Oh goodness, were those my abs? No, surely I had felt them before now? Well, OK, maybe not quite this intensely. I was working out four times a day after all. Was this a good thing? Yes, I guess so. Maybe. I feel amazing. Calm even. I wonder why? Oh, wait. It’s because no one is saying “mommy” over and over again like an episode of Family Guy. Is this what quiet is like? Is this what it really means to take care of me? I wonder what is for lunch. I hope they have more tuna and fresh pica de gallo. Hmmm… do I have any of those dark chocolate covered blueberries left that I snuck in?
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my inner monologue while in a Pilates class at Rancho La Puerta.
Obviously I do not have quiet musings while I’m supposed to be working out. You should have seen me in yoga. If that yoga instructor could only hear inside my head I’m sure she would have told me to knock it off. Actually, probably not. The instructor for the first half of the week did some pretty athletic yoga and kept things moving nicely. I began to wish she wasn’t based in San Diego and would teach in Seattle so I could continue my yoga practice with her without thinking of my inner eye or anything like that. Sometimes mama just needs to stretch!
And so my ramblings continue…
Needless to say, my time at Rancho La Puerta brought about a lot of thoughts I hadn’t been able to have in almost five years since my children were born. I rarely take more than a weekend for myself, and if I do it is usually a research trip where I am nonstop every day. My trip down to Rancho La Puerta was also a research trip, but I was supposed to be experiencing the resort like a guest. Yes, I needed to check out a bunch of the amenities and classes, but I didn’t need to go zip lining down the street and then race across town to snorkel or anything like that. I could pace myself over five days to see as much as possible, and that is exactly what I did.
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Now, as many parents know, the one thing we sleepless parents like to do when our children aren’t with us is sleep. A lot. Uninterrupted sleep is just about the greatest amenity a hotel can offer a traveling parent. Do NOT schedule a fire drill while I’m staying at your hotel. Ever.
The day I flew down to the Ranch I had to be out the door by 4 a.m. to catch my 6 a.m. flight to San Diego. I then took a bus with a group who had also just arrived and were headed to the Ranch (Saturday is the big changeover day down there). It was a long day. I napped after I arrived at the Ranch in Tecate, Mexico. I plodded through dinner and then fell back asleep at about 8:30 p.m. As you can image I was wide awake by 5 a.m., but I pushed through and made myself go back to bed until 7 a.m. It was heavenly. No way was I going to wake up to go to one of those early morning hikes. Why bother when I could be sleeping! By the next morning I had changed my tune.
After a day of exercise classes, I passed out again before 9pm. I was up with the sun the following morning and decided to go on a 7 a.m. hike. It was a short 2-mile stroll. It would do me good to stretch before breakfast and the start of my day, which would include Pilates, yoga, cardio and a water exercise class.
Bliss found at Rancho La Puerta
This was bliss people. Pure and simple. It was a time to take care of me. Hike, stretch, eat, and eat some more. I could sleep. I could read. I could shower with no little hands ripping the shower curtain back to say hello.
I love my children. I adore traveling with them, exploring the bugs in our backyard and watching them grow. I would lay down my life for them, and watch out for mama bear if you mess with my boys. But I need a break every now and then. I need to focus on me, check in with how my body is handling the daily stresses that come with freelance work and full-time motherhood. Rancho La Puerta let me do that.
Start planning your trip with our Insider’s Guide to Rancho La Puerta
One of the best things about the Ranch is that they do understand that you are on vacation. They encourage you to relax. They don’t want you to overdo it with the exercise. They also disconnect you from the Internet, which I have mixed feelings about. There were a few key access points, but that meant I had to hike down to the lounge with my laptop in tow instead of snuggling up in bed with my emails and writing. Not that I had much energy for any of that.
All the ingredients for a quiet, self-indulgent vacation were found in one spot. It’s hard to find. Trust me, I’ve looked. Rancho La Puerta gave me a chance to focus back in on me for a few days, quiet my mind and truly let it all go.