This past weekend, we drove 2.5 hours north of San Francisco to one of the hot springs resorts just outside Calistoga. Situated atop a beautiful mountain, these resorts are geared toward soul healing and finding the peace within. Indeed, it was very peaceful, soothing, and calming. Chris opted for the energy work massage which combined various techniques to relax the body from within. My massage was a mélange of shiatsu and water-swishing performed in a warm pool, where my masseuse stretched my body in varying directions, floating me all around the water. I felt like I was suspended in air, in the middle of a dream, the smell of lavender filling my chest.
The hot springs were comprised of different meditative pools -- the cold pool was a freezing 50F, the warm pool was 80F, and the hot was 112F, all filled with the mineral-rich spring waters of the surrounding mountains. In fact, all the waters (tap, drinking, etc) all come from the nearby springs. There was a lot of literature which stated that their water is purer than Poland Springs!
There was such a serenity within the place, where man and animal really seem to exist harmoniously. At one point, as we were walking back to the car, a young doe walked out of the woods and approached us, paused briefly to say hello and then walked on by. As we continued to walk on the path, we passed a number of wild turkey and quails milling about. We have heard stories of campers at the resort who wake to find a friendly fox at the opening of their tent.
The people at the resort were also very friendly, and everyone seemed to be so at peace with themselves and those around them. They were all so beautiful, not only on the outside but you could really sense their auras/chi as full of beauty too.
The overcast and cool weather was a bit of a downer but all the same we can’t wait to go back!
(Do you get the feeling that by the time we leave California, we'll have turned into hippies...or even New Agers?)