Have You Heard of Rancho La Puerta?

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Rancho La PuertaMy New Yorker friend, Miriam, was the one who told me that Rancho La Puerta is the “gold standard” of spas. She’d spent a week there a few years ago. I was surprised that an adventure traveler such as her would pick a “spa” as a vacation destination, let alone one at the opposite corner of the states. Miriam is not, by my observation, a bathrobe-lounging softie. We met in India… rode stinky CAMELS together, for goodness sake. This is a spa girl?  She clearly had insights to share…

Then she said it: the Ranch is so “REAL.” I got her drift. Genuine. The Ranch is a year ‘round fitness resort and spa in Tecate, Mexico. Fitness. Health. Stress relief. Nature. Nutrition. Quietude. Enlightenment.

But let me back up… I was gearing up for my role as {excited} guest presenter at the Ranch. My mission here: to impart a little evening entertainment (delivering my Best of Route 66 slide show) as well as useful education (my second session: How to Become a Serious Blogger – Blogging Your Legacy).

As a travel blogger, I had another mission: experience the Ranch as a guest and give my readers the scoop. So when I dropped Miriam off at LAX for her red-eye back to New York, it occurred to me that I was glad to be driving to the Ranch, although they have a well-oiled system to pick up guests at the San Diego Airport and shuttle to this little slice of heaven. As an Aztec (San Diego State University class of … cough cough…), I knew from experience that this “Mexico” simply meant Just Over The Border.

I’m a Ranch Novice, along with my travel buddy for this trek, Cathi. Her husband, Barry, and MY husband, Larry*, will be Home Alone while we girls chase personal enlightenment and stress relief.

We arrived mid-week just in time for LUNCH! Then, we attached pedometerpedometers to our yoga pants and started our path to health via a bit of meandering to get our bearings (the majority of patrons show up on Saturday, and an orientation class helps.) The weather was threatening rain, yet as luck would have it, the 4 PM cooking class we pre-booked — our way of easing into the Ranch experience, was timed perfectly. The skies opened up just as our shuttle of eager chefs traveled the short distance to the cooking school and culinary center, La Cocina que Canta, at the edge of an exquisite and prolific organic garden. This evening did not disappoint, watch for my next recipe post.

First impressions of the Ranch:

  1. At least 20 percent of the guests during our stay were men. I expected maybe one or two;
  2. The average age, both genders…  53.  I expected older;
  3. Quite a few came alone, and not just single OR women… Gary from Oregon had been to the Ranch a few times, as has his wife. Her work required her to stay home, he came solo;
  4. MOST guests seemed to be folks who appreciate fitness and nature, not gym rats or mountain men fanatics. They are seeking to reenergize health and fitness efforts, relieve some stress, appreciate nature and unwind with family, friends and NEW friends;
  5. Food: mind-blowingly delicious. ALL healthy and mostly vegetarian. Having been a vegetarian for 15 years, I expected to be satisfied, but did NOT anticipate this level of fabulousness;
  6. There is some activity practically every moment and it is easy to get caught up participating every hour of the day. It was guest musician, Karl, who gave Cathi and me permission to have some “restorative time” and do nothing more than read, journal or meditate a little;
  7. Crossing the border was a lot easier than I remember, both directions.

So, join me for upcoming posts. At the moment, I am quite Zen.

*to answer your question as to why Larry didn’t come, this speaking opportunity popped up just a week earlier, he had things on his calendar, I gave him THREE offers to ditch those obligations, but he kept his plans and Cathi was on board in a heartbeat.

www.RanchoLaPuerta.com  — The year ‘round fitness resort and spa.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Worth The Whisk February 20, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Jessica, you MUST go back again… I’ll be at the Ranch the week of March 17, 2012… maybe then?

2 Jessica February 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Ranch, and love reading about your experience. I was there last in September (my 5th visit ), and it was so great. The Ranch is my favorite place ever. Thanks for your wonderful blog.

3 Jill Silverman Hough February 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Isn’t the Rancho the BEST?!? I always find it the perfect mix of rustic and refined, energizing and relaxing, healthy and indulgent. Glad you enjoyed it, and looking forward to upcoming posts!

4 sippitysup February 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

Ahhh, Spa! Men like it too. GREG

5 Worth The Whisk February 13, 2012 at 8:07 am

Anne – what a fabulous way to make new friends… chopping, dicing, layering a recipe together, then undoing it and rebuilding it again. So much fun. Loved our time together, too.

6 Anne Brasfield February 13, 2012 at 3:48 am

Loved being with you and can’t wait to read more about our fab shared experience at RLP!

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