Even on the 364 days of the year that the St. Patrick's Day parade isn't passing by its front door, Tommy Fox's still feels authentically Irish. Guinness and Harp paraphernalia hangs on wood-paneled walls, and flat-screen TVs broadcast soccer and hurling matches live from Ireland. Irish bands play traditional?but danceable?tunes on Sundays, and every night of the week people can take comfort in plates of warm soda bread, shepherd's pie, and corned beef and cabbage. There's certainly an American influence at play, as well?the pub's eponymous dish is a half-pound sirloin burger topped with two kinds of cheese, saut?ed mushrooms, and thick-cut bacon.
The sun skips off the top of the crystalline waters of the pool. Heat waves undulate over the ground, and though the trek from the shade of the picnic tables to the pool may seem far, the cool, blue waters more than make up for it. Bergenfield Swim Club's 150-foot L-shaped pool ranges in depth from 3 to 12 feet and boasts two diving boards and an accompanying fenced-in kiddie pool. Around the pool, a sand volleyball court and gas barbecues invite families to stay all day and enjoy the summer sun.
CGI Holistic Fitness & Spa makes it their mission to engineer a world where everyone benefits from "healthy bodies, happy hearts, and peaceful minds." So far, the sprawling mecca of Eastern holistic-health philosophies, state-of-the art exercise equipment, and luxurious spa facilities has conquered 30,000 square feet. The venue features a gym full of cardio and weightlifting machines, as well as an air-purification system. The heated, competition-sized pool hosts aqua-aerobic classes, and the entire 25-yard body of water is pumped through a natural-element filtration system that reduces the need for chlorine in the water. Group fitness classes take place in the gym or in classrooms, ranging from high-energy dance aerobics to meditation-minded yoga classes.
In the spa, patrons relax in the heat of multiple kinds of saunas, some infused with salt, others heated with classic steam, and one constructed of Korean-imported Mec granite, a stone famed for its array of body-friendly minerals. Aromatherapy baths submerge all the senses in a mix of hot water and essential oils. Hot and cold soaking tubs assist members in recovering from injuries, cooling down after a particularly intense workout, or saving their pet snowmen from the ravages of summer.
Personal trainer Stephanie Rickert knows first-hand the difficulty of staying in shape amid a hectic lifestyle. At one time a gymnast, dancer, and competitive bodybuilder, Stephanie became a mother at age 27, gaining more than 50 lbs during her pregnancy—weight that she simply couldn't shed after giving birth. She instituted a new battle plan: a combination of rigid exercise—including spin, kickboxing, and weight training—and a personalized nutrition program. Finally, her efforts paid off, and she competed in an amateur bodybuilding contest once again.
Today, Stephanie—along with her own mother, a bodybuilder in her own right—helps others achieve their fitness goals at Destination Fitness, a fully equipped gym set within an open loft in a remodeled 100-year-old barn. Bootcamp sessions combine a variety of exercises to keep workouts fresh, and personal-training sessions customize exercise regimes to suit clients' unique goals. As in Stephanie's original transformation, trainers also provide nutritional guidance to help clients strengthen their weight-loss efforts without being tempted by delicious dumbbells.