My heaven on earth can be found at Canyon Ranch Spa.

My first experience at the spa was 11 years ago.  My mother, a travel agent at the time, took me.  It was a new experience for us both.  And amazing beyond words.  I don’t know what I expected but am very sure that every expectation was far exceeded.  Unfortunately, mid-trip my maternal grandmother passed away and my mom and I cut short our stay in paradise.  As we left, she promised to take me back.  I still remember her remarking about the look on my face the whole time I was there, filled with wonder and joy.

My second experience was shared with my two sisters-in-law who wanted to get in on the fun.  My mom was generous enough to take us all and it was awesome.  And somehow, over time, those spa getaways seem to have become a bi-annual event.  We exercise the day away, followed by luxurious pampering treatments, and look forward to every delicious, healthy meal.  Every moment is fabulous.

If you were reading last year, you know that my mother and I took an extra trip in June, just the two of us.  It would not have been a spa year, but my mom surprised me with the trip as a thank you for supporting her during a family crisis.  We decided since it was just the two of us we would try out the Canyon Ranch property in Lenox, Massachusetts, something we had wondered about for years.  It was equally heavenly but had a very different vibe from the Tucson property we’ve gone to every other time and where I’ll be this week.  I rather missed the cacti and canyon views:)

You can read all about that last trip at the posts below, which will give you some idea of what I’ll be doing Saturday through Wednesday.  Unfortunately I’ll have to modify my activity thanks to my recent calf strain.  (No hiking; no step aerobics…)  And I’ll be sporting a rather ugly “calf sleeve” recommended by my doctor, in hopes to avoid re-injury.

A recap of the first day, including how I lost my zumba virginity.

My spa food primer.

Why time stands still (and yet passes too fast) at the spa.

So, in the coming days, instead of spending time in the blogworld, I’ll be getting my zen on.  And shaking my booty.  And cursing rubbing my likely-to-be sore booty.  And exposing my booty as I get naked in the hot tub.  I’ll be changing exercise clothes several times a day to get out of the sweat just so I can sweat some more.  I’ll be dancing and spinning and lifting weights and stretching and meditating and squatting and lunging and crunching my abs, all in the most beautiful of settings.  I’ll be massaged, massaged, and, massaged again.  I’ll have my entire body “scrubbed” and my face “peeled.”  I’ll eagerly check the menus posted each morning and spend my day anticipating each fabulous mouthful.  I’ll drop into bed blissfully exhausted yet find it hard to fall asleep as I anticipate the next day.  Because even at the spa I’m an over-planner:(

Will I blog while I’m there?  I’m thinking not.  I’ll be bringing our new tablet and it really doesn’t like WordPress very much.  And much as I’m sure I’ll be drafting the most amazing posts in my head, thinking of all I could share with you here, I’ll have little time at the (so-tiny-it’s-impossible-to-hit-the-right-keys) keyboard.  But maybe.  If I do post, I have no idea what day it would be.  So I guess I can be more spontaneous and flexible and less over-planned than I thought:)

If you’d like to see the fitness classes offered, you can check out the weekly schedule.  You can read about the spa services and see sample menus too.

I’ll be thinking about you!  And if I don’t publish anything while I’m traveling, I’ll be back to my regular schedule on Monday, December 12.







Filed under vacation

53 responses to “Spa-tacular

  1. Oh Karen it sounds amazing! I hope you enjoy every squat, lunge, meal, massage and spin!!! I look forward to hearing about how you got your Zen on when you get back!!!

  2. Hoping you have fun on every adventure planned. And isn’t it interesting how you’re looking forward to spending the days anticipating and enjoying all the good food? I wonder if you can try to bring back some of that Spa Attitude toward food back home with you. You can work on it…

    • Well… hmmm… it is a bit of a food obsession on this trip actually. I’m already struggling a bit in my mind, not even having left home, about what I’m going to eat. Plenty of stuff that is not what I usually consider “on plan.” Yes, it is a healthier recipe of the muffin or cookie or whatever. But it is still a muffin or a cookie or whatever. Anyhow – I intend to enjoy every bite:)

  3. That sounds like a fantastic get away. The best part to me is doing it with your mama. How wonderful. You are both very lucky to have each other.

    • I am quite lucky:) I was a horrible teen and am so glad I wised up and we became so close. She is also my gym partner and my musical theater partner. And we travel very well together.

  4. Canyon Ranch (anywhere) has long been a dream destination of mine. I hope you have a wonderful time, and i strongly encourage you to leave the virtual world behind for the spa stay in order to enjoy every moment of the now! Have a wonderful time. And btw – which coast will you be spa-ing on?

    • Tucson! It is fabulous and I highly recommend it if you can ever go. Maybe it would be a fabulous way to celebrate when you are at peace with food and at some sort of goal being reached:)

  5. Jan

    Um, you should see the clouds rolling in this morning. Looks rather omnious, but the spa, ahhhh. The weather stays outside!

    • If only I didn’t have to walk between buildings! I even threw in a raincoat today since I had room. Murphy’s Law says I’d really need it if I left it at home! No extra shoes packed though so I may indeed be wearing the spa sandals with socks if it is wet outside. Don’t laugh.

  6. E

    That sounds like an awesome place – enjoy!

  7. Sounds like a great get-a-way!

  8. Amazingly awesome! Have a wonderful time. You are so lucky to be able to spend that time at that place with your mom.

  9. Oh my gosh that sounds like a FANTASTIC vacation..You better not blog while away, just enjoy every little bit of it and blog when you get back.

  10. I am going to stow away in your suitcase!!

  11. I am in Tucson and did not know about this place. No wonder as I just checked the prices. Yikes! Old “Cheapskates ‘R Us” would never do that. Well, I might if I won the lottery which I rarely play. 🙂 Have a fabulous time. I KNOW you will.

  12. Enjoy your getaway and I am a little “jelly” of you. Wish I was going away…I need a vacation bad!

  13. Sounds wonderful-have a fabulous time!

  14. It sounded wonderful until I got to the “exposing your booty” part.

    I can’t wrap my mind around that – not exposing this booty anyway.

    • Oh funny! One of the years I went I did what I call my “naked in the hot tub” diet in anticipation. Nothing like being exposed like that to keep you motivated!

  15. KarenJ

    Sounds wonderful! I’ve never been to a spa, but I hope to some day. Enjoy!

  16. Sounds like so much fun!!! I wanna go!!

  17. Is it kosher to say I am soooooooooooooooooo jealous! Those places are for getting away so I go with no blog stuff! 😉 I am not clicking on the links cause I can’t afford & don’t want to frustrate myself! 😉

    Have a wonderful time & we will miss you! 🙂 I want pics though!!!!!

    • Oh – I hadn’t packed a camera! Hmmm. Will have to think about that. And if I can be sneaky since one of my traveling companions, a SIL, doesn’t know about the blog.

  18. Sounds just heavenly! You enjoy yourself!

  19. Spent four days at Westglow Spa in Blowing Rock, NC a few years ago and it was every bit as heavenly as Canyon Ranch sounds. I hope you have a fabulous time and I can’t wait to hear about it.

    • I’ll have to check that one out sometime. I’ve only been to Canyon Ranch and I’m afraid it has spoiled me since it is rated so high for luxury spas. There is one in Utah that looks intriguing for a trip with my husband sometime. Lots of hiking!

  20. Carla

    I hope you have a WONDERFUL time! 🙂

  21. Wow! This sounds fantastic! Enjoy!

  22. What a dream. I get a massage about every 2 years and I love them so, so much. I have heard great things about that ranch, supposedly it’s one of the best.

    Enjoy your time of relaxation, wish I was there.

  23. I have never in my life been at a spa…. here’s hoping that 2012 can remedy that!

  24. ooooh enjoy!! It sounds so lovely. I can’t read your extras or look at spa menus… because it’ll just make me pine too much.
    Take photos for us!!!

  25. Roz@weightingfor50

    Have a GREAT time Karen. “see” you when you get back!!!

  26. Have a wonderful time! That would be lovely to do with your Mom and time for relaxation. I might have to look into this place.

  27. I hope you have a truly wonderful time. I have never been to a spa before and it’s one of those things I hope is in my future 🙂

  28. Have a wonderful time! So envious 🙂

  29. What a wonderful treat for you ladies! I have never been to a spa but I think it sounds wonderful and maybe one day I will get to experience it.

    I hope you left all of your electronic devices at home so you could just enjoy being present in the moment. We will all still be here when you return.

  30. I am so very jealous!!!
    ALSO- Lost my zumba virginity… hahhaahhhhhahahaahahahah!!!!!!
    have a pretty day!

  31. I am a bit jealous I have to admit! What a wonderful, relaxing experience. I’ve never been anywhere like that – maybe someday.

  32. ahhh, I swear that just by looking at that pic I hear birds chirping and feel my muscles relaxing into relaxment. This sounds like a wonderful mother/daughter trip for me and my girls one day. ahhhhh…..

  33. Pansy Chambers

    I hope you have a WONDERFUL time! Those places are for getting away so I go with no blog stuff!

  34. Nicole

    Have a lovely zen time. Sounds fabulous. I always wanted to go to Tuscan but its so expensive, may be if I win the lotto. Enjoy every minute.

  35. Karen, I felt a pang of joy when I opened your post and saw a photo from CR in Tucson! Hope you are having a wonderful, relaxing and zen-filled experience. Can’t wait to hear what the highlight of this year’s trip has been for you!

  36. Have a great time! 🙂

  37. Oh my GOSH. Doesn’t that look like heaven. I like that you get the nutrition breakdown on the menu. So few calories for what seem like little bites of heaven. I wonder if you can order lots of things or just one entree. I like to worry about such things.

    I SO hope you have that bliss face… even thru the peel.

    • You can order as much as you want! And we do. Sometimes it is too hard to choose just one entree or dessert. Often we get an entree to share so we can sample it. And a “taste” of an ice cream flavor. And I get things “to go” every day. The muffins from breakfast and the cookies from lunch:) I was well stocked for my flight home by the time I left.

  38. Karen, I am wishing you the most relaxing, dead-skin sloughing, booty-bearing, stress free trip of your life. You deserve it. Come back beaming from your blog, as I want to capture some of that positive energy! XO

  39. It looks amazing!!!! Have a fantastic time!
    Can’t wait to read about it!

  40. I recognized those saquaros! Love, love, love Tucson! I hope you had a fabulous time.

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