my yearly getaway with my mother-in-law.

I didn’t grow up with the traditional, movie-worthy mother-daughter relationship. We are not the least bit close. She grew up in Indonesia. I grew up in Texas. She was raised around her extended family. I was raised alone as the oldest of four kids. Our entire upbringing is different, and we don’t understand each other at all. My husband is blessed with an incredibly strong headed, independent and supportive mother. Not knowing how to connect with someone who is just trying to love me and include me in their lives and being used to butting heads with my own mother, I did not know how to handle this dynamic. Most of the time, I just stayed quiet and observed.

After three years of marriage, I felt comfortable enough to own up with my mother in law. I am not sure if she saw this as a “finally this girl let’s me in” or a “sweet heavens the ice queen melts” but words cannot express how big of a deal this was to me. My time is my most prized possession. Between a full time job, my marriage, my hobbies, my very important alone time, and my friends, sharing my time is the greatest gift I can give anyone.

We did a duo trip to Chicago last year. We were partly worried about this test trip as we are both devout Introverts. The city was cold, wet and miserable - but I was grateful that we were forced to stay inside and talk to each other. It apparently helped since we made immediate plans for the next year before leaving.

This year, we made it out to the Red Mountain Resort in Utah. 


I have never stayed in a resort. The closest thing I had to a resort was a cruise, which is still my most terrible vacation ever because I was stuck on a boat surrounded by staff trying to sell me things, junk food, loose children, and rowdy people. But I can get used to an assortment of exercise classes, helpful seminars, healthy meals, and spa on site - sitting right next to Snow Canyon.


Each day was a race to how much zen I can soak up. We arrived Saturday afternoon to a delicious healthy lunch, stretch-out-your-legs trail hike, barre, and mani/pedi. 

The next day started with a short hike through Snow Canyon. After an accidental tan, we did a foam rolling class before a creepy body treatment involving a vischy shower. I’m sorry to say that I am totes newbie when it comes to spa treatments as I am how-you-say totes cheap-o. I haven’t heard of a vischy shower because body treatments are something I can usually do myself. This was a red clay treatment where they wash you, pat organic, fair-trade red clay danced on by the natives with the tears of direwolves on your person, and proceed to cocoon you on a table in a room that resembles Dexter’s fun-time workspace. Then – GUYS then – she puts a warm towel on my face, presumably because most people love to steam their faces. I am not claustrophobic but it’s a different experience when you’re cocooned in plastic with a warm towel firmly placed on your face, intermittently pushed against for good measure. Then, I get rinsed by a shower with 7 heads. 


In other circumstances, this story would end in a happy ending. However, it ended up an awkward experience where one half of me was warm with the water while the other half was cold waiting its turn.


Monday was the last full day at the resort. By this time, I was anxious about going back to work and wanted to make sure I got all the quiet time I can get. Funnily enough, this translated into a morning of exercise. I tried pilates – insert groan here. I always thought pilates was mindless yoga. Because you stretch and hold poses without the inner chakra talk to yoga. But, guys, I learned it was originally meant for boxers to control their core! Who knew?! Thanks to this class, I learned how to hold my head up during sit-ups, v-ups, and general life the right way – after 32 years of living.

I also went to a weight loss seminar that was, thankfully, led by a real MD with full credentials that focuses on fat loss vs. regular weight loss. I learned so much! I am trying to apply this to real life – follow ups on this later. Then, obviously, I ended my day with a facial and massage. In the meantime, I found out Mama Hillin uses La Mer and that I needed to step it up. I haven’t been able to part with my moneys for La Mer, but I found my own skincare system that works best for my skin (so far). In between all this, I was able to sneak in quality hammock reading time. I haven’t been too big on hammocks, because I have lived in cities where it’s so humid, I get damp lying there. But, y’all, I am totes getting a hammock for the backyard.


Next year’s location is TBD. I am taking suggestions!

Sincerely, Tania