Note to self: Even the most beautiful, fluid, tranquil place in Texas can not protect you from the harsh rays of the sun if you forget to put on sunscreen.
A couple of weekends ago my friend and I decided to take a self-care day at The Crossings here in Austin, TX. For years I had been meaning to go there to take a class, relax, rejuvenate, meditate and sleep. Ironically I, well, never had the time. Even after my friends Renee and Carrie insisted it would do a world of good for me, I still couldn’t get it together. After a week of sleepless nights due in equal parts to a restless toddler and my own inability to unwind from the constant inner chatter, I couldn’t take it anymore. My life had become a whirlwind of reading, writing, cleaning, working, Mommying, wifing, organizing, planning and doing. Mostly it’s all just a blur of constant doing. I’m done.
I’ve been lucky to have always been surrounded by women who are all a bunch of smartypants overachiever types. And I’ve seen this group transform over the years from obsessively working to making time for the art of self-care. Yes, it’s an art because real self care (not just facials and truffles) is a series of choices planted in moments of clarity and true purpose. For me, maybe parenting finally pushed me to it, but mostly I think it’s a choice– an awakening that happens when fatigue, doubt and “being stuck” just won’t do anymore.
So I was grateful when I got the chance to take a day to get my relaxation on. First, we meandered along a trail dotted with beautiful small gardens bursting with native plants, seasonal herbs and wacky sculptures both whimsical and beautiful. We made our way to the pool area where a marvelous infinity pool would be our BFT (best friend today). Before we jumped in, we had an intense few minutes in the spa steamroom which made jumping into our BFT all the more satisfying. The spa building was a glistening mixture of eco-friendly materials, original artwork and maze-like hallways that added to the private and mysterious feel of the space. We were secluded.
I took a water aerobics class (well, it was a brave effort to get my circulation going) while my friend looked absolutely blissed out reading Vanity Fair and lounging by the pool. I quit the class (I liked it, but I wasn’t in the mood) and we sat in the hot tub talked about life, creativity (a little business) and relationships. It was nice to unwind at a pool without the threat of a two-year old hurling himself into the deep end screaming “Crash!!”
In our spa robes and wet hair we went to the dining hall for an organic buffet and had an amazing, healthy lunch on the outside patio shaded by majestic oak trees and overlooking a stunning view of the Texas hill country. The veggie quesadillas, curried squash bisque, spinach salad, roasted potatoes, and other delights left both of us feeling very nourished and extremely happy.
After lunch we took a golf cart tour of the facilities. Honestly, it was way too hot to really enjoy being outside unless you were two feet from the pool or a cool shower. So the golf cart would have to do. Our guide Buddy was very friendly and knowledgable and he took us straight to the labyrinth and non-denominational chapel/meditation hall called Solidago Sanctuary. Though only a few years old, it was built with an eye toward the ancient, and it felt that way. I particularly loved the open garden embraced by stone high walls creating a spacious, yet cocoon-like outdoor retreat.
We then had a chance to peek at a room– unfortunately we couldn’t stay the night, but if you happen to attend a wellness retreat, a conference, a wedding or just want to get away, you’ll have simple and elegant accommodations most likely with that pristine, treetop view of the beautuful surrounding hills. The room we visited felt like a quiet treehouse escape. I happen to love that none of the rooms have televisions. “That’s part of the experience here,” Buddy confirmed. Nice.
He took us back to the pool and we spent a little more time there… probably a bit too much because we were both burnt red like free range lobsters saved by PETA. But before we left we checked out the charming spa store and book store filled with unique goodies including jewelry, audio books and every lotion and potion you’d ever need.
It was a good day, at first brought on by a need to aggressively relax but evolving into an active and pleasing foray for all of one’s neglected senses. The mind got a rest, and the senses went to town.
So, yes, I recommend The Crossings as your personal escape… just wait until the triple digits subside and you can enjoy the full range of outdoor offerings.
For this perfect mini-vacation:
Day passes for just $35 a day Monday through Thursday, $55 a day Friday through Sunday.
Your Crossings experience includes:
- Access to the resort facilities including the infinity edge pool, steam room
- Two miles of hiking trails
- Daily activity classes
- A healthy lunch
- Breath taking patio views
Reservations required. For more details call 877.944.3003