Labor Day – Summer’s last hurrah

September 4, 2017 – Celebrate a big day, a big weekend!

Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is the unofficial end of summer in the United States.

The first Labor Day celebration was held in 1882. The Central Labor Union and Knights of Labor organized a parade in New York City to recognized the economic and social contributions of workers to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. This day of holiday was created to honor American workers. In the early years, community activities allowed the pubic to express appreciation to workers and labor organizations. Politicians and other prominent members of society grasp the opportunity to stand on their soapboxes, especially during election years.

In 1887, Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day an official public holiday. In 1894 it became a federal holiday after thirty states officially celebrated this day. All government offices, organizations and many businesses were closed. One of the reasons for choosing to celebrate this holiday on the first Monday in September, and not on May 1, which is common in the rest of the world, was to add a holiday in the long gap between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. Canada also celebrates along with the United States.

Family reunion on the farm is the perfect place to watch a calf being born, drive a tractor, fly kites, take a swim in the pond, fish, play a game of baseball and have a barbecue with s’mores. The hayride is the highlight of a busy weekend.

 

The long holiday weekend and end of the summer heat is a perfect time for people to gather for community activities and family reunions with fireworks, picnics, barbecues and sporting events. This is summer’s last hurrah before school districts resume regularly scheduled classes and fall sports begin.

Labor Day has become an important weekend for discounts along with celebrations and travel. Many retailers tap into the back-to-school sales and car dealerships want to move vehicles off their lots to make room for next year’s model. Shoppers can find deals everywhere.

According to Expedia, Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the summer, spurring more air travel in 2016 than other midyear holidays such as Memorial Day and Independence Day. A recent Expedia survey confirmed that nearly 25 percent of Americans plan to get out of town for Labor Day this year.

AAA projects 33 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during this last summer weekend, a modest 2.9 percent increase over last year.

So, what do you have planned for summer’s last weekend? Keep it safe!

 

 

 

 

August Reflections

I love to travel. I love new experiences, new cultures, new landscapes. I love collecting memories!

But, traveling can be brutal as it wrecks havoc on the body — too much sitting around waiting for something to happen, dehydration on airplanes and way too much food. STRESS…  Add to that, an uncomfortable bed and extra thin, floppy pillows. (I wrestled with my pillow every night!). More STRESS…  You may begin to wonder if the travel bug is worth it. Is there hope for redemption?

Stykkisholmur Harbor, Iceland – The Ocean Diamond (in the background) is a small ship with ice-strengthened hull, ideal for exploring the waters around Iceland and Greenland.

I can emphatically state that 4 weeks traveling to Iceland and Greenland on a small ship of less than 200 passengers left me in terrific shape and no weight gain. How did I do it? With a bit of planning, discipline and sense of adventure.

First of all, I want to set the record straight. I didn’t restrict my diet except to stay away from gluten as much as possible — no pasta, no dinner rolls, no pancakes and only minimal bread for boxed lunch sandwiches (these were made with thin, dense, dark bread). I ate very well, three meals a day plus 4 o’clock tea time. I placed no restrictions on desserts (mostly fruity custards and coconut cake with occasional ice cream) and a glass of wine at dinner. Suffice it to say, I ate much more than I would ever eat at home.

The key to not falling victim to vacation weight gain was activity. Yup, simply getting up and moving. First decision – no elevators. Our room was on the 3rd floor (and so was the dining room – oh, yeah!). The main reception area was on the 4th floor with the club lounge area for tea, conversations and piano music. The main lounge for lectures and meetings plus the library was on the 5th floor. The 6th floor had access to the back decks and the 7th floor was the observation room and access to the front deck. I only tell you all this so you have a vivid picture of me running up and down the several flights of stairs many times during the day, and sometimes weighted down with a backpack filled with extra jacket, hat, gloves, water, camera and lunch… and, wearing the cumbersome zodiac life vest. My advice: keep moving! It is the only way I will be able to indulge in afternoon tea.

Seydisfjordur Harbor, Iceland

Then, there were different ports with a variety of activities and lots of pictures to be taken! A couple of excursions required a long bus trip, however most activities involved a lot of walking up and down hills and staircases, and over lava fields. Hiking was spectacular, but one Greenland hike to an iceberg-filled bay was tops. (Greenland pictures to follow when I get that portion of the trip organized.)

Days at sea required a bit more ingenuity to keep the waistline trim. My cabin became my personal gym for stretching and strengthening legs, hips and back. Range of motion with yoga postures were the main focus. After all it took only about 10 minutes to complete the circuit, head to toe.

Ok, traveling isn’t so bad when you plan to keep the body moving and have the goal of a Healthy, Abundant Lifestyle. It worked!

Check out the photo/video of all my Iceland pictures.  Click here for the Travelogue page.