Kalin’s Chronicles: Saying “I Do” — Again

Many women at 40 and beyond are getting married for both the first and second time.   Second weddings can be smaller and more intimate, so smaller hotels are a perfect setting.  If you’re planning a spring or summer wedding and looking for a smaller setting, here’s a location to consider. In Jacksonville, Florida; the 23-room Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant is a popular choice for an intimate and romantic wedding, right on the beach. (photo: Just Married, The Casa Marina – Kalin Thomas)

The Casa Marina  is a member of the exclusive Historic Hotels of America, and is the only historic hotel in Florida that sits right on the beach.  It opened in 1924 during Florida’s first land boom, when Hollywood royalty lounged on Jacksonville Beach.

Today, the restored hotel is extremely popular for beach weddings because of its great location, and the supreme personal service of its wedding staff.   If you’re planning a wedding here, you can rest easy that the staff will take care of everything from the ceremony to the reception meal.

The beautiful beach makes for a wonderful romantic setting, especially at sunset.  Casa Marina is also a great place to stay for your honeymoon.  Enjoy the delicious Sunday Brunch in the hotel’s restaurant.  Or enjoy live music and cocktails in the rooftop Penthouse Lounge, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

If you’d like to go off property, it’s just a three-minute walk to the Pier Restaurant and Sandbar , for a romantic dinner on the beach.  Just a short drive away, you can stroll the shops and restaurants at Jacksonville Landing ; or take a romantic horseback ride along nearby Ameila Island.

This is a good time to visit the Casa Marina Hotel & Restaurant during its “Fall in Love Package,” which includes chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne, along with a standard deluxe room for $99, or a two-room parlor suite for $129.   For more information, contact Catering Director Rebekah Blakely at 904-270-0025, or visit www.casamarinahotel.com.

And here’s an extra tip:  Check out this book for inspiration from women who married after age 40: Getting Married After 40: Advice & Inspiration from 100 Women Who Found Good Men & Happy Marriages

And remember:  “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain

Kalin Thomas is Women at Forty’s Travel & Leisure Editor. She is also Senior Writer/Photographer for SoulOfAmerica. Before starting her own multimedia company, Kalin spent 17 years at CNN where she won several awards for her work as producer/correspondent for CNN’s weekly travel program, CNN TravelNow. She is currently writing a book about her travels. For more information on Kalin, visit www.seetheworldproductions.com.

Kalin’s Chronicles: Weddingmoons

MP900422990When all the hoopla over the Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton first started, I thought I was over it before it even began. However, when I saw the replays of the wedding later that day, something happened that I didn’t expect – I cried. Yes, I have to admit that though my own marriage didn’t last, I still get mushy at weddings. I always have so much hope for the newlyweds.

In the United States, the most popular months for weddings are June through September. A couple of generations ago, Niagara Falls was the most popular honeymoon destination. But that’s changed, and today’s brides are choosing to have their wedding in the same location as their honeymoon – it’s what the tourism industry calls a destination wedding, or “weddingmoon.”

Weddingmoons are popular for various reasons, including saving money. According to HoneymoonsBySunset.com the average wedding can cost more than $15,000, while the average weddingmoon can cost as little as $3,000. They’ve become so popular that most resort destinations now have an on-sight wedding planner.

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Rachel on: A new me at forty

00341738I never really wanted a new me. Sure, the old me has always had flaws; eh—doesn’t everyone? I know some women who have celebrated their fortieth or some other milestone birthday or event by “treating” themselves to a nip here, a tuck there or perhaps an injection or two… It’s not my thing, but then again it’s not my party so I’m not going to waste any time or tears crying about what anyone else is doing.

No, that’s not the new me. The new (just new, not improved) Rachel Dachel still looks and sounds the same as she always has. It’s funny; I still have the same laugh, the same walk, the same cadence to my speech. My clothes fit the same, my hair still loops, twirls and swirls in its same crazy curls. Every freckle on my face is exactly where I remember it being yesterday, last week, last month and for eternity.

I’m still left-handed. Well, yeah, I am pretty much ambidextrous, but just as I always have, I still favor my left hand and enjoy the struggle that is at times a manual can opener. I enjoy the same books, movies and music that I always have and I still drive the same car, go to the same office and have all of the same friends and family that I always have. So in essence, nothing has changed. But simultaneously, EVERYTHING has changed. I don’t know this new woman in my mirror.

Continue reading Rachel on: A new me at forty

Forty: The Age of Reason

Tricia Editor’s note: Tricia’s approaching 40 and she’s on a roll. Literally. No really, literally. She’s recently decided to follow her life long passion for writing and literature wherever it leads her. This week it’s taking her to a place of letting go of anger and a failed marriage and replacing it with forgiveness and love. All this as she approaches the age of reason…

As I count down the six weeks to my fortieth birthday, it occurs to me how my thinking has changed this year. I’ve let go of many ideas that were holding me back, keeping me cocooned in immaturity, and am approaching the rise to many others.

I’ve let go of anger toward my parents for not protecting me enough, for not being there for me when I needed guidance; instead, I now see those days when I battled it out on the streets, in the schools, and in my relationships in the Bronx as fertile ground for the strength I needed to overcome emotional, mental, and physical difficulties. I appreciate now the tools my mother gave me to survive when she was unable to teach me herself: books, and my love of the written word.

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Beyond the ‘Cougar’ label: Confessions of a non-cougar

cougar There are several popular definitions for the word cougar. The feline mammal not withstanding, these days a cougar is described as a woman 35 years of age or older, who pursues younger men, typically more than eight years her junior. Another, harsher definition, is one of an older woman who frequents clubs in order to score (their word, not ours) with a much younger man.  Sounds pretty predatory doesn’t it? Well, there are many women who happen to be in relationships with younger men who take issue with the term.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Jo. Jo lives in England and is a woman in her late 30’s married to a younger man, and she does NOT want to be labeled a cougar. Throughout her life Jo had always been drawn to younger men, and in 2005 she met a man – 10 years her junior – and within a year, they were married.  Here’s what she has to say about marriage, marriage to a younger man, and why she hates the term ‘Cougar’. Continue reading Beyond the ‘Cougar’ label: Confessions of a non-cougar