Our legs dangled over the side of the airplane. Fifteen thousand feet below, the rugged mountains of New Zealand waited to swallow us whole. Alan tilted my chin toward the exit camera, pressed his chapped lips against my cheek and snapped a photo. Our bodies were strapped together tightly, his familiar heart beating calmly as mine pounded. He leaned forward and we were sucked violently into the atmosphere. I should have been terrified, but the only thing I could comprehend was that Alan had turned my head toward the sun and was kissing me again.
In my periphery, beautiful women gracefully pose in escalator lunge. Salty beads of sweat trickle down my back, my neck, my arms. My left leg extends back and I clumsily place my right heel on the platform of the Megaformer, a spring-loaded machine that puts Pilates on crack. My muscles are overloaded, causing my lower body to convulse like a wind-up toy. In the corner of the room, a tank top mocks me with its printed message: EMBRACE THE SHAKE.
At the end of class, I fold into a weary pigeon and dream about what it would feel like to perfectly execute a bear, a spoon, aspider, to live inside a healthy body that is not chronically ill, does not perpetually resist.
I had just turned ten years old when Santa Claus left an Atari 5200 beneath our family’s Christmas tree, a tall fresh spruce with stale popcorn that wound its way up to meet a plastic, glittery angel who stood guard on the top.
From translucent bubbles under the northern lights in Iceland, to a former monastery in Milan, the excitement of a new destination can be magnified by a unique lodging experience. Often, I plan vacations around this concept, which is how I stumbled upon one of Colorado’s hidden gems, the Tennessee Pass Nordic Ski Center, Cookhouse and Sleep Yurts...
From a plastic bubble in Iceland, to a former monastery in Italy, to Colorado’s off-the-grid yurts, I often plan trips around unique lodging. A general web search led me to a glamping destination in northern Utah that appeared both rustic and upscale. It was the perfect road trip stopover between Arches National Park and the Grand Tetons, providing a welcome break from my pop-up tent and camp stove.