Tag Archives | Los Angeles

My Glen Ivy Escape

The words Glen Ivy SpaLos Angeles Spa makes me go weak in the knees. Located only 60 miles southeast from Los Angeles in Corona, Glen Ivy is an oasis of spa heaven. I first discovered Glen Ivy 10 years ago when I escaped to Los Angeles for the weekend to get away from my husband and children. My friend took one look at me and said, “You need Glen Ivy.” Boy did I ever. I was a working mom in my mid-20s with two kids, a heady job, and dirty house. (Now that I think about it nothing has changed in 10 years, except my age.) I needed a break or mid-life crisis. I opted for the break.

When my friend told me we were going to a spa, I figured it would be in a strip mall with mediocre massages, shag carpet, and maybe a free glass of water if I was lucky. Not even close. As we drove up the entrance it was clear to me Glen Ivy wasn’t just a spa; it was a complex, so vast it would make a Vanderbilt or Kennedy blush.

We walked up to the admittance office and then I beheld what I was to experience. The attendant handed me a map. A spa that needs a map? Yep. It’s that big. We walked into the area and I was as doe-eyed as a five-year old’s first trip to Disneyland. There were signs to the mineral baths, Roman baths, lap pool, the hot pool followed by the cold plunge pool. Fourteen pools total. We hit the mud first.

Mud? Yes. Your admission gets you access to every pool plus Club Mud. There’s an entire area dedicated to mud. Not just any mud, but Glen Ivy mud, a red clay mixed with the natural hot springs that will tighten your skin. Plopped on giant wheels, you grab a handful and  slather the special mud on your body. Let it dry in the California sun and then wash it off. Your skin will feel soft and revitalized.

I liked the Club Med, but I really liked the Grotto. For an extra fee, you can experience absolute soft skin. You walk into the Grotto area and then go down an elevator and enter a cave aka grotto. Your attendant will take a paint brush and paint you with a light green cream. It smells divine because it’s made of aloe vera, shea butter and coconut oil. Go deeper in to the grotto and sit in the “hydrating chamber.” You’ll feel like you are breathing butter, but the longer you sit the better your skin will feel. Then go rinse off. My hands felt soft and subtle days after I returned to the desert of home.

Los Angeles SpaA visitor to Glen Ivy could spend all day just drifting from mud to grotto to roman bath to mineral bath to sauna, but Glen Ivy also has traditional spa treatments. On my first visit, I was treated to scrub, wrap and massage.  Heavenly. Since, I have tried other Glen Ivy’s treatments including the clarifying facial.  Check out their pedicures and manicures as well. A massage or facial will cost roughly $100 per treatment.  On my last visit, I discovered the Glen Ivy Getaway package that included your choice of one 50 minute Swedish massage, 50 minute Glen Ivy facial, or a 50 minute body treatment, as well as grotto admission, and lunch for only $139. Admission is extra and will cost you $46 or $59 depending on whether you are there on the weekdays or weekends. If you buy a service that’s 50 minutes or longer, your admission is discounted.

Plan your day wisely. I like to get my treatments early in the visit, then eat lunch and spend the rest of the day vegging by the pools and ending the day with grotto. You’ll be wasted by the time you leave so expect to be in a fog.  Don’t forget to go to the gift shop. I like to pick up a container of mud and the grotto paint. That way when I’m back home, looking at my dirty house, exhausted from my job, frustrated by my mediocre mothering, I can open up the container, breathe deeply and let Calgon, I mean, Glen Ivy take me away.

Los Angeles has so much to offer!  If you are looking for a great Los Angeles accommodation to go with your spa visit.   Look no further!


Our Day with the Gipper.

We fight about a lot of things, why not bring politics in as well?   One of our political heroes is President Ronald Reagan.  We admire his strong character and unyielding love of country.  In our recent visit to Southern California we had our day with the Gipper.  Our tribute involved riding horseback into the Ranch in the Clouds then we boarded Air Force One !

1000 Fights on horseOur day of Reagan began at the Circle B Ranch.  Located just 30 minutes north of Santa Barbara, California, the Circle Bar B is nestled in the scenic hills of central California.  Finding the ranch is simple and part of the experience.  If headed north from Santa Barbara on 101 just take the Refugo Beach exit and head east through orange and lemon groves.  The Circle Bar B is perfect for families and couples alike.  They offer a number of different ride options ranging from half day rides to hour long treks.  We chose the half day ride that took us along President Reagan’s ranch.

santa barbara, caWe boarded our mounts Silver and Traveler and headed up the hill with our guide Alex.   The ranch owns an expansive tract of land up into the mountains.  The trail crosses a number of small creeks and passes a gorgeous water fall.  Once you gain some altitude you see amazing vistas of the Pacific.  The trial weaves in and out sweet smelling Eucalyptus groves.  The ride was a treat from start to finish.

It’s easy to see why President Reagan relished his time spent at the “Western Whitehouse”.  The place is so peaceful.  The vistas recharge the soul.  The next time you are in SoCal, take in a ride!


Ronald Reagan Museum

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan.

Image via Wikipedia

In our travels we have had a chance to visit a number of presidential libraries.  We love them.  It is a great way to see items attached to history.  The tribute to Ronald Reagan is truly the finest.   Ronald Reagan Library and Museum is located on a hilltop with sweeping views of Simi valley is the final resting place of the President.  As you would expect, there is a healthy dose of hero worship throughout.

The world truly changed while President Reagan occupied the White House.   As you walk around the courtyard you see a impressive display of a section of the Berlin Wall.

Key items to see in the museum:

1)Tender note from Margaret Thatcher to Nancy Reagan after his passing.

Ronald Reagan Limo2)  As is military tradition at the passing of leaders, boots are placed backward in a saddled horse’s stirrups.  Ronald Reagan, a skilled horseman,  was treated to this honor at his passing.  His actual riding boots were used in lieu of a shinny unused pair.  The boots are on display in the collection.

3)The holiday season is a unique time to visit the library.  A collection of ornate monorahs and a hall of Christmas trees are on display.

4)For you fashion gurus out there, Nancy’s famous red dress circa the first inauguration is on display.

5)  The suit that President Reagan was wearing when he was shot is on display.  You can see where the two bullets went in.  Incredible.

Air Force OneOne of the most impressive parts of the museum is the massive indoor display of Air Force One the presidential Jet used by Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and the two Bushies .   The display is so clever.  The plane appears like it is flying through the middle of the display hall and out in to the wall of windows.  It is an amazing effect.  Museum entrance fee allows you a walk through of one of the most celebrated air craft in history.

Both experiences are not to be missed regardless of your political stripes.  The majestic beauty of the first and the history lesson of the second is not to be missed.

The nearest major airport is in Los Angeles, CA.  There are a number cheap flights to Los Angeles.