Zip Line Adventures In The St. Lucian Rain Forest

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St. Lucia has a myriad of fun, adventurous activities and as the Capella Marigot Bay Insider, I am thrilled to share one of my favorites: the zip line!

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It all began at Rainforest Adventures St. Lucia where I was outfitted in a harness and helmet (safety first!). My group and I were assigned to two guides who took us through out rainforest adventure and back again.

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The aerial tram brought us through the five layers of the rainforest up to the rainforest canopy. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and told us all about the various trees and plants that thrive in each layer of the rainforest.

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After the aerial tram, we had the chance to hike through the rainforest which let us experience its splendor up close and personal. I was awe-struck by the grandeur of these pristine natural surroundings.

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The hike brought us to the first platform where we began our zip line adventure. Each platform is a bit like a treehouse and the only way to get back to the ground is by zip lining from one treetop platform to the next! But don’t worry, while it’s definitely a thrill, the guides are great at putting you at ease. They’re fun-loving attitude coupled with the fact that they’ve done this hundreds of times helped me conquer my fear of heights and I felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment. For seasoned zip-liners and adventure-seekers, there are always ways to make the experience even more thrilling. Just ask the guides who are well-versed in going upside down, backwards, hands-free and even offer zip line experiences at night!

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I loved how I felt part of the rainforest canopy. Unencumbered by a structure I felt completely free, like one of the rainforest birds flitting from treetop to treetop.

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The last zip line is the longest because it’s the one that brings you back to the ground. This was my favorite part of the course because it gets a bit bouncy, adding another element to the experience.

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Just because the zip lining is finished, doesn’t mean the fun had to end!  The hike back to the aerial tram is another opportunity to experience the beauty of the rainforest. St. Lucia has done a great job of making sure the rainforest stays as untouched as possible. And when we took the aerial tram back to the foothills, we were treated to the most magnificent view!

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I can’t thank the team at Rainforest Adventures St. Lucia enough for their fun and professional attitude and spirit. They’ve truly created something special.

If zip lining is something you would like to do while visiting St. Lucia, don’t forget to tell your Capella Marigot Bay Personal Assistant who will be able to set everything up for you!

And in the mean time, try to experience a little daily adventure. It will help you appreciate life and your loved ones every single day!

Discover Water Adventures On Sentosa Island

Suspension bridge at Palawan Beach

I love driving onto to Sentosa Island on my way to Capella Singapore each day.  Sentosa may only be a twenty minute drive from downtown Singapore, but it is an escape unto itself.  What I love most about Sentosa is being amidst an ocean of sapphire, sparkling in the brilliant sunlight.  Spread across just 500 hectares (5 square kilometres) of lush greenery, Sentosa offers stunning coastlines and countless water-themed attractions.  Here are my top four recommendations for wonderful water escapades on the island.

#1 Find Your Dream Beach

Suspension bridge at Palawan Beach

Suspension bridge at Palawan Beach

Summer is synonymous with the beach, and Sentosa boasts three stunning beaches.  Palawan, Siloso and Tanjong Beach are just mere minutes apart, but take a closer look and you’ll discover their rich and distinct personalities.

For family fun, make a beeline for Palawan Beach. The Port of Lost Wonders will enrapture the little ones with a water play area and themed islets. This sunny haven also features a suspension bridge leading to Asia’s closest point to the Equator, so you can literally ‘journey to the centre of the Earth’ together!

Siloso Beach has a decidedly more hippie vibe, with themed bars, beach volleyball games and an outdoor whirlpool bath lining the golden strip of sand. Come nightfall, it also transforms into a party haven, fuelled by beautiful beachgoers, thumping clubs, and regular guest DJ performances.

If you’re looking for an under-the-radar beach, however, Tanjong Beach will fit the bill. By far the quietest of the three, it offers the weary traveller a few peaceful moments away from the world. Skip the crowd, curl up with your favourite novel, pack a picnic with your partner and find a nice piece of paradise to call your own.

#2 Discover The Underwater World

Dolphin Adventure at Marine Life Park’s Dolphin Island,  ©Resorts World Sentosa

Dolphin Adventure at Marine Life Park’s Dolphin Island, © Resorts World Sentosa

Sentosa is also home to one of the world’s largest oceanariums, so relive your Steven Spielberg fantasies by observing sharks, gigantic manta rays and exotic fish.

If you’re looking for a more personal adventure than that, you may also dive with dolphins at Dolphin Island or snorkel with 20,000 colourful reef fish and rays. Intrepid gourmands should also make a mandatory stop at Ocean Restaurant by Cat Cora, an underwater dining destination. Helmed by a celebrity chef, this restaurant located within the S.E.A. Aquarium serves up delicious smoked eel and sous vide salmon with first-class view of more than 100,000 marine animals through its giant glass window.

#3 Ride a Wave

Looking for some surf? Adrenaline junkies will love flowboarding at the Wave House. Get some heart-pumping action riding a wave, and then chill out to live music, enjoy some gourmet pizza, or knock back a few artisan beers at the alfresco beach bars. It’s the best way to let off some steam and decompress for the weekend.

#4 Experience Water Therapy

Auriga Spa Vitality Pool

Auriga Spa Vitality Pool

After all that action and excitement, Auriga spa at Capella Singapore is the best place to unwind. Our wet facilities include hot therapies such as an Herbal Steam Room to flush out toxins and boost blood circulation, lovely hot shower facilities, and an elegant Vitality Pool with water jets to deliver amazing body and neck massages. The heat promotes healing by dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow, hence delivering more oxygen and key nutrients to cells, and flushing out toxins.

Cool down in between hot therapies with cold therapies such as the Ice Fountain and cold showers. These encourage blood vessels to narrow and decreases blood flow to reduce swelling and inflammation. For optimal results, try alternating a few minutes of heat therapy with a minute of cold therapy, and repeat this several times. This prompts deep detoxification, healing and relaxation, and is the best way to end your water-themed weekend or summer vacation!

 

These are some of my favorite water experiences on Sentosa Island, but believe me, there is even more to discover!  Make sure to ask your Personal Assistant at Capella Singapore to help in your activity selection.  I am sure you won’t be disappointed!

Mother’s Day At The United States Botanic Garden

USBG Mother's Day Children's Program

“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”  I could not have said it better than our Nation’s 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.  I hope to shower my children with as much love, kindness, and laughter as she does for my siblings and me.

When planning what to surprise my mom this Mother’s Day, I knew I wanted something different and unique.  Fortunately there is so much to do in Washington, D.C.!   This year’s plan: taking my mother to the United States Botanic Garden where we’ll be able to design and plant her very own garden.

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America.  The three-acre National Garden draws its inspiration from the regional environments from the Mid-Atlantic.  Within the National Garden, the major features include the Butterfly Garden, the First Ladies Water Garden, and the Lawn Terrace.

UPDATED USBG Terrace

You too can bring your mother to the USBG and help her choose from different plants to grow in her own vegetable garden!  From the ingredients you choose to be planted in your new garden, you can help her make two recipes and taste the fruits your garden will flourish into.  Get creative with your recipes and bond over family heritage traditions!  This program is designed for all ages; to learn more, visit here.

USBG Mother's Day Children's Program

Don’t forget to also take the opportunity to participate in the Mother’s Day Tour of the Rose Garden.  It is sure to be beautiful and a memorable experience for everyone!

USBG Rose Garden Tour

If you are staying at Capella Washington, D.C. Georgetown, your Personal Assistants are available to help plan your own Mother’s Day adventures either at theUnited States Botanic Garden or somewhere else. And if you are looking for a perfect brunch, join me at The Grill Room this Mother’s Day for a feast fit for a queen. It’s time to celebrate the most important women in our lives, our Moms!

 

Images via United States Botanic Garden

Mother’s Day Macarons

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“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world.  No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” — Gail Tsukiyama

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I am always look for special ways to thank my mom for all she does.  So, every year I bake or cook something for my mom on Mother’s Day.  For this year’s recipe I asked Breidenbacher Hof’s Executive Chef, Phillip Ferber, for his favorite Mother’s Day treat.  And trust me, you are going to love it.  The pink color looks fantastic and it is absolutely delicious.  It is Mother’s Day Macarons!

rsz_himbeer-makaron-1024x682Mother’s Day Macarons:

Ingredients

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 90g ground almonds
  • 30g sugar
  • 72g egg white (corresponds two egg whites)
  • Pink food coloring

Preparation
Mix together all ingredients and add as much food color as you need for your perfect pink tone.  Fill the dough into an icing bag.  Preheat the oven to 100°C and pipe both parts of the macaron (the upper and bottom surface) onto the baking tray.  The macarons should have a diameter of about 2cm. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  When done, let them cool down for about half an hour.

Rhubarb Filling:

Ingredients

  • 300g Ivoire Valrhona
  • 80g sweet cream
  • 60g stewed rhubarb
  • 500g raspberries
  • 500g blueberries

Preparation 
If you like to prepare the stewed rhubarb on your own,  I would recommend to mix 100g of rhubarb (cut in dices) with 3 table spoons of water and boil it for a while.

At the same time,  heat the cream in another pan and mix together with the chocolate until you have achieved a creamy texture.  Cool down the delicious cream in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Then, beat the cream to make it fluffy and fill it into an icing bag.

Building the Macaron
Take the bottom portion of the baked macaron and pipe the rhubarb filling onto the bottom layer.  Add fruit (I suggest raspberries or blueberries) and top with the other end of the pastry.

The macarons are not just a pretty present for Mother’s Day, but a delicious one as well.  So enjoy!  There is no better way to show your mother just how much you love her.

Muttertags Macarons

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“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” — Gail Tsukiyama

Der Muttertag steht vor der Tür und ich freue mich riesig. Es ist die Gelegenheit, meiner Mutter für all Ihre Bemühungen zu danken. Jedes Jahr backe oder koche ich etwas Leckeres für meine Mutter zum Muttertag. Für das diesjährige Rezept habe ich unseren Breidenbacher Hof Küchenchef, Phillip Ferber, nach seinem Lieblingsrezept gefragt. Glaubt mir, Ihr werdet es lieben. Die Pinke Farbe passt perfekt und sie schmecken köstlich. Die Muttertags Macarons!

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Muttertags Macarons:

Zutaten

  • 150g Puderzucker
  • 90g gemahlene Mandeln
  • 30g Zucker
  • 72g Eiweiß (2 Eiweiß)
  • Pinke Lebensmittelfarbe

Zubereitung
Alle Zutaten zusammenmischen und beliebig viel Lebensmittelfarbe für den perfekten Pinketon hinzugeben. Anschließend den Teig in einen Spritzbeutel füllen. Heizt den Ofen auf 100 grad vor und spritzt spiralförmige ca. 2 cm große Kreise auf das Backpapier. Den Teig zwischen 30 und 40 Minuten backen lassen, nach dem Backen die Macarons-Schalen auf dem Backblech abkühlen lassen für 30 min, sonst gehen sie kaputt.

Rhabarber Ganache:

Zutaten

  • 500 g Himbeeren
  • 500g Blaubeeren
  • 300 g weiße Kuvertüre (z.B von Ivoire Valrhona)
  • 80 g frische Sahne
  • 60 g Rhabarber Kompott (ohne Zucker)

Zubereitung
Falls Ihr den Rhabarber Komplott selbst machen möchtet, empfehle ich Euch 100 g Rhabarber, geschält und in Würfel geschnitten, mit 3 EL Wasser köcheln zu lassen. Der Rhabarber hat lange genug geköchelt, wenn er zu einer dickflüßigen Masse wird. Während der Kompott zieht, könnt Ihr die Sahne separat erhitzen. Nun die weiße Kuvertüre unter die Sahne mischen und das Ganze so lange rühren, bis es eine cremig Konsistenz bekommt. Anschließend für 30 Minuten im Kühlschrank abkühlen lassen. Die Sahne schräg schlagen um eine luftige Konsistenz zu bekommen. Sobald sie abgekühlt ist füllt Ihr sie in einen Spritzbeutel mit Sternhülle.

Fertigstellung des Macarons
Eine Macaron Schale von dem Backpapier lösen und auf eine Servierplatte platzieren. Gebt ein wenig von dem Rhabarber Kompott mittig auf den Macaron. Danach die Himbeeren oder Blaubeeren, was auch immer euch lieber ist, als seitliche Verziehrung verwenden und mit einem Macarondeckel vollenden. Ihr solltet vorsichtig sein und nicht zu dolle drücken, sonst reißt der feine Macaron.

Die Macaron eignen sich nicht nur ausgezeichnet für den Muttertag, sondern sie sehen auch fantastisch aus und schmecken fabelhaft. Die beste Gelegenheit, eurer Mutter zu zeigen, wie sehr Ihr sie liebt.

Top 5 Things To Do This Spring In Washington, D.C.

Great Falls

I absolutely love D.C. I’ve discovered that alongside the magnetic energetic buzz, there are countless recreational activities to partake in. I’m glad it’s finally time to put away the snow gear and to start enjoying everything D.C. has to offer! Here are five activities I am looking forward to this spring in Washington, D.C.

standup paddleboarding

Standup Paddleboarding (SUP)
I’m always looking for new ways to make fitness fun and this popular sport has taken a form of surfing to a new level! You’ll find yourself enjoying the waters all while working out your core mastering your balancing skills. With the warmer weather approaching, now is the perfect time to try out this fun activity.  You can learn more about here.

Great Falls

The Billy Goat Trail In Great Falls
If you’re anything like me, you’ve never met a view you didn’t like. It’s hard to believe such a beautiful natural view exists just minutes from D.C., you will find yourself engulfed by the Great Falls. Pack a picnic and set off for a leisurely walk along the Billy Goat Trail. You definitely don’t want to forget your camera for a photo op in front of the waterfalls!

kickball

Join A Kickball League
Hands down one of the easiest and fun ways to meet new people in D.C. is to join a kickball league. Join hundreds of young professionals to participate in an amusing game of kickball. This is something that is for everyone and it doesn’t hurt that you’re playing on one of the historical landmarks in D.C, the National Mall.

Visit The National Zoo And Meet Bao Bao
Tigers, lions, and bears, oh my! The Asia Trail exhibit is designed to imitate the pandas natural habitat in China and you can find yourself being just inches away from the bears to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience!

Freshfarm Farmers’ Markets
There are many benefits to supporting local farmers markets, from savoring produce at the peak of freshness, knowing where your food comes from, and enjoying plenty of breakfast and lunch options. No matter where in D.C. you are located, you may find a farmers market close to you!

Of course no visit to Washington, D.C. is complete without making a trip to Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown as your home away from home. Let the team of Personal Assistants make your stay an unforgettable experience by setting up all these fun activities for you and your family.

 

 

Standup Paddleboarding Image via Boating in D.C.
Kickball Image via D.C. Kickball