After some warm-up stretches, we sat down to meditate. I wasn't sure I could really sit still for any length of time, but with Nestor's gentle coaching, the group and I meditated for half an hour, and while I didn't reach a state of transcendence, I left feeling profoundly relaxed yet alert and content. No monks, no crystals -- and the pear pie was delicious. Practical Meditation with Nestor Perez meets on Mondays and Tuesdays at 2309 Judah (at 28th Ave). For more information on this or his meditation and healing workshops, holistic health practice, or personal coaching, call 219-8314 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
For those with wanderlust in their hearts, resolve to make 2003 the year to satisfy some of your travel fantasies.
A technique that works for me is to make an ambitious list of every place I'd like to visit during the next year -- from easy local trips like camping on Angel Island, a weekend at Yosemite, or a road trip to L.A. to more ambitious plans like meeting a friend in Portugal in May, Jazz Fest in New Orleans, and Cuba before it opens up. There's no way I'll make it everywhere on the list (e.g., Egypt -- probably not ideal in this political climate), but by mixing local goals with loftier ones, I can gather momentum to get out into the world.
For the spontaneous traveler, a few Internet sites enable you to take advantage of last-minute airfare and hotel deals. The aptly titled lastminutetravel.com recently had deals that included Alitalia flights to Italy for $399 r/t, British Airways to London from $109 o/w, and lodging bargains like 3-Diamond hotels in Vegas from $19 and weekday rates in Manhattan starting at $75.
If you're in need of a weekend escape and it's already Thursday, browse Site59.com for creative flight and hotel packages that eliminate 7- or 14-day advance purchase requirements as well as a lot of the hassle. A recent visit to the site revealed 206 packages leaving from San Francisco and included round-trip airfare and three-night hotel stay in Los Angeles starting at $157, New York starting at $406, and Jamaica at $448. With the click of a button you can upgrade to a fancier hotel or check out flight/car rental offers. Shop by price or destination; see international deals, top-selling packages, travel under $250, ski and beach trips, and luxury vacations.
Skyauctions.com is a fun, ebay-like auction site that allows you to bid on cruises down the Yangtze River, African safaris, and Hong Kong/Bangkok tours. There's a "buy it now" option for those who aren't into the bidding thing, plus alerts on last-minute auctions and "hot deals." Currently, the bid for a seven-day resort vacation in Cabo is $161.
Don't forget to call airlines directly to see if they have slashed prices or are offering any special deals, sometimes they offer the best prices around. And Bon Voyage!