on saturday, my roommates (marie, mindy and brenda) and i took a little trip to carmel to celebrate mindy's birthday. we made a quick stop at the beach (ah! it was such a gorgeous day!) and then headed for refuge, a spa that marie had been telling us about for months.
refuge is nestled into a mossy hill just inland from carmel-by-the-sea, and it's a loooovely little sanctuary. we spent four hours relaxing there experiencing the hydro thermal cycle: heat up in the steam room or sauna, plunge in a cold pool, chill out by the firepits or in the tranquility rooms in plush white robes, soak in a hot tub, repeat. i may have over done it on my first heat up/cool down and almost passed out (oopsie!) but after my frenzied heart rate and dizzied vision got back to normal, the experience was fan-tastic. i soaked it all in under the sun and later the stars, observing (for the most part!) the spa's "silence policy." those hours of meditation and relaxation, away from everything, made me feel truly rejuvenated and, honestly, reminded of who i really am.
and the roommate bonding on the ride there and back was really wonderful. i am grateful to live with good, strong women who really teach me things often, even though we don't spend a lot of time together outside of the daily comings and goings at our house.