Weekend Escape: An Adventure in the Making

It’s funny. I wanted to force myself to stay off the computer this week as a break from my book, but I can’t help it. I want to write, so here I am, blogging.

This weekend, however, I’m headed to a place without technology, a hot springs retreat with my mom about twenty miles outside of Wine Country. While I welcome the break, I am also a little nervous. This trip is undoubtedly outside my comfort zone. See, I have a lot of hippie qualities, but I have a lot of mainstream ones too. Growing up with a hippie mom, I was a late adapter. I resisted up until a year or two ago and it has definitely not been a full transition.

What will be outside my comfort zone, you ask? Public nudity, mainly. I’m sure I’ll deal with it, but I have to admit some of the Yelp reviews made me cringe. The hot springs are the only part of the resort where clothing is optional, but somehow poolside naked yoga and couples enjoying each other is not really my spectator sport of choice. Not to mention the weird grunting men. Thanks Yelp for giving me so much to look forward to…

My mom has assured me these scenarios are not common. Admittedly, I was swayed by a free massage, my own room, multiple yoga options per day, and quiet time hiking. The dorm room scenario was almost a deal breaker. More than anything else though, I am looking forward to a nice long weekend in the company of my mom without the distractions of normal life. No tv, no cell phone, no computer…

I am also looking forward to the drive. I will pass through Wine Country and Calistoga, (where I got married), on my own. I have never done this drive alone. The year we got married we drove to Calistoga almost monthly. It is one of my favorite drives in California. Returning on my own feels somehow introspective and meaningful. Maybe I will even stop for lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. I have never eaten at a restaurant alone. I do not even know what it would feel like.

Needless to say, this weekend will be an adventure. Despite my apprehension, I’m excited. Yoga, wine country, hot springs, my mom. Worst case scenario I add another hilarious review to Yelp. Best case, I’m one of the staunch defenders of how wonderful it is to get away from it all. Either way, I will see a different slice of life than usual.

Are you good at pushing yourself outside your comfort zone? I’m working on it.

We began our little trip by driving through wine country to Calistoga, one of my favorite drives in all of California.

Excited for one of my favorite drives, even if I’ll be on my own. January is oddly a gorgeous time to visit, little yellow flowers everywhere.

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16 thoughts on “Weekend Escape: An Adventure in the Making

  1. Good for you! I actually enjoy eating alone sometimes. It gives me a chance to quietly enjoy my food or read a book on my Kindle app without feeling rude. Icing on the cake? I can people watch. 🙂

  2. kingmidget says:

    Enjoy it. And, somewhere along the line, email me the name of the place you’re going to. I’m looking for a similar retreat idea for some time in the near future. I can do without the public nudity as well, but everything else sounds similar to what I’m looking for.

  3. That drive is familiar to me too, my boyfriend’s parents live just a couple of exits after the one you have pictured 🙂

    I love Yelp, but I tend to take all the reviews with a grain of salt. Most people who review are either extremely happy – or extremely dissatisfied – with their experience, so it makes sense that the people who get irked by nudity might have left comments about it 😉 Regardless, I hope you enjoy yourself! It will be an adventure for sure.

    • oliviaobryon says:

      So true about Yelp! Some of the reviews really made me laugh/cringe simultaneously– we’ll see, I guess. I’m hopeful it will be relaxing…

      And, what a great place to have extended family, so many amazing restaurants/things to do nearby! Any favorite places worth sharing?

  4. We tend to visit the area Spring, Summer or Fall but never Winter. One of these years I’ll talk Hubby into a winter trip. Enjoy the little yellow flowers for the rest of us and of course the massage and hot springs!

    • oliviaobryon says:

      Yes, you should definitely go in winter. I was skeptical when I heard it was worth visiting during the cold months, but as long as it’s not raining, it’s generally pretty nice during the day and still really pretty. Hope you make it happen! Any favorite places worth sharing? We always stick to tried and true. 🙂

      • Taylors Refresher and Sunshine Market in St. Helena are the first stop. In Calistoga, Barolo and Brannan’s – both owned by Ron Goldin – great food! Also in Calistoga is Chateau de Vie, a pricey but well worth it B & B. In Sonoma, The Girl & The Fig – if the weather is nice, sit on the patio. We had an amazing experience in Healdsburg at the Hotel Healdsburg and dined at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen for an anniversary. It was outstanding! Just down the street from there is the Stephen & Walker tasting room. We found some wonderful wines we had never heard of to bring home with us. On the way back to SF is Rutherford Grill and 2 wineries that stand out in my mind are Chappellet in the mountains of St. Helena and Trefethen Vineyards in Napa. Do you have any favorites we should try when we visit this fall?

      • oliviaobryon says:

        Awesome– so many fun places to try! I love the Rutherford Grill and The Girl & The Fig, too! Hmm… My favorites (besides the aforementioned), Monte Verde Inn in Calistoga, Hans Fahden is where we got married– they sometimes do tastings and it’s such a secluded, intimate place to stop, Rubicon Estate is always fun… Stayed at the Fairmont in Sonoma for part of our honeymoon, couldn’t complain! Ad Hoc is on my must-do list… If you feel like a drive over to the coast, love the Pelican Inn for dinner and Muir Beach for a bluff hike… Look forward to checking out some of your suggestions!

  5. I think I know where you’re going and I have always wanted to go there but the nudity is off putting. Let us know how it goes!

  6. Kozo says:

    Enjoy yourself, Olivia. You deserve it, plus you have your golden ticket baking while you are gone.

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