Confessions of a Top Wearing Nudist

I tend to get myself into hot water on my birthday.

For my 40th, I invited two large tables of my favorite ladies to join me at the Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.  We bathed in the roman baths, basked in the sun, wined and dined. I even made an unscripted speech thanking each woman individually for what they brought to my life that was literally EXACTLY 40 minutes long.

Another birthday dip was more intimate – just me and my hubby, Mitchel, at one of my all-time faves at the end of the main road in Calistoga.  This time I eschewed the shi-shi of Sonoma Mission Inn for the more vintage vibes at Indian Springs. Thermal geysers, originating back to a volcanic eruption in the area, come from fissures in the earth at 230 degrees and is then cooled in a series of reservoirs before entering the Olympic-sized main pool at about body temperature.  The 19th Century charm of this place has been preserved, including the bathhouse- complete with a Pepsi Cola clock that still keeps the time.

My favorite way to enjoy Indian springs is at night, under a blanket of stars.  Putting my head on one “noodle-cadoodle” as I call the long flotation devices they have there, and another under my legs, I can drift for hours, enjoying the plumes of vapor coming from the place where the springs are channeled toward my awaiting body.  In the dark, I imagine a huge dragon in the distance, blowing smoke through his snout.

This year, with my husband away at a training, I planned another birthday plunge with my lady friends, this time asking them to adventure with me to a more humble spot, Wilbur Hot Springs.  Once a sacred Native American ceremonial grounds, Wilbur is now an Asian style, clothing-optional bathhouse. At less than a 2-hour drive from Davis, this has become a favorite day trip that really makes you feel like you’ve gotten away.  Wilbur is off the grid and off the hook.

My first pick-up of the day was to get Jessy, a friend for the past 11+ years since our children met in Kindergarten.  We hadn’t seen each other a lot over that time besides the few minute exchanges we had at “sibling playgroup” pickup and drop-offs, and the occasional school-related social event.  But recently, not having much contact with my early mom friends now that our kids were in High School, I had been extending offers to reconnect, and Jessy was showing up.

I knew as soon as I saw her standing on her front porch that I hadn’t done a great job of preparing her for what the day might hold.  She had on a maxi dress and platform sneakers. Her hair had been “done” that morning and she had a full face of make-up.

“You know we aren’t going to a ‘resort’ spa, right?” I asked as soon as she opened the car door.  The look on her face made it clear that she did not know that, so I continued. “Wilbur is a hot spring, not a spa,” I said.  “It’s very rustic and remote. It’s a mellow, hippie, clothing-optional kind-of-place.”

Jessy’s face had flopped by the time I finished with my Wilbur soapbox.

“Clothing optional?” she asked.  “Do people really take that option?”

I could hear a quiver in her voice that made me worry I might be down one girlfriend on this birthday outing.

“Sorry if that wasn’t clear,” I said, “I’ve been going there for years and never really thought about it much, I guess.”

“So do you go ropa or no ropa,” Jessy asked, reverting to the Spanglish we tended to use with one another, the aftereffect of having kindled our friendship at a Spanish immersion public elementary school.

“Well, kinda both,” I answered.  “Ever since my surgeries, I just wear a swim top,” I said, thinking it was a totally normal thing to say and do. For a while I didn’t go anywhere that would possibly put me in a position of exposing myself, including Wilbur.

“Wait, really?” Jessy said, giving me a quizzical look.  “You wear a swim TOP but not a BOTTOM?” She didn’t seem to be able to tell if I was joking or not. “That’s so weird.  Why would you do that?”

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Two more days to commit to self-care!

We have extended our $100 off registration for two more days…and here’s why:

July 10th, today, is my sister Lisa Kubby’s birthday.  She would have been 63 today had she not died 11 years ago.  Breast cancer.  Twice.

July 11th, tomorrow, is the anniversary of my engagement to my husband Mitchel.  He picked the date so he wouldn’t forget it (7-11) and proposed on an almost vacant stretch of beach on Gili Aire – an island off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

July 12th is the birthday of my sister-in-law&love, Jill.  I will let her tell you how old if she wishes to share…but trust me she looks much younger than her calendar age suggests.

So in honor of love and sisters and sisterhood….we offer this $100 off registration for the Nov 8-10th Women’s Wellness Weekend at Wilbur Hot Springs. 

Two more days to get this great deal that will only come this once.

Commit to Self-Care sale ($100 off registration by July 10) Women’s Wilbur Wellness Weekend – November 8-10

Commit to self-care by registering for this retreat 4-months in advance and we will give you $100 off your registration (Valid until July 10 only)

Enjoy nutritious meals that you don’t have to cook or clean up.

Practice yoga daily of various styles including Yin/Nidra/Vinyasa.

Tune in to your personal wellness by exploring your values and the meaning you find in life and applying these to daily wellness practices.

Enjoy all the wonderful things about Wilbur Hot Springs.

Give yourself this gift.

You deserve it.

Be well!

1st YOLO WELL Women’s Wellness Retreat @ Wilbur Hot Springs (June 7-9) – REGISTER TODAY

Twenty-one lucky women (sorry guys, another time!) will get to sink into some awesome self-care at the extraordinary Wilbur Hot Springs.

If we need say nothing more then click HERE.

PLUS – all returning YOLO WELL participants get to take $35 off every time they attend a future retreat!  Just check the box on the registration and viola you get the discount when you checkout!

If you want to know more before sinking in – read more about what will happen on the retreat here.

What the H-LL does YOLO WELL mean anyway?

This past weekend I practiced what I’ve been preaching and attended a retreat (a hard job I know!) . There were epiphanies a’plenty that I look forward to sharing with you all in the days and weeks ahead.

One of the best aspects of the weekend was the great diversity of age, geography, and lifestyles that had come together to share time and space and learn together. Two of my favorites were a pair of 60+-year-old women who had traveled together from Pittsburgh for the workshop. I found myself drawn to them both although we shared very little in common.  After our very first session on Friday night, I gushed that I saw their auras and they were shiny and bright!

On Sunday, as we sat at the room-long wooden table trading contact information, I handed one of the Pittsburgh ladies, Louise, my business card.

She looked at it for a moment and then back at me and said, “I know you’re in wellness, so I get that part, but what does YOLO mean?”

I looked at her for a moment and then at another new friend, Iris, currently living in Santa Barbara but from Germany, who also shook her head.

“You don’t know YOLO,” I asked them both? “As in, You Only Live Once?”

Smiles of understanding instantly spread across their faces.

“That’s cool,” Louise said looking at my logo. “I get it now.”

“It’s also the County where I live. Davis is in YOLO County. So it’s a double play on that.” I started in on my elevator pitch:

“To me YOLO already has two meanings.

There’s the: You only live once so you better live it up. Go big or go home. Tackle that bucket list kind of Yolo.

And there’s the: You only live once so take care. Treat your body and mind well. Be healthy. Be present. Handle with care kind of Yolo.

To me YOLO WELL is the intersection of the two. Our belief is that since we all only have one life to live, wouldn’t it be best to live it well?”

My new friends seemed thrilled with this thought/idea. I could imagine the fun that Iris would have, translating this idea into German. Or how hip Louise would sound telling her retired librarian friends about YOLO.

Mostly what I realized is that no matter who we are, where we live, or what kind of life we live, this truth is universal–

We all only have one life to live so let’s live it well together.