We have been in the Southwest – Tucson, Arizona – for the Great Harvest Convention all weekend. I have more to share about that later, but first I must share the wonderful mother’s morning out I had on Saturday, our first day here.
Flying across the country with Mazen went OK – a few cries and yells on the first flight but overall he tolerated the traveling pretty well. Our travel plans began at 5pm and ended at 1am EST so by the time we were all asleep Mazen was nearly ready to wake up again. I was awake for the day at 4am on Saturday morning and packing a bag to take to Canyon Ranch by 8. Visit to a world-renowned spa > sleep!
My friend and blogger colleague Gina works as a fitness instructor at the spa, and upon finding out that I’d be in Tucson for the weekend, Canyon Ranch invited me to attend one of her classes and enjoy a spa day after!
Canyon Ranch holds a special place in our family’s inside joke vault. My mom actually visited when my sister and I were in middle school and came back just raving about the experience. She promised us when we were in high school she would take us back for a girls’ weekend. Well, that day has yet to come! We are always asking her: “Hey mom, when are we going to Canyon Ranch.” I’m sorry she couldn’t join me on this visit, but I’m thrilled to have gotten to finally see what she had found so lovely about her stay.
Gina picked me up at our hotel and we headed to Canyon Ranch bright and early. The grounds were stunning and well landscaped with interesting sculptures, flowers and plants.
I especially loved the statues : )
Canyon Ranch is much more than a pampering spa – they offer everything from nutrition counseling to health assessments of all kinds to overnight sleep studies.
But for my short visit, my time was focused in the spa and fitness building.
I knew I was in for a treat when I arrived at the 9am fitness room to find a full set of drums set up.
Our class was called World Beat and it was the most fun I’ve had in group fitness…ever!! Gina and Sasha co-taught a dance class inspired by the dancing in Africa, India and more. It takes a lot for me to sweat and get out of breath and I was both by the time the warm up was over!
I laughed when everyone in the class looked a little sleepy and Sasha said “are you guys AWAKE yet!?” My 4.5 hours had me dragging a little, but there is nothing like the rhythm of live drumming to wake oneself up!!
African dancing is one of my favorite styles because it’s just so cool. I love how loose and flowy it can be, and the choreography was easy to follow. I haven’t had this much fun dancing since I was literally dancing IN Africa itself! I so wish I could start every Saturday morning with this much energy.
One of my favorite parts of the Canyon Ranch experience was all the delicious ways to hydrate. I was given a water bottle upon arrival and kept it full of herbal teas, lemon-infused water and homemade sports drink all morning. Note to self: if you want to drink 8+ glasses a day, infuse in some flavor!
After World Beat I was feeling beat myself and opted to take a 2 mile hike into the desert for my second hour rather than another intense class. Gina pointed me to a marked trail and I headed out for some fresh air and reflection.
I started to sweat when I stumbled across this sign…
But I ran into another hiker who seemed to know the area and said it was very unlikely that any mountain lions were around. Whew.
I was careful to watch out for those man-eatin’ jack rabbits….and that killer cacti…..Heeeeey Duuuude.
By the time my 2 miles were complete, I was regretting not wearing a hat and more sunscreen!
The desert is my sauna.
Back indoors I cooled off in a shower and snuggled into a fluffy robe and slippers before I headed in for a head, neck and shoulders massage. My mom had encouraged me to try some crazy mud dip or herbal wrap, but what I really needed 7 months after having a baby was a deep shoulder massage. Carrying around my little 20 pounder has left me a ball of knots. The lavender-scented massage was wonderful and my back loosened with lots of chest opening.
Perhaps my favorite part of my spa experience was the women’s locker room. The showers were stocked with Lather products of all kinds, and there was no shortage of fluffy towels or hot water.
They even had razors and shave gel to use!
I took a looooooooooooooong hot shower, lathered up in fun lotions and got dressed for lunch.
Gina had just finished an abs class and joined me
Having had breakfast many hours prior, I couldn’t wait!
The food at Canyon Ranch is super healthy with minimal butter, oil and salt (if any at all). It is truly like eating out of a home kitchen run by the utmost health-minded chefs.
I packed a salad plate with vegetables, hazelnuts and crackers
Gina recommended the flatbread pizza, which we shared. It was topped with tomato sauce, chicken sausage and mozzarella on a cracker-like crust
I chose the fish tostadas for my entrée – corn tortillas with blackened fish and cabbage.
And to close, we tried the Berry Brown Butter tart (although we weren’t sure how much butter was really involved) and homemade vanilla ice cream!
I had such a wonderful visit to Canyon Ranch. Now that Mazen is here and my time alone is limited, I especially appreciated the few hours to recharge. (Matt, Karen and Maze went hiking and ate avocados while I was out!) I felt so rejuvenated in just a half day visit – I can’t imagine how amazing one would feel after a week of putting the mind and body in top focus, eating spa food and finding peace in the desert. Thanks so much for the experience Canyon Ranch!