Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Forget Mall Walking: Radisson Blu Mall of America Has a Great Gym

The pool at the Radisson Blu Mall of America
Malls have become popular with walking groups, who power through the climate controlled environments, often just as stores are opening and crowds are thin. But at the Radisson Blu Mall of America you can follow your fitness routine at a big gym, next to a huge indoor pool.

I am not a swimmer, but the clean, perfect temperature pool enticed me. Large windows let the sun stream in, and the families using the facility were all happy. The family-friendly hotel provides special adult only hours for lap swimmers.

The fitness center at Radisson Blu Mall of America
The gym offered everything needed for a great workout; thick yoga mats for stretching, mirrors so you could watch your form, stability balls and bosu balls. There were plenty of free weights, cardio machines and soft towels for mopping up sweat.

Blue light fixtures at the gym
The gym even had blue light fixtures to reflect the Radisson color scheme.

Note: I was a guest of Radisson Blu Mall of America. Opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Forget Farm to Table: Buick Goes Road to Table

On a miserable story day, a bright spot emerged: a shiny new Buick Encore showed up at my door to chauffeur me and a friend to a Road to Table event. A group of about 15 met up on the rooftop of Brooklyn Grange for a yoga class.

The colorful chickens at Brooklyn Grange
But the tropical storm had other ideas. With gusting winds, sheets of rain and no sun to salute, we did a few stretches (under a canopy) and called it a day. For the yoga portion.

The even more colorful bee enclosures at Brooklyn Grange
We still walked around this incredible rooftop farm, where heirloom and organic vegetables supply chefs, a CSA, and a Saturday market. There are bees and chickens, and a greenhouse filled with micro greens.

Look at the rich leather used in the Enclave's interior. Heated seats in the second row!
Though the rain put a damper on our exercise, we were jazzed for our next stop, The Brooklyn Kitchen. For this short journey, we hopped into a Buick Enclave; we wanted to check out the smart slide second row for third row access and we marveled over the double sun roof (alas, it was still pouring, so we couldn't open them, or spend any time examining the exterior).

The point of having these Buicks ferry us around, we learned at Brooklyn Kitchen, is that designers at   Buick use food as their color inspiration.

We used the eggplant, tomato paste, onion and lemon in one dish
Think plum, eggplant and fig; these rich colors inform the exterior color choices chosen by the Buick design team. In fact, we used eggplants to create one of the vegetarian dishes we made for lunch.

First we had to take a knife skills. Turns out, not all of know the proper way to use a knife!
I went a little Sweeney Todd here, but our meal was vegetarian 
We made this gorgeous, very flavorful and healthy dish, but preparing the artichokes took a long time.
Thanks, Buick, for a fun day and inspiration: a new way to prepare eggplant. Plus, now on my bucket list - rooftop yoga when the sun is shining.
Caramelized eggplant, which we added to fresh pasta
Note: My friend and I were guest of Buick for the day. I was not compensated for this post and opinions expressed are my own.