No, I mean REALLY finding balance!
As the "Balance and Coordination" class began with our facilitator Mike, little did I know that by the end of our 45 minutes together, I really WOULD be balancing longer and feeling stronger as I did so. As our group listened to instruction, practiced what we were told and laughed together at our wobbles, while encouraging one another every "step" of the way, not only were bonds formed, but balance - such an important piece for all to practice, especially as we enter our 40's and beyond - was discovered. We all left with smiles, easy methods to integrate the practice of finding balance into our everyday lives and a quick step in search of the afternoon Smoothie Bar!
Located just 10 minutes across the border in Tecate, Mexico and set in the foothills of the beautiful and mystical Mount Kuchumaa, getting to the Ranch is a quick and easy process. Upon arrival at the San Diego airport, the Rancho La Puerta team will meet you in Baggage Claim and take it from there. An easy drive on a comfortable coach (where you are handed a bag of delicious Ranch made granola as you enter to snack on during the drive), before you know it you have been quickly and easily escorted across the Tecate border crossing. Once in Tecate, your luggage is whisked away to meet you at your room and 10 minutes later you have arrived! (Live in California? So easy! You simply meet the team at Terminal 1 for your transfer to the Ranch.)
Once you arrive, the pace of your experience is left up to you. With 50+ classes per day to choose from, you can be as active - or as inactive - as you choose to be. Once again, balance presents itself as you have options and experiences to choose from cardio, stretch classes, lectures, meditation, sound healing or simply "being" while relaxing at one of the pools or melting into strategically hung hammocks where you can reflect and rest. My advice? Push yourself and choose a few options that are perhaps out of your normal comfort zone! Such fun things to try and who knows? You may find a new passion!
Each morning, dawn begins with a choice of three incredible hikes - simply choose the one that fits the activity level you want to experience. Watch for red tail hawks, listen for the bird songs and hear the crunch of the path under your feet as you get to know your fellow ranch visitors and soak up the stunning beauty of Mount Kuchumaa. Following a post-hike stretch, all ears are listening for the breakfast bell signalling to all that the delicious morning sustenance is ready to enjoy!
The Ranch diet is based on lacto-ovo pescatarian which includes dairy, eggs and seafood, but no meats or poultry. Diet modifications and allergies are readily accommodated making meal time easy and non-worrisome for all. Vegetables and fruits are in abundance, most supplied directly from the organic farm located at the Ranch. Wine is not served with meals; however, it can be purchased at the lovely Bazaar Del Sol, the gift shop located on property and enjoyed there or on your private patio. My travel mate and I chose the latter, enjoying a glass of wine at the end of the day on the patio while finding brilliant star constellations in the beautiful night sky as we shared our experiences from the day.
Whether a solo traveller, a couple looking for reconnection time, girlfriends wanting a getaway all are welcomed at the Ranch. More than 50% of the guests are repeat clients - multiple times over - and I believe that once you experience the joy of being at Rancho La Puerta, you too will be planning your return...
For more information and to book your Rancho La Puerta experience, contact stonearchtravel.com today. Let's get started.
People don't take trips... trips take people.
- John Steinbeck
My first visit to Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda began with a train ride from Parma to Brescia, a city in the northern Italian region of Lombardy. The 2-hour journey was peppered with quick stops and lovely views of villages and towns along the way and with each rumble of the track, my excitement grew as I traveled closer to this very special, award winning and world renowned SPA.
Admittedly, there was a moment when slight panic ensued upon discovering that train stops were not announced and this solo adventure was being spent with non-English speaking compartment mates. What to do? Well, when visiting another country, I find it impossible to not be gently nudged, pulled - and sometimes sharply pushed (LOL!) - to reach out, open up and get to know those around me. In this case, "reaching out" involved a series of broken sentences, hand gestures, a show of my ticket and three lovely Italians. Somehow, we made sense of it all and I soon found myself safely off the train and in the beautiful town of Brescia, Italy.
The sun was shining as we left Brescia and began the easy drive toward the western shores of Lake Garda where Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda is located. As we passed through the heart of the lush and gorgeous "Riviera dei Limoni" I soon found myself in the beautiful village of Gargnano which lies at the base of Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda. As the car began the assent to the top of what some might call a hill...(but this city girl would call a small mountain)....I felt as though we were leaving the world behind with each twist and turn of the road.
What to expect when you arrive at Lefay Resort & SPA Lago di Garda? Breathtaking views of Lake Garda, beautiful accommodations, an incredible SPA with programmes designed to fit the individual, inspiring and award winning sustainability practices and simply incredible cuisine....and yes, this is only the beginning. You will discover that every detail at Lefay Resort & SPA has been designed in perfect harmony to provide guests with the ability to set their intention, rejuvenate, refresh and depart for home while planning their return.
Are you ready to reconnect with your body, mind and spirit in a loving, gentle and nurturing way, surrounded by the beauty of Northern Italy? Let's get started....
As the tires crunched on the gravel drive leading to the entrance of Borgo Egnazia, my delightful driver Pino ceased all conversation, knowing that I was beyond the point of hearing as I gazed at the beauty and essence of Borgo Egnazia by night. Gentle light provided by hundreds of candles were my guide as I entered the beautiful marble foyer where I was met by the welcoming staff letting me know I had truly arrived.....
And so it began. My first experience in the "heel of the boot" where I fell completely, totally head-over-heels in love with the culture, the people and the food of Puglia, Italy.
Borgo Egnazia, located equal distance from Bari and Brindisi airports is easily reached by taking a low-cost flight from one of the major cities in Italy. Upon arrival, your transfer time will be a quick and easy 45 minutes from either airport.
Once you arrive at Borgo Egnazia, prepare to rest, relax and refresh whether breathing the intoxicating sea air while devouring the novel you have been so anxious to open, immersing in one (or multiple - I definitely recommend multiple!) spa treatments offered at Vair SPA, jumping on a bike for a ride around, or relaxing over pizza served bubbling from the oven with blistered crust while sipping on your favorite libation by candlelight.
The historic and beautiful towns nearby including Ostuni, Lecce, Otranto and more, offer fantastic options for day or half-day trips to explore and surrender your body, mind and soul to your surroundings. As you explore, look for the Roman roads where deep divots from the wheels of carts still mark the ground, or the Trulli stone huts with conical roofs built without cement or mortar to bind the stones, still standing in Apulia and of course, gelato, truly the creamiest, best hand-dipped gelato I have ever tasted. My personal favorite was discovered in Ostuni, two lucious hand-dipped scoops of fresh, tart, lemon gelato covered in fresh, sweet whipped cream. My suggestion? Taste as you go until you discover your favorite!
My first visit to Puglia and to Borgo Egnazia will not be my last and I so look forward to sharing this amazing place with my clients! So what next? Get out the map, find the heel of the boot and lets get started!
People don't take trips... trips take people.
- John Steinbeck