Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Honeys… I’m hoooome.  And a funtastic time was had by all:)

So much fun, in fact, that I am almost “speechless” as I try to put it into words for you.  Because there is so much to say yet so few words to do it all justice.  So, I’ll go with the short and easy approach of highlights.  And a few low-lights.  You can probably figure out which is which:)

Winter wonderland.  I have two words for you:  “winter storm.”  Yes, in Arizona.  So at the last minute I packed a raincoat in addition to my fleece jacket, and at times I wore both.  One morning we were even treated to a gentle hail storm!  But inside was always sunny:)

Food glorious food.  I ate and ate and ate.  Most days I started with a pumpernickel bagel and lox.  The portion was a half bagel with a tiny bit of decoratively piped cream cheese and just enough lox to fit on top.  I enjoyed every bite.  One day I went for the fruit pancakes which were yummy but almost too sweet.  My favorite was the banana.  Chunky.  Mid-morning I snacked on the “muffin of the day.”  I think my favorite was raspberry.  Most afternoons I nibbled on the “cookie of the day.”  My most memorable lunch was a smoked trout salad on a bagel.  And the dinner that stands out in my mind was lamb chops (tiny) over mashed sweet potatoes (so delicious I could have eaten a bowl for dessert) and roasted cauliflower.  My favorite appetizer was also lamb – small slivers with grapefruit and micro-greens.  I tried two new veggies:  boniato, which is a white sweet potato, and salsify, a root veggie that seemed pretty tasteless to me.  As for dessert, I had it at every meal.  Most came in teeny, tiny servings, very cute but very very, very small.  By far my favorite though was actually quite a large and satisfying size:- Banana Changa, a (partial) banana wrapped in baked phyllo dough and drizzled with chocolate, accompanied with a pineapple sauce.

Fit to be tried.  Fitness-wise, it’s all about trying as many new things as I can and taking as many classes as possible.  No relaxing for me!  Classes run 45 minutes and I took four or five every day.  One new offering was called Desert Drumming.  Each participant stood behind an exercise ball that sat on a base, lined up in rows, and banged away with drumsticks, with simple choreography and foot movement.  So much fun that I hardly felt like I was exercising!  I also very much enjoyed Chair Yoga and a Disco Fever dance class that had fun music and choreography even I could follow.

Oh, my aching muscles.  My calf injury had me being as careful as I could be, avoiding high impact and inclines.  I wore a calf sleeve for support and heated my leg at night.  It did bother me much of the trip, increasingly as the days went on, but I didn’t let it slow me down too much.  And it was a great excuse to not do lunges.  And, hello, inner thighs!  A Pilates Magic Circle class made me sore for days, reminding me just how often I use that particular part of my body.  Other delayed-onset-muscle-soreness:  my abs, from the last day at the spa when seemingly every class I took had me working my mid-section.

Bingo was my name-o.  Game after game, my bingo card sat, bored, like me, while numbers were called and I had nothing to show for it.  Until the big prize.  I knew what it would be; I’ve played spa bingo many times before and the final prize is always the same.  And sure enough, the end of the evening was mine.  As was the XL spa robe that hung past my fingertips and dangled onto my feet.  I asked if I could exchange it for one of the “small” prizes and am now sipping my morning tea from an also-oversized Canyon Ranch mug:)

Meet me in St. Louis Tucson.  One of the bloggers I’ve been connecting with for the longest lives close enough to Canyon Ranch that she offered to drive over for a meet up.  Jan was willing to work around my busy schedule and headed out into what she describes as the dark and stormy night just to meet me:)  And I’m glad she did.  We talked about lots of things, weight-related topics least of all.  And I’m sure we could have gone on for hours had I not known my roommate (aka Mom) was probably waiting up for me.  It was so great to put the real face to the person I’ve come to know just through her words.

If I were a rich woman.  I’d have massages on a regular basis instead of only every other year at the spa.  This trip I had three.  Mmmmm.  And got all sorts of knots worked out of my back.  I also had my mild facial peel but am not sure I see any improvement.  (Bags under my eyes – that I see!)  And I had a body scrub.  Almost every inch.  Imagine a washcloth as a fig leaf.  Modesty?  No place for it at the spa.  I’m already thinking ahead to my next trip:  one of my masseuses also does reflexology and recommended it after she saw how I “melted” when she was rubbing my feet.  Bliss!

The photo that almost got posted.  Would have been of my mom, SIL, and me, after our post-dinner massages (them) and scrub (me), luxuriating in our silky skin and not wanting to get clean clothes all greasy.  So we stayed “dressed” in long white terry robes, adding our coats on top as we trucked back in the dark to our casita.

The icing on the carrot cake.  After each body treatment, the technician hands you a card that has a zen photo on one side and words of inspiration on the other.  In my little collection of four cards, one seemed particularly fitting.  It says:  “Health is not a destination; it’s a journey.  Along the way you make choices that determine where your journey takes you.”  I hope my journey takes me back to Canyon Ranch many times.  And that between now and then, I make choices inspired by what I experienced there.  This is real life; Canyon Ranch is surreal life.  But bringing a bit of that back with me would only be a good thing.




Filed under vacation

49 responses to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

  1. Karen, what a fabulous trip and I love that it was a balance of healthy-living and pampering.

    The food sounds AMAZING and as for the massages….

    Some time ago I spent a couple of weeks at a health retreat in my state of Qld in Oz and it sounded quite similar (though we weren’t ‘allowed’ to leave during the time there).

    On my return (both times I’ve been) I’ve vowed to keep up certain things… meditation, massages etc but never have.

    I’m glad you had an amazing time and hope that you do keep a piece (peace?!?!!!) of it with you for some time.


    • They like to change lives. And often, from what I hear from other guests, lives really are changed! Mine, not so much from past trips. But I do really feel the urge to get back into yoga again thanks to my zen moments:)

  2. ooooh it sounds like you had a fabulous weekend!!! I want to get out there one of these days. It’s been a desire of mine for several years now!

    So glad you had fun!

  3. Miz

    OMGOSH now I wanna just walk around life handing out the zen cards and photos!


  4. Made me relive wonderful memories of my one and only week at Westglo Spa in Blowing Rock, NC. Sounds much the same! I know how much you were looking forward to Spa Week and I’m glad it was a success.

    • Since my only experience is with Canyon Ranch, always ranked near the top of the spas, I’m afraid I’ve ruined myself for any place else! But I’d sure give another place a try:)

  5. Thank you for sharing your fabulous time – even if you did have a bit of a storm! I love the health is a destination quote on your card – so true!

  6. Oh yes, bring back a bit of that surreal life would be very very good. Karen, it sounds like the food was amazing… and certainly not so dangerous when you’re exercising four or five hours per day.

    I used to ALWAYS eat bagels and lox for breakfast in my Atlantic City days — nothing better. And the lamb sounds decadent too — I don’t even eat much meat anymore, but I’d indulge in a little perfectly prepared lamb any day.

    Have a great day!! I’m off to work and then home for more… counting down.

    • The servings really drive home how much most of us overeat just through serving size. The chops were like two bites each! And those desserts… wow. And – half a bagel:( I am very aware of the cardio while I’m there so that I don’t have to feel guilty if I sample a second dessert now and then:)

  7. Ewa

    Wow, what a weekend. And the smoked salmon salad… yum!!!
    I need an excuse not to do lunges… 😉

  8. Sounds like so much fun. Sorry our weather was not cooperative. It’s a little cooler than we like too and wet. 🙂

  9. That sounds glorious. And I always think that when I have a facial or massage – you know – that I need to schedule them at least once a quarter – and then it’s a year before I get to it again. How nice that you can do that with your mom – and how luxurious that you can stay more than a day. Oh – and meet a blogging friend – that’s fantastic fun.

  10. Pam

    Oh, it sounds like a wonderful place! I’ve been to Tucson once, and loved it, so this spa sounds like good excuse to return. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Me too!! If I had the money I would definitely have a masseuse come to my home weekly. They are the best.

    How fun to try all the different workouts, I am in a little bit of a rut, but then again I am always in a time crunch with workouts.

    I agree with that quote, it’s definitely a lifetime journey with health. But it’s a fun, interesting one.

    Glad you had a great time and are back.

    • I do love trying the new workouts but then often come home and wish someone offered them here! I did actually find a chair yoga class but it’s a bit of a drive and not a great time for me. Maybe:)

  12. KLA

    MMmmm, I’ll be thinking about that banana changa for a long time. Must talk to hubby to see if this is something we (ok he)can make at home.

  13. Oh what a wonderful trip you must have had.. It sounds absolutely fantastic – and so well deserved!

  14. Karen, HOW WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!! It sounded just amazing & fun & relaxing all in one. Too bad your calf was a prob – you could have taken some of the other classes too. 😦 on the weather but did not sound like it stopped the fun!

    All those foodie things you try to stay away from too.;-) You worked it off though!

    Honestly, I would have loved to be in all the classes & can’t tell you how much I need spa services!!

    LOVE LOVE the Zen cards & that saying – so true!

    Glad you got this before your holiday craziness!!!

    • It’s nice to indulge (relatively guilt-free) now and then. And back home I’m right back on plan with my regular eating (with the exception of two parties last weekend). I really do feel better when I eat well:)

  15. Sounds like a wonderful time … the food alone sounds wonderful. Glad you are back.

  16. That sounds fabulous. I told my husband about the place after your first post. He’s in. We’re going…one day.

  17. Your trip sounds FABULOUS! I am sending my husband a copy of this post and “hinting” that perhaps a weekend there would be in my best interest!!! 🙂

    Glad you are home safe and sound! I missed your posts!!

  18. That sounds like a wonderful time! Now I want to go 😀

  19. oh my! That sounds freaking awesome!!! I just got my bi-annual massage last friday… hour and 30 minutes of pure bliss!!! Glad you had a great time!

    • I think that’s a good length of time. They offer several different ones at CR. 50 minutes is too short, but I suffer through:) 80 minutes is about right. They have longer ones and I just keep thinking that I have to pee!

  20. Too bad you didn’t keep that robe; it might have made A MARVELOUS GIFT FOR SOMEONE TALLER THAN YOU. Say 5’6″ or so. 🙂

    Glad you had a good time. I enjoyed the vicarious spa trip!

  21. Your trip sounds HEAVENLY! What a great way to celebrate YOU.

    Have a great week 🙂

  22. Every day I sent you blissful smile thoughts. I see it worked. Yeah, I just took undeserved credit. Woot!

    I could live there. I have not been there, but I can imagine that as life. I think I am gonna try that appetizer, but with those segments you get in the fresh cup. Hard to get good grapefruit. BUT didn’t it sound good. I spent a lot of time browsing the Canyon Ranch site and looking forward to this post. Yay! I am glad you are home and blissful and achy and had a great time. I am now trying to figure how I can finagle a trip there myself. I need a scrub while donning a washcloth figleaf.

  23. Roz

    Looks amazing Karen. Glad you had such a wonderful time!!!!

  24. So glad you had a good time! I agree wholeheartedly about massages. I’d also add accupuncture to the list.

  25. Goodness, it sounds like an amazing time! What a fabulous get away!

  26. Oh, Karen…sounds absolutely heavenly. SO glad you had a wonderful time. And selfishly glad to have you back 😉

  27. Hi Karen! What a perfectly perfect vacation! It was entirely tailored to what you really enjoy. Do they sell the Zen cards in packs? 😀

    🙂 Marion

    • Good question. I’ve never looked for them but my guess is they do sell them there. I would love to send mine to you… if you want them, privately email me your address:)

  28. Sounds like a fabulous time! I really like the quote you shared. Welcome back!

  29. Jan

    I’m so glad the brisk weather didn’t deter your enjoyment of CR! I’m trying to justify a day visit.

    Forgot to mention that one of our neighbors works as some sort of fitness leader at the Ranch. She bikes to work and thoroughly enjoys her job but cannot wait to leave Tucson for other locales for spa vacations.

  30. Karen, welcome back! Okay, I’ve been and know what a big deal BINGO is at CR – winning made you the celebrity of the moment, as long as Diana Ross or any other pop icons weren’t vying for the prize too. Congrats on taking home the bathrobe and, most importantly, a blissful, zen attitude. Glad you had a wonderful time although I can’t imagine the Tucson campus with snow on the grounds. Whatever will the havalinas do?:)

  31. That sounds heavenly! I want to do it now!!!

  32. We’ll know the healthcare system is finally fixed when insurance covers preventive massages! My husband is much better about getting them regularly than I am – another one of his habits I’m trying to emulate.

    Welcome home!

  33. You took four to five a day!?! WOW! I think after 1.5 I’d be like “Where’s my bed? It’s nap time.”

  34. Hi Karen, it’s been a long time! That drumming class sounds like so much fun and completely different than anything else I’ve ever heard of. Variety is always a good thing when it comes to staying in shape and chasing away boredom of the same old routine.

  35. Ahhhhh…thanks for sharing!! I’ve always wanted to go to that spa!

    I used to get regular massages and I am now getting them again as I have found the perfect therapist for me…yesterday in fact! In a free, 10-minute mini-massage she worked miracles on a chronic issue I have in my low back/glutes…

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