Aging Orange County Star Gets a Makeover

It’s so Orange County to get some work done, isn’t it? A nip here... a tuck there... plump, suck, cut, lift... and voila! A younger, fresher face to show to the world! Well, an old Orange County favorite recently had some amazing work done and the results are FABULOUS!

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Our Spooky Visit to the Hollywood History Museum

About a week before Mother's Day, I saw a message in one of the Facebook groups I'm a member of. Someone was looking for families to be part of a new PBS show, Family Travel with Colleen Kelly. I emailed the producer of the show, told them we were an awesome and fun family, and basically begged to be part of the production. The producer wrote back with a few dates. I saw Mother's Day at the Hollywood History Museum and figured A) what a fun way for a Hollywood history buff to spend a special day, and B) they're never going to fill that spot on Mother's Day, so we're practically guaranteed the placement!

Sugar Mama was right! 

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Return to Eden (or Back at The Ranch)

Nearly two years ago, I was blessed with a week of wellness that changed my life. That was the week I spent reenergizing and renewing my spirit at Rancho La Puerta.

A Different Place in Time

It's easy to see why Travel + Leisure named Rancho La Puerta the "World's Best Destination Spa" the last two years, as well as earning their title of "Development and Community Building" award. It was a lovely life at The Ranch even if it was only for one week. Only an hour southeast of San Diego, in the desert mountains of Tecate, B.C., being at "The Ranch" felt like a world away at a time in life long forgotten.

Every morning, we woke to hike up mountains as the sun rose. We ate whole foods grown at The Ranch. We strolled along random paths going from pilates to yoga to meditation classes... swimming in the pools, walking in the labyrinth, or just resting among the flowers. It was so lovely and serene. It was the kind of quiet that invited amazing thoughts and revived dreams tucked behind the weekly to-do list.

It was the kind of living that reminds your soul of something that's been missing all this time.

RLP Peeps are Fun... and Sexy!

Don't let my wistful description of Eden fool you. It was a LOT of fun, too! There were lots of group activities, wild dancing, and plenty of laughs. I went with friends, but I could just as easily have gone alone. Being among other people that wanted to get back to a different lifestyle made it so easy to spark up cool conversations with strangers at the gazebo over the regular afternoon smoothies. You'll be treated to amazing presenters teaching visitors about an array of topics like sculpting, writing workshops, meditation, sacrocranial therapy (that was a cool class!), and visiting cooking instructors who teach, among other techniques vegetarian, gluten free, and outdoor cooking.

My favorite presenter? Oh, you know... just renowned sex researcher, Dr. Beverly Whipple of G Spot fame.


Twice I've visited, and twice she's been there. Pretty lucky!!

While I was taking in all the goodness of living more naturally and enjoying the time with other like-minded people, I couldn't help thinking how great it would be to have my kids there. I knew that I wouldn't have the same experience of being able to shut out the world and take time for myself, but part of me thought this would be such a great experience for them.

Plus, they're just so gosh darn cute that I start to miss them after a few days.

[caption id="attachment_1261" align="aligncenter" width="497" caption="Sugar Babies at the beach in San Diego"][/caption]

And now they can!

Rancho La Puerta introduces Family Weeks

Rancho La Puerta is typically restricted to visitors 16 and older. My older daughters would be able to enjoy this Garden of Eden, but at 8 and 10, the littlest ones would not. So when I heard the great news about Family Weeks, I was immediately delighted at the prospect of introducing them to The Ranch. As happy as I was knowing that it would now be possible for my kids to experience a week of conscious living, I also wondered how would taking the whole family to experience this holistic lifestyle might impact my need for quiet time and reflection. But after speaking with the RLP staff, I realized that Mom and Dad and kids would definitely be able to have the best of both.

Rancho La Puerta has set up a wonderful program for the kids and for families. Similar to the class and activity schedule that RLP has for adults -- something edifying, entertaining, and energizing at all hours -- kids will have plenty of opportunities to participate in fun and learning. Programs will be tailored to age groups: 7-11, 11-14, and 14-17. Children (and parents if they choose to) will be able to select from a wonderful schedule of camp-style activities, lectures, culinary experiences, and classes from renowned artists and speakers, such as:

  • Bio Construction (aka purposefully playing with mud)
  • Art Workshops (sculpting, painting, turning recycled materials into art)
  • Storytelling (a lost art)
  • Brazilian Drumming (FUN!)
  • Anime (taught by a former Disney artist)
  • Gardening (more fun with dirt!)

The schedules were also created with family time in mind, making time for families to come together for meals and resting times. I can totally picture The Joneses sitting out on the patio near the fountain, enjoying our delicious meal.

And after lunch, lounging in hammocks under the giant oaks or taking a siesta on the patio outside our family's villa, a light breeze blowing through the the trees.

Ahhhh, what bliss!

Not Your Average Summer Vacation

There are no TV's, no video games, not a single roller coaster. No giant ball of twine or world's largest thermometer to Instagram to your friends. You won't find hot dog or cotton candy or fried food stands here. There are no overpriced hats and tee shirts to tell all your neighbor's where you went this summer.

And I think that's what you would love the most about a family vacation at Rancho La Puerta. Absent of all the noise of the world, there's just tranquility, mindfulness, whole foods, a return to the love of nature... and time. Time to bond. Time to listen to each other's hearts. Time to build memories.

It's a legacy of living that will have a powerful impact on our children for years to come. Our world has a lot of healing to do and our children are the key. I truly believe that a week at Rancho La Puerta could have an amazing impact on not only the future of the children that come to this beautiful Garden of Eden, but the future of those around them.

Dates and Rates for Family Weeks at Rancho La Puerta

  • August  4-11
  • August 11-18

Rates for Family Weeks are $3,000 per person for adults and $500 per child from 7-17 (plus tax). Rates are good for all guest room types, so if you book soon, you and your family could be lucky and get a two room villa with living room, kitchenette, and a patio with a view like the one above.

Even if guests are not bringing children, these are great weeks to experience the ranch at that low rate. A week at Rancho La Puerta is typically $7,000 for the week.

For more information or to make a reservation for this unique family experience, call 800/434-7565

Want to see more pictures from Rancho La Puerta? Click over to my Flickr RLP photo album.