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I took a mini-break from my work week to spend a couple of days with my family, and on Wednesday my mom and I took a road trip up to Calistoga for a spa day. We first stopped in Yountville to grab some pastries and coffee at Bouchon Bakery. I’m going to forever refer to Washington St as “Thomas Keller Drive” since Ad Hoc, Bouchon Bakery, Bouchon and French Laundry are all on the same street, converging into a magical foodie vortex filled with pea chutes, champagne flutes and butter. Sometimes the simplest things bring pure delight, like this Rasberry Almond croissant with a streusel topping.
Janine Weissman and her team of bakers fill the Bouchon Bakery with confections, breads, cookies, cakes and tarts that are dazzling. In my book, no trip to Napa would be complete without an A.M. stop at Bouchon Bakery!
We continued onto Calistoga where my mom and I spent a belated Mother’s Day at the Solage Spa and Resort where my mom enjoyed one of their signature massages and I tried the Mudslide, which was a unique take on the traditional Calistoga mud bath. I’m a bit of a germaphobe, so the thought of sitting in a vat of mud that countless other people have sat and detoxified in just wasn’t too appealing to me.
At Solage their mud treatment includes a pail of a personalized mix of mud, clay, volcanic ash, mineral water and an essential oil of your choice.
You take your pail into a heated sauna apply the mud and rest to let the mud detoxify. Then you rinse off and are escorted to a mineral bath soak and the treatment ends with a relaxing sit in a zero gravity pulsating chair that is synchronized with the tones of the music played in the room via headphones. It was such a unique experience! The heated mineral pools were sublime, and the property was immaculate. We lucked out on a day that wasn’t too crowded, but this property books up pretty quickly. Both my mom and I raved about the service and amenities and we’re already looking forward to our next visit!
A perfect day in the wine country, and we didn’t go to a single winery!
6528 Washington Street
Yountville, California 94599
A free museum visit and a beautiful spring day…that sounds like a perfectly simple recipe to kick off the weekend! In partnership with the International Council of Art Museums, the Association of Art Museum Directors is celebrating Art Museum Day. Over 170 museums are participating by offering discounted or FREE admissions!
The 2013 theme; “museums (memory + creativity) = social change” plays on the role of art as a catalyst to inspire, innovate and motivate our own creativity to influence and impact our world. My own memories of museums have inspired me in countless ways, dating back to my first visit to the San Francisco Natural History Museum and the Academy of Sciences at 5 years old. I’ve always found solace in them, and have been inspired by the way museums expose me to work that either resonates with my own realities or introduces me to concepts beyond my wildest imagination. A museum visit can expose new, old, exciting, scary, beautiful, awe-inspiring, and cringe inducing themes; if your lucky, a single visit can combine them all leaving you in a hopeless state of culture shock.
For more information and inspiration, here’s a list of participating museums.
I have two distinct reactions to exhibitions. I either love it so much that I immediately come home to write about it, or I sit on the experience and let it ruminate in my mind for weeks. I went to the Urs Fischer exhibit at MOCA a week and a half ago, and I am still thinking about it.
The artist defies a cogent description. All I knew of Fischer prior to the show was that he had a gallery show in NYC where he excavated the gallery space. Within 2 seconds of walking into MOCA it is clear that Fischer likes to destroy and morph every aspect of his exhibition space. From slow melting wax sculptures and suspended fruit to blown out holes in the gallery walls, Fisher eschews stasis.
Weeks later, I still struggle to mentally synthesize the raindrops in “Horses Dream of Horses” with the “Bread House” (yes it was a house made of bread which certainly curbed my craving for carbs for a day or two). What I saw was quite remarkable. Every inch of the gallery space provides an opportunity for commentary, from the slick black vinyl floors to the sloppily whitewashed walls.
MOCA’s triumph with this show is that they chose to go “all in” with Fischer and opened up the Geffen Contemporary to “Yes”, a collaborative project that transformed the Geffen into a claymaking studio. Over 1,500 people were invited to mold clay in the museum with the results now on display. Here’s a great video of the process. This is one of the best curated shows I’ve seen at MOCA in a long time.
So of course I started thinking about what I would have done.
What about you? What did you think of the Met Gala fashions?
What would you have worn?
Update: Sure enough, thanks to the interwebs, you CAN make a bag out of