Overall Impression I found the Tranquil Vibe Day Spa, tucked away in a suburban neighborhood in Bloomington, Indiana, when I needed it most. Although it was only a 10 minute drive from my central location adjacent to the convention center, the ambiance at the spa was serene and inviting. t was exactly what I needed amid a week of back to back meetings and hectic schedules.
Eric Linder, co-owner with his wife Lori, was the smiling staff person at reception when I arrived frazzled after an unexpected delay locating a taxi. He was personable and friendly, making me feel instantly welcome. He and Taylor, my facialist, were considerate and service oriented. The Thursday morning I had my treatments it was an oasis of quiet and solitude.
I especially liked Lisa’s massage. She kneaded my muscles deeply, rubbing out well cemented kinks and knots. I left the spa feeling newly relaxed and ready to face a busy rest of the day.
The friendly and well informed tour staff enhanced our experience. We liked the thoughtful enclosures designed with the needs of each species in mind (such as an air conditioned section for the snow leopards, special soil for porcupines to dig holes, and water features for the tigers); the pristine and nearly smell free facility and animals; and how relaxed the beasts were during our visit.
While the works on display were a delight to see, the building itself was also a work of art. It had a modern vibe and was easy to navigate. It offered many ways to traverse the museum and to enjoy its unique location near the Hudson River.
In this day of economies of scale, the popularity of fusion cuisine and a seeming infinite variety of imported products, a restaurant striving to serve local meals in the true sense of the word seemed to stretch the imagination. Intrigued and drawn by Vinland’s approach to cooking rooted in the land, sea, and traditions of Maine, and the culinary and nutritional wisdom of indigenous cultures with all local ingredients, we went out of our way to sample their food. We also wondered how the influence of new Nordic cuisine (especially restaurants Noma and Faviken where the chef had worked) would translate across the Atlantic to Maine’s similar bioregion.
By local the restaurant meant no citrus or cane sugar, plenty of yogurt whey, rhubarb, sumac, cranberry, maple, honey, and dozens of other ingredients, including herbs, fruits, nuts, roots, and mushrooms. While the wines were all imported they offered the most natural and organic wine list we have come across.
The Inn by the Sea offered a long list of features we appreciated and enjoyed during our fall visit to Maine. From the beginning, we were impressed with our comfortable and well appointed two bedroom suite with full kitchen, gas fireplace, large balcony and fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean and colorful fall foliage. Lovingly maintained lawns and planters, excellent spa services, an exercise room, and quick access to walking and running paths added to the property’s desirability.
It wasn’t until restauranteur David Turin opened nine restaurants that he founded the restaurant he had wanted to open for many years, his opus. That led to the restaurant’s name. Although entering through David’s Monument Square, the restaurant’s larger sister eatery, was a bit jarring, dinner at this restaurant within a restaurant was the most upscale dining experience we had in Portland, Maine.