Thanks so much to my dear friend and co-worker Shannon for the super-excellent gift she gave me for my big bday this year: a gift certificate for the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa. I finally used it this week, and it was beyond great.

So what makes this place so special? I’ve had the pleasure of visiting a lot of spas, but none of them have had a lap pool filled with mineral spring water. Yes, that’s right. A lap pool, filled with mineral water. In a heated room with huge windows and a cedar-lined ceiling! Nothing brings light to a gloomy June-uary day better than a cheery pool. This was a slice of heaven for me; I usually swim in an over-chlorinated, ugly, aged outdoor pool when it’s 47 degrees and raining.

And the pool was just the beginning! I was joined in my adventures with a friend in town from Santa Fe, and we both indulged in some spa services. I got a mineral wrap, which started by soaking in an extra long claw foot tub with a large splash of mineral salts added ceremoniously (the attendant called them “epsom salts on steroids”). She left me to soak for 25 minutes, with mineral water to drink a dish of grapes. Afterwards she moved me to a warm comfy table in a dark room, where I got wrapped in sheets infused with chamomile (back) and cool eucalyptus (face).

As if that wasn’t enough, I then got a massage!

But really, my day would have been perfect with just the pool. And my friend Cindy was really happy with her body scrub and facial. We both were transported for a few hours.

We’re going back. Soon! Dash can splash in the kiddie mineral wading pool (really, I did not design this place!) Jeff can soak in the hot tub (more minerals) and have all the badness sucked out of him (he’s been very sick with a weird virus that knocked him down for several days).

Thank you, thank you, thank you Shannon!