Took a well-needed respite from this biting East Coast winter by heading as far West as the continent allows. Left a black and white Vermont in search of sunshine and green and two hours outside of LA, happily found a place made infamous by being Al Capone’s desert hideout. Three days of watching the palm fronds sway as I floated with my daughter in the healing mineral waters of Two Bunch Palms proved to be exactly the refuge I needed.
This hot springs is nothing short of magical. “The water, approximately 104 degrees, is the resort’s main attraction. It has been running underground for more than 600 years from the nearby Desert Hot Springs aquifer on Miracle Hill and contains lithium, among many minerals. After a day slipping in and out of the water’s warm, silky embrace, you’ll be as relaxed as if you spent a week at a silent meditation retreat” (Andrea Vaucher). This lightest known metal lightened our mood for days.
There was no food or drink service in the grotto, instead large vessels of drinking water to keep the patrons hydrated from hours in the sun and hot springs. Countless times a day we filled the metal bottles given to us at check-in. Mostly we lay around looking up. We shared our creative dreams and hopes that keep us pushing through. We also floated in silence, and let our visions blur and return with new intent over and over again until we found ourselves giggling and falling off our water-floats in the very best laughter.
She’s a beauty this daughter of mine, Marnika. Spunky and adventurous, and wildly industrious in her artistic expression. I find her calming, and in this setting, the perfect companion. We were up in time for morning yoga, walked the grounds to discover all the areas hidden behind stands of palms, thoroughly enjoyed the organic and sumptuous meals on the premises, and soaked under stars. We took the pampering of the spa in stride, and didn’t say no to any gifts that came our way.
Just to avoid becoming completely water-logged, from time to time we wrapped in robes and towels and flopped on cushions. Hailing from frigid Vermont, I couldn’t imagine a roofless structure in March. After battling snow storm after snow storm, running from building to car to building to car to building to car of my 8 to 4 daily, this place literally blew my mental rafters away. Here, our gaze went instantly to sky. Thoughts took flight. Doors gone. Windows too. Nothing to stop what we might conceptualize. Metaphor lifts us all the way to that blue blue. Even higher.
Who doesn’t need time to stop. To stare at nothing. To sit quietly. To dip one’s toes in something inviting. To do so was the calmness I craved. Heaven fell around us and we walked straight in.
The landscape at the resort is thoughtful and bordered paths which led us straight out into the desert sands, and twisted us back again. Hedges abuzz with bees and hummingbirds, plentiful orange and lemon trees, pink, white, purple and delicate blossoms everywhere, all growing within a quiet respect created the very best air in which to fill our lungs, and yes, made leaving near impossible. Thankfully, we each have rich lives to return to, and so, eventually, as the sun set behind the San Jacinto Mountains, we drove back to city lights and dear ones. Satiated, for real.