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I’ve landed in this absolutely beautiful city of Barcelona and couldn’t be more in love with this place, and chapter in my life. I’ve been here for 3 weeks and 2 days now and I couldn’t have chosen a better time to be here given the state of affairs with Catalonia’s declaration of independence from Spain…and the gorgeous change in season I am witnessing. There are no words for Autumn in this Mediterranean climate.

For those who don’t know, I am pursuing an entirely remote career. And trust, it is not easy. I have some work right now but not enough to sustain myself, so I’m actively looking and I have a huge amount of faith in these kind of things (especially when you’re putting in the work) and I have a ton of backup plans thanks to all the amazing people in my life. The goal really is to live in Europe for at least a year, learn Spanish and gain a remote career(s). I am currently a freelance copywriter and doing some creative directing for a startup coffee brand. It’s definitely a switch of gears from my prior interior design career, but there’s no doubt I will circle back to it if not be able to incorporate my experience within that field into a future project. I’m really excited to see where my skills, talents and interests land me in the next year.

I knew coming here I wanted to get in the best shape of my life. All the walking here helps! & As long as things go as planned (or as close to the plan as possible) I will be training for a marathon in an undetermined destination sometime in the Spring of next year. Till then, my first priority here was finding a nice gym to pump some iron at. Checked that box and loving Anytime Fitness. However, I’m headed to Prague for a month and when I come back to Barcelona I may try other gyms, because well…that’s my thing!

So! Back to the Aqua Studio:

The other day I received a direct message on Instagram from Aqua Bike Studio asking if I was an athlete (flattered!) and if I wanted to attend a complimentary class at their studio (yes!). First off, I was flattered. Secondly, after checking out what aqua biking was I was thrilled to try this new type of fitness class! I’m not sure if it’s in the US but I know a few Europeans who said they’ve heard of it.

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Photo courtesy of Aqua Bike Studio

So I signed up for a Friday morning 9am class. I put my bikini on under some joggers and hoodie and made the 15 minute walk from my flat to the studio.

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Photo courtesy of Aqua Bike Studio

Now it must be mentioned that being in Spain, they speak Spanish, naturally; and Catalan here in the state of Catalonia. It surprises me though that “tourists” expect the locales to speak English. I most definitely give my best effort to bridge the gap with the usual “Sé solamente un poco español” (“I know only a little Spanish”) and then they ask if I’d like them to speak in English, and thankfully I say yes. The thing is, they appreciate the effort, go figure. I know during my time as a waitress in the transient city of San Diego I really appreciated people trying to speak a little English because otherwise there was no way I’d understand them besides with pointing, nods, and noises.

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Photo courtesy of Aqua Bike Studio

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Photo courtesy of Aqua Bike Studio

So I came with a few pre-prepared google translated sentences (helps in the learning process!) that I could use when checking in with the receptionist at the studio. Luckily Judith spoke pretty good English. Judith checked me in, gave me the short and quick tour of the facility and got me hooked up to their wifi (always a plus at any facility!). They offer massages, physical therapy, private training and the aqua bike class. I took off my sweats, grabbed my towel, locked the locker and headed into the pool.

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Photo courtesy of Aqua Bike Studio

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Photo courtesy of Aqua Bike Studio

First, it’s mandatory to shower off before getting in the water.  On the sides of the pool were the aqua bikes. So I made myself over to a corner and pulled it into the circle that the others had created. And this is where the fun began – our class teacher, of course, spoke in Spanish the whole time. And actually, it could have been Catalan…I can’t quite tell the difference. Except there is a lisp in the Catalan accent, and I didn’t hear a lisp. Luckily, group classes mean you can just copy what the others are doing … you’re just a few seconds behind, ha ha!

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Photo courtesy of Aqua Bike Studio

The pedals of the bike were like rubber slide shoes, you know like those adidas or nike sport slides. That was probably my only frustration with this “sport”…my tiny feet did not fit in these huge shoes, which made the class a little difficult because when the instructor wanted us to come off of the seat but kind of squat and pedal, my feet would wind up sliding forward henceforth making me fall forward and not able to do that particular exercise for too long without sliding/loosing balance. My suggestion would be to have some sort of shoe us tiny feet people could slip on and make the bike riding more fluid… ha, get it? Fluid.

The 50 minute class began by warming up our arms and shoulders while pedaling. Then we moved into pedaling faster and faster, like a normal spin class. And from there it was a mixture of exercise varying from off-seat pedaling, no arms on handles pedaling, using foam “weights” to push against the water for a little arm workout, and then toward the end of the class we hopped off the bike and did a variety of exercises including wading, jumping, and abdominal exercises. There was a cool down at the end where we stretched out the quads, hamstrings and arms. And that was it!

I headed into the locker room, showered off, changed into some dry clothes, blew dry my hair a little, checked out with Judith, asked for pricing and that was that!

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Overall it was a very nice, modern, clean facility. There was a guy there cleaning outside the pool room as we were in our spin class so that’s always nice to see that the business cares and keeps the house clean around the clock. I love the location in proximity to where I’m living. Aqua Body Studio is on a main street here in Barcelona so that’s good for them. I’m not sure it’s a sport I would find myself doing that often because I truly enjoy lifting weights and running outdoors and my yoga but it’s definitely something I would enjoy doing at least once a month! Which is how I also feel about a regular spin class. If you haven’t tried it, I suggest you locate your nearest aqua biking studio and check it out!

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Inside of the Hardrock Hotel in downtown San Diego is The Rock Spa…a quaint little tucked away, dimly lit relaxation zone. And seeing that I love all things rock related, think: music, leather, fashion, guitars, hair etc., there wasn’t much more that needed to draw me into a spa experience at The Hard Rock Hotel in downtown San Diego. To add to the draw there was an offer for a complimentary glass of wine with a choice between 4 different spa services. I chose the massage. Nothing like a good rub down! Haha

A glass of wine and a massage sounded like the perfect way to wind down on a Hump Day so I picked a Wednesday on the calendar to look forward to. When the day came I left work at 5 in the Bird Rock neighborhood to go fight the downtown Interstate 5 traffic in order to make my 530 appointment. I made it within a minute.

I was checked in and given the key to my locker where I would find my robe and slippers in an entirely empty bathroom/locker room lounge. Because I didn’t come early to my massage I was to enjoy my wine post-massage.

When I walked into the room where I would be getting my massage my masseuse asked me what type of massage I wanted for the 25 minute treatment. I was feeling like I needed a really deep tissue massage because I’ve been working out so much but I can’t say I’ve ever had a deep tissue massage and boy was I in for an awakening or what felt like a bruising. Now to her credit she did an extremely good deep tissue massage. She asked me to tell her if she should lighten up but there is a part of me that wanted to experience how far she would take the level of deep tissue massage soon. I never asked her to lighten up however I think I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more had I. Now that I’ve done my little deep tissue experience I will probably not be asking for another anytime soon and if I did I would definitely ask them to lighten up. I’m a strong girl but I’m still small can only handle so much. 😉

After the massage the masseuse exited the room while I slipped on my robe. She waited for me in the hall w a glass of water as I came out of the room. She walked me to the lounge where I [had to ask] to enjoy my complimentary glass of wine. They sought it out, poured it up and henceforth I kicked my feet up in the lounge and sifted thru some thick coffee table classic rock photography books. Helped myself to some trail mix too since it was kind of dinner time.

I eventually made my way back into the bathroom lounge to spruce back up and to use a few of the sparse amenities. I’ve noticed that some hotels who were late to the spa game when being originally built are working with only a few amenities within their repertoire because of space limitation. (Can someone say time for a redesign?) I walked to the front counter, a small room w a wall of products. Was pleasantly checked out and that was it!

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I received quite the sentimental birthday gift(s) from a gentleman I’d recently met. One of those being a little envelope that said on it: “another one for the blog”. Enclosed was a gift card to the revered and beautiful Coronado Hotel Del Spa. I can’t begin to express how touched I was that this man took the time to not only read my blog, where so many of my personal beliefs can be found, but went out of his way to support my passion by gifting me an experience to reflect upon here. SO thoughtful.

So it began. I booked my service for a Sunday. A Sunday after a very heavy week that needed a little, no, a lot of relaxation and reflecting. I chose to receive the Del Signature Body Scrub, “a skin softening body exfoliation that combines sea salts with a light application of aromatic essential oils that leave your skin nourished, smooth and supple.”

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Seeing as I live in the city this spa is in,  I took the 25 minute drive over to the Coronado Island, parked in the adjacent parking lot, walked around the hotel to the left of the main entrance (I called prior to arriving to ask what the simplest route to the spa was), walked past the souvenir shop, the restaurants, the pool, and that beautiful expanse of ocean, and there tucked away at the end of this walkway was the Salon & Spa.

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I arrived promptly at 3pm where I was greeted by the receptionist who checked me in, then another woman greeted me and showed me to the fairly tight locker/changing room where I slipped into my bikini and put on my robe. I was asked to meet her outside the locker room where she then walked me over to a common area to meet my exfoliator Abe. Abe said hello and walked me to my room where this little experience was to take place.
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While it had stone floors and the walls were also clad in stone, the room still had a warm and zenful feeling to it, aided by the ambient music. I believe this is because scrubs can be somewhat messy so the room needs to be easily cleanable. Before exiting the room, Abe asked that I slip out of my bikini and lie face down first. He came back in and the treatment began. He first put a few dollops of the sea salt scrub along my arms and back, then he lightly rubbed it all over that area, and followed it up with another, more vigorous, scrub. The back of my thighs, calves and feet were the next area he treated. After my backside was done he professionally, and fluidly, had me turn over (he kneeled behind a towel he held up, which he would then lay over me as he rose) and then proceeded to help cover my breasts with another towel so to be able to exfoliate my neck, chest, and stomach. After he treated those areas he proceeded with my thighs, calves and feet. At this point I was in that zen-like trance that just happens during these treatments – and I’m pretty sure he forgot to scrub my left leg, but before I could say something he was asking me to wake out of my daze and head to the Swiss Shower to rinse off. The only way I could tell my leg hadn’t been scrubbed was by touching it, and nope, no sea salt on that left thigh. Oh well.

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Abe walked me to the Swiss Shower that he turned on for me, asked me to rinse off and told me he’d be waiting in the hall with a cup of water. The Swiss Shower has 3 stacked shower heads on 3 different walls along with a handheld showerhead; quite fun if I do say so myself. So I enjoyed this for a little bit, dried off and met Abe in the hall where he walked me back to my room and proceeded to moisturizer my entire body in the same manner he exfoliated. This time he remembered my left leg. 🙂 The treatment concluded with an essential oils neck and shoulder massage that felt delightful. Abe asked if the lighting was okay and told me to take my time leaving the room. After coming back to reality, I walked into the hall where Abe was waiting with water for me again. He showed me to the locker room and mentioned all of the amenities I could take advantage of. And that I did.
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The steam room and jacuzzi were tucked back in some corner of the facility that felt like quite the little gem due to the beautiful and bright ambiance this area had about it, along with a beautiful wall of mosaic tiles. (I’m a sucker for mosaics – and stained glass.) I decided to enjoy some time in the steam room first and then I relaxed And took some time to hang out in the jacuzzi. After drying off I headed into the Relaxation Room across the way; it also being a beautifully bright room where there were my favorite flavored teas, and little bites to eat like almonds, dried berries and even apples. I made some tea and cozied up in one of the chairs where I spent quite a bit of time taking it all in.

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After I was done in the Relaxation Room I walked out to the private infinity pool area to check out how the day was progressing weather wise and then made my way back to the locker room to get back into my clothes and check out.

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All in all it was such a lovely experience. The staff was nice and professional, the facility was clean, I enjoyed the service and amenities and it was everything a spa day should be – relaxing. I really don’t have much feedback for The Hotel Del Spa besides interior design comments like maybe updating some of the light fixtures, changing burnt-out lightbulbs, upgrading artwork and maybe more chic pillows. I tend to have an eye for amelioration. 😉

I feel so grateful to have been able to experience a spa day at such an iconic (and local!) Hotel & Spa. It was much needed and the fact that there was such a considerate gesture behind my ability to be in this moment, made it all the sweeter. If you’re reading this Cowboy, thank you.

Till the next spa experience!

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I’m in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico, for my 30th birthday. I’ve always felt that if you don’t celebrate yourself who will at the end of the day? – And I’m not one to put things like that into the hands of others. I booked in mid February and so here I am. Other destination options were Cuba, Costa Rica and the Bahamas but I waited too long on flights, and Puerto was somewhat close – and new to me – for a 4 day trip. Some r&r under 80 degrees sun sounded like just what I needed. 

I’d done a little, very little, research on spas that I could visit prior to my trip, however I wasn’t finding anything appealing. (…Something that made much more sense once I got here – “spas” are EVERYWHERE – even on the beach at your feet if you want. Or the street corner. Or the hole in the wall.) So I acquiesced to just scouting a spa whilst here. And I’m really glad I did. I took to using Yelp the morning of my birthday while eating desayuno (breakfast) because I had nothing else to rely on other than tourists reviews and walking by basic kind of run-down spa setups. I really didn’t want to wind up somewhere unworthy of my birthday treat. I thought of making my way to one of the corporate hotels but felt that might be a cop-out and not supportive of local life. I found a 5 star review for a place called Metamorfosis in the neighborhood (The Romantic Zone) I was staying in and right up the street from where I was having desayuno. So afterward I walked the dos quadras (two blocks) and found the small store front where a beautiful and lively woman greeted me, Angie.  

It too was quite small but looked very cared for and not only was Angie extremely welcoming but allowed me to ask for a special service that wasn’t on their menu: a 30 minute facial (quickly becoming obsessed with these) combined with a 30 minute deep tissue massage. I booked an appointment for 3:00pm so that I could head back to my room and get into my bikini and go layout for a few hours before my appointment. Angie was a love and asked what I was doing for the day which is when I mentioned it was mi cumpleanos (my birthday) and that I was hoping to find myself at a nice relaxing beach where I could grab a drink and a bite. She suggested I check out a place called Swell, so that’s exactly what I did. Thank you Angie! I’ve now stopped in here everyday where the manager, Octavio, and other employees have been ever so gracious to me …seeing as I’m like the ONLY person traveling alone. Ha.

After turning my snow-white Irish and Swedish skin into my first layer of Mexican and Cherokee red-brown tan of the season, and consuming a margarita and a delicious watermelon salad, while turning down a thousand local beach vendors who walk by and ask you to buy things, I headed up the street for my spa day. 

Angie again greeted me with water and took me straight back to my own private room (where there were two beds 🙄…still not letting myself feel alone 😌) and I was given time to get nakey and under the sheet for my masseuse. Nancy began my massage by doing one side of my body at a time. It felt so good to be touched by such a strong hand after all the intense workouts I’d been putting myself through, and sleepless night (sooo much noise at my hotel!) and not so comfortable bed. After each side of my back was done she had me turn over in order to begin my refreshing and delicious facial. They use a Japanese product called Rejuvi. Smelt like oatmeal to me! There’s something about having certain spots on your face/head having pressure applied to that relieves a lot of stress. Nancy let the masque do its magic while she began massaging each half of the front side of my body. There was more massaging?! Heaven. After, Nancy removed the masque, pulled some blackheads (ow), moisturized my face, thanked me and left the room. Turns out they let my service become an hour and a half! How sweet was that!!? I felt so appreciated. 

I got dressed, and exited the room in a daze. I grabbed more water and checked out with the delightful Angie for only $50USD! I tipped 20% (customary here just like in the US). 

Overall it wasn’t exactly a “designed” space that I like to find myself experiencing but after seeing what my options were in this city i became grateful enough just for the services that were given with exemplary customer appreciation.

A little about my time here in Puerto…not sure I’ll be back with all the other places in the world there are left to visit. I’m simply happy I got to get out of town for a few days, have some down time, self-reflect and see new sights and practice my Spanish. I have zero complaints about service, I think it’s just a very touristy, alcohol drinking town, with a lot of junk for sale and it probably wasn’t the best idea to go it alone seeing as if I was with someone I could have gone on a lot more adventures. 

A few quotes I’ve found about traveling alone that I really like:

“Don’t let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity. It’s your place in the world; it’s your life. Go on and do all you can with it, and make it the life you want to live.” – Mae C. Jemison

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you are always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts (One of my mantras – “A closed mouth doesn’t get fed.” & “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take!”) 

“It is confidence in our bodies, minds and spirits that allows us to keep looking for new adventures, new directions to grow in, and new lessons to learn – which is what life is all about.” – Oprah Winfrey

“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou

“If you don’t get out of the box you’ve been raised in, you won’t understand how much bigger the world is.” – Angelina Jolie

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Finally – I made the hour and a half drive out to Corona, California.

My little babe roommate was in town this particular weekend so that wound up being a big push to visiting this specific spa grounds. I say that because had I been walking these “19 pools” by myself, well it would have been a bit lonelier. Everyone was with someone or a group. I usually go to spas on solo missions, but thankfully not this time.

I heard of a special this spa resort was having via their instagram. The grounds had been opened after 5pm for the first time ever this very summer: 4pm to 9pm for $35 with access to all pools, mineral baths, cold and hot plunge, mud slathering, saunas, steam rooms, showers and such.

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Upon entering I was informed the place was under new ownership as of the first of the year. I cannot wait to see what will change about this place in due time. I sure have my own innovative ideas after my visit – ones which I’m sure (or hope to goodness) are in the works – for the sake of this places longevity and success.

We waited in the 5:30pm rush line, and were directed over to the place where we purchase entry. Becca at the check in (I especially remember her because it was my girlfriend Bekah’s birthday this day) was super informative and positive. I felt for her, I can’t imagine having to explain the same map and expirence day in day out to half naked people. There is seriously something to say about how people hold themselves when they’re half naked. Sure is telling of something in one way or another for starters.

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Anyway, the experience – Our first mission was to get to the locker rooms and get situated into bikinis with towels. I located the towels near the steam room, brought one to my spa partner and we headed toward the mineral bath. But first we allowed ourselves to step into some of the prettier garden spaces on the grounds. There is a beautiful fountain, a giant set of umbrellas, an arch of vines covering some lounge chairs (although the plant was mostly deceased) and other cute spaces. Once we found the mineral bath and became relaxed we meandered over to the bar to grab a mimosa. Then we headed to the vista pool and relaxed in the bath like water. After a good 10 minutes there we headed toward the hot and cold plunge (my favorite), where I tried to get many others there to love it too (bunch of scaredy cats). Something about that shocking cold water felt amazing to my stomach organ (I hold a lot of my stress there…not necessarily fat wise but anxiety wise) and then you are supposed to quickly dip into the hot pool. But today we dipped quickly because it was so warm out already. And then we went back into the cold pool (not plunge).

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From there we went and slathered mud all over our bodies, which you can find sitting atop a little community pedestal like a little mountain of mud. Once coated the idea was to go harden the mud in the arid room adjacent to the showers. We hung out in there for a few minutes and then began the showering process which was the longest part of the “mud bathing”.

At this point we wandered the property a bit more, went into the Grotto Room (not a part of our ticket) where I just wanted to learn a little about this experience by seeing the check in process and watching the intro video they had going in the lobby of the Grotto’s entrance.

We perused the cafeteria’s options and decided they weren’t all that healthy, or appetizing to our wallet’s, and decided to get showered up and stop off somewhere more worthy on the way home.

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All in all it was a lovely Saturday afternoon hanging out with a girlfriend getting out of the heat and splashing around in some water and going on a little road trip. I could imagine I’ll be back. It’ll be interesting to see if they’ve made any changes if I go next summer.

Owning my own spa and wellness center has always been on my radar, so it’s no coincidence when I stumble upon centers of the like. There are so many routes and niches that you can create when entering into the holistic and pampering industry. So when I discovered The Springs LA on Instagram I was intrigued. It encompasses a few things that I find myself seeking out in separate places – but all under one roof. Yoga, juicing, smoothies, massage, hot stones, and colon hydrotherapy to name a few.

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My roommate and I decided to go on a little weekend getaway to LA for Memorial Day weekend to celebrate her new found freedom as a recent graduate from USD. As the awesome crony she is, she was down for whatever, so I lined us up an adventure filled weekend. And since I had my eye on The Springs LA we were definitely stopping in.

We got into LA on Friday morning, went to the LACMA for the afternoon, then had lunch at The Line Hotel’s Commissary restaurant (a must!) and went out Friday evening to Toca Madera and Ysabel’s. We called it an early night so that we could wake up Saturday morning in time to catch our 9:00am yoga class at The Springs LA. The Springs is located in the arts district of Los Angeles. Perhaps it was because everyone went out of town for the holiday weekend but we found the city to be quite mellow compared to the hustle and bustle we were expecting – it was nice.

Once parked, the gate to the center was rolled open and we walked in and was greeted by an open and sunny space with a Palm Springs meets warehouse feel. Simple and cheerful. We were directed by the juice bar attendant to walk to the back to check into our class. We tucked our items into the cubby holes in the yoga room and began our morning yoga session.

An hour and 15 minutes later we awoke feeling more limber and relaxed. We pursued the items for sale – lots of cute little items such as oils, candles, jewelry and fitness gear. After we walked back toward the front where we purchased a fresh made green juice (Northstar was our choice) and headed out.

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The Springs LA is a really neat concept. With it’s open casual space I can only imagine all of the events that take place within this center, and to add to it, they have a restaurant in the works too. I highly recommend a yoga class and juice if you’re in town. Your first class is free! After that drop ins are only $15. Juices are pricey (about $10), but you can’t put a price on healthy liquid gold like that. 🙂

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“It’s time to change the way we talk about affairs — and Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ is a powerful first step,” says Dr. Perel.

Here Esther Perel talks about Beyonce’s Lemonade. Esther is a psychotherapist and is one of the most fascinating people I follow. What she discovers about the psyche of human interaction she shares. If you haven’t seen her TED Talks you have to.

She mostly deals with couples therapy. But she has dived so deep into that topic that she is discovering and analyzing things on another level – and I’m totally into it.

If you haven’t see the Beyonce visual album for Lemonade, then you might not understand the extent of emotion, poetry and storytelling that is released in this hour. Not to mention, the artistic talent brought to the table for such a relevant topic. ::This millennial female raises her hand::

Read Esther Perel’s commentary on Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’: “Grief sedated by orgasm, orgasm heightened by grief”: Beyoncé, “Lemonade” and the new reality of infidelity – Salon.com

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Every year, and every so often, I like to treat myself to some type of spa experience on the day of my birthday. This year I wanted to finally get around to visiting this place called Cocoon Float. It basically is what it sounds like. You float in a white bubble tank for 60 minutes. It’s technically called a “Sensory Deprivation Tank”. A tank filled with Epsom Salt, a mineral made of magnesium and sulfate. Have you ever heard how good it is for you to take a salt bath to relax muscles? Because Epsom Salt creates the absence of gravity for a human body when combined with water, the stress and tensions that are released when enjoyed for 60 minutes is incredible; incredible in nutrients for the body to absorb, and incredible in experience. Sensory Deprivation is knocking out one Western ailment after another. Interesting.

Allow me to explain my experience.

The business is located in Hillcrest of San Diego, California. It’s three stories up on a corner building. No signage that I could visibly see unfortunately. I found my way and walked into this serene and quaint white lobby environment where I am politely greeted. Within checking in you are handed an iPad and headphones to watch a 5 minute video on how you will navigate your experience and what to expect. It was a cute cartoon, informative and flew by. Basically, the goal is to try and 100% relax…and see how that feels. Queue spooky transcendental vibe music. Not going to lie, I may or may not have felt a bit of a sexual vibe in how free this felt at one point.

I was walked to one of the back rooms (there are only 2 cocoons), and was explained the more hands on procedures of how to operate the tank and how the lights will be turned down. I was told to put my earplugs in before I touch anything wet. This is pretty much where the experience began. My plugs were in, all went quiet. I turned on the shower to warm it up. I slid out of my clothes. Stepped in to the shower, and used the body wash in my palm to clean and then rinse. Turned the shower off. Stepped down, and walked thethree steps to the cocoon, put one leg in (water went up to right under my knee), grabbed the hood of the cocoon, stepped my other leg in, and kneeled as I pulled down the hood over me, enveloping me into this surreal experience.

So I plant my butt down, or tried. But since there is an absence of gravity I gently leaned back and allowed my body to be lifted to the surface of the water. The tank was filled with a glowing blue light that bounced off the white lacquered bulbous tank walls and water. There were two buttons I had control over. The light and the music. I wanted both on. And I wanted to close my eyes.

The whole reason this is worth writing about is: if you can possibly get to the zone where you are 100% relaxed, it’s otherworldly. You’re awake but your somewhere else – thinking. About entirely subconscious things. I felt very happy and lifted after my time spent in the tank. (And slept great the next few days) I was amazed that I was able to get to that place – because trust me, it took focus. And within that focus I relaxed a bit more every other minute. Once my mind finally let go, as in I was in another realm not thinking about how I’m thinking, it was probably a good 20 minutes I was there. However, it was one of those moments where you feel like you literally just went to sleep two minutes ago – but I was really just relaxed because I was floating. It was a really cool feeling. A lot happened in my mind in this 20 minutes while at the same time nothing happened. It was the sensation of floating that brought this all home. A sensation more people should try… and I hope more find worthy of experiencing for oneself.
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While we’re on water and relaxation, my boss told me about this form of water therapy called ‘Watsu‘. That’s the definition link and here’s an actual experience. Check those links out! That’s what I’m on the hunt to experience now.

Sidenote: About blue light: …Findings confirm that blue light at night stimulates alertness and diminishes the feeling of being drowsy (i.e. awake), interfering with sleep. Exposure to blue light during the day, however, results in a similar, more welcome boost to alertness and reduction to fatigue, which stand to benefit both daytime function and nighttime rest¹. So this paradox to how I felt in the tank is beyond me. Like I said, I was awake, but so relaxed some may call it sleep because we don’t know anything else other than sleep. Or do I now? Re-queue spooky vibes.

It may be 4 months since I stepped foot into this place that I am about to gush over (insert nostalgia), but it’s places like this that leave that magical and memorable impressions on your life…especially when you are in a foreign city, far far away from home and anyone or anything you know…having the time of your life.

Stepping into Aire Ancient Baths – whether it was the one I went to in New York two weeks earlier or their big sister spa in Barcelona, Spain – they both felt like I was entering into another realm…a feeling everyone should treat themselves to in this all too real world.

On this special day, my travel mate Kyle decided to join me for a spa day experience…something even a guys-guy like himself admitted to his buddies was pretty awesome. Being in Barcelona means a lot of walking. And if you’re not walking everywhere, you’re doing it wrong in my opinion. So we took the short 15 minute walk across the city from our place at @balcony_barcelona and lone behold we approached the inviting entrance of Aire.

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Aire really knows how to set the mood. The moment you step foot over the threshold of that singular, solid, and grand wood door your experience begins. The lobby is dark. Vaulted. And warm from all the steam rising from the underground baths, sultry showers, steamy steam rooms, and saunas alike. And it must be mentioned that Barcelona in the summer is it’s own sauna in itself. The humidity there was real people. Two to three showers were taken a day. Short and cold ones that is. This particular spa was quite a bit busier than the one in New York, so more bodies meant more steam as well.

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We were quickly checked in and escorted back to the mens and women’s locker room where we changed into our bathing suits and robes. Kyle and I met outside the locker rooms by the stairwell that we would then ascend into the dark, steamy and might I say romantic depths of Aire. I must say, this is a wonderful treat to experience with someone else you adore at your side. It is so relaxing. You don’t even have to talk but just enjoy the silence together, sip on provided tea and water while waiting for your treatment is otherworldly pleasurable. I mean, to describe what this underground world looked like would have to be like a magical chamber. Brick walls with candles inset into them flickering every so softly with Moroccan lanterns scattered throughout. The ground was wet every where. Robes were hanging on assigned walls. Long walkways. Glassed in rooms where you’d find your next bathing experience whether it was a warm pool, ice bath, jet pool, sauna or salt pool. Truly enrapturing. It just leaves you asking yourself why more places like this don’t exist because it is so darn relaxing.

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So after going through the motions of one bath to the next, the sauna to the steam room, we were approached by a woman who escorted us to the area where our 30 minute massages were to take place. I opted for a foot and shoulder massage while Kyle received a Swedish massage. I have to say that this was not one of the best massages I have received. It was more like I was being tickled. Not what I was looking for after walking the streets of the world for the last 3 weeks. Here nor there, we carried out our time in the jet pool, sipped some more tea and then showered off and headed back into the locker room to put ourselves back together in order to step back out into the real world.

IMG_8776It was a magical day that I will never forget and hold dear to my heart. Barcelona is one of my favorite cities I have been to. The relaxed vibe throughout the city, the friendly people, all of the art I saw, the classic preserved architecture and the yummy food sold me. I look forward to stopping into this city in the near future and I encourage you to take an afternoon and treat yourself to an Aire Ancient Baths experience. They have 5 locations throughout the world. Two down for me, 3 to go!

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<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/143360758″>TEASER &quot;The AIRE experience&quot;</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/aireancientbaths”>AIRE Ancient Baths</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Just north of the state I live in another one of my fellow citizens shot dead nine other of his own mankind and severely hurt 7 others. And it’s a large part of all I can think about.

This very thing keeps happening in the United States. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer but it has to be talked about. I listen to NPR (world news) on the am/fm alarm clock radio all the time, I let it wake me to the world I really do live in …every morning. The way the news reporters deliver this real world stuff can be heavy. But it’s real. And it boggles my mind to think that someone is this far off their rocker where they would rob another beautiful, determined human of their desire to seek knowledge and change the world in whatever way they can – at school. (Or anywhere for that matter!) The gunman asked what everyone’s religion was. What does that matter in the bigger picture? And praise to those who stood firm in their beliefs.

We all have our beliefs but if there is to be one universal concept it should be acceptance. With acceptance comes compassion and the understanding…I feel…of evolution. And we are human so we have that ability in us. Do not judge for you are not the judge. Let others express themselves as they will. So long as we do not harm each other.

We ignore the male who did this bc we want to honor those who were murdered, and I agree!, but what does need to be addressed is the fact that men comprise about 81 percent of all arrests for violent crime and about 63 percent of all arrests for property crime. People have these sick massacre thoughts go through their head. But why? Where did our instructing and child rearing go wrong? It’s time to help our children, our young adults, understand what’s in store for them in terms of the world’s future and why they need to truly find it in them to be at peace with that which they cannot change. If one is to have these thoughts I think it is common sense that they are not okay.

I’m not here to talk politics. I’m just a philosophical chick who wants rainbows in the sky and bunnies hopping around every where. Or something like that. But this is the world we truly live in – and the same moment I captured my pensive self in the Instagram post I linked with this article, I was without an ounce of awareness to this tragedy going on hundreds of miles away – 9 people were shot and murdered at their college. Our realities are all too close in this digital age in my opinion, but it’s high time we use it for good. Have an opinion. Spread and seek knowledge. Be you. Do good. Do not harm another. Accept others and express love and positivity…all day. The rest is just fluffing and the reason we humans need to have governments. Call me a hippie, but love and respect is all we need.

Read the details of the horrific event here: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/01/us/oregon-college-shooting/