Main

Traveling chick Archives

June 25, 2007

A traveler's longing

I’ve been feeling a tremendous sadness about the fact I can’t head over to Europe this summer. I have so many people I want to see in different countries and I just can’t swing it right now. Maybe I should take my client up on her now constant suggestion that it’s time to find me a good man who will help take care of me (she writes with a smirk and a hard roll of the eyes). Do women still do that these days, have men who help take care of them? What on earth would I know about that! As far back as I can remember I'm the one generally taking care of the man. I'm tired of raising my men. I want one fully assembled, with all working parts in order and ready to go, thank you. Is that asking too much?

Stepping away from the man rant now. I've exhausted myself.

Back to longing...

You see today my mind is full with visions of Paris (the city, not the twit)) as I was reminded yesterday of how magical it is in summer by a friend who recently moved there to be with her love. Her stories have retweaked that hunger I have to pick up and move to a place that lights me up from within, makes me all shiny and bright. You really have to have a certain balls to the wall grasp on life to shake things up and step out of your comfort zone. I'm ready to shake things up already. I am consumed with wanderlust. I ache.

I feel as if I'm in a room alone looking out an open window and I can see the world awaiting me. All that life awaiting me.

Soon...
A%20room%20with%20a%20view-1.jpg


Continue reading "A traveler's longing" »

July 10, 2007

And then there was Cortona

In honor of my dear friends and fellow Slow Travelers, Marcia and David, who are about to head off to Italy this week, I bring you Cortona...


I am alone. I am alone in Italy and it is summer and I am fresh from a lover's arms. I have my fabulous rental Nissan Micra, the road is before me and I am alive. I am so blissed out I actually find myself chanting
this is f***ing crazy!!" as I drive down country roads lined with sunflowers praying to the sun gods.
trip%20223-1.jpg


Continue reading "And then there was Cortona" »

July 11, 2007

An adventure in Orvieto

I'm in the car driving down winding Tuscan roads and I am still digesting, ever so sweetly, my visit to Cortona. It is a bright clear day and the sun is beaming through the window, warming my skin. I have music blasting, the windows are open, and I can smell heaven.

I am the luckiest woman alive...

I decide I want to explore Umbria so I take the day to wander in and out of towns so small that even in my little Nissan Micra I can reach out and touch the walls of buildings as I drive through tiny passages that I’m sure will eat me whole. They never do, of course, and I just keep going.

After stops for coffee and the occasional treat, I see a sign for Orvieto. By this time it is getting on toward dusk and this is generally my cue to find a place to set up shop for the night. I decide Orvieto is a place I'm meant to visit so I begin to make my way up into this hill town and once I've passed the rather ugly lower part of the town, I wind around the long hill, wrapping around it until I know I've arrived in the town center.

trip%20282-7.jpg


Continue reading "An adventure in Orvieto" »

July 20, 2007

My escape to Little Tokyo

So, I did exactly what I said I was going to do yesterday and took a half day down in Little Tokyo and pretended I was in Japan and out on the town treating myself. I simply love my escape days!

I drove into downtown LA and found my way to Little Tokyo. I decided to skip the metered parking as I planned on taking my time there so I opted to pay the $4 and parked in the big lot. I had my market bag with me, the one that's made of string and rolls up into a ball as I had some shopping to do.

I had an appetite and a craving for Ramen, the sun was shining, the day was mine and I felt that sense of joy I always feel when I pull into Little Tokyo.

And so I begin…

Little%20Tokyo%20004-2.jpg



Continue reading "My escape to Little Tokyo" »

July 28, 2007

Guatemala anyone?

So, there I was yesterday at my favorite traveler's book shop, Traveler's Bookcase, feeling adventurous and wanting a place to go for a week. The woman working there tells me I'd love Antigua in Guatemala. She says it's "special" and that it has the things I'm looking for. She says she thinks it is right up my alley.

OK, so I buy a Frommer's book on Guatemala, spend all night online checking things out, get up this morning, book my ticket, and I'm a goin'. I'm leaving at the end of August for 8 days. I hadn't even heard of this place 24 hours ago and now I'm booked to go there. Crazy sh*t!

Kathy is doing Guatemala, baby!

a2gt0730-1.jpg

August 3, 2007

It's all about balance...

I am free. I finished my five day photo shoot yesterday and it kicked my butt. I have bruises up and down my backside and legs. I sliced a finger to the bone cutting up ginger for the star photographer who wanted carrot, apple, and ginger juice every day. You remember the handsome photographer I mentioned before? It turns out his girlfriend is a freakin’ super model. Figures!

I got a call to assist Anthony's yoga class over at City Yoga this morning and I gladly took it. It was a total vacation for me after a long week of 10-12 hour days! It was almost shocking how easy it was for me to jump back in and I realized how much I have learned. I was on fire! Anthony, who I adore, told me after class that I am damn good at what I do. He always did support me and he told me I'd be a great teacher one day.

I am becoming one now...

I am creating great balance in my life. Slowly but surely, it is finding me.
balance.sized-3.jpg


More on my upcoming trip to Antigua Guatemala below!


Continue reading "It's all about balance..." »

August 10, 2007

Antigua Guatemala

As some of you know I will be heading out to Antigua Guatemala in about two weeks time. I am very eager to get there as the more I read about it, the more enchanted I become. I am also in desperate need of some quality me time and I plan on doing some yoga, writing, and truly contemplating my life as I know it. I feel big changes coming on. There is this new me growing inside that is starting to make some movement...

Here is a video I came across on YouTube that I thought I'd share with you. Antigua is calling my name. I can't explain it, but I know I am meant to go there. I am a woman who always tries to honor her instincts.

I already have my first couple of nights booked at Hotel Casa Cristina for a fabulous $27 a night and I have a deluxe room that looks out over La Merced church with views of the volcano. Happy Me!

Enjoy the video. The music alone is worth it.

August 12, 2007

The simple way to Guatemala

I am not over planning nor over thinking my trip to Guatemala. I bought myself these two books and that's it. The rest I'll figure out when I get there.

Frommer's Guatemala- Fabulous book with clear information that hits the spot. Nothing too heady or fussy. It's my kind of guide book.

Lonely Planet's Latin American Spanish - The only phrase book I need. It has the basics, is really wonderfully easy to read, is small enough to carry around and it has some of the most hilarious phrases in the romance section you can imagine. It's informative and damn funny!

I am taking the most important thing of all with me, of course. It keeps the fire lit and the good stuff flowing.
wanderlust_logo.jpg


August 16, 2007

Girls' night out in La Jolla

What a perfect evening I had last night. I had dinner with my friend Nancy, who was in from Chicago, down in La Jolla at Sante Ristorante and we spent the night eating great Italian food, telling tales and drinking a sweet little Chianti. I had Spaghetti Carbonara, which has been my fave since I was a small girl, and let me say it was done just right. It wasn't creamy, had the most divine pancetta in it, and I had my little cheese man who cometh grate me up loads of delicious parmesan cheese to top it off. I left nothing on my plate. Fabulous...

I actually met Nancy in Paris three years ago and we've been dear friends ever since!


Good friends, good food and good wine. Ain't life grand?

Kathy%20and%20Nancy%20La%20Jolla%20001-4.jpg

August 17, 2007

The joy of Wildlife

I am a woman who finds great joy in observing wildlife in its natural habitat. When I was down in La Jolla yesterday I walked down to
Casa beach where the seals hang out and I loved that there were signs everywhere telling the public to stay away from the seals and respect their space! The entire beach was cordoned off so that the seals could play and sleep in peace. As it should be.

Have you seen seals in person? I had not had the privilege of getting this close before and it was a truly magical experience. Although I found the actual town of La Jolla rather uninteresting, watching the seals was the highlight of my trip. It's worth a stop just to see these magnificent creatures!

Kathy%20and%20Nancy%20La%20Jolla%20004-7.jpg


The seals have this terribly sweet way of bobbing their noses up in the air and floating there like that. It's one of those things that makes you appreciate the simple joys in life. Kathy%20and%20Nancy%20La%20Jolla%20005-1.jpg


August 19, 2007

Trip packing 101

There is constant debate and list making going on over at Slow Travel, and virtually every travel site out there, about what to pack for a trip. I know it's tough and I honestly feel for all facing this dilemma. I get it!

I will tell you what is on my packing list as I do believe I have found the remedy to this very complex issue. It took me many years to figure this out and really get it down to a science. I am even flirting with the idea of writing a book about it. I do hope that this helps you in some small way.

Kathy's trip packing list made easy:

1. Whatever I freakin' want to bring!

2. See number one


hkh0086l-2.jpg
Pack what feels right to you and don't be a slave to your luggage.

Enjoy your trip.

August 21, 2007

Some favorite things I'm taking to Guatemala

I am leaving in less than a week for Guatemala so I thought I'd share a few favorite things I'm bringing with me. I am a woman who is both stylish and practical. I happen to love my special treat things as well. They make the trip a little sweeter.


1. Lesportsac Big Weekender Bag - I got it on sale for a song! It is made of the most divinely lightweight material, is incredibly durable and long lasting (I've owned these suckers for years) and can roll up in a ball to come with me in my suitcase so I can load it up with travel purchases like textiles from Guatemala. It is also the only bag I need for a weekend trip.
070605_lesportsac_01b.jpg

2. Be Present Agility Pants -
I just finally broke down and bought a pair of these at my yoga studio. They are made of a wonderful lightweight breathable material, are incredibly long lasting, and are utterly fabulous for doing yoga. They are hip looking enough to wear around on a casual day and are incredibly flattering on. They have these great slits up the back leg to just below the knee. I like bringing something I can wear for yoga but that I can hang out in as well. Every serious yogi chick I know owns them.
Be-Present-Agility-Pant_515FAAF2.jpg

3.Birkenstock Kairo Sandals -
I swore I'd never wear Birkenstocks but these babies are foreplay for the feet! The makeup and wardrobe women on the last photo shoot I did wore these every day. Smart chicks know fashionable can mean comfortable too.
4710.jpg

4. Seven For All Mankind Jeans - Because they truly are the only jeans I wear. I like my jeans classic like my men.
SJnyd_rear_small.jpg


5.Seda France travel candles- I take candles with me wherever I go as they soothe and relax me. I'm a fan of these in gardenia.
31QZJD23A7L._AA275_-1.jpg
6. Kiehl's Musk Oil - I like a scent on occasion and I refuse to haul around a bottle of perfume. I love my oils and I love this one in particular as it is so sexy and earthy. It also travels well.
goods_beautytip-3.jpg

August 23, 2007

Kathy's links for Antigua Guatemala

As promised, these are the sites that have made it possible for me to plan my trip and have been utterly invaluable to me as well.

Next stop Guatemala!

orangesocks1-2.jpg


Links can be read by clicking anything highlighted in red below...


Continue reading "Kathy's links for Antigua Guatemala" »

August 25, 2007

On the road to a foreign land

I'm off to Guatemala today! I'll be blogging when I can and I do plan to write about my time there.

I am tired and excited. More than anything I am hungry for a new adventure. I can almost taste those handmade tortilla's from here...


Hasta luego!aaaddd-1.jpg

August 28, 2007

I am here!

I arrived in Antigua yesterday and am settling in nicely. I am just back from a little Italian restaurant where I had pizza, red wine and aqua mineral. I LOVE my little hotel, Casa Cristina, and may stay there the entire trip. My room is on the top floor and has the most breath taking views of the volcanoes. Yesterday I napped to the sound of a monster thunder and lightning storm that came through and it was nothing less than heavenly to hear the sound of mother nature expressing herself whilst I slept. I am happy here... truly.

IMAG0145-1.JPG
My room with a view


I have been to some of the local markets and bought two wonderful native blankets for my bed. I have already learned to barter and got them down from 600 quetazles to 300 which means for these two glorious blankets in the most brilliant colors I paid about $39. Happy little me. This is what the owner of my hotel said she paid for hers. I am already becoming a local!

I begin my day by walking two doors down to Fernando's Kaffee where I get the best caffe latte. I have met some very cool people here and I love that I have no set plans and just wake up to see where the day will take me. So far, so good. I am at peace here. My senses are awakened and I am adjusting to a land that speaks a language I have yet to learn. I will...

More to come!

IMAG0169-1.JPG

August 29, 2007

A day in Antigua

I am settling in nicely here. I took Elizabeth Bell's cultural walking tour today and it was the best $20 I've spent in a while. Seriously, I am a non tour chick and this was captivating. She takes you behind the walls and into the culture. She doesn't just talk the talk, this woman walks the walk. I know more about jade than I could ever have imagined as we went to the jade museum and I now know that there is one special spot here in Guatemala that is famous for the most brilliant jade in the world. Well, some of it anyway. Oh, and this site was discovered by an American woman. I get a kick out of that.


Continue reading "A day in Antigua" »

September 1, 2007

More from Antigua

I have been busy being social and remiss in not posting on my blog. Sorry!

I have met a lovely woman in my hotel, Paula, who was in from NYC teaching a yoga teacher training out on the lake (check her out at Reflections Yoga Retreats). She's become a confidant and great partner in crime here in Antigua and we are off again tonight to go to an art opening and then have dinner. I see good chat and fine wine in my future!

IMAG0182.JPG


Continue reading "More from Antigua " »

September 3, 2007

Leaving Antigua

You know that longing you can get when you leave a place that has captured your mind, body and soul as you realize you are about to leave it behind? That is me today. I am sad to leave this magical place and yet I take comfort in knowing I will be back soon. I am planning to come back in January now. Antigua has seduced me...

My shuttle comes to pick me up in about an hour and a half and Rosario, the proprietress of Casa Cristina, has let me stay in my room until 3.00 pm when I am picked up for the airport. Check out is 11.30 am. They have been incredibly good to me here.
IMAG0231-2.JPG


I have so many images to share and a wee bit of video as well. I am overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings as I finish my packing and say goodbye to my lovely room here. I have an entire bag filled with treats for friends and linens for my home. I hope I get away with taking it all on the plane!

So, one last post from Antigua and then I will come alive with words and pictures that I will share once I am home and settled in with my girl cats. Funny, I don't miss my things at all. I only miss my baths, my tea and my cats. I realize I can be a wonderfully simple person when I get past the layers of pretty shiny things. I am a whole person, you see. I have become fuller and more authentic, have peeled away some layers and gone deeper because I have been here.

I bid you goodbye from Antigua then. With a quiet mind and heart wide open I bid her goodbye as well...

IMAG0166.JPG


September 6, 2007

Special women I met along the way...

I've been quiet since I returned from Guatemala as I have wanted to digest all of the emotions and images that resonate within me after such a special and profound trip. There are those that need immediate attention and have to purge their every thought and feeling even before their suitcases are unpacked. I am not one of them. I have enjoyed going quiet and ruminating these last few days.

My trip is mine and mine alone.

I share bits and pieces of my inner life when I moved to do so. I savor everything in my world like a fine wine, a good man or the deepest darkest chocolate on earth. It takes time to peel away the layers and go deeper...
IMAG0155-2.JPG

Continue reading "Special women I met along the way..." »

October 11, 2007

More thoughts on Antigua

I have never been so moved by a place that even before I leave I am planning my return. My time in Antigua had that effect on me.

A friend recently asked me what I found so special about Antigua, what the draw was. I think for me it was the sensation I got being there. I felt grounded. There was something about being surrounded by volcanoes that was very centering and somehow deeply rooting. I am also drawn to the pace, the slowness of things. There is a sense of taking things in a sort of slow motion in Antigua.

There is more, of course. The food, the kindness of the people, the architecture and the light all had a profound effect on me. I plan on returning in January and am looking into spending a chunk of time there. It is something I would really love to do. And I'll be studying Spanish! Learning a new language is always a beautiful thing. My short time in this country has inspired me to do so.

One can find peace in a place as simple as a room in a small hotel with the sunlight shining in through the windows after a rain storm.

Antigua%20008.jpg

I did.


January 17, 2008

Back to Guatemala she goes!

Yes, this little tutu is on a plane come Sunday night making her way back to the land of the Mayans for some time by the lake and more time in that special little city where the volcanoes rise up above you and root you so beautifully to the earth - Antigua.

I told my students a couple of Sundays ago that I realized I was feeling rather off center and a tad cranky and I knew when I got that way there was really only one remedy: TRAVEL

OK, travel and yoga. Both feed my soul...

So, I got online and booked myself a ticket back to the land of Jade and for eight glorious days I will be free, open and filled with a sense of adventure and desire. Happy little me.

This is both a pleasure and business trip as I am going to check out yoga retreat spaces on Lake Atitlan as my hope is to create retreats with friends and fellow teachers in the future. I'm a chick with a vision, don't you know?

I am the mistress of my own destiny.

I'll be blogging it out on the road as my new MacBook is coming with me so stay tuned and fasten your seat belts:

There will be tales to tell...

guatemalacity.jpg

January 22, 2008

The man from Holland, fried Manchego and the light

This is my second trip to Antigua and second stay at Casa Cristina. Last trip I met my now dear friend Paula who was also staying in my hotel. This trip I've already made a new friend Aziz, a camera man from Holland, who is staying next to me and studying Spanish here. He's handsome and fun and we have a lot in common. We went out last night and had a late tea and a snack. We walked the nearly empty streets laughing wildly and telling each other stories about our travels. He's a lot of fun. Tonight we're off to dinner and drinks and some quality silly time. I love meeting fellow travelers on my journey's. Good people out there if you allow yourself to let them in.

kathy%20just%20for%20fun.jpg

Special thanks to my girl Leslie for making me this fabulous pic!


Continue reading "The man from Holland, fried Manchego and the light" »

January 24, 2008

Off to Lake Atitlan!

I've had the most wonderful time here in Antigua the last couple of days. My new friend Aziz and I had a grand time out for dinner feasting on traditonal Guatemalan food and then walked down to Meson Panza Verde for after dinner drinks by the fire. The owner of Sangre, the Tapas and wine place I love so much, was having drinks there as well and as soon as he saw me commented on the fact I had been at his place the night before. It's amazing how you run into the same people here all the time and how they fast become friends. I was still hungry after drinks so Asis and stopped in Gaia, the fabulous Middle Eastern restaurant here, where I savored some grape leaves, cucumber salad and fresh mint tea. Heaven...

kathy%20thursday%20three.JPG


Continue reading "Off to Lake Atitlan!" »

January 26, 2008

Hola from Lake Atitlan

I have not been able to get Wi-Fi with my laptop here in this little remote town on the lake called San Marcos. Carlos, the owner of Blind Lemons which is this little restaurant, bar and internet cafe here, was kind enough to let me just plug my laptop in tonight. Truth is, I didn't miss being online. It's nice to "unplug" and tune out for a while. We all need to do that every now and then. Quieting the mind is a beautiful thing. I need more of that in my life. Seriously...

I've been here for three days and I have a room on the lake with a view. It's more like a house as it's so damn big and has a yard that leads down to the water. Breakfast is included and last night I took a sauna (part of my room fee) and it was incredible (all for $25!). This area is famous for the saunas and they look like Igloos and are lit with this delicious smelling wood and a pot of water with these womderful smelling leaves are placed inside and then you are shut in. You just sweat like mad. I was in a bikini and Olivia, the woman I've befriended at Posada Schumann, where I am staying, was in her undies. We kept jumping out and cooling off as the staff laughed at us half naked and dripping sweat. We both went through two large bottles of water and one small one each in an hour! It was just such a magical and cleansing experience...

I've taken a tone of photos and I have so much to share. I took boat/shuttle into Santa Cruz today, an even smaller town, to visit Wendy, the owner of Villa Sumaya, where I hope to hold yoga/relaxation retreats within the year. Villa Sumaya is nothing less than utterly beautiful and it is the perfect spot for what I want to do. You relax as soon as you walk up the hill and arrive on the terrace. You can't help but let go once you're there. The energy is amazing.

I'm taking a boat back to the main town of Panajechel tomorrow to then catch a shuttle back to Antigua. I've gotten the rhythm of how people travel here and I'm even kind of digging the water shuttles. This from the chick who gets boat sick!

More to come. So much more to come....

I bid you goodnight from San Marcos.

atitlan_posada_schumann2.jpg


January 28, 2008

On the last day she went slow

I'm heading back to LA tomorrow at the crack of dawn. I have a shuttle picking me up at 5.00 am to make an 8.30 flight.

I don't do early mornings.

I've just come from visiting my massage friend Deet at her house and will be having dinner this evening with other friends who are staying in my hotel. I've just had the biggest menu del dia, or menu of the day, at a little joint called "Cafe El Gringo" where I was sent by a local friend for a true feast for all of 25 Quetzales or about $2.50. I had chicken and rice with potatoes and carrots, homemade tortillas, some freshly baked banana bread and a drink that tastes like hibiscus and cranberry juice. It was out of this world good. You can really eat like a Queen here for a song, let me tell you...

I got soaking wet on the boat back from San Marcos La laguna to panajechel and had to change out of my soaking wet clothes when I got to the dock. The boats are fairly primitive and rustic to say the least. Even with the plastic tarp they gave us, both gringos and indigenous people alike, we still got whomped by the high winds and waves on the lake. Again, I just rolled with it. You can't sweat the small stuff. I can handle a wet butt every now and again. It reminds me how lucky I am to have tons of clothes to change into. The local people on the lake are very poor and seeing how they live puts things in perspective in a very big kind of way.

Off to some tea and some thoughtful contemplation. Well, perhaps some ice cream just to be wonderfully wicked as well.


The shuttle boat on Lake Atitlan

kathy%20tues%20two.JPG

January 30, 2008

A few favorite images of my time in Guatemala

I'll be posting more photos of this trip and writing more about my experiences there as well. There is so much to share!

This trip was truly a heart and mind opening experience. The moment I arrived in Antigua I came alive and felt so grounded. And Lake Atitlan really does draw you in, just as my friend Paula assured me it would. There really is magic there.

Mayan culture and mythology is utterly fascinating to me...

I give you a wee taste of Kathy's view of Guatemala.


Locals going off to work in San Marcos La Lagunakathy%20tues%20three.JPG


Fountain at Meson Panza Verde Hotelkathy%20tues%20four.JPG


Continue reading "A few favorite images of my time in Guatemala" »

February 4, 2008

Slow Bowl 2008!

After just coming back from Guatemala on Tuesday I drove up to Paso Robles CA. for the second annual Slow Bowl wine tasting weekend with my Slow Travel peeps. I hauled booty up to Paso and at the 52 mile sign telling me my wine was near my car stopped accelerating - as I was passing a truck no with one coming at me in the other direction - and I had to nurse it the 52 miles over the hills (think incline city) into Paso at no more than 40 miles an hour most of the way. I was NOT a happy camper. I figured as long as it was still moving my car was going the distance. I had places to go and people to see!

I called my motel from the road, got the name of a mechanic, and when I arrived I got busy making calls and found a guy who said he'd take my car but couldn't check it until Monday. I got a tow, dropped the car off, and met two great guys who invited me for drinks the following night. One of the guys turned out to be the winemaker for one of the wineries we were scheduled to do a private tasting with the next day! Small flippin' world, you know?

8821041304_Group.jpg

Continue reading "Slow Bowl 2008!" »

March 31, 2008

Oh Mama, I wanna go to Pana!

That's Panajachel, Guatemala, my sweet little chickadees. And this little tutu is a goin'!

I'm heading back to the land of the Mayans next week, my third trip in eight months, to see my people in Antigua and then head out to Ati (the local slang for Lake Atitlan) to see some people and places. I have a dream. That's about all you need to know for now...

Ah, Panajachel. Some call it Gringotenango (place of the foreigners) as there are so many former hippies and expats from around the world living there. It's the main town on Lake Atitlan and it is where all the boats depart from to head out to the smaller towns on the lake like San Marcos la Laguna, the town I settled into back in January. Pana has some good energy to it. I'm going to sink my teeth in and see what flavors it brings me.

It's hot there right now so I'm looking forward to some light and heat and acting like a big fat cat lazing about in the sun, taking my daily naps and eating and drinking whenever I see fit. I also just found out that a lovely man who I met when I was there in January will be back on the lake when I'm there. Someone to play with! Happy little me...

I'll be staying at my usual haunt in Antigua, Casa Cristina, and my beautiful friend Rosario, who owns the joint with her husband, sent me the loveliest e-mail today welcoming my return and telling me I am more than a guest to them. She even gave me the Queen's discount! And she referred to room number 12, that sweet little slice of heaven on the top floor overlooking the rooftops and the room I always stay in as "your room." LOVE HER!


Antigua%20008.jpg"Kathy's room"


Continue reading "Oh Mama, I wanna go to Pana!" »

April 4, 2008

I'll be here next week

I've already made some really fabulous social plans for when I get down to Antigua and out onto the lake. I'm looking forward to really uncovering the secret pleasures that Panajachel can bring me and plan on spending some more time on Lake Atitlan in the little town of Santa Cruz la Laguna. Lucky little me.

Here are a few pics of the area for you to feast on. You might just find that you'd like to get down there and take a little bite yourself.

I know I did...

BN3554_31.jpg
The shores of Panajachel

2_413.jpg
The boats that you take to get around the lake

Continue reading "I'll be here next week" »

April 8, 2008

Off to Guatemala!

I'm heading back to Guatemala tonight on one of those crazy late night flights. I'm just about to finish packing (I am packing as light as possible this time around) and then off to a quick pedi as I always like to travel with happy shiny toes. It's a chick thing...

I'm flying with Taca Airlines, so this will be a new flying experience for me. Here's hoping it's a grand one!

This time tomorrow I'll be sitting at Fernando's Cafe in Antigua drinking a latte and catching up with Fernando. It's the simple pleasures, you know?


My Macbook is coming with me so more from the road!

imgal-0003-g.jpg

April 10, 2008

Returning to the familiar, hot showers and friends

I arrived in Antigua at about 9.00 yesterday morning after an overnight flight from LA. I immediately set off to Fernando's Kaffee for a latte and some breakfast. I had a quick catch up with Fernando and was greeted with a friendly wave by one of his waitresses as my shuttle pulled up when I arrived. It's always nice to be welcomed back.

After breakfast I walked down toward the big market and bought myself a cell phone. It is frickin' crazy what the US charges us for our cellphones and usage fees. I bought a Motorolla cellphone and it came with 175 minutes on it for $30! And they have really user friendly deals here where there are double and triple days so when you buy your minutes to download they give you double or triple what you pay for! My country kind of sucks at times. We're so advanced and yet so ass backward as well.

I came back, took a nap, and then I was off to my friend Deet's house for a blissful massage. She informed me that there was an art opening at Meson Panza Verde across the street and told me I was coming. How could I refuse? So, we headed over for wine and art and great conversation. After meeting and greeting we walked over to the Traveller's Menu for some dinner. After that it was ice cream cones and a walk in the park where we grabbed a bench, sat down, and talked about life and love and everything in between. What a perfectly wonderful night!

The only snafu that I have hit is that my favorite little hotel, Casa Cristina, has disappointed me with their hot water situation. I did NOT get a hot shower yesterday and I tried twice to get one. I had this problem on my first stay here and Rosario turned up the hot water temp so we all got hot showers. She said people weren't complaining but I saw that they had in some reviews. They just didn't complain to HER. Now it appears the temp has been lowered again and in the middle of the day she turns the hot water off to save money. I am not happy about this. I cannot stay in a place where there is not sufficient hot water. What to do?

If I don't get hot water today I will have to find another place to stay. This saddens me, but as I ask for very little when I stay in a hotel, having really good hot water for a shower is a bare minimum requirement! The screaming kids visiting yesterday didn't help either. My nap was cut short by what sounded like a circus taking place outside my door. This happened on my last visit as well. I think I'll take today to investigate other hotels in the area. Perhaps the hotel fairies are telling me it is time to open myself to something new?

Off to check things out and enjoy Antigua. More to come!

Casa%20Cristina%20statue.jpg

Continue reading "Returning to the familiar, hot showers and friends" »

April 11, 2008

Life's a bitch

When you have to settle on going to a place like this for the weekend. I am very unhappy that I have to drag my butt out to the lake today to partake in good food, wine and play. Sad little me. I demand reparations for this travesty upon my being.

*heavy fascitious sigh*

Paradise.jpg
Santa Cruz la Laguna. I'll be here again this weekend. Hasta luego, baby!

My%20feet%20in%20Santa%20Cruz.jpg

April 14, 2008

Pana, a man in Santa Cruz and the sweet life

Just a quick check in after just coming back to Antigua from three days on the lake and a return to my laptop!

I feel like I lived a whole life in three days. I spent time with a man, made dinner for new friends and even looked at a few houses for sale! What can I say: I'm a chick with a vision.

So much to share but I'm sitting with a latte and trying to digest everything that I've experienced in these last few days. My mind is full...

I stayed with my friend Glenn at the house he's renting in Santa Cruz. It was lovely to be with him and even though he dragged my butt out of bed to hike up this ridiculously high hill before I'd even had MY TEA (I have the sunburn on my back to prove I was ill prepared for this feat and you know I swore under my breath the whole way up), I enjoyed spending time with a native man who, although he is from a totally different culture, has a lot in common with me. Sometimes it's spooky!

Glenn.jpg
Glenn on a hike in Santa Cruz

My%20feet%20at%20Glenn%27s.jpg
My feet at Glenn's place


Continue reading "Pana, a man in Santa Cruz and the sweet life" »

April 16, 2008

Self portrait/Perspective

I'm back in LA and feeling out of sorts. I am realizing I crave a simpler life and getting out into LA traffic today really pissed me off! I have a wall full of expensive handbags and in Guatemala I am happiest using my $5 handmade native cloth bag that slings across my body and is a little slip of a thing. Funny how you gain perspective when you step out of your box and allow yourself to slowly adapt to another culture. It also makes you appreciate more fully the things you have back in your daily world and how many of them are not really all that important after all...

When you are a real traveler you take on bits of where you've been. You become a fuller person rich with colors and tastes and smells and experiences from other lands.

I am full tonight.

I have so many photos to share but to me this one best captures how I feel. I am a work in progress. I am slowly trying to strip away the sharp and twisty bits and go deeper into the grit, the meat of things. In this moment, in this room in Guatemala, I was filled with wonder, peace, anticipation and a sense of abandon.

~Some moments are just so terribly delicious.~

I am utterly imperfect. And honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way...


Me.jpg


April 19, 2008

My six word memoir

A friend from Slow Travel proposed today that we write our travel memoirs using only six words to do so. What a great challenge! Without even putting too much thought into it these words came to me and I realize how much they resonate inside me.

I have been incredibly blessed on my journey's and have always been welcomed with open arms. My friend Deet said something that really made me think the other day when I was parting ways with her in Antigua, Guatemala. Just as we were saying goodbye she told me that no matter where I go, I always make friends. And I realized that she's right. I do.

And so, I bring you my travel memoir in six words:


~Wherever she goes, doors open wide~


Thank you, Deborah, for giving me the idea which then became my mirror and a means to really look at how far I've come and how so many have opened their doors, homes and hearts to me. I must be doing something right...

Open%20door.jpg


April 27, 2008

A special place in Santa Cruz la Laguna

I've been to Santa Cruz la Laguna on Lake Atitlan twice now during my travels to Guatemala and there really is something so sweet and quiet about the place. You can only reach it by boat and there are only a few small hotels there. I have friends there now so I believe I'll always have a place to stay. Sometimes the friends you meet along the way just stick with you, you know?

There's this special little place I've grown fond of called Hotel Isla Verde to the left of the docks about a quarter mile down the coast. You feel as if you're walking up into the heavens and with each plateau you find these delicious little nooks and spaces like hanging canoes to swing in and a wonderful open stage that is utterly perfect for an outdoor yoga class. Yes, this is a place I'd like to hold retreats! The eco-conscious and totally simple cabin style rooms sort of hang over the hillside and as they are fairly open spaces even the bathrooms open you to the great outdoors. It's enticing, really. The simplicity and beauty of it all is rather intoxicating.

Isla%20Verde%20cabins.jpg

Continue reading "A special place in Santa Cruz la Laguna" »

June 12, 2008

The 24 hour holiday: how to escape in your own city

Well, as the previous post indicates, I've been feeling a tad out of sorts lately. I usually travel during the Summer and thus far I'm fairly booked up until late July. Come August I'm on the road!

I had plans to meet a friend for dinner down in Santa Monica last night and it occurred to me that I wasn't really loving the idea of drinking wine and driving. So, I had a traveler's moment: why not book a room down there by the beach for the night and make a mini-break of it? With gas prices heading towards the moon and airline ticket prices soaring right up there with them, why not travel locally? Hot diggity damn, what a grand idea!

Now rooms down in Santa Monica are EXPENSIVE. I called around and the cheapest thing I could find was about $170 a night....crikey! So, I got my sweet little self on Better Bidding (what an invaluable site) to check out the hotels on the Priceline list in that area. I found three 3 star hotels that looked doable and knew when I bid I'd get one of them. I won a room on Priceline at The Holiday Inn at Santa Monica Pier for $110 plus tax. I called the hotel to find out the cheapest rate they had and it was $220 plus. I got my room for half price! Happy little me.

holiday_full.jpg

Continue reading "The 24 hour holiday: how to escape in your own city" »

July 11, 2008

Guatemala's calling!

I am heading back to Guatemala for 17 days next month. I've just booked my ticket, have asked my friend Deet to book me into a room where she lives in Antigua, and may very well have most of my meals included in my rate or be able to cook for myself. I'm going to live like a local this time around. Oh yes.

Now to start looking for a Spanish school/tutor so I can study Spanish on the weekdays and then head out to the lake on the weekends to see friends and play. Damn it feels good to have done this. I've been a bit wackadoo as of late due to the wanderlust not being sated and today I am breathing more freely. I know in one month I will be back in the place that lights me up from within and settles me down to my bones. Fabulous...

Airfares have gone crazy high and those non-stops flights I've always taken that were so cheap - this will be my fourth trip to Guatemala in one year - have now more than doubled to nothing less than $675 and ain't no way I'm blowing that kind of money when with some serious airfare tracking for weeks and a whole lot of patience I found myself a ticket for $319 roundtrip with a stop in Mexico City. Sweet!

In a little over a week I'm off to San Francisco for another yoga teacher training and some time with friends. I'll be blogging about it so more on that later.

I love my life...

BlissBlissLG-1.jpg


July 19, 2008

Off to San Francisco I go!

I'm setting off for San Francisco tomorrow morning. I'm going up to do another yoga teacher training and will be there for six fabulous days. Yes, another one! The more I know, the more I grow. And I'm all about growing my fine and lovely people. Oh yes...

I'll be studying with Judith Lasater, the women who wrote the bible on Restorative yoga, Relax and Renew. Restorative is my specialty so I figure why not go and play with the big cheese? I'l be at the Yoga Tree Studio in the Castro for five days getting my Restorative groove on. I'll have my nights free so I'll be meeting with the oh so fun Sharon from Slow Travel for some wining and dining on Tuesday night and then Friday night it's a Summer in the City night with Marcia and David and a few other wonderful Slow Travel cats. Fog City Diner, here we come!

This is sort of a training vacation as I'll have mornings and nights free. Just me and the city at my feet. Bloody beautiful...

I'm flying Virgin America for the first time and I've been looking forward to trying them out. I'm staying at The Metro Hotel which is a sweet little neighborhood kind of place with real local flavor. I also got a free week long parking coupon for LAX airport parking in the mail so I'm just driving myself there. No fuss, no muss. It's always a pain in the booty trying to find rides to the airport so I might be onto something here!


Just livin' life...

SanFrancisco3.jpg

July 23, 2008

Tea, yoga and the simple pleasures

I'm on day three of my yoga training with Judith Lasater. I am having an amazing time and I spend my days getting yogafied and my nights with friends eating, drinking and making merry.

Last night I had dinner with my friend Sharon and we had the most delightful meal at 2223 Market Street in the Castro. The Pinot Noir was exceptional and we lucked out as Tuesday nights have a special $12 menu! We finished things up with sorbet, tea and coffee and then I was home, meaning The Metro Hotel, to bed.

I just love the Metro. The guys there take such good care of me and every day they have a huge bowl of fresh nectarines out by the front desk. My room, 115, is fantastic, large and quiet. It feels like home and I look forward to returning to it at the end of the day. The Metro Kathmandu is right next door and I popped in the other night for a glass of Pinot Noir and a spinach salad and ended up eating dumplings and drinking wine with Roshan, the owner. We became fast friends and I'll be back tonight for more chat, company and good food. I could see living here. The people just fit and the energy of the city really suits me.

I'm sitting in the cafe next door to my hotel drinking my usual morning pot of tea and watching the locals come in to get their morning coffees. Life is happening all around me. I just love settling into a place...


July 26, 2008

I think I get the heart in San Francisco thing

Alas, I am leaving San Francisco today and heading back to La La Land. I am sad to leave as I have settled in here and have my rituals in place. I have my morning tea at On The Corner Cafe, my favorite little market where I pick up afternoon sandwiches or fresh juice, and the weather has taken a turn for the better and it is freakin' glorious out! I want to stay!

Ah well, off I go back to my cats and my things. I teach tomorrow night so my students are in for a treat as I've had a week of learning how to help people R-E-L-A-X. They'll be getting their chill on tomorrow night. Oh, do I have some new yummy things to show them. A big fat thank you to my teacher, Judith Lasater, for all that she gave me this week and for then telling me to take what I now know and give it away. You have my word, dear girl. I will show the world how to relax - one person at a time...

Last night was simply the perfect Summer in the City night. I met my good friend's Marcia and David for wine at The Wine Merchant in the Ferry Building and then we walked down to The Fog City Diner to meet Sharon, Eden and Tracey for dinner, wine and catch up. Then we all piled into Sharon's car and headed over the Ghirardelli's for sundaes. Yes, I had one massive sundae with dark chocolate hot fudge and it was bloody brilliant! Then I stopped by Marcia and David's hotel for some tea and chat and then cabbed it back to the Metro Hotel. What a fabulous way to spend my last night here. Just all around delish.

Me at The Wine Merchant loving life!
n664256949_5682.jpg


I was happy to catch the Frida Kahlo exhibit at MOMA the other night and I highly recommend going on a Thursday night when it's half price general admission (you pay and extra 5 bucks for the Frida exhibit) and they stay open until 8.45 p.m. Her work makes me appreciate life. GO.

Off to pack. Yep, leaving a bit o' my heart in San Francisco...

kahlo1.jpg

August 11, 2008

Guatemala tomorrow

I'm heading back to Guatemala in the wee hours tomorrow morning. I'm actually taking a 6.35 a.m. flight which means I'm booking a taxi for 4.00 a.m.! Thankfully I'll sleep the 3 hours to Mexico City and then only have a brief layover there and then another hour to Guatemala City. I'll be in Antigua by 4.00 p.m. or so and am getting a massage with my friend Deet and then having dinner where I'm staying. A walk through town, some people watching in the town square park and then a nice nightcap will complete things. Sweet.

This trip I'm trying a few different places to stay. I'll be primarily based out of El Rosario in Antigua which is where my friend Deet rents her studio and where people coming for Spanish study often stay. It's directly across the street from my favorite swank hotel Meson Panza Verde which is nice as I like their little bar with a fireplace. A nice place to settle in for an evening glass of something and my journal.

El Rosario will be $20 a night. For that $20 I'm getting a nice private room with private bath, a fireplace and 1-2 meals a day prepared by the woman who runs it. Can't really beat that. And my friend Deet does a lot of their bookings. It will be nice to stay in another part of town. It's wonderfully quiet down there and very green.

My friend Paula Tursi is doing her annual yoga teacher training out on the lake so I'll head out to see her and catch up. I met her exactly one year ago on my first trip to Antigua. We were instant friends. It will be nice to reconnect and savor some quality girly time!

I'll be studying Spanish for at least one week and perhaps more while in Antigua. Private instruction for a week for 3 hours a day should run about $80. That includes the book. Three hours is enough for me. I zone out after that. My attention span can be knat like at times. And who wants to spend all their time studying?

I have a friend to see in Guatemala City and will be busy seeing friends in Antigua and out on Lake Atitlan. And of course there are the friends I've yet to meet. My friend Paula laughs at me and tells me I know everyone there. I guess I just meet people really easily. I always tell travelers to stay open as that's when the good stuff finds you. It works for me.

So what's it like to travel solo? Utterly fabulous...

get-attachment-1.aspx.jpeg

August 14, 2008

Settling back into Guatemala

I arrived in Antigua on Tuesday early evening after a hellish time of it going through customs in both Mexico AND Guatemala. I loved flying Air Mexicana, but having to stop in Mexico city and use my my ENTIRE 1 hour and 25 minute stopover to go through that mile long immigration line for no reason at all when I wasn't even walking out of the airport? Total crap and stressful beyond imagination! I made my connecting plane just before they closed the door. CRAP.

Air Mexicana: the airline that actually still gives you full meals, even on a one hour flight! And the food was, wait for it, GOOD! Who knew?

Continue reading "Settling back into Guatemala" »

August 16, 2008

A day out with my girls in Antigua

There are five of us women staying at Olga's (El Rosario) right now. We all eat together and we have all become fast friends. We shop together, play together, drink together and take care of each other. This has become my goddess trip!

Continue reading "A day out with my girls in Antigua" »

August 19, 2008

How did I end up with a cat in Guatemala?

So here's the story.

I'm out the other night with my friends Yael and Julia. We wanted to go out and spend their last night here in Antigua having some fun. We went to a movie, we had drinks, and we had dinner. Nice.

So then it happened. SHIT! We're coming home and we here a desperate cry from a cat coming from behind their studio. Julia says she's heard it since early that morning. It's late. It's cold. We stand there ooing at one another and then I say it: Okay, so we're doing this.

I say it in that way you say something when you know it could turn out poorly. You say it in that way that says you know you're opening a door you might not want to walk through. You have to understand I am a cat woman. I don't take these things lightly.

I go to fetch the flashlight out of my studio and when I come back Yael and Julia have found the cat, who it turns out is a kitten, trapped in a box that someone had clearly chucked there. Someone chucked a little cat in a box. If you only knew the wicked evil thoughts I'm having right now...

So there's this little bitty thing running around howling bloody murder late at night and we're trying to catch him. This is not a place where animals are often revered and kept safe. I am told this is not the first time someone has found a cat or dog who was chucked in a box. Wicked evil thoughts again here.

By now we've got the property night guard involved and he's trying to help. I finally sit in one place and quietly call to the kitten. He comes to me. He's freakin' adorable. Shit...

He's flirty, he's got personality, he's in great shape and he has more to say than anyone I know. I finally pick him up and take him into the girls studio. They agree to keep him or the night and are as attached to him as I am. Yael and I also agree that we will share the costs for shots as I will be the one who has to take care of him until we can find him a home.

I HAVE A KITTEN LIVING IN MY ROOM. THIS KITTEN.

get-attachment-1.aspx.jpeg

He is about 10-12 weeks old and he's one of the finest cats I have ever met. I utterly adore him. He slept in bed with me last night, curled up against me. Didn't move. He adores me too. Oh, and he has an appointment for his shots in less than an hour. Yeah, I'm like that. Once I commit I see it through.

Olga, the woman who manages where I am staying, has a young woman who works for her. This woman has a small boy of six. She has said she will take the kitty. I know that, I do. but just the same, I'm checking into what it takes to get a cat to America from here. I am told it is expensive and difficult. And I have two cats! And I'm allergic!

But...

Then I come back to find this little beast playing with the toy mouse I bought him. Yes, I bought him a mouse, and litter. I am trying to train him to use a litter box. Rather unheard of here as pretty much all cats are outdoor cats. There is only ONE brand of litter here, Tidy Cat, and it's ungodly expensive.

But...

get-attachment.aspx.jpeg


How did I end up with a cat in Guatemala? AM I CRAZY?

What to do...

August 22, 2008

Views of Antigua

I am sitting at Academia Colonial, my Spanish school and second home in Antigua now, using the WiFi and drinking coffee. The air is warm and gentle on my skin and I can hear bits and pieces of Spanish and English doing that familiar dance around me. The sun is lazy in the sky trying to decide in this late afternoon if it is ready to move on toward the night. I can hear the rattle of pick up trucks outside through the open doors and the occasional louder rumble of the chicken busses.

I am content. Just utterly and deliciously content.

I thought I'd take a moment to share some images of Antigua with you before I head off to dinner and then champagne with a new friend in the evening. Today was lunch at my friend Nancy's on a big table with shared dreams of lives filled with travel and freedom. I love my life here. Truly.

get-attachment-8.aspx.jpeg

Continue reading "Views of Antigua" »

November 20, 2008

Off to San Francisco with the man!

I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a decadent three day weekend with my fella. It's a special trip for us so we're splurging and staying at a great hotel in Japantown with a Japanese soaking tub and evening sake reception. I get to share my favorite city in my country with my man from Australia!

More to come...

get-attachment.aspx.jpeg


January 21, 2009

Another yoga training - this time in Dallas!

I arrived in Dallas, Texas last night for my Yoga Therapeutics training with my teacher, Judith Hanson Lasater. I'm staying at the Holiday Inn and when I called the manager and told him why I was coming and asked for a good deal, he hooked me up with a king suite on the top floor complete with two flat screen tellys and a mini-kitchen. I am in hog heaven for a mere $79 a night. SWEET!

I'll be here for the next five days so I'm looking forward to checking out downtown Dallas this week. The hotel offers a free shuttle so last night I had Rudy, my fab driver, take me to the Whole Foods for some healthy treats and a fab salad. It's the little things, you know?

Off to my day. More to come!

8e7258ed-9a96-4012-ab92-dae1b7d85526.jpeg

January 22, 2009

Ruminations from Dallas

The training with Judith Lasater is going really well and I am learning so much more about working with client's ailments and issues. Judith always laces philosophy and little stories throughout her trainings (this is my second) and I really appreciate them. She was one of the people who started The Yoga Journal! It all began in her living room... This chick is old school. It feels good to be so fully present with someone who returns in kind. She truly is a remarkable yoga teacher and woman. I feel inspired.

I am incredibly grateful to Scott, the manager here at the Holiday Inn Market Center for hooking me up with the Queen's Suite. I'll have some of my fellow trainees up for wine and snacks one night before I leave. There's room for everyone. I feel crazy blessed for the good stuff that steps out and finds me. I'd like to think I am manifesting it myself. It's amazing how making positive changes in your life throws open those doors and lets to good jiu-jiu in.

Did I mention that there is a Mr. Teachick on scene these days? Well, there is. He's yummy and loving and came as a surprise. There you have it. This single and Solo girl is a little less single, but still enjoys her solo adventures. Thankfully, he's just as much of an adventurer as I am.

As if it could be any other way?

Live%20Life.jpg

February 3, 2009

Dallas, yoga and friends...

Things are a bit hectic back in L.A. at present but just a quick note to wind up my time in Dallas.


A big fat thank you to Kendall Inman of Living Yoga Dallas who ran the yoga event and training with Judith Lasater. She is a truly fabulous woman and I'm sure we'll be spending more time together in the future. She's a fellow yoga teacher and she was a blast at the training! Namaste, sweet girl!

I met a wonderful new friend in Dallas and she became my partner in crime. LeAnn, if you read this, thanks for the amazing girl talk and sake fun. You are a jewel to me!

And a shout out to Scott, the manager at The Holiday Inn Dallas Market Center. His staff took such god care of me and when one little thing got funky (a crazy noise that kept me up all night) they comped me a night's stay and apologized profusely. I hope you liked that bottle of red wine I left you, Scott. It's a sweet little number from California. You're the best!

And I am once again both humbled and inspired by my teacher, Judith Lasater. I came home a richer soul who has better skills as both a yoga teacher and a human being. Her husband, Ike Lasater, teaches something called Non-violent Communication and I am looking forward to studying with him one day. Judith incorporates this into her teaching style. It is utterly brilliant. Seriously.

So, on next to my advanced Restorative Yoga training and certification with Judith in NYC come May if all goes according to plan. Good stuff!

Yoga therapy is a new and wonderful addition to my teaching repertoire. I love this path that I am on. Oh yes...

April 23, 2009

Back to Guatemala with man in tow

Simon and I will be heading down to Guatemala next week and look forward to ten days of adventure and play! When we met he was planning on going down to explore Guatemala on his own and loved my stories about my travels there. We decided that we really wanted to share the experience together. It is a journey we both know we are destined to take together. travelers.jpg Ah, we shall see where the days take us....

July 31, 2009

THE SPRING: a great find to unwind

It's been a tough couple of weeks. Lots going on and equal amounts of stress to match it. I can feel it in my body.

Big time.

So, what's a girl to do when things get crazy and life is nipping at her toes? This one is grabbing the man and heading out to the desert for three blissful days of sun, soak and sauna at The Spring in Desert Hot Springs. I've been having sinus attacks, fatigue and seriously tweaky aches and pains. My body is telling me that I better detach for a while or I just might implode!

This girl loves a deal and THE SPRING is offering an oh-so-fabulous one during the Summer season. I am happy to report that we are getting our third night free and oh, what we get for our money! Mineral pools with some of the healthiest water in the world, mineral hot tub, sauna, desert heat and the feel of the glorious sun on our skin. Did I mention breakfast? Included! We're packing some basics to cook, a few bottles of something decadent and settling in to hibernate there. Laptops are coming as they offer free WiFi and we can watch movies on them. Books are coming as, well, there is nothing finer than reading a book on your private chaise lounge chair by the pool while drinking something utterly delicious and thirst quenching.

~Blissful~

The Spring gets amazing reviews on Trip Advisor and it's just what we want: uncomplicated and low vibration. It's also an incredibly affordable way to get out of town and decompress. Two hours out of Los Angeles and we're in heaven.

Ah....

Reflections.jpg

August 7, 2009

Taking time out at The Spring Resort and Spa

I'm here out in Desert Hot Springs at The Spring Resort and Spa with Simon and we are having a delightful time doing nothing but swimming, soaking and spa-ing. There has been crazy wind out here so this is the first time I've had internet since we arrived yesterday. To be honest, it's nice to have a break from the big bad world and just, well, decompress.

Much needed.

As a surprise to me, and given the ongoing sinus pain I've been having due to allergies, Simon surprised me and booked me in for a sinus facial today with Mila. It was by far one of the nicest facials I have ever had! I left feeling all blissed out and soft, soothed and healed. I have been given some samples of products to try (Epicuren, no less which is serious stuff) and am happy to have found a sunscreen that doesn't seem to irritate me. It's the little things.

The mineral water here is so pure and delicious you can drink it right out of the tap. Can you imagine? They give you a pitcher filled with this oh so delicious water, complete with lemon slices, upon arrival and refill it for you as needed. It's nothing but fresh healing water all the time.

Fabulous...

We've stocked our refrigerator with goodies from the Vons nearby and our little kitchen has all the things we need complete with simple and organic looking dishes from West Elm, cookware, utensils, a great little tea kettle, toaster and coffee maker.. There are simple baskets to throw your things in tucked artfully under tables and cotton waffle robes and slippers to wander about in. Me? I'm living in nothing more than a bikini and a sarong. As it should be...

Oh, and the weather? Perfect. Breezy, not too hot and sunny. It just doesn't get any better than this.

get-attachment.aspx.jpeg
get-attachment-2.aspx.jpeg


August 8, 2009

Mineral baths, Pappy & Harriet's and more...

It's day three of our stay here at The Spring. We've just had dinner under the stars at our little table by our front door and now we're about to head off to the hot mineral tub, then to the sauna, then to the pool and then to the middle road mineral soaking pool. It's all water all the time!

I can see the things that need to be improved here at The Spring and will write more about that when I get home. I can tell you that the staff is bar none and wonderfully warm and friendly. There really is nothing that they won't do to make your stay here a happy one. And it's very chill here. It is NOT pretentious or high brow. It caters to everyone and everyone is made to feel welcome. I'm not a fan of snooty, special-fussy places.

Not my thing.

We have been happy with our room (number one) here at The Spring though they do need to rework things so that two chaise lounge chairs fit by the door and have some sort of shade option. We have only one and it's right on the walking path with no shade at all. We do have the most private kitchen and studio, thankfully, but it does lack a place to lie out in the shade that the other rooms seem to offer. That said, our kitchen is tucked away in the back so no one can see us. We can cook naked and not a soul can peer in. Nice! The other rooms that come with kitchens (only five of the ten have them) face the pool and so unless you close your shades you get no privacy. I happen to like the nakedness option. I like the privacy of our kitchen tucked away from everyone else. It suits us.

We went up to Pappy&Harriet's last night in Pioneertown (about a 25-30 minute drive) as it is our favorite hang out in the desert and the food can't be beat. We also got to take in some down home live music and enjoyed the sounds of Linnzi Zaorski & C.W. Stoneking. Linnzi sang 40's tunes while C.W. Stoneking , who happens to be from Australia which made Simon very happy, sang some serious Hokum blues. What a perfect way to spend the night! Then back home to our little oasis in the desert. It's nice to strike that balance.

Haven't you heard? The desert is the place to be...

get-attachment-3.aspx.jpeg

August 15, 2009

Off to another yoga training in San Francisco!

I'm leaving in the morning for one week in my favorite US city, San Francisco. I am doing my Advanced Restorative Yoga training with my teacher, Judith Lasater, at Yoga Tree S.F. I was with her last year in S.F. and I've loved teaching all the more since I connected with her. I am now registered at restorativeyogateachers.com and will soon be one of a fairly small list of teachers to be registered at the advanced level. I'll just need to complete my final project for her, much like the one I did last year, and I'll be done. I love what I do!

I am staying at my home away from home in S.F., The Metro Hotel, and have extended my trip by two nights so Simon can come up and join me for some play. I will hunker down and savor my week of study and then relax and settle into the city as a tourist. We are both eager to check out the Georgia Okeeffe/Ansel Adams exhibit at MOMA. We also look forward to green tea in The Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.

It's the simple things, you know?

For our last two nights we're there I've landed us a great deal on Priceline bidding low and getting The Hilton Hotel in the center of the city. It was cheap. Love that!

Off to pack then. More coming from San Francisco...

georgia_okeeffe.jpg

November 6, 2009

Going to Australia!

My husband Simon and I just celebrated our one year anniversary. We began this journey as two independent spirits and while we still savor our independence and distinct individuality we are happy to have found in each other a wonderful partner in crime. In one year we've been to San Francisco twice, Guatemala and have enjoyed time in the desert many times. We are great travel companions...

Very soon we will be off to Australia for two weeks! We will stay with his family in Adelaide and spend time with my cousins in Melbourne. I have never been to Australia and have yet to meet my in-laws so this will be a great adventure for both of us. There is a good chance that we will be moving there eventually so I need to have my own experience of the place and people to decide if we are a good fit. Simon loves his homeland and misses it like mad. He's incredibly excited to show me around and share me with his people. And I am beyond the moon that I finally get to see my kangaroos and koala bears. Happy me!

Now if only I was as excited about that damn 15 1/2 hour flight...

AUSTRALIA.jpg

February 15, 2010

Hi Yoga Kid's Yoga Teacher Training and then some

A quick catch up here...

I have been knee deep in another yoga training, this time Hi Yoga Kid's Yoga Teacher Training with Kelly Wood, who I just adore, and have just finally started my six week long Advanced Restorative Yoga project for my certification. Life has been keeping me very busy it seems!

~I am now a certified Hatha and Kundalini Yoga teacher as well as a certified Restorative Yoga teacher. I have also trained in the Anusara style of yoga and Yoga Therapy. I do not believe in studying only one school of yoga or following one person alone. I'm far too independent for that. I want to pool from many rivers and swim with many fish.~

My husband and I had a wonderful trip to Australia and I will be writing about it very soon. We loved Melbourne and the time we spent with all of my cousins and our time in Adelaide with his family and friends was joyful as well. I just love Australia and there is talk of moving there at some point. Time will tell...

I had a quick trip back east to my hometown of Providence in January for business and got to see old friends who made me feel so welcome. There is nothing like the friends we know from our childhood that remind us of who we are. We all need more of that. It's the people who can see and love our cores that we need to hold dear and cherish. They are gifts.

The Kid's Yoga Training was grand and I am now assisting and observing to go deeper into things. Bringing yoga to children is so needed at a time when parents are burned out by all of the multi-tasking that they are doing and the kids are overly stimulated by all that is out there now. Things seem so much harder than when I was a kid. Yoga helps kids become more focused, centered and calm. Having participated in a Kid's Yoga class now I can tell you that what my teacher Kelly Wood has created with Hi Yoga is truly magical. It combines yoga with dance, art, music and meditation. I want to teach this to adults! Taking the class was one of the most freeing and joyful experiences I've had in a long time. We all need more time for play and self expression. Oh yes...

More to come soon.

Do something yummy for yourself everyday. You deserve it.

K

frontpagelogo.jpg

November 30, 2010

Back to San Francisco to study and nourish the soul

I'm off to San Francisco this weekend for a workshop with my teacher, Judith Hanson Lasater, on Nonviolent Communication. Nonviolent Communication was created by a man named Marshall Rosenberg and has been endorsed by the Dalai Lama himself. Judith has written a book, along with her husband Ike Lasater, called "What We Say Matters", and this will be the first workshop held by Judith to delve into the book and to teach us how to practice this form of communication while teaching our classes and also how to bring it out into our daily lives. I'm game. I've always loved the language Judith uses when she teaches (the woman has the patience of a saint!) so when she told me about the book ~ I nabbed it ~ and when the workshop was announced ~ I was the first to book it. Merry Christmas to me!

As I always love my time in San Francisco a trip up North for a few days during the holiday season is particularly magical. I've been there just before Christmas and the lights, the shop displays, the people piling into cafes and sitting a wee bit closer together to stave off the chill from outside makes me feel so happy and festive. I get to break in my new utterly divine Eddie Bauer down parka that has thus far made the to and fro from yoga classes a delicious experience, and I will get to sit and savor a decadent cup of my favorite hot chocolate at Ghiradelli's in Ghiradelli Square. Yum. I love sitting alone in cafes and restaurants and taking in everything around me. How often do we get to slow things down and be so present that we can actually taste the smells in the air? Let the smells of the season wash over me... Yes.

So, I'm all booked in at Hotel des Arts, a hotel I've been wanting to check out as the deluxe rooms are all painted by individual artists from around the world, thus making it an artist's and art lover's favorite. It's also in what is considered the French Quarter in San Francisco and is surrounded by French cafes and restaurants. It also happens to be across the street from the gate to Chinatown. Bring those potstickers on. Happy me!

I've requested one of the rooms with a claw foot tub as I had one at my father's house and I miss it so. Nothing makes me happier than a proper hot bath in a proper bathing tub. Little things, you know?

My husband will be home playing cat sitter and savoring his I-am-man-hear-me-roar time. I will miss him as he is my absolute favorite playmate and companion, but we both have things to do and we're planning a trip in the near future that will take us on a great adventure. So, balance is the key. The more I study and train the more I work towards my goal of owning my own business in the place we will eventually settle. It's about the journey, after all.

How I am loving this journey of mine.

I'll be writing more soon about my experience in the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Training. It was such an evolutionary experience for me. I am committed to doing the entire training now which will culminate in my certification in a year or so. I can't wait to offer this to my clients. It is so in keeping with the work I am already doing and it feels so natural to me. My teacher, Soleil Hepner, is a dynamic human being and damn good fun to boot. Though I didn't feel San Diego was my cup of tea, my time there with her and my fellow trainees was nothing less than fabulous.

Back on the road I go...

Kathy

Ghiradelli.jpg