What happens in Vegas…stays in Vegas

At least that’s how the saying goes. I didn’t do anything in Vegas that I couldn’t bring home with me, but it was an interesting experience that’s for sure.

I joined my husband on a business trip. My first time to Las Vegas since I was a kid!

Las Vegas sign

He worked.  I explored!

And if I were a gambling person, which I’m not, this would not have been my week-end.

It started with disappointing results at a long-awaited restaurant.  I’ve wanted to go to this restaurant for years, and lets just say, it’s going to be hard for me to give it a second shot.

That was strike one.

Strike two came the next day, when I ventured out to another restaurant.  One that had been recommended to me by a friend. Unfortunately, the results at that restaurant were less than desirable as well, although I may be willing to give this one another try.

And the final strike was on the last day.

A much-needed pedicure was cancelled by the spa. 😦 Oh, but I was comped the daily fee for the use of the spa facilities. And yes, I took advantage of this offer.

3 strikes and I’m out!

It wasn’t all bad though.

My hotel was great! I got to meet Taylor Hicks, and hear him in concert! The people watching was spectacular! The water show at the Bellagio was beautiful!  I even witnessed a couple getting married right there on the sidewalk in front of the hotel!

The Bellagio at night

It was fascinating. Bigger than life. Much brighter than home, but certainly not home!

It was another great adventure with my best friend! 🙂

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.