This Thanksgiving I visited my daughter in California. We booked a stay in a luxury hotel, the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, with an ocean-front room.
I was determined to have a healthy, relaxing, healing vacation.
One needs to indulge oneself occasionally. And what a treat it was.
Days go by when I am working on my website non-stop writing about communities and places, but I have to admit writing takes its toll on the body. The eyes get a little red and tired. Sitting for long periods disrupts the circulation and breathing. It is my passion, but wish it could be a little less stressful. I need breaks and travel to relieve stress and tension that can affect how one looks and feels.
Even if you live in a place that is naturally relaxing, which is what I recommend on my website for retirement, a temporary change of environment can be good for you.
Travel is a super de-stressor. See what I mean:
Day 1 - Arrival and an immediate booking at Tao Healing Arts Center for an amazing deep tissue massage with Neti.
Day 2 - Breakfast at the hotel. Banana pancakes for him and a 3-egg mushroom, onion and red pepper omelet for me. Feeling better already.
Dinner at Dr. Andrew Weil's True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica that night. The curry bowl is super healthy and delicious. All recipes follow Dr Weil's anti-inflammatory diet. The food is very healthy. This is the way to eat on a healthy, healing vacation. The atmosphere was eclectically satisfying. I wish I had remembered to get a photo.
Day 3 - Breakfast at LePain. Enjoying the ocean views and sunsets from my room and my daughter and son-in-law's apartment. Calming.
She brought up a website that offered free meditations. I nearly fell asleep listening to it.
She profoundly loves healthy food.
We were constantly showered with the fresh fruits and veggies, dips and snacks from where else: the Santa Monica Farmer's Market. Farmers markets are not just for food. They are relaxing and fun and therapy to me, and the one in Santa Monica is huge.
Photo shows snack of tangerines, persimmon, kiwi, candied walnuts, and blueberries.
Day 4 - Rented a bike to ride along the Santa Monica bike trail which goes right beside the ocean. If this isn't enough to inspire one to exercise, I don't know what it is. Bikers, skaters, walkers etc. were all out moving and breathing the fresh air.
Take a deep breath. This is the Pacific Ocean clearing out your lungs and filling it with the sea's best air. Dinner that night was in to enjoy the produce we had bought that day.
Day 5 - First, a dip in the outdoor Jacuzzi by the Sea. Completely relaxed we went up to our room and took a long nap. Feels good to stay under the cool silky sheets and sleep. Dinner is Mexican at Border Grill. You must have Mexican food when in California. Again lots of herbs, spices and fresh veggies. I got a photo of my Chile Relleno (I am a vegetarian)
but wish I had gotten some of the restaurant. The walls were a beautiful warm sunset color. In LA everywhere, one feels part of an artistic setting.
Day 6 - An enjoyable breakfast at the hotel. Just lazing at the ocean in a sand chair, experiencing the breeze. We had fine weather. It was sunny every day. As the day came to an end, the sunsets were full of color. It certainly helped that my daughter was playing soft classical music as the sun melted into the horizon. At night, the air was crisp but not chill. Walking at night along the beachwalk, the sound of the surf and twinkling bright stars carves an indelible streak in your mind and senses calming every fiber of your body. Ahhh
Day 7 - More massage...
This time at the hotel's spa.
Thanksgiving with my daughter and her husband. She is a vegan, so her dinner consisted of Field Roast's Celebration loaf (because we love it and it's easy), a delicious chestnut stuffing, orange glazed sweet potatoes, baked red carrots and sweet oranges, cranberry and apple sauce, sweet potato and hummus pita pockets, and of course vegan pumpkin pie with whip cream and a mini-scoop of real vanilla ice-cream (Coconut Bliss by Lara and Luna.)
Day 8 When the day came to check out of our hotel, we were rested, happy and felt fabulous. This proves my theory that travel is de-stressing and in my opinion anti-aging.