This week is extra special at Rancho la Puerta, as it is the celebration of Dia De Muertos. Yesterday afternoon a team of students from The University of Tijuana, lead by Jose Flores, Ph.D. decorated the dining hall with an altar in memory of Professor Szekely, (the founder) and his son Alex. All of their favorite foods, wine, sports and hobbies… even a trusted dog, decorated the altar. Tonight is a huge fiesta with the Ranch guests and Fiesta Band! Viva Dia de Muertos.
The 29th Annual Fall Arts Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming starts this Thursday September 5-15th. (click link for more info and schedule)
This Saturday the town of Jackson Hole, Wyoming will come together for a walk, run, stroll to raise money for the Community Foundation. Old Bill’s Fun Run has collected millions of dollars for hundreds of foundations in Jackson Hole. Join us at the town square this Saturday at 10am, and let the “giving” begin!
This October in New Delhi the Global Spa and Wellness Summit will be presenting the first Wellness Tourism Congress, with a special speaker… His Holiness the Dalai Lama. See you there!
Saturday, April 27th at American University, SELF Magazine is sponsoring an amazing fitness event, “Workout in the Park”~ Yoga, Crossfit, Pilates,… and the list goes on! See you there for a great day of health.
Handel’s Messiah was performed 3 times this week-end at the Washington National Catherdral, last night I was fortunate enough to see one of the performances. I say, “see” as I had front row tickets, located on the side of the magnificent altar. Which was really like having back stage passes, or a seat at a private rehearsal. I had an insider’s view of the concert that the other 2000 guests did not have privy to. My direct line of vision was the animated face of Conductor, Michael McCarthy. He is physical, emotional, gracious, alluring, fun Conductor, and brought to life the music Messiah. For me, it was not just multitudes of voices and violins that held my attention and imagination, it was that the Messiah was acted out with the raising of the conductor’s eyebrow, or directional signal with his hand, a grin, and intensity of musical expression. Hallelujah in deed!
Just an hour west of Washington, DC, The National Shrine Grotto of Lourdes is tucked away in the quiet woods of the Catoctin Mountains. The Grotto is part of the Mount St. Mary’s University but feels worlds away. Once you park and get away from the construction of the new visitor’s center, the pilgrimage begins through wooded paths that lead you to a circular reservoir, a 100 year old chapel, the grotto cave area, amphitheater, dozens of mosaics and a climb to the cross of Calvary. It is peaceful and touching as you see people reading in a quiet spot, or filling up their empty gallon jugs with holy water, praying, lighting candles, standing in front of a saintly statue, or on knees in the chapel.
The last time I was at the Grotto of Lourdes, I was collecting holy water for a friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer. The only container I had in my car was an empty water bottle. So I filled it, prayed, drove back to DC and gave it to her. The bottle of holy water accidentally put into the refrigerator by one of her nurses, and later that week, she ended up drinking it. Luckily it did not make her sick as it was from the grotto, (where the water is unfiltered) but I am happy to report, a year later she is cancer free.
Just spent an amazing day in Yellowstone National Park! No spas (like we know them to be) but 1000’s of thermal hot springs. Great to see the new growth of forest after fires, and herds of Bison. My new favorite find is Dragon’s Mouth Springs~ and it actually looks, smells (rotten egg) and sounds like a dragon!
In Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (just north of Jackson Hole) there is a 100 year old log cabin chapel, The Chapel of the Transfiguration. Visitors walk under the bell tower to get to the front door on a pathway surrounded by sage. Inside there is a picture window over the altar that looks out to the tip of the Grand Teton mountain range, and this view is the focus of this small chapel. The altar is a simple log structure with a log cross. Not much art work is on the walls, nor needed. There are 2 stained glass windows, a printed sermon from a Pastor dated 1940’s, a water color painting of the snowy chapel and a prayer request book which is mounted to the wall.
As I read through the prayer request book, (and wrote my own) it was outstanding and very intimate what people were requesting. Some shared marriage problems, or prayers for families in need, cancer victims, sons and daughters who were based in Afghanistan, good weather, and safe journeys. It was great to see children’s writing or Japanese alphabet or a paragraph written in French. The prayer request book, feels like the soul of this small Wyoming chapel. We are all travelers who seek peace, well being and hope for others.
After spending about 45 minutes in the Chapel of Transfiguration… it truly lived up to its name.