• Fundamentals for Fun at Fifty-Five

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    2. Say yes to opportunities

    3. Relax, smile, dance away your worries

    4. If not now, when?

    5. Just do it (you can analyze later)

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    Golden Griddle Restaurant - 10% discount (excluding alcohol)
    Shoppers Drug Mart - 20% discount on Thursdays
    Zellers - 20% discount first Monday of month
    Thrifty Rental - 5% off time and mileage
    Best Western - 10% off room rates
    Sandman Hotels - 25% off room rates
    Howard Johnson Hotels - 10% off room rates

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Bliss and Bovines

#42 – Go to a spa (and have a hot stone massage)

I love a hot stone massage. I remember the first time I had one, many years ago. It was pure bliss. I was sure I’d died and gone to heaven. Last weekend, I splurged and had a hot stone massage at a gorgeous spa at The Rosseau Marriott Resort in Muskoka. Once again, as I closed my eyes, I drifted into paradise. Afterwards, I sank into the warmth of a secluded jacuzzi pool with windows overlooking the water, and wondered if life could get any better.

This post, however, is about an intriguing spa near Rincon de la Vieja volcano in Costa Rica. Simbiosis Spa is located at the end of a long road surrounded by rain forest and the Rio Colorado on the Hacienda Guachipelin Hotel land. We had spent a couple of days at the Hacienda and my partner had left his binoculars behind when we left. To make the return trip worthwhile, we decided to check out the spa.


It was late afternoon when we arrived and we were the only ones there except for the massage therapist. First we dipped paint brushes in volcanic mud and slathered our bodies. Then we stretched out on wooden lounge chairs to let the mud dry. After about 10 minutes, we were guided to a tranquil thermal pool where we soaked off the mud and relaxed. Nearby in the forest, I could hear the murmur of a river. We were alone in the midst of a tropical rainforest.

Secluded thermal pools

Suddenly the wind picked up. After days of clear blue skies, we could see ominous dark clouds forming over the top of the volcano above us. A mist of fine rain sprinkled down as the sun continued to shine and soon a glorious rainbow glistened through the trees.

When it was time for my massage, we reluctantly climbed out of the hot pool. My partner checked out the sauna while I went in for my treatment.

As the warm stones kneaded my back, I listened to birds singing outside the windows and the wind rustling leaves on the trees. At home, when I go for a massage, there’s always background music – usually bird songs and nature sounds. This was so much better! It was real.

We wandered back through the open air patio to the entrance and were greeted by … a cow! Actually there were several, meandering about the parking area. And one that was happily munching on grass in the enclosed space where we had been stretched out on lounge chairs earlier in the afternoon. Not a sight I would have expected at a spa in Canada, but this was Costa Rica and ranch country!

Waiting for us at the spa entrance

The wind was still whipping down from the mountains and it was cold. We actually turned on the heater in the car, only to switch to air conditioning about a half hour later as we reached the foothills and temperatures soared once again.

If I learned nothing else in Costa Rica, it was to expect the unexpected!

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  • Julie Wise is …

    a writer, author (Dream BIGGER: Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease), life/relationship coach and an intuitive healer by day. By night, she dances flamenco, thrives on chocolate and good red wine (shiraz will do!) She secretly plots to change the world, one dream at a time.
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