Somebody, I won't mention any names Brittany *wink wink*, has been requesting to see some pictures from my spa weekend. At the end of September, I went to the Miraval Spa with one of my dearest life-long friends, Laura. She flew from Virginia and I flew from Utah and we met in Tucson. We have been trying to plan a trip together for about three years. We started talking about it when we turned 39 and wanted to go somewhere to celebrate our 40th birthday. We finally did it on Laura's 42nd birthday weekend. It was really a fun place to go together and worth the wait!
The resort came and picked us up in a van at our airport hotel that we stayed in the first night we arrived in Tucson.
The staff at Miraval was exceptional and we really felt pampered and waited on from the first moment we arrived. We met an incredible woman named Vicki who lives on a farm in England. Since she was traveling by herself, she became our dinner buddy. I really enjoyed getting to know her.
At first, we were worried about the food. They said on the website that they serve "controlled portions" since it was a "spa". Our first night in Tucson, we joked about going to a steak house and eating a big meal because we might go hungry at Miraval. There was so much delicious food and plenty of it at every meal. You could order the special entree and/or eat from the buffet. Everything was "healthy" and "wholesome", but they never sacrificed the flavor. YUMMY!!!
Miraval was located against the majestic backdrop of the Santa Catalina Mountains.
The grounds were spectacular and well manicured.
Our casita was beautifully decorated in warm Southwest colors and decor.
And I loved the natural stone signs they had along the winding trails.
The first spa treatment we had was a Calming Chamomile Pedicure and it was the best pedicure I have ever had. It's all in the small details. They give you a heated pillow for your neck. A bottle of water. A foot massage. An aloe vera mask on your newly scrubbed legs. It was fabulous!
The next day I went on Equine Experience first thing in the morning. I loved it. I've never been around horses and our guide, Wyatt Webb, really made the experience worthwhile. He was so dang funny! A very witty, dry sense of humor.
Then Laura and I met at Yoga. I loved the yoga teacher. She had such a great commanding, yet calming presence to her. Great teacher!
After lunch, we headed to the pool for water aerobics. Again, another great teacher who was full of energy and a great workout.
Then, I raced over to a photography class, which I loved and learned a lot from. She talked about Aperature, Shutter Speed and Light and how to take our cameras off automatic and configure things manually. SCARY!!!
Here's an example of what we learned. Notice in the first picture how the water is flowing down the fountain in a blurred and hazy sort of way.
Now, notice how the water in the second picture is dripping and separate and sharp. It's not running together like the water in the first picture.
After the photography class, we had a hot stone massage and a face peel. Both were extraordinary!!! We had a great time just being together, catching up, relaxing and rejuvenating our spirits. Thank you Laura for making our trip finally happen.
Outside my Window...the weather is another gorgeous Indian summer day with a high near 70. It's suppose to be like that all week and we could have the warmest Halloween on record come Friday!
I am thinking...of having a Halloween party at my house on Friday night. Keaton is so excited this year for Halloween. He has been counting down the days for two weeks now.
I am thankful for... my health, my family, my friends. Life is good!
From the kitchen... chicken stir fry tonight and probably orange roughy fish tomorrow. Chili and spaghetti on Halloween night.
I am wearing...pajamas again!
I am reading... blogs!
I am hoping... to get my list of to-do's done today while Keaton is at school.
I am creating... a Halloween Bingo game for Keaton's party on Friday.
I am hearing... Keaton play his new Super Mario 64 game. We downloaded it from the internet to the Wii. It's amazing they can take a game that is 14 years old and transfer it to a completely different game system.
Around the house... put my laundry away and cleaning up my office/scrap room.
One of my favorite things... Gingerbread coffee creamer
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... Jacek and Cory have basketball practice tonight and Thursday with a game on Wednesday night. I co-op in Kindergarten tomorrow and Halloween parade and party on Friday morning. I love Halloween!!!
Picture that I am sharing today...
Keaton bobbing for donuts at the Mulder's Harvest Celebration for their music studio on Saturday evening.
Congratulations to the 8th grade Avalanche team for winning the Utah AAU Halloween basketball tournament this weekend. Four games in 24 hours and the boys came out on top beating our arch-revivals, the Tazers. With less than two minutes to play, Jacek got an elbow in this lip pushing his retainer into his upper gum. Luckily, it just cut into the gum a little bit and no loose teeth to report! He finished the game though and I was able to capture this one photo of him smiling.
Mojitos and Pina Coladas were consumed by all every time we went to the beach club!
The last day we were there, Keaton ordered a pina colada and Jacek ordered a strawberry daiquiri. When Keaton saw Jacek's drink, he immediately changed his mind and wanted the pink drink. Tears and sorrow were dramatically expressed by Keaton until Jacek graciously said he would drink Keaton's pina colada. So it became a win-win situation for both boys. Jacek got two drinks and Keaton ended up with a strawberry daiquiri. Don't judge me too harshly! It was the last moments of our vacation and I was weak, OK? I just wanted everybody to be happy!!! ;)
I love toes on the beach pictures! Those are Jacek's feet! He has his Dad's great sculpted legs!
Keaton playing his Nintendo DS in our bedroom. I love the light streaming in from the windows!
This one captures a typical scene during our vacation. We weren't completed isolated from the world because Cory, Paul and my Dad all brought their Mac laptops!
And these last three are all from the flea market and possibly my favorites from all 600 photos I took! :)
We are back from our fabulous vacation and I wanted to document and share how much fun we all had. It was snowing the morning we left for Mexico! We weren't really sure we were going until the night before. Hurricane Norbert was passing over the Baja penisula on Saturday, resulting in the Cabo airport shutting down. Everything looked great Sunday though and we arrived right on time.
The flight was only 2 1/2 hours and one of my favorite things about going to Los Cabos was that we were still on MST. No time changes! Heaven, considering we always have to adjust 3 hours when we go to Hawaii. The next best thing was paying a car service to pick all 9 of us up at the airport and take us to our villa. It was worth every penny to walk out of the airport, climb into our van and bypass the long rental car lines. Priceless!!! Then, the car rental brought our car to the villa the next morning. SWEET!!!
It was about a 25 minute drive to the Punta Ballena community. It was a little community of villas, homes and a big resort called Esperenza. We had a beautiful villa in the Las Residencia section. Here's a picture of our place. Keaton was in that pool 8-10 hours each day. There are four stools on the left side so the kids could eat while still in the pool. Keaton ate every lunch out there. He loved it!!
Looking back, I noticed we got into a "loose" routine for the six days we were there. Our housekeeper, Annabelle, would come around 7:30 a.m. and start making breakfast for us. She cooked huevos rancheros twice, a chicken tortilla casserole, french toast, pancakes and scrambled eggs and bacon. Annabelle would set a beautiful table for us each morning complete with fresh flowers, fresh cut fruit and fresh squeezed orange juice. *yum yum*
Here's a slightly blurry photo of our sweet Annabelle, but it's the only one I took. I wanted to take her home in my suitcase. She made my vacation a real "vacation". I am the one who usually cooks, cleans and takes care of everything when we go to Hawaii. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind doing it. BUT, it was so nice to have a break. Thank you, Anna!!!
So, we would eat breakfast at 9:00 and then the kids would swim as the morning sun grew warmer and warmer. We would then eat lunch and then lounge inside during the hottest part of the day. Sometimes, we even took a little siesta. Then we would either go to the beach or the beach club and swim some more while we watched the sunset. Finally, we would end the day by eating dinner, playing games and then crashing into bed around 10 or 11. There were a few other activities we threw in for variety, like swimming with the dolphins, go-cart racing and flea market shopping. But for the most part, all we did was eat, swim and sleep.
Outside my Window...It's a beautiful fall day here. It was sprinkling this morning when I let Asia out, but it will be close to 70 degrees today. I can't believe how much the trees have turned in a week. I love fall!
I am thinking...Mexico was so much fun and we had a ball, but I love coming back home. We have a pretty sweet life here or abroad.
I am thankful for... family vacations
From the kitchen...I have no idea what I am making this week. Grocery shopping today when I drop Keaton off at school. Jacek had to take lunch money today because there is no food in the house for lunch. Probably make pasta for dinner tonight.
I am wearing...my pajamas and robe. I'm still on Los Cabos time. :)
I am reading...nothing right now. I finished The Book Thief in Mexico.
I am hoping...to go through all 600 photos I took on our trip.
I am creating...my scrapbook from all the photos and stuff I saved a couple of weeks ago about the week in our life.
I am hearing...Keaton talk to Asia and then asking me if Asia is going to have babies in her tummy.
Around the house...finish emptying the suitcases and get some laundry started.
One of my favorite things... swimming in a warm pool watching the sunset go down.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... Jacek has basketball practice tonight and I have bookclub. Bunco on Wednesday and a basketball game. Soccer practice and game for Keaton.
Here is a picture that I am sharing with you...Los Cabos sunset