Yesterday's hail dusted the mountaintops here in Tucson, changing the desert palette. By this morning it was raining. If I had been out West hiking on my own, I might have spent a lonely day in my room, or hanging around the hotel, today. Maybe I would have gone shopping or to a movie.
But I'm not here alone. I'm with a dozen plus other people I now know. I enjoy their company. And now that we've gotten the "where are you from, what do you do," conversations out of the way, we've moved on to more interesting topics, like religion, adoption and how great the masseuses here have been.
I come and go as I please. This morning I skipped the group exercise circuits at the gym because a nap was more appealing. When I was ready for activity and company, I joined the others for lunch. And then for an afternoon strength class.
That's the point of this hiking spa vacation, says Devon Metz, the owner. "You can focus on yourself, but you also have this group camaraderie." In other words, indulge at will. In massages, classes, meals and friendly company. Or wander off on your own when you'd like.
This morning I indulged in a supermarket tour. Whoopee, you say, eyes rolling? Well, I got a lot out of it. It was part of the nutrition information the spa offers. Kim and Devon, both nutritionists, pointed out things I didn't realize, despite years of supermarket visits and lots of eating.
It didn't occur to me that organic jam might have more sugar than "regular" jam. Check to see which ingredient is listed first on the label, sugar or fruit. Or that you can make your own low-fat peanut butter by buying the "natural" brand and pouring off some of the oil. Or that some healthy cereals have more sugar in a serving than Kellogg's Frosted Flakes.
Tomorrow, more hiking. And more food talk.
Photos: Ellen Perlman
1. Strength training class
2. View from a balcony at the Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson.