Monday, December 20, 2010


After our power breakfast topped with cake & ice cream, Jessica & I headed North to Santa Fe to our Japanese Spa Retreat. I always thought I would love to retire in a single climate area, but I felt giddy seeing real snow on the ground.

 Not wanting to start dreaming about peanut butter sandwiches while trying to relax, we stopped in town for a quick bite.
 I've heard it said that there is no bad weather, only bad clothes. I had on bad clothes that day - I failed to take into account the elevation gain as we headed to Santa Fe. So, we stopped in the first restaurant that looked promising.

 Oh, how we lucked out. The food was so good, we made reservations for dinner.  I'm making their kale salad for Christmas dinner.  I was so proud of myself for taking 5 whole bites of my sandwich before the green chile made my tongue numb (I am adapting to the local culture so quickly!) The interior was cozy - we met lots of cute couples on romantic vacations during the meal & the decor was like Anthropologie meets Spanish colonial meets South America. Jessica is wondering whether she can convert Kevin's bottle cap collection into Christmas garland before he notices they are gone.
Seeing Santa Fe decorated for Christmas was so charming.
After lunch, it was time to take the plunge. Gorgeous private hot tub surrounded by snow covered pine trees. When we got too hot, we headed in for some cucumber water, the cold water plunge, the not-so-hot foot bath overlooking a koi pond & a meditation room with cozy blankets.  Pure bliss.
Here's our hot tub time machine. I felt 5 years younger after my soak!  Nick picked the Indo-Asian rejuvenating massage for us. You start out by climbing into a warm blanket. They pour hot scented oil on you, then add an Indian root that looks like cinnamon (but isn't). When mixed with the oil, it is an exfoliant. I LOVE scalp massages & could not believe how wonderful a hot oil scalp massage feels (and yes, I am still trying to get the oil out of my hair). I wondered why this woman was walking around with her hair like a crazy Medusa.  Now I know she had an oil scalp massage.
I wish I had taken my camera into our "couples massage." I looked like a gingerbread man when I was done. Before showering, we were wrapped in HOT wet blankets that were soaked in some sort of winter orange-clove mixture. I've always wanted to experience a wrap, but I have to say, as soon as I felt the constraint of wet heavy blankets & cucumbers covering my eyes, I panicked. After releasing my arms & removing the cukes, I was able to relax the rest of the 25 minutes.  I wish I had a picture of Jessica, looking like a happy mummy all wrapped up - only her nose exposed - relaxing to the new age music while Una spritzed her with a rose/citrus spray. 
After a quick shower, our spa day wrapped up with a relaxing facial.  Truly an amazing spa experience.

Santa Fe looked pretty at night, but their lights crew could take a lesson from the Salt Lake Temple Square. We picked up some souvenirs for the kids at the Five and Dime & then enjoyed a relaxing two hour dinner.  We sat at a community table (even the single tables are elbow to elbow with your neighbors) and dined on the soup of the day (squash??), roasted beet slices with dollops of coon ridge goat cheese and crispy garlic chips on field greens with red wine vinaigrette, charred squid salad with cherry tomatoes and red onion with lemon vinaigrette (which unfortunately had too much dressing), pan seared sea scallops wrapped with applewood~smoked bacon on wild rice with saute├ęd mushrooms and creamed spinach and warm gingerbread with a light orange sauce. Amazing.

There were so many luminaries around town - they really add a magical feeling to the night.  

We returned to our little Japanese retreat to find little chocolate Buddha's on our pillows.
 In the morning, we made one last trip into town for breakfast & coffee before hitting the road back home.
Nick, I was impressed that you coordinated Jessica's trip - the spa experience was over the top. Special. Amazing. Memorable. Grateful. Blissful. I can't find enough adjectives to describe how happy I have felt since my birthday!

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1 comment:

Poozoe said...

I am so happy for you! You deserve it all!! xoxo