including a Wit, Lager, and Chocolate Porter among many others.
Wilmington Brewing Company
Located in the middle of town, Wilmington Brewing Company consists of a brewery, taproom, and homebrew supply store. WBC has 15 rotating beers on tap, all brewed in house. Relax in their taproom and sip on a Jalepeno Saison, Milkshake IPA, or Sweet Potato Amber Ale. Take home a six-pack of cans to enjoy at home!
Flying Machine is the newest addition to Wilmington serving beer and Counter Culture Coffee. They host food trucks, vinyl nights, craft nights, and yoga classes. They rotate their nitro coffee draft and house beers like the Carolina Bock or Blueberry Cobbler Bock.
Bill’s Front Porch is a casual pub serving creative bar food and house made beers. Their flagship beers include a Citra Hop Pale Ale, Mosaic IPA and a Breakfast Stout. They serve brunch, have trivia and live music events.
Skytown Beer Co prides themselves on perfectly pairing beer & barbecue. They serve pub food, along with barbecue and house made sauces and vinegar. On tap they serve a rotation of IPAs, Red Ales, Wheat styles and porters.
Broomtail Craft Brewery
Focusing on the art and science behind brewing, Broomtail uses locally and internationally sourced raw materials to provide the best quality beer for their customers. Broomtail has a quaint lounge area as well as outdoor seating. In 2016 they opened their Sour Barn on Market St. which includes a taproom and beer garden. Both locations provide live music, food trucks, outdoor games (like giant Jenga), trivia, and much more! Whether you’re looking for more traditional brews or you’re into the ancient art of sour beer, either location has something for everyone to enjoy!
Wrightsville Beach Area
If you love beer enough to trek far away from Pleasure Island or Downtown Wilmington, the Wrightsville Beach area has a few breweries worth checking out.
Wrightsville Beach Brewery
WBB prides themselves on their ability to give back to the community they love. Each month the brewery features a “Beer of the Month” and 11% of the total proceeds of sales go to a local non-profit. The non-profits change every month and information about each can be found on their website. In addition to brewing a variety of great beers, WBB serves a full menu of brunch, lunch, and dinner with emphasis on fresh local ingredients. A few examples of some of their brews are the Wilmywood Wit, Pompano Porter or the Waterway IPA. https://www.wbbeer.com/
Mad Mole Brewery
Mad Mole is a newer addition to the Wilmington area beer scene. Located on Oleander Drive, the brewery is owned by a group of friends who had previously been home brewing for years. Some of their beers include the Tunnel Digger New England IPA, Darth Mole Stout, and Raspberry Moley Kolsh. They also serve ciders and wine if beer isn’t your thing! http://madmolebrewing.com/
Waterman’s Brewing company is owned by Zac Brown, who focuses on traditional English brewing techniques and ingredients. The brewery has a full food menu serving brunch, lunch and dinner. The food menu is a mix of funky plays on traditional bar food, and clean eats like salads and veggie burgers. Join their Run Club on Wednesdays to join like minded individuals who appreciate a cold beer after a nice exercise. Some of their brews include the Morning Glass Coffee Ale, Sandblaster Blonde Ale and the Abundant Sunshine IPA. They also have other local beers on tap in addition to their own! http://www.watermansbrewing.com/
Melt Away the Holiday Hosting Blues 21 Dec 2018, 10:55 am
Hosting friends and family during the holidays can be challenging. Dietary restrictions and picky eaters can add additional challenges to preparing your holiday menus. Here are some simple, creative recipes from The Beacon House Inn (we’re kind of experts).
Easy Prep Appetizers.
Smoked Gouda Apple Points
You will need:
-Thick sliced seasonal apples (soak in lemon water to prevent browning)
-Quality Smoked Gouda
-100% Pure Maple syrup
-Shredded coconut, lightly toasted.
Slice apples and soak in lemon water while preparing everything else. Apple slices should be about 1/4in thick. Dry toast the shredded coconut on med-high heat until it begins to brown. Be careful not to burn by constantly moving coconut in the pan. Once toasted, remove from pan and let cool. Slice cheese (don’t be afraid to be generous). Pat dry apple slices with paper towel, top with cheese, drizzle with maple syrup, and top with cooled toasted coconut. Enjoy!
Home-made Roasted Garlic Hummus
You will need:
-2 Cans Garbanzo beans (rinsed)
-Salt & pepper to taste
-2-3 tbsp Tahini paste
-¼ c Olive oil
-5-7 cloves of garlic, roasted and cooled.
-1 tsp cumin
-1 tsp paprika
Using a food processor or blender, combine garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini paste and olive oil. Add water a tablespoon at a time to achieve desired consistency if needed. Blend in salt & pepper, spices and roasted garlic. Sprinkle with a little more paprika before serving. Chill or serve room temperature with crackers and sliced veggies!
Avocado Deviled Eggs
You will need:
-1 dozen eggs, boiled over hard, cooled and peeled.
-4 cloves chopped garlic
-Salt & pepper
-Fresh copped cilantro
-Sweet Chili sauce (I recommend Maggi brand)
Slice eggs in half, remove yolk and place in bowl. (you will only need to use ½ the total amount of yolk). With a fork, combine yolk and avocado. Start with 2 tbsp of sweet chili and add more if necessary to achieve creamy texture. Mix in raw chopped garlic, salt to taste and 1-2 tbsp of fresh chopped cilantro. Scoop mixture into egg whites using a spoon (or get fancy with a pastry piping bag). Top with generous amount of pepper (fresh cracked is the best) and chopped cilantro. Serve and Enjoy!
Warm Balsamic Figs
You will need:
-12 ripe figs washed and de-stemmed.
-4oz honey goat cheese
-Crushed roasted pistachios
Cut a deep X into the top of the figs (be sure not to cut all the way through). Generously stuff figs with goat cheese crumbles. Place on baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown slightly. Remove from oven, top with balsamic glaze and crushed pistachios. Serve warm!
Now onto the Spirits!
Let’s put some holiday twists on your favorite classic cocktails! Before you start crafting beautiful cocktails, you need to learn the basics. Simple Syrup and Sour Mix can be utilized in a multitude of drink recipes. You can buy these, but home made is always better!
You Will need:
-1c White granulated sugar
-Spices/fruits of your choice
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (ensuring all sugar is dissolved). You can play with this recipe by adding things like cinnamon, blueberries,
or fresh herbs to create an interesting syrup you can use for desserts or drinks! If you choose to add herbs or fruits, make sure to strain the syrup before storing. Properly stored syrups will last up to a month!
You Will Need:
-3c Simple Syrup (cooled)
-2c Fresh squeezed lime juice
-2c Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in an airtight container to keep in the fridge up to a month!
You will need:
-1.5 oz good silver tequila
-.5 oz Cointreau
-1oz fresh made sour mix
-2 oz 100% Cranberry juice (say no to cranberry juice cocktail!!)
In a bar mixer, add liquid ingredients over ice and SHAKE! Prep your glass with a sugar rim & fill to the top with ice. Strain drink into glass, top with an extra splash of cranberry. Garnish with fresh cranberries and a juicy lime slice.
You will need:
-.5 oz Elderflower liqueur
-2 oz Bourbon (We Like Bulleit)
-.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
-.5 oz simple syrup
-2 dashes of orange bitters (you can substitute regular bitters and the zest of an orange)
Fill a pint glass with ice and add ingredients. STIR with a cocktail spoon (Whiskey and Bourbon drinks should never be shaken). Strain and serve up in a martini or rocks glass. Garnish with orange zest.
You will need:
-Bottle of prosecco
-1 oz Pomegranate liqueur
Pour pomegranate liqueur into shaker over ice. Add one tablespoon of pomegranate seeds and a sprig of rosemary, squeeze lemon over shaker and drop rind in. Shake vigorously. Strain mixture into Champagne flute, add sprig of rosemary and another tablespoon of pomegranate seeds for garnish. Top with prosecco and serve!
Rumchata & Coffee
You will need:
-Fresh hot dark roast coffee
-Cinnamon for garnish.
Later Baileys! This drink is a great twist on a classic Baileys and coffee. Pour Rumchata into a coffee mug and top with fresh hot coffee. Add a little whipped cream and sprinkle top with a dusting of cinnamon for a great presentation.
4th Friday Gallery Nights 2 Nov 2018, 10:44 am
4th Friday Gallery Night provides enrichment to Wilmington with monthly, provincial access to a wide range of distinctive galleries and spaces. The self-guided tour gives patrons the opportunity to map their own gallery walk and focus on the mediums and exhibitions that interest them most. Many venues provide entertainment such as live music, live art demonstrations, or artist lectures as well as providing refreshments.
Fly Trap is a local brewery, with the name
eluding to the native carnivorous plants that inhabit Wilmington.
Fly Trap exhibits six different artists each year and participates
in 4th Friday with live music and food trucks. The Art Factory is a
venue showing local and world art that includes a theater and wine
tasting room. This venue has a new exhibition up every 4th Friday
The Golden Gallery is a downtown Wilmington venue owned and operated by the Golden family exhibiting watercolor painting, photography, jewelry, and more. Often times, a visit to this gallery will be met with live music by John Golden.
Port City Pottery and Fine Crafts is located in the Cotton Exchange downtown full of high end pottery, basket weaving, jewelry, and textiles. Each 4th Friday the Gallery chooses at least two artists to feature for the evening. The artists that work the gallery are knowledgeable of the Wilmington art community as well as the culture behind it.
The Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens hosts a pop-up exhibit with items from the museum’s collection. Wine and appetizers are served during reception and a portion of proceeds from art sales go to the preservation and restoration of the 1770’s Burgwin-Wright House and Museum.
These are just a few of the many venues that participate in 4thFriday Gallery Night. Open yourself to new ideas and experiences while interacting with the people and art that help make Wilmington so wonderful.
For a full list of participating venues and a map to help plan your walk, please visit this link!
Link to 2018 Brochure
The Farm Egg Advantage 2 Sep 2018, 9:55 am
Benefits of Farm Fresh Eggs.
Here at the Beacon House we only use locally sourced farm fresh eggs. We get our eggs from Our Father’s Garden, a farm located in Burgaw, NC. Our Father’s Garden prides themselves on hormone and pesticide free farming techniques and being “Veteran Owned and Veteran Grown.” They employ Veterans and help to encourage emotional, mental, and physical healing through farming. We buy our eggs directly from the farm which helps to support and boost our local economy. We believe in knowing exactly who and where our eggs come from to ensure the highest quality products for our guests.
In addition to economical advantages, there are many proven health benefits from eating farm fresh eggs. Studies show that farm fresh eggs have less cholesterol than store bought eggs. Fresh eggs also provide more vitamins, omega fatty acids, and contain less saturated fat. The health benefits of fresh eggs are visible in the deeper, rich colored yolk and stronger whites which aid in a better cooked egg.
Hens from local farms are also more humanely treated as they are generally free-roaming which allows them to get exercise and sunshine. Local hens are also provided a more nutrient rich diet. The diet of the hen is extremely important, the more vitamins they consume, the more good stuff is passed onto you! A diverse diet including grains, vegetables, and bugs is essential for a healthy chicken and egg. Cage free hens are able to forage for food in addition to consuming chicken feed, providing them with exercise and food diversity. Local farm chickens lead low stress lives which translates to a healthier, happier chicken and less hormones consumed by us. Did you know that feeding your chickens their discarded egg shells can provide them with extra nutrients which make their eggs stronger? Vegetable scraps are also great for chickens and provide a wonderful way to aid in the reduction of food waste.
At the Beacon House, we strive to provide our guests with the
freshest ingredients possible. The eggs we buy are significantly
more fresh than store bought eggs. Store bought eggs can be up to
two months old when purchased and are usually bleached and washed
of their natural protective coating. Farm fresh eggs are usually
unwashed, preserving their protective coating which helps them stay
fresher longer. Unwashed farm fresh eggs do not need to be
refrigerated and can be washed just before use.
Leek and garlic crust-less quiche or a seasonal vegetable frittata are just two of the many delicious fresh egg based meals you will find on your breakfast plate at The Beacon House Inn.
Come down to Carolina Beach and taste the difference for yourself!
A Toast to Breakfast 16 Apr 2018, 7:11 am
It has long been touted that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. However, it is often the easiest meal to skip with hectic mornings, dashing off to work and getting the kids ready for school. Hit the snooze alarm one too many times and breakfast is usually the first thing to get lost in the shuffle. As breakfast aficionados, we definitely have a few tricks up our sleeve! So, we are here to help you out with some super quick options that are not only healthy, but delicious as well.
Today we are going to talk about toast points! You may have heard them called crostini or even bruschetta. The premise is the same! Now, you may not think of “toast” as especially healthy, but with toppings like these, it is not only nutritious but tastes like an indulgence! Here are eight tried and true favorites that have been met with rave reviews from our guests at the Bed & Breakfast.
You can choose whatever bread you prefer. We have used English toasting bread, English muffins, baguettes, Ciabatta, whole wheat or even swapped out the bread altogether for a Granny Smith apple slice.
Think about cheeses such as ricotta, goat cheese, brie, and cream cheese. Other great choices are almond butter, peanut butter or tahini. (Pro tip: we like to mix ricotta with our goat cheese to mellow it out!)
These can be anything for added flavor, crunch and color. We like to use seasonal fresh fruit, especially in the summer when berries are plentiful. Chopped nuts add a bit of crunch. Amp up the flavor with fresh herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary and mint. Add a drizzle of honey or agave nectar for a touch of sweetness and top it all off with lemon or orange zest for an extra kick.
- Ricotta, grapes, honey and lemon zest
- Almond butter, cranberries, crystallized ginger and honey (Mike’s creation!)
- Goat cheese with blackberries, basil and lime zest
- Ricotta with lemon zest and basil and honey
- Goat cheese with peaches and thyme
- Brie with apple butter/apples honey and lemon zest
- Tahini with apple, honey and thyme
- Cream cheese with strawberries, balsamic and basil
The combinations are endless so get as creative as you want. Once you begin to experiment, the sky is the limit! As you can see, you no longer need to skip your first meal of the day. These simple yet scrumptious toasts will get your morning off to a fantastic start using whatever you have on hand.
Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions on Vacation! 24 Feb 2018, 8:25 am
March is almost here and many people have completely given up on their “healthy” New Year’s resolutions by now! The good news is that you don’t have to throw fitness to the wind, even if you are planning to go on vacation! If you are steadfast on keeping your health and fitness New Year’s goals while traveling this year, many hotels and resorts are incorporating programs to help you stay on track. Wellness has become more than the typical spa experience with facials, seaweed wraps and hot stone massage. Health and wellness have also moved into the hotel restaurant. Hotel cafes and restaurants are beginning to include healthier food choices and options that cater to dietary restrictions like gluten free, vegan, Paleo and vegetarian as these styles of eating are becoming more common. Working out and eating well now go hand in hand with traveling.
All around the world fitness, health and wellness programs are popping up in hotels, spas and resorts. There are complete vacation packages that focus on health and wellness. So, going on vacation is no longer an excuse to abandon your daily health regime. Where as “wellness” retreats used to imply spa services and meditation, the wellness experience now encompasses more intense physical fitness. Vacations that are centered around hiking and yoga can be found more readily than ever before as well as spin classes, beach volleyball, Zumba and Pilates.
Some resort packages include a visit with a health professional or nutritionist who will provide a complete health assessment at the beginning of your stay to help set personal goals. In some cases this person may also work directly with the culinary team to assist you with your personalized menu plan.
More than merely helping you to maintain your fitness objectives, you can also book a vacation that actually propels you forward. You may be looking for cardio, strength and sport or a combination of mind and body renewal. Fusion Fitness Holidays allows you to customize and set a personalized itinerary based on specific goals. Your custom holiday may include Thai boxing, Ashtanga yoga, dancing or beach power walks.
These comprehensive wellness programs treat mind, body and spirit! The first ever “Healthy Hour” is now a thing at the Bucti and Tara Beach Resort in Aruba! Instead of cocktails, guests can enjoy all of the mingling without all of the calories! Serving up craft mock-tails, vitamin packed smoothies and wholesome snacks poolside is the new happy hour!
If your New Year’s resolution is to reduce your stress level, then you may need to visit this “summer camp for the soul” at TreeCasa in Nicaragua. The destination itself is nestled among the kapok trees and said to have sacred energy and healing properties. The entire property is considered sustainable. The resort restaurant is “farm to table” and serves only food harvested from the properties own organic gardens and orchards. Daily yoga classes, horseback riding and walking through the forest leave plenty of time for reflection. Hillside decks high among the trees offer a uniquely peaceful environment not found anywhere else.
Whether or not you have abandoned your New Year’s resolutions for health and fitness, there is still time to reignite them and even incorporate them into your next vacation!
Why Travel is Good For Your Health! 1 Dec 2017, 10:10 am
Do you think that travel is merely an indulgence?
If you think that taking a vacation is too expensive and that traveling is merely an indulgence, you may change your mind when you find out that traveling is actually good for your health! We experience physical, mental, and emotional benefits when we travel; so if you are feeling stressed out and fatigued, or just plain tired and depressed, go ahead and pack your bags to give yourself a new perspective.
Travel broadens our horizons and boosts our creativity!
How does vacationing increase our mental health? By challenging our minds, our brain, like any other muscle, needs to get a regular “work out.” Challenging our brain with exposure to new cultures broadens our horizons and boosts our creativity! Presenting ourselves with new experiences increases mental health and has positive effects on aging. We may visit a museum or historical site that challenges us to remember some interesting facts or dates. Putting ourselves in a different environment, eating an exotic dish, experiencing a foreign culture, or learning a new language boosts our brain power.
The emotional benefits of travel are long lasting!
Travel has lasting benefits to our emotional health that we experience before the trip itself even begins! Think about the joy you feel when you begin to dream about where you want to go and the growing anticipation as plans begin to fall into place. The experiences we have on holiday relax and rejuvenate us while we are having them, but also long after we return home. Some of my most cherished memories are from vacations. For example, my trip to Thailand was the realization of a lifelong dream that I will never forget. Some may fantasize of an African safari or scaling Mount Everest while others ponder trips like trekking to Mecca or attending Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Certain vacations may satisfy a more spiritual journey while others reap the emotional benefits of physical endurance.
There are physical benefits to travel!
The most obvious health benefit of traveling is physical. We break out of our daily routines to explore city streets or commune with Mother Nature on a hike through the woods. Adventure seekers may go kite surfing, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, or exploring ancient ruins. We simply move more. If you have ever had to sprint through an airport to catch a flight, you know this to be true!
Certain destinations are known for their natural wellness benefits. The mud baths in Hell’s Gate, New Zealand or the Chena Hot Springs in Alaska are sought out for their healing properties. Each person’s reason for traveling is unique whether it is a humanitarian venture to an impoverished area or the solitude and renewal provided on a yoga retreat.
As you can see, travel is much more than an indulgence, it is great for your mental, emotional, and physical health! Regardless of what type of trip you take, it will provide you with a myriad of benefits that begin with shaking up your day-to-day grind.
I hope this has inspired you to grab your suitcase and hit the road! I, for one, plan to do a little more traveling in 2018! Who knows? Maybe our paths will cross out there on our “healthful” journeys!
The Healthy Side of Indulgence with the Beacon House Inn 14 Nov 2017, 9:11 am
What is life without a little indulgence? Indulgence is good, right? We deserve it from time to time. This is especially true when we go on vacation. It is easy to overdo it though. We eat too much, drink too much and all too often forget our workout routines all together. It is not uncommon to return from vacation a few pounds heavier than when we left. With a little planning and moderation, it is possible to treat yourself to those decadent baked goods, cocktails, and craft beer and still wear the same size pants when you return home. The healthy side of indulgence is all about balance. I learned my lesson on balance between super healthy and indulgence the hard way.
As the Assistant Innkeeper at the Beacon House Inn Bed & Breakfast I am often in the kitchen baking and cooking. At least a few times per week it is not unusual to eat leftovers from breakfast after the guests have been served. This could be anything from Creme Brulee French Toast to Artisan Baked Oatmeal. As you can imagine, I easily consume hundreds of mindless calories throughout the day with bites, licks and tastes as I cook and bake. As it turns out, these little “BLT’s” as I like to call them, add up over time. They add up a lot! Over the course of four years, I gained just shy of forty pounds.
These extra pounds crept up almost unnoticeable over time and when I turned forty-nine, I had a rude awakening. Maybe it was seeing pictures of myself and hating them? Perhaps it was my mortality finally setting in and I realized that I had to do something about my weight. I felt unhealthy, I smoked cigarettes, and most days by early afternoon, I had no energy whatsoever. Diabetes runs in my family so I became nervous about developing the disease and I began to diet. My frustration only grew as I could not shed any of those extra pounds and I was finding out quickly that as we age it becomes more difficult to lose weight.
I have educated myself on how much our bodies change as we grow older. The old ways of getting in shape no longer apply. I needed something drastic, something I had never tried before. That turned out to be weight lifting. With consistent hard work and a regimented schedule, over the course of six months, I had lost twenty-five pounds and I was embracing a completely new healthy lifestyle.Due to the nature of my job, I had to find some balance with food. No amount of working out was going to keep up with daily doses of pancakes and a regular diet of baked goods. So far I have successfully maintained my new weight for over a year and that is where this blog comes in.
Our new blog, The Healthy Side of Indulgence by the Beacon House Inn, is based on a combination of our years of experience in the hospitality business plus our own personal travels. It will highlight some of my personal lifestyle transformation journey as I learned how to live on the healthy side of indulgence. We will now be sharing these tips and more with you so that you too can travel and live healthy while still enjoying life!