Entrance to Wilbur Hot Springs, Colusa County, California
The mid-week birthday can be confusing. Last year mine fell on a Tuesday, and I trundled dutifully off to work, only to have a Total Bummer of a day. No matter how much I appreciate my day job, there is just something so anti-climatic about turning over a new leaf in an office with fluorescent lights and a persistently ringing phone!
This year I stood my ground and demanded the day off, and even took it a step further-- I emptied my piggy bank and took myself to my favorite place on earth, Wilbur Hot Springs. What a great decision!(Patting myself on the back.) I woke up on my Big Day feeling rested, refreshed, healthy and happy. There's really something to be said for springing for the Posh Birthday; if there's any day you want to feel rich and successful, it's when you turn another year older. Surrounded by natural beauty and soaking in the womb-like mineral waters, I couldn't help but feel positive about life.
Deer grazing in the hills around Wilbur
Those of you reading this have at least some interest in beauty and style, and we all know that no dress or lipstick, no matter how marvelous, can make up for a lack of natural beauty- that kind that glows from the inside out. Not to sit on a high horse, because I get as haggard and run down as the rest of you working girls; maybe more so, since I have an extremely sensitive nervous system. I certainly won't discourage you from shopping for pleasure and beauty (especially in my store!), but do remember to also take care of your gorgeous selves on a deeper level. Some cultures have long believed that a simple prescription of a bath a day for a month will relieve a person of fatigue, muscle soreness, hormonal imbalance, and more. Sounds too easy, right? But how often do we slow down enough to take even one single bath?
Bathing Beauties of Ancient Greece
Back in 1865, when Wilbur Hot Springs first opened its doors, a vacation that consisted of several days (or weeks) of soaking in and drinking mineral rich hydrothermal water was known as "Taking the Waters". Though newly fashionable for the American Victorians, this water cure was in fact part of a worldwide tradition dating back thousands of years. Those of you who recently saw the movie The Duchess (and really you should see it, if just for the amazing costumes!) will remember that Keira Knightly's character spent quite a bit of time at the famous Roman baths in Bath, England, to cure herself of her "inability to conceive a male heir". She had other reasons, too, of course:
The Duchess and her foxy paramour in Bath
Though our culture has changed, and we no longer equate "true health" with male offspring, hot springs are still considered to be the ultimate remedy for many medical conditions. In fact, the French government sends its citizens for a thermal cure every year as part of the national "health insurance". (If this is socialism, bring it on, baby!)
Site of the old baths
Just soaking in the water has amazing benefits, but if you can rally yourself to take a cold plunge, the "cure" increases a hundred-fold. Wilbur, like most developed hot springs, has a swimming pool filled with freezing cold mineral water. The process of cycling between hot and cold water is known in technical terms as "contrast hydrotherapy", and it works by dilating and constricting the blood vessels to create a pumping vascular action that helps to clear out inflammation and speed recovery of any injuries. Enhancing blood flow through the organs of elimination (skin, liver, lungs, kidneys, colon) also increases elimination of metabolic waste products. In plain English, that means that you get all the junk out faster, and end up clear, clean, and glowing. You can do a version of this on your own shower, of course, but nothing beats full immersion.
There are tens of thousands of hot springs all over the world, so chances are that there is one close to you. Undeveloped springs have their own charm, though you might have to hike in to get to them; and if there is a river or stream nearby, you can do some "hydrotherapy" by taking a plunge after your soak. If you can afford a developed hot spring or hot spring resort, go for it, but do a little research before you make your reservation. Our northern California hot springs vary widely in facilities and the all important "vibe"-- Harbin is famous for being a pick-up scene, for example, and the decor at Stewart Mineral Springs is utterly Angel obsessed. These things could be big turn offs or turn ons, depending on your tastes. I love Wilbur because it is so utterly peaceful and has that authentic vintage feel-- not much has changed since 1865, and frankly, I like it that way!
Try it out and see if you don't agree with me-- there's nothing like getting in some hot water.
Look Ma, no makeup! Chilling on the lanai with the post-soak glow
On this luxurious and self-indulgent note, I'd like to share with you some of the gorgeous robes that we have in stock right now, for the lady who is out for Major Relaxation, and wants to do it in style!:
Classic style with this Oscar De La Renta paisley robe
Get your flower power ON in this amazing and fully adjustable 60's robe/dress!
Have fun getting cozy, girls!!!