29 August 2013

Harbin Hot Springs Adventure with the Cuz

Credit: harbin.org

Yes Nelli called it I've been "blog slacking". Shame shame know your name! ;) ha. Been keeping busy I've had one project 1/2 way done for the last week which I plan on blogging about as soon as I'm finished with it..so stay tuned for that one.

Yesterday my cousin and I took a little day trip to the Harbin Hot Springs which is located in Middleton, CA. Middleton is near Calistoga and depending on the route you take you can pass through Napa to get there, yet another beautiful little town. My cousin had been to Harbin a couples times prior and has been telling me about how awesome it is for months.

Alas we finally stopped talking and did a little walking, and by walking I mean a 2 1/2 hour drive. The drive was not bad at all, especially because I wasn't the one doing it. But it was quite the scenic drive the entire way there with little freeway time at all. We saw many beautiful sights on the way such as Lake Berryesa, (which I had no idea was so huge!) the forest, tons of vineyards and of course all those little towns on the way there.

We were starving by the time we reached the hot springs and decided to grab a bite to eat from the restaurant located on site before taking a dip. To begin with my cousin and I split an organic salad all the produce grown on site, and for our entree we shared a Moroccan Chicken dinner which was served with white rice, yogurt, and fresh veggies. My sweet tooth lit up when I saw the Mixed Berry Crumble so of course that is what we had for dessert. Dinner was over and it was time to get to the good part..the hot springs!

Now I didn't mention before but the Harbin Hot springs is a hippie type joint that people come to visit from all over the world. There are cabins you can rent, and camping on site. Being that it is a hippie type place most people were..wait for it..naked! That's right wearing their birthday suits while enjoying the hot springs, although I didn't opt to go nude it was kind of liberating to be around so many people who were just being one with nature and each other for that matter ;) My cousin and I were the ones who actually got kind of weird looks because we were wearing our swimsuits and there were few of us around who were, which was also kind of a fun/weird feeling. But because of the nudity and for the sake of serenity cell phone usage is not allowed any where except the parking lot which means no photos. So alas you all will have to go for yourselves just to see how beautiful and serene this place really is (or you can check out their website for photos but what fun is there in that?!) :)

Harbin offers many hot springs as well as cold springs, a sauna and steam room. The hottest hot spring was inside a little structure which had a sculpture and candles around it, it was like a sanctuary and because of this you're not supposed to talk while soaking in it. But alas I couldn't handle the heat and could barely put my foot into the scorching water, my cousin soaked for a bit while I sat on a bench inside the building and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere. I had never been into a sauna or steam room so we decided to check those out as well, and I loved it! Felt so relaxing and really helped put me further at ease. After dipping around in all of the warm springs we decided we better get home before it got any later. Next time I go I plan on spending the night as all of the hot springs are open 24 hours a day, which is really awesome. I really don't know how my cousin could drive after such a relaxing time but we made it home and of course passed out really well. I highly suggest everyone check out this serene get away as it will really relax you on a level I'm sure many have yet to experience.

Lake Berryesa

The hills & vineyards

Forest shot