By Eileen Ogintz
BODEGA BAY, CA, (Day four of seven) — Water Yoga anyone?
What a way to start the day. I’m moving from one mineral pool to the next, with stops in the eucalyptus steam and hot tub before indulging in a spa treatment.
I’m with my 28 year old daughter at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn. All of the pools at the spa and this resort are mineral pools with natural occurring minerals—everything from calcium to Iron to Magnesium Manganese Potassium—14 in all that I’m told are great for my body.
There’s a Bathing Ritual starting with a Roman Bath (temperatures start at 92 degrees), hot pool (102 degrees), mega showerheads to cool down, herbal steam room and sauna, all in this 40,000 square foot spa.
There are additional mineral pools outside—one featuring water yoga in the morning. “Very relaxing,” one man assured me. Take your pick of more than 50 treatments including individual mineral baths, mud wraps, body scrub and more.
All I know is it feels great. Each of the pools is a different temperature. I’d never heard of water yoga. “Me neither,” said one woman who joined the class. “But it was really wonderful—so relaxing, especially in this warm water!”
Apparently people here have soaked in these mineral springs for hundreds of years. We could spend all day here—complimentary if you are getting a treatment but worth the $29 if you aren’t—you can order food pool-side as well.
We, though, had opted for pre-spa breakfast at Big 3 Restaurant here which has been a fixture for more than 50 years. It’s open for breakfast and lunch—organic eggs, local veggies, home baked muffins. Kudos for the healthy kids menu—everything from a veggie breakfast burrito, a veggie platter with carrots, cucumber and celery and a honey mustard yogurt dip to roasted organic chicken and veggies and whole grain grilled cheese sandwich with fruit instead of fries. They call the burger “mindful meats” because it is natural beef and served with fruit rather than fries.
While we opt for facials there are signature treatments like Harvest Kur—think local products high in antioxidants and vitamins C and E to promote relaxation. Exfoliation, bubble bath, mud body wrap followed by a massage. Nice! Maybe you’d prefer the Wine Country Recovery with a therapeutic soak in a mud bath followed by aloe-gel wrap and foot massage and mini facial.
My daughter chides me for checking email on my cell phone. “You are supposed to be relaxing!” she says. Absolutely.