It started when I asked Jacki Gemelos of the Connecticut Sun for her favorite Greek foods. Gemelos lit up as she listed Greek delicacies and she also mentioned Portillo’s for their famous chocolate cake. Soon food became the main focus of that media session, with other writers chiming in with their Greek choices. In succeeding sessions with other players, I pursued the topic, conducting an informal poll of more than 50 players and coaches,
Chicago was named as the favorite food city, with Lou Malnati’s Pizza the top choice, followed closely by Portillo’s. Chicago area native Jewell Loyd of the Seattle Storm had a Malnati’s pizza sent to her there. Chipotle was the top large franchise pick.
Las Vegas Aces Carolyn Swords had her favorite coffee shipped from Las Vegas, but likes the food served at IMG, as does Dallas Wings assistant coach Bryce Agler, who mentioned the health benefits. Tyasha Harris of the Wings is relying on food delivery services, as is Bella Alarie of the Wings, who also touted the good food at IMG.
As for travel, basketball trips are regarded as business trips and don’t allow for tourist activities. Kahleah Copper of the Chicago Sky spoke for all in saying she misses seeing the different sights, but the travel would be hard in this condensed season.
All look forward to recreational travel in the offseason. Again, Chicago was the most popular destination, followed by Los Angeles, San Diego, New York and “anywhere warm near water.” Greece and Italy topped the most desirable foreign destination lists. Gemelos mentioned spending half the year in Greece, although part of that is also business, as she plays in the Greek league.
Aces head coach Bill Laimbeer had the most interesting answer. As a self-described “hermit,” he misses the alone time that comes with travel. Laimbeer stated the solitude he finds when traveling is refreshing and allows him to recharge.
A recurring sentiment was missing simple things, like eating and socializing with family and friends. The Sky’s Diamond DeShields wishes she could be helping prepare her younger sister for college. Several players, like Kayla McBride of the Aces, miss their pets.
The major benefit of life in the bubble is the convenience, as summarized by Sky’s Courtney Vandersloot. Everything and everybody a player needs is only minutes away.
The Sun’s Natisha Hiedeman might be the most productive outside of basketball activities. With a song recently released and another coming soon, Hiedeman is using down time to develop her music career. She also told a great story about a beach day for the team.
The WNBA regular season ends September 12, with playoffs ending a few weeks later. By then, all personnel will have spent more than 90 days together at IMG. Upon the season conclusion, most say they will spend a long stretch at home, followed by a relaxing trip somewhere. The comfort of home followed by the fun of travel is the perfect way to recover from those three months of isolation.
— John Wroblewski, online writer
The Hamilton Hotel, located steps from the White House, was the perfect place for a relaxing weekend getaway. Upon arrival, the staff was extremely friendly and helpful with a quick check-in process. The lobby was immaculate with shining marble flooring, velvet couches and an arched ceiling design that brought a sense of sophistication. For added security, the elevators are only accessible to those who have a key card to a guestroom.
Luxury destinations around the country partnered with Bryte to introduce The Restorative Bed and enhanced sleep programming at their hotels. The revolutionary, AI-powered Restorative Bed uses real-time technology to intuitively adjust based on the individual’s needs and preferences. An embedded sensory network detects biometrics, like heart rate and breathing patterns, when a sleeper enters the first stage of sleep, triggering cooling features and lulling sleepers into deep sleep. Computer-controlled air cushions alleviate pressure points, and the technology also leads sleepers naturally out of sleep.
Tauck announced plans to fully restart its U.S. tours by July 1. Departures of the Southern Charms: Savannah, Hilton Head and Charleston tour have already begun, with other popular tours across the country relaunching in the coming months. Check the Open for Travel page for information on specific tour departures.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next international trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Busan, South Korea, with us.
Coffee is the pillar to almost everyone's morning and, in a way, it's part of a routine you need to get right in order to have your day go smoothly. There are many different brands, types, flavors, coffee shops and ways to make the bold morning beverage.