Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ricardo Suitcase: Better Luggage for Easier Travel

The Ricardo suitcase, with 2 sections
Although I am hearty in some ways - running half marathons, rocking boot camp, climbing mountains, I have delicate parts. When I travel, and pull my roller bag, I get blisters on my hand.

At least I used to, until I was sent a Ricardo suitcase. This amazing travel companion has 360 degree wheels, making it easy to push or pull - basically with a fingertip. I may never require another hand massage!

Of course, the suitcase has other advantages, too. It is neatly divided in tow, so you can put delicate dresses on one side, running shoes and smelly clothes on the way home on the other.  And the bag is expandable, so if you are like me and shop on vacation (or business trips) you can create room for the purchases.

The Ricardo suitcase is great when going down increasingly narrow airplane aisles - you can turn the bag sideways and roll it down, avoiding the feet of the people already sitting (we’d like to welcome first class, premium members, people flying with babies or young children, people whose last name starts with an ‘M’ - basically anybody but me). 

One place where you have to be careful, though, is on escalators. I rolled my new Ricardo bag onto a down escalator and it started rolling so fast it was practically airborne. It’s fine going up escalators, but for going down, I think I’ll stick to an elevator.

Surprisingly, the bags are quite inexpensive - and downright cheap if you act fast. TravelingMom has a deal of 65% off, even on sale prices, with free shipping for orders over $99. Just use the  coupon code TMOM65Off 

Note: I was given a free Ricardo suitcase to test out. Opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Fitness At The Omni Riverfront New Orleans

Sad elliptical machine missing its screen
The eating and drinking in New Orleans spell a tough recovery period for even a casual athlete. I resolved not to abandon my good habits and exercise while I was in New Orleans, staying at the Omni Riverfront.

It was not easy. Distractions included the French Quarter Festival, where bars advertised 3 for 1 drinks (never heard of that before). There was live music at every turn in the French Quarter, along with fried food and drinks sold right on the street - no need to even go inside to get your booze or sat fat on.

The rest of the small fitness center at the Omni Riverfront
So I was a little disappointed by the minuscule fitness center at the luxury boutique hotel. There were only a couple of cardio machines, one broken, and none had its own screen. There were also just a few weight machines and free weights, and almost no room to stretch. There were also no mats, stability balls or other extras.

But the Omni does offer a healthy traveler kit delivered to your room - mine had a yoga mat, a 5 pound kettle bell and a couple of 1 pound weights. There were also a few hard plastic balls in a package - no idea what they were for.

The hotel is down by the river, of course, and there's a pedestrian path that runs about a mile and a half, so you can go for a 3 mile loop with no worries about cars. We did see quite a few people running, and figured the path was short because no one in the city would be up for a longer run. It was also incredibly humid - in April, at 7am - so maybe running just 3 miles outside is a good thing.