Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Life Hiking Spa -- Day 5

On my last day, I did the early morning Stretch class, then breakfast before heading for home. The picture is of the back of the Inn, where there is a nice patio for lounging between classes.

Here are my thoughts about the trip, both good and bad.

First, let me say that I think it was a total win from the point of view of a Traveling Celiac. Other than Disney World, I haven't ever been anywhere that was more aware of gluten, and it was a heck of a lot healthier than anything The Mouse has ever served me. I especially loved that they paid so much attention to alternative grains for everyone, not just as an accommodation for me. One of the guests claimed that before I got there, dinner one night had been a lasagna where the pasta was made from Jerusalem artichoke flour, so I might have been able to eat that! Nifty.

As a hiking retreat in general, there were a few ups and downs. Many of the guests commented that the hotel itself was a bit long in the tooth. It is definitely in need of some updates, but that lack of luxury is what made it possible for them to provide this experience so inexpensively. For the most part, everything had a bit of a shabby chic charm, except the pools. The outdoor pool is permanently broken. Apparently it hasn't been operational for two years. The indoor pool is really is a serious state of disrepair and I don't really think they should be allowing guests in it at all, let alone holding classes. Nevertheless, I think the total package offers good value for the money.

One thing I regret not knowing before I came, you can wear sneakers on the beginner hikes. I brought two pairs of hiking boots and only one pair of cutesy sneakers, because I thought only boot were allowed. I ended up with an unnecessary bruise by wearing those clunky hiking boots on a 5 mile hike on a paved road, and it limited my participation in further hikes. Bring a good pair of athletic sneakers/cross-trainers to the exercise classes and also wear them on any of the beginner hikes/ nature trails. Also, they had backpacks available, but if I were to do it again, I'd go buy one of those really nice hiking backpacks at REI, instead of lugging about their big ol' army backpack just to carry one piece of fruit and a bottle of water.

I wasn't there long enough to actually "lose weight," of course, but I did feel healthier and a lot more confident in myself and my ability to live a healthy lifestyle, so I am glad I went.


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