Health, Inspiration, poetry, Revision, Self Care, Staycations

A Bargain Way to Refresh, Renew, and Revive Yourself

Bridge on Chumash Trail, Santa Barbara


I’ve been in the midst of digesting an editorial letter on a manuscript I sent in for editing. The information was a lot to process and there’s a ton of work in front of me. I’ve felt overwhelmed with the task of rewriting and revision.

Feeling overwhelmed happens to all of us. Sometimes it’s the kids, or bills, or relatives, or your job and sometimes it’s a combination of all of the above.

Whenever I feel my mind swamped, I need to step back, for my own sanity.

June is a good month to reinvigorate and revitalize.

Some people can’t take a costly vacation so Staycations are good ways to do something different as well as refresh yourself.

This month, I found a few ways to relax:

One Saturday was Global Wellness Day. The Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara offered free classes all day:

Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, CA
The Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, CA

Meditation on the bluff, yoga, Tai Chi, and Brazilian Capoeira. Not that I did the Capoeira. A highlight of the day was also receiving a reduced price for the spa day pass to use the pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and serenity room filled with teas, fruit, nuts, and cushy sofas.

Meditation by the beach, Santa Barbara, CA
Meditation by the beach, Santa Barbara, CA

A walk on the beach helped me to further relax.

Matilija Poppies, Santa Barbara, CA
Matilija Poppies, Santa Barbara, CA

Another day, I used a Christmas gift coupon I hadn’t made time for. This is the Salt Caves in Santa Barbara.

Himalayan Salt Caves, Santa Barbara, CA

The caves are made from 45 tons of 250 million-year-old pure Himalayan salt. We took off our shoes, entered the darkened cave and reclined on comfortable chairs. Meditation music is piped in for forty-five minutes. The salt is said to stimulate wellness and healing. Blissful.

The next week, I retired to my backyard and took in the colors of the garden, the sounds of birds, smelled the roses and felt reflective. I jotted down a poem.

statue of boy reading
Reading in the Garden

Hover of beating wings flit between blossoms

Flutters of orange dance above purple sage

Bumblebees disappear into white throats of lilies

Gardens, never silent, ever hopeful

Butterfly Dance in the Garden.


yellow poppies
Mariposa poppies

After these mini-retreats I feel uplifted and ready to tackle the edit letter and line edits. My mind is refreshed and I’m “ever hopeful.”

Have you taken a staycation this month?

See you in July!

LACMA, Staycations, Tim Burton exhibit, Travel

First Stay-cation

Last week I put out the concept of “staycations” to the kids (well, they’re really teens). If you read that post then you know how that went over. A few boundaries were added to the definition of a staycation after that scene. And I have veto power too. So we’ll see how we do over the summer.

Our first staycation was to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to see the new Tim Burton exhibit. I’ll cut to the chase, it was a great presentation. The only down side was we couldn’t take photos inside. So we resigned ourselves to only take pictures of the outside stuff.

The inside area was crowded, too many articles bunched together in that small space. It was better once we went into the next room. Once inside the larger section I felt like snatching the large camera this girl took out of her suitcase of a purse. She actually diverted a museum ‘guard’ so she could take a photo of  Edward Scissorhands- the full costume sans Johnny Dep. She did this three times before getting busted, but they didn’t throw her out…too bad, I was ready to do a fist pump in the air and say “YEAH.”

My favorite things were the storyboards with a video following the scenes. Storyboards of all his movies were on display. There’s also a blacklight room which is kinda creepy when you open the curtains, but then kind of cool. The entire visit was about an hour and I could have stayed another 20 minutes since I love to read everything posted adjacent to the art. Both kids loved the exhibit and we waved goodbye to the TB men.The last day of the exhibit is on Halloween-imagine the fun on that day.

 Before heading to the other three sections of the museum: Ahmanson, Art of the Americas, and Japanese exhibits we headed across the street to have lunch. There were six rolling food trucks to pick from and I think we hit on the best, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian. The father and son duo who worked the truck-Veg It Up! had some great R & B music coming from their truck and they were parked in the shade, so the decision was easy. Great sweet potato fries and mint julep iced tea here too.

 After a great lunch we headed back to see the Pablo Picasso’s and the one Monet I could find. The “Elizabeth Taylor in Iran” was good, but all too short. That was another couple of hours. Then we hit the art room and the big kids took off to draw and paint. There were more teens and adults in there than young children.

We left close to four o’clock and bypassed the clogged 405 and hit PCH 1. It was clear sailing for miles. Now anyone who has driven through Santa Monica and Malibu know that this can be a staycation of its own. A cloudless aqua sky lay above the horizon of blue gray ocean for miles and miles. I had to agree with the kids, this was a pretty good first staycation. We look forward to the next.