Monday, August 17, 2009

At the spa

I've visited a number of spas over the years, including Kripalu, in Lenox, MA, and the Norwich Spa, in Norwich, CT. Someday I aspire to spend some time at the famous (and costly) Canyon Ranch which is also in Lenox, MA. However, since I'm not quite yet flush enough with cash for that, this time I decided to try something different, and made my reservation at The Spa at Grand Lake in Lebanon, CT. The reviews on the internet led me to believe that I would have a similar experience to Kripalu in terms of modest housing and 3 included meals a day, with the advantage of a larger schedule of exercise classes (not just yoga) and an included massage! And I was right!

I actually wrote a review online, but I wanted to give some more detail here.

Once I registered, I went into the main dining room. It is a large, modern, bright room, with a variety of round tables seating 6 and small tables seating 2. I was invited immediately to sit down for a late lunch with some other late-arrivals, and we enjoyed a nice chicken salad plate while getting to know one another.

This table turned out to be my "permanent" table, and I got to know these women quite well as the weekend progressed. My table-mates included a mom and her 30-something daughter on their annual mother-daughter get-away; two retired African-American women from the New York area on a little get-away; a teacher from Manhattan; and myself. Turns out that six women tend to have a lot in common, and we discussed breast cancer and other health problems; children; marriage; work; movies; you name it.

Women definitely out-numbered the men, but I was surprised to see a number of husbands in tow: it would never occur to me to drag A along to a place like this. But I saw at least 5 husbands there. Not that they were doing anything but eating, gabbing, and sitting around. No men graced the exercise room floor. Not a one.

During my 2 days, I bumbled and sweated my way through Yoga, NIA, Zumba, a Gentle Stretching class, a water exercise class, and tried my hand (feet, really) at Latin dance one evening. I was so sore after the first day I had to take a hot bath before bed! My hips were aching!

In addition to the exercise classes and spa treatments, there were 2 pools (indoor and outdoor) and a jacuzzi. The grounds were green, lush, and beautiful. The weather was warm and sunny, so sitting outside or swimming and then sitting out by the pool were great options.

This was not a place of toned bodies and fancy workout wear. There were lots of bulges and bumps to be seen: these were real women. And they were working as hard as they could to become healthier.

I enjoyed my time there a lot, and really felt like I'd been away for more than 2 days. Next time: 3 days, and I'm going to try one of the lower calorie diets!

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