Please respect the silence

This was a request that I certainly had no problem honoring.

We found ourselves in Monterey CA, wondering what to do next.  We had already experienced the sights, sounds and smells of the area, and we were ready to go explore.

I stopped by the hotel desk to get some brochures about “things to do” in the area, brought them back to the room, sat down on the bed, and as I started to flip through the colorful brochure, a pamphlet fell out.

This pamphlet had exactly what I was looking for.  A spa resort that was affordable!

The place is called Refuge, and it certainly holds up to all that the name implies!  Nestled in the Santa Lucia Preserve, near the little town of Carmel, CA, this is one of the most amazing places I have been to in a very long time.

We were a little hesitant to go at first, it just seemed a little too good to be true, but the brochure and their website didn’t lead us astray. It was just as they described, if not better.

The day was overcast, a slight mist in the air, but not cold.  We had the facility pretty much to ourselves, I guess it’s one of the benefits of being able to go during the week and not on the week-end.

It was relaxation at its prime.  Pure, clean, quiet, peaceful, serene.

We decided if we were going to do this “right“, we would  follow the steps as suggested by the spa:

1. Heat Up

(5-10 min.)

This could be achieved by one of two options, either the cedar sauna, or the eucalyptus steam bath.  Both were amazing in their own way, but I think the steam bath was the one I enjoyed the most!  Breathing in the hot steam, smelling the eucalyptus, it felt like my whole body was going through a huge dishwasher!

2. Cool Down

(10-60 Sec.)

Now this was the challenging one.  The host at the facility encouraged us to try this at least one time.  The thought of stepping into water that is icy cold does not sound relaxing (or fun), but I thought if I am going to experience this place for all that it is, I need to give this a try!

Oh boy! Yes! It’s very, very cold, but when I stepped out of the water, it was not like anything I imagined.  It was very refreshing!  I ended up taking this challenge 3 times!

3. Relax

(10-15 min.)

This sounds like it should be easy, but sometimes I find this step to be one of the most difficult.  I often find it hard to just sit back and relax, and not focus on a list of things to do.  I think I was finally able to achieve this feeling of being totally relaxed by about the time for us to leave.

And, most importantly….please respect the silence!

This was a very invigorating, relaxing, refreshing, and a pleasant experience all rolled up together.

As we relaxed in the hot tub, letting the sights and sounds of the area soak in, we watched a family of 4 beautiful deer take a little stroll along the mountainside!  It was breathtaking!

My only disappointment is, it’s too far away from my house!

I know we will certainly be going back to Refuge the next time we find ourselves in the area!

In fact, we might just plan a trip around it next time.

once in a lifetime

It probably was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  The opportunity to go to the island of Guam.

Rarely, if ever, do you see Guam listed in one of the top ten destination places for a vacation, however, it might just be life as it was meant to be.

Palm trees swaying in the breeze, white sand beaches and crystal clear water.

beach in Guam

It was an opportunity that I really enjoyed! I explored and took in the solitude and beauty of nature.  I relaxed, observed, and walked a lot. Oh, and apparently Guam is a great place to get married!   I witnessed a wedding on the beach almost every day that I was there!

But for now…it’s only in my mind!  In my mind, and in my memory.

"the beach" - Guam

If you are looking for a quiet place to relax, I would recommend going to Guam.  It’s beautiful, and there isn’t a lot to do but just sit back, and relax by the beach.

If you do happen to have the opportunity to go to Guam, check out “The Beach” while you are there!   I hear it gets a little rowdy at night, but during the day, this is island time at it’s best!  The perfect place for a nice cool drink with an amazing view!

When I am weary

…or when I am grumpy.

I know I have this option available to me, but I wonder why I don’t take advantage of it more than I do.

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I often complain of being tired, so why do I continue to act like a four-year old, and insist that I can do it “all by myself”!  Why can’t I just let the bigger, stronger One take care of me as promised?

It’s one of the hard lessons of life.  I know I can’t do everything all by myself.

And I also know this.  When I ask for help, I also get rest.  Rest for the weary.

San Francisco and points north

We just returned from a business/fun trip in the San Francisco Bay area. The weather was beautiful! A little windy the first day, but the days that followed were clear blue sky, and not too cold. Just right for a light sweater!

We explored the city of San Francisco a little bit, and then drove north with no real destination in mind. Just wanted to see what was there. We drove through some of the Sonoma Valley. Saw lots and lots of grape vineyards. Very interesting, and serene.

We explored a petrified forest. Now that was amazing! Huge trees, 100 – 300 ft long turned to stone! Crazy. From there we went to see a geyser, Old Faithful. One of the 3 in the world. It was a little underwhelming, but still interesting. Pretty crazy stuff that nature does.

After that we just drove and drove. Beautiful forests led us to Fort Bragg. We ended up spending the night in a hotel right on the beach in Fort Bragg. Our room was about 100 yds from the ocean, and we went to sleep that night listening to the sounds of the ocean.

Next morning, we drove south down Hwy 1! This was a trip of a lifetime! We saw some of the most amazing views from this highway. The air was crisp and cool, the sky was brilliant blue, and the rode hugged the coastline for the majority of the way back down to San Francisco. It was in a word, beautiful.

San Francisco Baseball Game

That night we arrived back in San Francisco, bundled up and ventured off to unknown territory. AT&T Park, home of the San Franciso Giants baseball team! We had great seats, right behind home plate, way, way up high! It was a great experience, fun to explore. Thankfully, it wasn’t too cold, and we enjoyed the event. Giants vs. Rangers. Rangers won the game.

Next morning we gathered our things together, found a quaint place to have breakfast, said our good-byes to the city, and made our way back home to our city. It was a great trip. And, it’s good to be home.