A Hike in the Mountains & Orange Flavored Sauna Treat

April 24, 2009

orange-cinimun-anise

This morning we took a little hike to the original site of the water in the mountains. The “source” We passed by the waterfall called Venus ‘s hair which really has that stringy, kinky soft quality of the Botticelli painting. Today it is colder and more cloudy so I think I will spend some time and write and read in one of the many fireplace rooms that are scattered around the hotel after our morning treatments. I am skipping lunch so we can stuff ourselves tonight at an Agrotourisma which is a residential home that opens it’s doors to tourists to offer them home cooked meal with local ingredients.

Today we were treated to the orange, anise, clove and cinnamon version of the sauna. My friend Tama and I will have to discuss a secret way of introducing this process to our spa evenings back at the Bay Club Marin. Each woman who does the towel flap thing has a different approach but the results are the same. As the steam rises, the flick of the towel depending on the velocity will inflict an intense wave of heat and smell. The water is saturated with whatever herb they are using that day. Today was very invigorating because it was the Eucalyptus. By the third round of water soak, helicopter towel spin and three towel flaps, I am pretty cooked and head out for the cold shower. However,because it was so energizing and we had two other people in the room with us, we all went to the bathtub full of cold water. Myself and the other women jumped in, then Carlo and well, the third guy, he took pictures.
Afterwards, we also did a little photo shoot in the hot cold walking pool. A little reflexology that stimulates the feet by walking on rocks embedded in the cement . We start walking counter clockwise in the hot water path and then rounding the corner to enter the cold water path. It totally tingles the chins and calves which lack any “valving” mechanism to help circulation. My Yoga Therapy education comes in handy for these high tech medical explanations. This is a very invigorating process. Of course, no spa session would be complete without the daily submerging into the mud.
By now, I am a bit of a super saturated solution, if you know what I mean. However, my skin is flaking off into a new smooth former self of some kind. We have scheduled a facial for this afternoon which I am looking forward to and then to some home cooked meals. Can you tell I am falling in love with food?

Bagni di Bormio Spa & the Italian Alps

April 20, 2009

mud-bath-out-window1After about a 5 hour drive from Montebelluno through the Italian alps fondly known as The Dolomites (le Dolomiti) we weave our little Toyota through the many ski “apartmentalized” towns and arrive at Bormio Spa. The Dolomites are breathtaking for sure and are the spikiest mountains in Europe. I asked Carlo why they were so pink and he said ” fashion” . Huh? “Well, Italians are always first in fashion, even millions of years ahead. The rest of the world is finally catching up to the color pink.” Yah, right! How about some geological explanation like they are made of a particularly rough grey stone, force their way skyward in blocks, towers and pinnacles, which are famous for going pink or bronze at sunset. Or how about The Dolomites take their name from a French geologist and intellectual, Dieudonné (or Déodat) de Dolomieu, who is commemorated with a monument in Cortina. He was the first to examine and describe the particular kind of limestone which characterizes these mountains, chemically different from other limestones. By no means all of the eastern Alps of Italy are made of this – none, for example, of the high land along the Austrian border. HOWS THAT! Now back to our previously scheduled programming in Bagni di Bormio…

We checked into this monument of a hotel after getting an upgrade and a corner room. Carlo tells me that he always gets an upgrade. Figures. He has been here several times with his national basketball team over the last 15 years, is tall, dark ( slightly graying around the temples) and handsome AND speaks Italian so he knows how to work it very well. It has been great having a tour guide throughout my entire journey. Our timing was impeccable because we arrived at the hotel just in time for the 12:00 spa thermal treatment. We put on our bathing suits, robes and flip flops and headed down the special elevator that took us directly to the “meeeniss one” or -1 floor. Tea and water is available at every turn and the tea is hot and full of cleansing herbs. There are 30 something thermal treatments and the water comes straight out of the mountain oozing with enzymes that are healing and detoxifying. The first stop was the sauna therapy room and just in time….we were the only ones’ there. They have about 4 saunas throughout the entire place, each boasting a particular essence receipe. They lay the ingredients out on a grill like a barbeque over the hot coals. Our particular sauna just had the hot coals and we waited for the special potion that would be splashed on them to steam our beings into heaven. A woman in a bathing suit and towel explained that today we would receive the special orange therapy ( all in italian) before taking her wooden bucket and poruing three wooden ladels worth of orange essence water on to the steaming coals. She then swung a towel about twenty times over her head like a lasso and then flapped the towel in our general direction. Each person got three “flips” which sent a blast of hot air and oreange into our gaping pores. She did this three times and by the third round, I was ready to pass out. I was closest to the door so when we were done, I was the first one out. The suggestion is to take a cool shower afterwards or for those diehards, find the cold bathtub and completely submerge. HA! not on my first day, thank you very much. . So that was my introduction to the thermal therapy. We sucked in fresh air and also a bunch more herbal tea and from there we ventured outside to the mud baths.

Can you say, “Sardinas?”

April 8, 2009

ibiza-sardines

Will you look at the size of these things? Carlo had to skin them for me and I have to admit, he ate all of them minus my little bite. I guess as an American I am a little more accustomed to the canned variety.

My fascination with these fishies as food started when my teacher, Sherri, offered me a taste of anchovies, sans lettuce, one fateful afternoon outside Stress Management Center of Marin where we were back to back teaching. “Sure”, I said, not knowing what inner mouth catastrophe awaited me. “Yeeechhhhh” was the only thing I could gag up. How could she consume such grossness? ” Good brain food and light on the stomach between classes”, she chirped. Well, that may be the case and brain food is a definite on my nutritional list but the salty taste of fungus coating the underbelly of a bloated sock had no appeal

Enter Sardines.

Now, here was an alternative taste complete with Omega 3’s. These fishies came in all sorts of varieties-soaked in olive oil, basil, pesto, covered in tomatoes….and more. I decided to try this option one afternoon during a busy sales day in the Interior design Center. It was too busy for a Starbucks run so a bite of a yummy little fish seemed like just the right “pick me up” . Down it slid with a swallow followed by a breath mint chaser and I was ready to assist my colleague with her design presentation. I sat down to the table with a sweet interruptive smile and as if scripted, all eyes turned to me followed by a pinch of the nose. My face went red and I quietly excused myself to go and brush my teeth. I dared not return and after the sale had completed, my design buddy accused me of dumpster diving when I innocently said it was just sardines. We all laughed and I swore never to eat them in public again, that is until Ibiza. I guess I will continue to be a closet can eater from now on. For more nutritional information on Sardines and other fish click here:______________________

Traveling to Europe

April 6, 2009

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Welcome to my first entry on the travel page. I am here in Ibiza, Spain with my Italian friend, Carlo. This is part of a dream I had always envisioned for myself. Travel, work, see the world as a yogi and do business via internet. ( well, the dream was created before the internet. Hard to imagine a life without this thing!) My trip began way before the departure date of March 30th from SFO.

This journey also happened a bit premature because in order for me to leave the country for a month, It was necessary for me to leave my steady, stable job as an interior designer. “In this economy?” was the reaction I received. Yes, I know. Am I half nuts or half full of life? I am trusting that during this months time I will create the next income and instead of being half nuts, become certifiably
full of life

GoodSpace Within

April 27, 2008

Welcome to GoodSpace Within.

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Welcome to the my website – I am glad you are here, and please play around. I will be changing content and writing daily so check back often. Feel free to add comments as well. And remember as Barack would say, “This development needs your support ” aka: A work in progress”

much love, Linda