Have I Found the Quirkiest Spa in California?


Technically… Matt found it. He surprised me with a spa day, but you’re going to love the story (and the pictures!).

The Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary up in Freestone (near Napa) offers a very unusual treatment: a cedar enzyme bath! You change into a robe and relax in a meditation room where your bath specialist serves you green tea, and then you’re walked back into a room with what kind of looks like a big sand box (I love some of the comedic aspects of this story and play them up, but don’t let the monkeying around fool you — this place is amazing!).

So, back to the story. We walk into a room with a (very nice) “sandbox” where our specialist has literally taken a shovel and dug two holes – one for Matt and one for me – which kind of look like reclining chairs.

Then she lets us know to unrobe and hop on in.

We look at each other, and then at her. And I ask if folks usually just kind of strip down and climb on in. She was great – she acted like it was no big deal, and we stripped down and clambered up into the box (my guess is that it must have been hilarious to watch because we were NOT graceful about it).

And then the best part: she covered us in the fermented cedar mulch which was kind of like a blanket of stinky, itchy wood chips. But they were warm, very warm. It was like being enveloped in a delicious cocoon, and our bath specialist came by every 5 minutes to wash our faces with a cold wash cloth which felt amazing since the cedar mulch can reach a temperature of 120 to 140 degrees fahrenheit (oh and a water cup with a fancy metal straw our specialist would hold up to our faces so we could rehydrate)!

And once our 20 minutes were up, she helped us climb out of the bath, led us outside, and gave us brushes to get the mulch off of our bodies. They kind of looked like pony brushes – you know, the ones kids use to brush the ponies at pony camp – except that this time WE were the ponies 🙂

Then we showered the last of the cedar mulch off and glided up the stairs to our massage, which was lovely as well.

And now, for the pictures!

(Sadly, WordPress seems to have instituted a cap on images, so I was unable to upload my photos. You can check them out here though!)

The Mormon Temple in Oahu


One of our very first stops was the temple of the Church of Latter Day Saints in Laie. I was a little surprised when Matt said it was one of the things he really wanted to see in Oahu, but it was beautiful (and everyone was incredibly friendly)! DSC01737 DSC01728DSC01732 DSC01739  DSC01738  DSC01742 DSC01748 DSC01751 DSC01752 DSC01754 DSC01755 DSC01764 DSC01779 DSC01782 DSC01785 DSC01789 DSC01790DSC01793

The Waimea Valley Botanical Garden and Hike


On our second day, we decided to adventure into the botanical gardens next door (alright, but they were only a 5-minute drive away. That still counts!)

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Matt showing off his dorky camera hat!

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There were wild roosters everywhere!

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And we even saw a peacock!

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