Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saratoga Traveler Update

Followers might know that I also write a blog for a local website called in which I write about different places in Saratoga Springs, travel tips and places I might travel in the NE and beyond.
My latest post talks about Saratoga Springs' motto Health, Horses and History and focuses on the Horses part of the motto.  Most of the summer tourism here centers around The Saratoga Race Course since it is the second to the last stop for New York horse racing - Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct it's very, very popular.
Here on this blog and on the Traveler blog I posted about my first hot air balloon ride.  The Captain of the balloon company has contacted me with an update.  He has become an ordained minister! So if you or someone you know is looking for an unusual way to get married or renew vows this would be a great way to do it!  To get more information you can contact Mike himself at Carried Away Balloon Flights or at
Next week I'll be posting about the health part of the Saratoga motto.  The spas, the springs and the bath houses so come back again for more updates, and be sure to visit the Traveler blog and make a comment or suggestion.  I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shape Ups and Leslie Sansone Equals a Great Workout!

I've been walking with Leslie Sansone for a while off and on and have always enjoyed the workouts, the boosters and Leslie's energy.  I've always bought DVDs or used the ones on Leslie's Walk Club but when I got a pair of Skecher shape ups for Mother's Day I wasn't sure if I could use them with her workouts.

I did some searching and found out that through I could download specific workouts using this type of shoe.  For just a few dollars I downloaded two of Leslie's workouts and I've done them both -- one beginner and one advanced and like Leslie says "It's not sissy stuff!"  Especially the advanced one that I did today.  My heart rate was up and my face was red afterward (and no I'm not going to post a pic of that!) and I felt really good, not to mention that my legs felt like jelly.
Leslie's website is a great resource for connecting with other walkers, for workouts and challenges.  To be a member is very inexpensive and gives you more workouts just for Walk Club members. is also a great resource for lots and lots of different workouts, challenges, advice and tips.
Even if you don't have a pair of Skecher Shape Ups or any of the other toning shoes you can still get a great workout by following one (or more) of Leslie's workouts or one of the many on exercise tv
If you're looking for variety or are building your workout library I would suggest taking a look at for anything from Yoga to celebrity trainers to cardio kickboxing and everything in between.  It really is a one stop shop for dvds, downloads and advice.
So lace up your shoes (toners or not) and hit the computer for some personal, motivating and workouts that work!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Up Up and Away! My first hot air balloon ride.


Some of you may know that I write a blog on called the Saratoga Traveler.  I did a piece for that site on my first hot air balloon ride.  There are stipulations that I have to follow while writing on this site, like if I write about a particular business I can't link websites and other information since they are basically an advertising site.  But here I can do whatever I want.
So let me tell you about the amazing balloon flight I had with Carried Away Balloon Flights captained by Mike Hernandez and his crew.  Captain Mike is a friendly, outgoing guy who absolutely loves ballooning.  He offers safety as his first priority.  At first I was a little nervous -- I don't have a fear of heights but still lifting off in an open basket with nothing below you and the only thing keeping you a loft is a burner filled with propane... well yeah.... you really gotta trust the guy flying it.
Captain Mike (center) and his wife Ellen next to him

His crew that includes his wife Ellen demonstrated they knew what they were doing.  Once we got to the take off site they took out the balloon and got to work.  I've been to hot air balloon events before and watched them fill the balloons and hit the burners to get it upright but I've never seen one but together from scratch.
The video above shows just how much it takes to get ready for the flight.
I live in an amazing area, with mountains, lakes and gorgeous scenery just about everywhere you look.  At 1600 feet you can see a lot of it as you will be able to see in the photos below.

The Hudson River.  We are heading toward Queensbury

You can see Lake George in the distance
The Hudson River cutting through the landscape
My personal favorite.  I leaned over to take it.

The video below is of our actual flight. It was amazing to hear dogs barking and to be able to shout down to the people on the ground below.  It was so still and quiet except for Mike hitting the burners every so often to keep us afloat.

If you've ever thought about a hot air balloon flight--do it!  If you want to do a hot air balloon flight -- do it!  If you're in the Saratoga Springs NY area anytime of the year and want to take a hot air balloon flight call Mike at Carried Away Balloon Flights.  You can reach him at 518-260-6270.  He has a variety of different flight available and yes, he flies YEAR ROUND!!  Some of the most amazing times to fly is in the winter, even here in the NE.  Most people that come to Saratoga in the summer come for track season but the track is closed on Tuesdays so why not get a bird's eye view of the area on "dark day"?
For more information about Captain Mike and his hot air balloon flights you can check out his website 

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