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Canyon Ranch

I’ve just returned from a week at Canyon Ranch Spa in Tuscon, Arizona with my mom and step-sister. I was looking forward to it – mostly because I’d be away. And it would be warm. But Other People? They were delirious on my behalf, extolling the joys and wonders of the place with almost cult-like adoration. My mother made the plan a year ago. My step sister had been counting down the days. Envious friends gave me pointers – the best classes, the best treatments, the Mongolian Salmon. Me? I viewed it with a sense of trepidation. I’d been there 25 years ago and, aside from hanging with my pal Jayne and doing meditative breathing with Yoko Ono, the highlights were few and far between.

Camp Canyon Ranch

Camp Canyon Ranch

I remembered a kibbutz-like place with cheesy Southwestern furnishings and dark carpets. A dining room with faux-alcoholic drinks and fitness cheese. Portion control and aerobics. Handwriting analysis and cooking demos. Feeling the burn inside and out.

Those were the late 80’s. Those days are done.

After being there for a week and being home for all of 3 days, I can safely say: I’ve been Ranched.

Canyon Ranch in 2013 is no mere fat farm. In fact, I think I gained weight (OK, I know I did but I’m pretending it’s muscle!). While it still retains it’s kibbutz-meets-summer camp vibe, the rooms have been updated and the decor is charming. As if it even matters – you’re never inside.

Pool with a view.

View from the pool.

Portion control has been replaced with All You Can Eat: salad and pasta bars, breakfast buffet and omelet station. And if the calorie count and nutrition data on the menus doesn’t stop you, sharing meal after meal cruise-style (lamb chops for the table!) most certainly will.

Aerobics? Bah! No feeling the burn in these classes. You’re feeling the music: DJ Dance Party (with live DJ), World Beat (live drummers), Long & Lean Barre Class (live leg shakes). Zumba (live hot instructors). Spin and stretch. Cardio Combat. TRX ‘n Flex. Yoga. Pilates. Straight up cardio machines and weight rooms. There’s something for every body. Morning walks, hikes and bike rides.

Kinda proud. Kinda scared.

Kinda proud. Kinda scared.


A long way up....A long way down...

A long way up….A long way down…

And then there are the treatments. I was scrubbed, rubbed and…um…tugged. Salt exfoliation. Deep tissue manipulation. Lazy Yoga Thai Massage. I was whacked with herbal poultices, Loofah’d with dried Ayurvedic herbs and Infused with oxygen. I even had 20 minutes worth of hot oil dripped on to my hair and scalp.

IMG_4073

Hot tubs. Cold pools. Eucalyptus inhalation. Alpine steam. Sauna. Swimming. Even shopping! With a high end boutique and a Ranch General Store, our nights were busy with browsing. And Bingo.

The week we were there the average age hovered around 67. So, naturally I felt very young, fit and spry. No celebs (that we knew of), nothing too fancy. Early to bed. Early to rise. Good, clean living. Topped off with a cookie-of-the-day. Every day.

As the week went on, our extended group planned for next year. I humoured them, knowing more exotic, exciting and far flung locales awaited me. Or at least Miami.

And then I came home. And now? Listening to the raindrops and the hum of my heating I’m surfing their site and planning my next visit.

Yup, I’ve been Ranched.

Giving our Canadian "spring" The Finger.

Giving our Canadian “spring” The Finger.

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April 10, 2013   No Comments

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Ssssshhhhhhh!!!

To call or not to call… that is the question.

Yes kids, I feel the need to revisit that little thing called “mobile phone etiquette”. It seems that many of us our lacking it. Big time.

I’m not anti-mobile. Not by a long-shot. I love my iphone. Can’t/won’t leave home without it. I quite liked my old flip-top too. Hello Moto? Hello! I’ve never been a crackberry head – but only because I went Mac instead. So, no, I’m not some throwback who thinks we’d all be better off landed. Au contraire. I’m all over cellular telephones of all shapes and sizes….

Except, of course, when used inappropriately. Then, I have to temper the rage I feel bubbling up inside me. The anger that wants to march over to the offending phoner, smash their cel, and walk away. Without uttering a word. Smash. Leave. Silence.

Time and place, friends….Time and place.

I was at the gym today and I had The Rage. I was sweating to the oldies, ipod blaring, in The Zone. Suddenly I found myself inadvertantly listening to a conversation. A phone conversation. The woman next to me had received a call, and proceeded to talk for 18 minutes. I know because I timed her on my elliptical machine. I concentrated on pushing with my arms, she talked. I increased speed, she talked. I changed directions, she talked. Finally, I began the cool down…Yep, still talking. 18 minutes of discussing whether or not her friend should move in with her new man.

On the one hand, it could’ve been kind of entertaining. On the other….the ol’ Time ‘n Place thing. At the gym? Shoulder to shoulder with other people? Hello? Inappropriate!!! You see, I could hear her through my headphones, over the sound of the loudspeakers and the hum of the machines. You know when it’s summertime and you’re trying to sleep and a mosquito buzzes right in your ear??? It was all I could do to slap her away….I moved on to the free weights, but she kept on going. From the elliptical, to the inner-thigh machine, to the mats. Is it me? Or is that weird? (It’s also quite impressive. She must be in spectacular shape if she can carry on a conversation while workin’ workin’ workin’ it…)

Later this afternoon, I went to pick up my 3-year-old from nursery school. There were parent volunteers manning the parking lots because there have been issues with cars, preschoolers, and blind spots. I was standing with my son, talking to one of these faux-wardens, when another parent turned her SUV into the driveway, and headed straight for us. I promise you without any spice that she stopped about a foot from my friend’s chest. I banged on her window but she was too busy chatting. Exasperated at the lack of parking spots, she finally rolled down her window to start bitching. When the parent volunteer pointed out she’d almost hit her and the young child next to her (mine!) the woman shrugged and said she hadn’t noticed BECAUSE SHE WAS ON THE PHONE.

Well. I. Never.

Is it me? Or are these people, erm, challenged? Who drives through a preschool parking lot without noticing that there might be, oh I dunno, PRESCHOOLERS in it! I’m all for using your phone in the car…If you can handle it. Is talking in the car phone like having good taste? Y’know, everyone thinks they have great taste, but most people don’t. It seems everyone thinks they can talk and drive at the same time…But can they?

Time. And. Place.

There’s a time and place for talking. I know because I’m a chatter. If you need to talk, do what you must. But ask yourself – does everybody else need to hear? NO. If you’re late for picking up a carpool, do you have the right to stunt drive? NO. For those too dim to figure it out, here are some examples of places wherein you may want to turn your ringer off – or get outta dodge:
restaurants, spas, theatres, performances of any kind….The list is endless.

So next time you’re in your doctor’s waiting room, or having a pedicure, or in any other close-quarter situations, think about sending a text before you answer that call. Not only is it rude to subject the rest of us to your convo, but, in a town such as ours, it may be hazardous to your social life. The person next to you pretending to read the Us Magazine is, in fact, listening in. Because he or she has no choice.

Time. And. Place.

So please….a little self-retraint, a little etiquette, and a little quieter up front….for all our sakes….

3 comments:

Anonymous said…

this should be sent to the newspaper so EVERYONE can read it..
I do understand.. when is the LAW comingin?

10:21 PM

Anonymous said…

disgusting. you tell it like it is. thank you đŸ™‚

11:30 PM

Anonymous said…

Have you seen the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode on this? Larry David is alone and sitting next to a stranger at a restaurant. The stranger is on the phone. Larry is pissed so begins talking loudly to himself to equally annoy the other guy. It was funny.

March 9, 2009   No Comments

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Lulu’s for Lemons

Check out the following statement:

“Look at your cute clogs…I remember when you only wore high heels, were dressed to the nines, and had your hair cut ‘n coloured by that rip-off guy….Now you’re all comfy and relaxed….”

How would you interpret this?

a) that you’re fabulous and chilled; mellowed with age.
b) that the person speaking has a secret ladies’ shoe fetish
c) that you’ve let yourself go

If you said anything other than (c) you’re a moron. Or a man. Same same sometimes. “Comfy”? There’s not a whole lot worse you could call a person, without being straight-out rude! Fact is, lululemon is the best – and worst – thing to happen to a girl since the invention of lycra.

Lulus, and all their knock-off compatriots, have definitely helped the humble sweat pant grow in leaps and bounds. (Excuse the phys ed refs.) But when once they were seen as a somewhat chic way of dressing shlubby (in my mind that is) they’ve now become the ubiquitous uniform for stay at home moms, exercise fanatics, and those of us who need to shed a few.

In other words, they’re the new Fat Pants.

They’re black. They’re flattering. They suck you in in all the right spots. We all wonder how we lived without them…And yet…they let the world know you’re got nothing to wear, something to hide, or both. Outside of the gym, that is. I have one friend who refuses to wear her yoga pants after 12 noon. Another who will only wear them once she’s inside the actual gym. And then there’s me, who (until the clog/relaxed/what happened comment) refused to wear anything but!

Erm, “butt” being the operative word here.

Having a four-month old baby should be excuse enough for kicking back a la lemonata. And yet, it’s not. With my other kids I always knew another pregnancy was on the cards, so never really invested. Sure, I joined a gym (or two) but rarely went. And of course I’m a Weight Watcher lifer. I always got back down to the starting line, give or take 5 lbs. But this time, it’s done. No more babies to be born from this body. It’s time to get back on the horse. The clothes horse that is.

But with an unforgiving, post-partum, 3-baby body it’s easier said than done. Hence the yoga pants. And now it seems they’re no longer an option. Or are they? Sure I remember the days of yore: not necessarily skinny, but definitely stylish. I was the chick who was dressed and blown dry on Sundays. In my apartment. And now? Jeans are my fancy pants. What happened? Have I let myself go? Is the most stylish thing about me my beloved iPhone?

It is pretty stylish…

But I digress. Someone suggested I don’t care as much now about how I look.

WHAT?!?

I straighten my hair for god’s sake. I may colour it myself now, but I still straighten. With products. So I must care. Right?

Let’s set the record straight.

I’M.NOT.GOING.ANYWHERE.

Or anywhere exciting. It’s a short drive from my home to my kids’ schools. Throw in a couple of detours for food ‘n sundries and I’m done. For that I should dress up? How? Back in the day when I did get styley, I was also getting paid. Most of my money went towards feeding my shopping habit. Nowadays, my money isn’t really mine. It’s “ours”. (Well, actually…my money is mine, his money is ours… but I don’t really have any…And that’s another story…) Either way, it’s spoken for.

But not anymore. I’m turning over a new leaf. Or reverting back to an old one. I’m packing up my yoga pants. Putting away my sensible shoes (albeit high-heeled ones). All dressed up with no place to go? That’ll be me. Suited and booted and rarin’ to go. Nowhere. But in style.

At least for this week……

October 30, 2008   No Comments

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Resolve This

I will, I won’t, I swear, I’ll try…..Talk, talk, talk, doesn’t anybody…erm…do anymore?

I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions. It’s January 12th. Do you know where your resolutions are? Are they down the crapper? Come on, you can admit it. Still eating? Smoking? Lounging? Working too hard? Not working enough?

Probably.

Rather than fall off various wagons and miss crucial deadlines, I didn’t even bother making resolutions. It’s not that I think I’m perfect. Far from it. I’m just as much a fixer-upper as the next gal, if not more so. Always in need of a fine tuning here, a slight shaping there, a little motivation…

Motivation!! Maybe THAT’s the problem. I’m so unmotivated (insert: “how unmotivated are you?”). Well, I’m so unmotivated that I can’t even make a bloody New Year’s resolution.

But with all the studies showing how fruitless they are, really, who can be bothered?

VIVA LA REVOLUCIONE!

Yep, I’m rebelling against resolutions. For me, this New Year’s backlash isn’t about staying home on New Year’s Eve. Au contraire!!! But Jan 1st? Could there be a worse time to start making empty promises? I mean , puh-lease people – it’s a national holiday! We’re all still on vacation!

The good intentions of Christmas – I mean – The Holiday Season – are sweet. Nice. Charming. But come January? Buh-bye. I almost want to start smoking – almost. Except I need to be supportive to those who resolved not to. Eat less? I resolve to do that every week. But in January? Sheesh…I’m a Weight Watcher’s Lifer and haven’t been since the ‘007 began. Working too much? A non-issue for me. Starting work? Erm…It’s January. Isn’t showbiz dead in January? Isn’t it?! All the best movies came out in Dec and the best TV is on hiatus ’til, well, Sunday. And people are just starting to get their work-groove back. Right?

That’s what I tell myself.

And then there’s the working out issue. Talk about been there, done that… I used to be a daily do’er. Complete with trainer. Mr. Mexico, no less. That’s right, the real Mr. Mexico. While Miss America was saving the world or getting wasted, Mr Mexico was training me. Until I fell for someone else – Bikram. Cuz folks, let me tell you – nothing beats a Bikram body. Nothing. Except you can’t do hot yoga pregnant. So that was replaced by walks. Power walks. Then strolls. Then stepping into the car. And now? The closest I come to a workout is lifting my fork to my mouth.

But not for long. Because I joined a gym. I joined a new, hot, fancy shmancy gym. I figured the price alone will drive me onto that treadmill. Except for one thing. My gym isn’t open yet.

That’s right, I’m so loathe to make a new year’s – or anytime – resolution that I pre-joined a gym. Back in Sept. I figured I’d give myself a couple months to procrastinate and then, when it opened, I’d go. Is it a coincidence that it looks like it’ll be opening in January? Perhaps. But because I joined a while back, and didn’t make any announcements, it wouldn’t be a real New Year’s resolution. And thus I wouldn’t be breaking it.

Here’s the thing – while it’s still not open officially, it’s getting close. Every week I get emails informing me of the club’s progress. The lobby’s done. The equipment’s in place. The classes are up and running. Unlike me. All that’s left are the showers. And any minute now those changerooms will be rarin’ to go – but will I? What excuses will I have left? By the time it opens it won’t be about breaking New Year’s Resolutions. It’ll be about breaking in my shoes and breaking out of my lounging habit. The other day they even left me a message about setting up a fitness consultation. Is it too late to resolve not to waste time talking on the phone? Would that count?

Tick tock….January’s flying by….If the resolutions are out the window, does that mean we have to keep the secret promises we made to ourselves…in September? I’m changing my mind. I am going to make resolutions. And stick to them too. If Jan 1st is the day, so be it. January 1st, 2008. Shame I missed the boat this year, then….A real, lovely, lazy shame…

January 12, 2007   No Comments

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