Hangin' in the Hot Springs

August 18 2005, 10:29 PM

I'm so not good at organized vacations. Tomorrow I'm off to Ojo Caliente, a spa and hot springs resort in northern New Mexico. This is a girls' getaway, and there are around 15 of us heading south for a three-day weekend of mud baths, mineral wraps, morning yoga in the desert, and lots of lazing around in the hots springs pools. It's tough for me to plan for this kind of trip. I want to drive down, check it out, see what feels right at the time. But no. We have a very set schedule. My friend -- The Organizer -- is a great gal and I love her dearly, but she's planned it to death. We're meeting at 8:15 a.m. tomorrow to carpool for the 5 hour drive (Who leaves at 8:15? Can't we just say 9 a.m. since we know it will take that long to get things ready?) And once we get there, every minute is booked. I can understand having options, but what's the fun of lazing around in these ancient healing waters when you have to soak at 3 p.m. and be done by 4 p.m. to get ready for drinks at 5 p.m. and then off to dinner at 6:30 p.m. and back at 9 p.m. for a get-together in her cottage? Sheesh. I just want to relax.

So I think I'll be ditching the group tomorrow at least. I might want to hike around, or spend the evening sipping wine on the porch of my own little cottage with a good book. Maybe I'll stay in the water all night - the many pools are open until 10 p.m. after all, and stargazing and hot-springing sounds divine to me. Saturday I may give in, and join the trek to Taos for the day because it really does sound like too much fun to miss, despite the rigid schedule. 11:30 a.m. on the dot, we drive. At 1 p.m. we have lunch at Eskes Brew Pub. From 2:30 to 7 p.m. we hit the galleries at the Plaza, take a tour of one of the pottery guilds, and then meet for dinner at 8 p.m. at Joseph's Table, which I hear is amazing. Sunday is equally overscheduled, but I'm thinking yoga in the morning and soaking the rest of the day is about all I can handle. Or maybe I'll just grab my sketchbook and hit the desert for some quality alone time. Either way, it's sure to be a fun weekend. And with 15 of us gals wandering around, I may even come to appreciate The Organizer's skills as the weekend's camp counselor. We'll see.

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