Anniversary at Amangiri

UtahSouthern Utah

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Happy First Week of August!

Here in Santa Barbara we continue to wake up to grey, gloomy skies

morning after morning, after morning.

Sure, it clears by mid-day most of the time but at the risk of sounding like a TV commercial, it makes such a difference to start the day off with sunshine don’t you think?!

We had no such problem in Utah earlier this year, where we traveled with a few close friends to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

The colour of the sky in the photo above is true, no filter, nada.

flying over Lake Powell

Arriving by air you catch an amazing view of a turquoise Lake Powell and the striated cliffs of the surrounding canyons.

Amangiri hotel, Utah

My girlfriends check out the view as we arrive at the entrance of our hotel.

The Amangiri  has been on my Travel Wish List since it first opened 4-5 years ago so I was thrilled to experience it on such a momentous occasion.

And I do believe hitting the 25 year mark in marriage these days can be considered momentous!

The hotel was everything we had hoped for and more.

First off, may I say that the huge pool area is outrageous and was built around a boulder that’s about 9 billion years old.

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OK, I don’t remember exactly how old it is but something really mind bendingly crazy.

You can see why I never considered being a geologist. Or a museum docent.

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(photo via Amangiri)

Travel, USA

The hotel sits in such a harmoniously unobtrusive manner that it’s barely visible until you’re almost directly upon it.

Way to go Amangiri architects.

Seriously.  I’ve had chin hairs more prominent.

cactus flower

The dashes of ultra saturated colours you glimpse here and there in the desert never fail to enthrall me.

hats & bags

Like all Aman resorts, the rooms are low-key, tasteful and chic.

Here, my hat with the bag, hat & walking stick the room provides.

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Stargazing bed, Amangiri Hotel, Utah

A star gazing bed on the roof of the only two-bedroom suite in the resort.

And you definitely want to be gazing skyward in the desert night.

Amangiri hotel, Utah

The complex is single-storied and designed so every room has both a beautiful bathroom with soaking tub, and a terrace with a fire pit facing out to the spectacular views.

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Two of my favourite words

spa

The spa does not disappoint. In fact, the technicians, despite their average age of, oh I’d say 19 (?!) were truly fantastic.

As were the yoga classes.

cocktails

Cocktails were generous, despite being poured in Utah.

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One cocktail and a 90 minute massage later, a spa-selfie is in order.

Do I really have to get dressed for dinner??

I dropped my phone on the concrete floor after this photo.

Relaxed much??

U.S. desert

The architecture, interior courtyards & walkways are full of interesting angles, shifts of light

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and spare, desert appropriate landscaping.

There isn’t a superfluous detail

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yet around every corner or slatted wall there’s something wonderful to discover

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The jacuzzi “amphitheatre” where we watched a movie projected against the wall one night.

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Peeking through the slats

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If relaxing poolside with a book is not your thaing, there are plenty of opportunities to get all sporty, including some great hikes…

Utah desert

In the distance you see the cave we hiked to from the hotel.  (Peer pressure)

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Slim Paley Instagram

My instagram shot from the cave interior

photography lesson

The Amangiri also offers a 3 hour complimentary photography lesson and hike.

Here, my silhouette shot of the instructor

rock formations, Utah

who imparted some really interesting tips about lighting and composition…

In addition to a plethora of geological information that I’d completely forgotten by the time we drove back to the hotel.

But these mountains and rocks are like really super ancient and form and deform in fascinating(ish) ways at a pace I can relate to.

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On a more serious note, we also fell madly in love with how skinny we looked in our shadow selfies :-)

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is just a short drive away, so one day we rented a boat and explored. I had NO idea of the vastness of the lake. It looked nothing like what I was expecting!

Lake Powell, Utah

Unfortunately, it clouded over a little that afternoon but the scenery was breathtaking nonetheless.

We docked the boat at one point and hiked to Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge, Utah

One the U.S.’s National Monuments, Rainbow Bridge is truly a site to experience.

Hiking Utah

A couple of the boys hiking back from Rainbow.

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For the more adventurous in our group, there was also a rock-climbing excursion (pinions, clamps, helmets, the whole 9 yards)

The pay off was traversing this suspension bridge at the top.

Super.

Don’t strain your eyes looking for me in this photo.

I’m back at the spa. Looking for the piece of my phone.

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Desert ‘Roses’

Amangiri hotel Utah

As night descends  on the Amangiri, a thousand lanterns light the labyrinth of paths and destinations where one can enjoy cocktails, dinner, or a movie under the stars.

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and when it’s time to retire, simply hook the  braided horsehair “Privacy” rope across the entrance to your suite.

(Genius. SO stealing this. Not the actual rope, just the concept)

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We shall see you again beautiful  Southern Utah.

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Until then, thanks for the wonderful memories.

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 Amangiri is located in the south west corner of the State of Utah, in the area referred to as ” The Four Corners”

The closest airport is in Page, Arizona, about a 25 minute drive from the hotel which provides complimentary shuttle services there and back.

For more information and photos of Amangiri click HERE

Happy Travels and Happy Weekend!

xxSP

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*PS. I have no affiliation with, nor receive any compensation whatsoever from The Aman Resorts.

Sadly.

Even though I’m a really loyal client. And I never took that rope.

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A Random Act of Kindness

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“Random Acts of Kindness”

We’ve all heard the phrase a thousand times.

It’s succinct, catchy, comes from a good place and in our hearts and minds, we’d all like to practice it daily .

I know for certain I would and yet I don’t. I have the very best of intentions, but days go by at the speed of light and honestly, unless things are taped to my forehead, more often than not I forget.

In fact (True Confessions Alert) some days I count returning my grocery cart to the little cart round-up-thingy as both a work-out, cardio, and a Random Act of Kindness.

Hanging head in shame as I admit that.

So imagine my majorly incredulous delight when someone gifted me today with an extraordinary random act of kindness.

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I’m going to try desperately to make a long story short here.

It started in January when a friend suggested that printing out my blog (3 years of posts) would be a great tool in possibly helping me cobble a book idea together. I agreed, but lamented that as I’d changed my format, the font was so big, the print so light, blah, blah, blah, and as usual, procrastinated. (New Year’s Resolution #1.  Fail)

Cut to this past Sunday night (actually, I think I’m doing rather well so far in keeping this short!) Downton Abbey’s on and my stomach virus is debuting with all the enthusiasm of a Broadway ingenue, when I receive an email from a very sweet, long time  Slim Paley reader.

And here’s where the story gets totally amazing…

In her email she says that she has enjoyed “Slim Paley” so much over the years that she’s been printing it out and keeping it in binders and there were now 9 of them. Due to her business moving their offices, the binders had to go and keeping them at home was also a somewhat unwieldy proposition.

Would I like her to send them to me?

Totally SERIOUS.

I’ve never met this lovely person (yet) who happens to live on the opposite coast, nor have we ever even spoken on the phone.

And today, LOOK WHAT ARRIVED!!

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890A6181I have to admit, I started to cry.

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890A6190Over 3 years, every photo, every word.

slim paleyWell, seriously, I’m just totally speechless.

SLIM PALEYExcept for writing this post of course.

Naturally I’m not mentioning who this wonderful person is, but I wanted to share it with all of you as it’s easy and understandable to feel it’s impossible to make a difference in the world we live in right now.

But, allow me my ‘Oprah Moment’ here to say it’s really true!

Random Acts of Kindness, big and small, can make all the difference,

even if it’s just in one person’s day.

I know I’m going to be making more of an effort for sure.

 I might even return TWO carts at the same time.

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PS.  So, as you can see, my week is finishing on a much better note than it began and it’s so nice to be back in the land of the living.

Great cleanse. Ahem. :)

 Thank you all for your kind wishes for a speedy recovery-they worked!!

Wishing you all a FANTASTIC rest of the week!

xx

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