Archive for December, 2010
I beset on a journey today… To meet our “last guest of 2010” at Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona
My name is Jeff West, and I am the Manager of Guest Experience here at Glen Ivy. Some of you might know me already… and if not, I look forward to meeting you on your next visit. The last day of 2010 was a beautiful one here at Glen Ivy Hot Springs—the end of our anniversary year and the beginning of our next 150 years—it only seemed appropriate that we honor this moment in time with words from our guests, specifically the last visitor of 2010 and the first of 2011….
At the end of the day, front desk let me know that our “last guest” was Donna Brown and I met her at the Salon where she was having a facial. I explained my quest to her and she was delighted to participate, and I spent an hour speaking with this most wonderful woman; funny, engaging, inquisitive, sharp, disarmingly candid, there aren’t enough adjectives. She was also absolutely giddy at being photographed, as she put it, “Jeff, I’ll never see it..so…I trust you to make me beautiful”… Donna is also blind.
Some highlights from my visit with the last guest of 2010 at Glen Ivy Hot Springs, Donna Brown:
Jeff: Donna, how many times have you been to Glen Ivy?
Donna: This is the fifth year in a row. I come every year to bring my friend Linda to celebrate her birthday, or should I say she brings me? (laughing) Obviously you’d rather see my dog drive here than get me behind the wheel! But what a wonderful treat to come every year and spend a relaxing day and get treated like royalty. It’s the perfect way to start the New Year.
J: Donna, what is your favorite part of the experience here at Glen Ivy? What brings you back every year?
D.: The quick answer is the gentle kindness that I feel from all the staff here. The calming and relaxing effect, the best facials, I love the floating pool… all the waters! I am absolutely crazy for the Café Solé. I wish you would tell the Chef for me that he should either create a cookbook to sell in the boutique or feature a recipe every month or so on the website. I especially love his salads, the best! I know it shouldn’t take a recipe to make a salad… but how the hell does he do it?
But I tell you the most important thing is this: I sense that everyone here goes the extra mile without making a big production of my obvious disability. That’s so important to me. Everyone is so helpful and respectful, but never am I embarrassed. You know it doesn’t go down that way everywhere. You don’t know how great it feels to be treated so well and so respectfully, and yet I feel very, very safe and cared for.
J: Donna, beautifully put, and thank you for that, such a huge compliment and my favorite compliment of 2010. Tell me Donna, do you make New Year’s Resolutions? And if so, will you share with me yours for this new year?
D: To learn new things, always adding something new, there is always something new to learn. And to continue good health! Jeff, can I ask you a question?
J: Absolutely, I can’t wait!
D: How do I get my husband to come? Or better yet, what if I were to get a few of my girlfriends, who are also blind, together to come? Can I depend on you for some help making them feel as safe as I feel here at Glen Ivy? Can I contact you directly?
J: Donna, this I can assure you: if you get your friends together to join us for a day; it will be my honor and my pleasure to see to it that your group has the time of their lives.
D: Oh, Jeff, you don’t know how special that is. The girls don’t get to experience so much because they need to feel safe and it’s hard to ask for help… and when you do get it, sometimes it’s overdone and you feel like an invalid. We just want to have fun and enjoy ourselves… and feel safe doing it.
We were then joined by Donna’s friend, Linda, and she was equally delightful and we had a great chat. My quest to meet our last guests of 2010 turned into a memorable hour with two charming ladies!
D: Jeff, you’ve made our day—Linda’s and mine! Glen Ivy is the best, and you know we all have enough of these things (she swept her arm around indicating the contents of the Spa Lifestyle Store where we were standing by this time). What we come back for is memories!
With that, I walked our last guest of 2010 out to her car and presented a small gift. She was overwhelmed, and tears were shed… BY ME! And off they went, and I look so forward to their return.
Tomorrow I look forward to meeting the first guest of 2011!
It’s time to welcome in the New Year and you know what that means – it’s time to make your New Year’s resolution! The aim to make improvements to our lives and our selves in the upcoming year is an age old tradition, but forming resolutions, big or small, can be daunting. At Glen Ivy Spa we want to suggest that this thoughtful, introspective process be directed toward identifying “Intentions, and turning them into Actions.” This is the focus of our January Monthly Challenge, where we will be discussing ideas to strengthen our resolve and support our endeavors. To start those wheels turning and offer some inSPAration to the process, we are inviting you to Share your Intentions! We will share as many as we can through the Blog along with any suggestions the Glen Ivy professional team has to offer to keep you on track. At the end of this week, we will select one submission to receive 12 Free Admissions to Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona, one for every month of the year!
How to Enter:
Send an email to Contest@GlenIvy.com by Thursday, January 6 and tell us about your resolution, why it’s important to you, and how Glen Ivy can help you keep it all year long.
One lucky winner will receive 12 Admission Passes (single use) for Glen Ivy Hot Springs in Corona – one day of admission for each month during the year! Intentions require action plans so let us help you put your intentions into actions in 2011!
Dear Glen Ivy Friends,
Thank you for your continuing support of Glen Ivy at the close of our 150th anniversary year. We have been gratified and touched by the very inspiring stories you’ve told us about healing and hope, fond memories and friendships made at Glen Ivy. We’re honored to be the place you choose to share life’s great joys, to celebrate special occasions, to ponder life’s little challenges as well as the place you come to for personal relaxation and renewal.
Our wish for you this holiday season is continued health and happiness and to know we’re here for you. Let us help you make your New Year’s intentions year-long acts of wellness in 2011.
As always, I welcome your comments and look forward to welcoming you back to Glen Ivy.
All my best.
The towels were laid on the lounge chairs with care, and friends gathered close, with conversations to share.
Some guests soaked in baths or lounged peacefully instead, while scrumptious treats from Chef Bill danced in their heads.
By the end of the day, all faces were a’ glow, each wishing they could stay and not have to go.
We all knew that Santa was well on his way, but still stopped at Club Mud for a last play in the clay.
Then all of a sudden what did we hear? It was Santa’s sleigh landing with his team of reindeer.
On the top of Sole Terrace he jumped with such ease, relieved to be in So Cal and away from the freeze.
He stopped at each pool, bath house and more, and stretched with some yoga before visiting the Spa Store.
All the reindeer got restless so they hit the salon, where they had hooves painted red and mineral make up put on.
Before he departed Santa wanted one last treat, so he got a massage (focusing on his feet).
A trip to the grotto and a mineral bath soak, then Santa took off his spa robe and donned hat and coat.
He filled all the bird feeders with special holiday seed, and visited the turtles hiding under the reeds.
With the moon on the rise o’re the mountains around, he took one last stroll through the beautiful grounds.
The reindeer stood ready, restored and renewed, as Santa left gifts for the good Glen Ivy crew.
A cup of Paradise Tea and he was on his way, exclaiming “Happy Spalidays to all, I wish I could stay!”
“Mi Casa es Su Casa”
“Home for the Holidays…”
“Home is where the Heart is.”
“My home is not a place, it is people.”
– Lois McMaster Bujold
Easy Entertaining Tips
One of the best parts of the holidays is the time we get to spend with friends… new and old, from near or far. Quality time together is what matters most, so our Spa team gathered some tips to make your home warm and welcoming for all, keeping it simple and stress free. Be ready to receive surprise guests or send an impromptu invitation to the neighbors.
- Set the festive mood. Queue a playlist of your favorite holiday music, place a few scented candles ready for lighting, and have the makings for cider or mulled wine nearby.
- Serve simple yet delicious recipes with only a trio of ingredients… from appetizers to dessert, pick a few and keep on hand, you can whip up some delectable bites in minutes!
- Forgot a gift? Have a stash of your favorite chocolates and wine on hand for any extra gifting needs, and you will enjoy any that are left over.
- Surprise guests catch you off guard? No worries, you can do a house tidy in 10 minutes! Today’s Parent magazine tells you how…
- Will they stay more than a day? Make longer visits easy and comfortable with thoughtful conveniences such as an extra key, having coffee ready to go at a flip of a switch, and a neighborhood map… Read more.
“I always like to set out a few dishes of apples or oranges for color and easy kid snacks.”
Laurie D., Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa, Corona
What is your favorite way to set the mood? Share your tips for a stress free entertaining:
The holidays are in full effect and you know what that means—spending time with relatives is inevitable. For some, time with relatives can cause more stress than joy this time of year. As part of our Monthly Challenge we want to help ensure that those family gatherings are as enjoyable as possible with some simple strategies for keeping the holidays pleasant this year!
-Take a few minutes to figure out how YOU want to act. Don’t get caught up in the heat of the moment, you have to do your part to ensure that everyone will get along.
-Try to remember that topics that seem harmless to you may upset others. Try to ask open ended questions so people don’t feel like they’re being interrogated. Even though you are trying to show interest, others may take it as judgmental.
-Avoid conflict. Some families might enjoy a friendly debate but sometimes things can get out of hand. If you know a relative feels passionately about something try not to oppose it in conversation.
-Take it easy on the alcohol. Even if you’re the type of person who is cheery while intoxicated, it is still best to take it slow. Alcohol can make people combative, depressed, and lower inhibitions to a harmful level.
-Partake in the tradition. Long-term traditions can help families bond and create a sense of closeness.
-Don’t stuff yourself. There’s nothing worse then being too full to enjoy the festivities or feeling guilty about the three slices of pie you ate. Stay in control of holiday eating and come up with a strategy to help you get through this time.
-Remember it’s the HOLIDAYS! Be thankful for everything that you have. Studies show that gratitude is a major mood booster.
If all else fails, remember the wonderful and joyous things that the holiday season brings and try not to get bogged down in all of the family drama. Simply brush it aside and truly remember the meaning of the holiday season!
Maybe everybody doesn’t know Chule, but I would bet just about any Glen Ivy Hot Springs guest who visits regularly does.
Dimitrije and Vera Cülevski first came to Glen Ivy in 1968. Better known as Chule, for more than 40 years he has been Glen Ivy’s most enthusiastic promoter and frequent guest. You may know him as the aging European cherub of the mineral baths, an ivy leaf on his nose held in place by thick glasses. All who know him love his zeal and zest for life. Many of us have experienced his springing out of a mineral bath to greet us with a wet hug and kisses on both cheeks.
The Cülevskis are from the city of Bitola in southwestern Macedonia, just north of the Greek border. The land is naturally beautiful and the people are tenaciously cheerful in character. These are Chule’s roots.
Chule and Vera met during World War II and married in 1947. Having mastered the traditional skills taught to him by his father and grandfather, he had his own small shop in Bitola about 1940. In addition to weaving, he also spun his own wool into yarn and dyed it in homemade vats. After the war he moved to a larger shop along the Dragor River in Bitola, and became locally known as the master weaver in a town of master weavers. Weaving was and is his passion. It’s in his blood. Chule is the 5th generation of weavers in his family, who altogether produced rugs and blankets for a century and a half.
Living in a socialist society entrepreneurship was discouraged. Private business owners were disapproved of by the government, taxed heavily, sometimes forced to fail so the state could take over the enterprises. Unwilling to continue under these conditions, the strong-minded Chule applied for and obtained a visitor’s visa to the United States. He left Macedonia alone in 1966. Vera, daughter Lidi, and son Niko couldn’t join him in America for nearly two years. In the meantime Chule was granted a permanent visa as an artisan, and could stay in the U.S.
He worked hard to start their new life, learned English, and saved all he could to later realize his vision of having his own business, free from the oppression of the past. In 1968 he brought his family, his entrepreneurial drive, and his Macedonian weaver’s skills to California. He was finally able to set up his first weaving shop in 1974, in a rented garage in San Pedro.
Literally thousands of times over the years, Chule, often with Vera, visited Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa. He thought nothing of making the hour’s drive each way, even if just to stay and soak an hour or two. Glen Ivy was their break, their relief from work. The healing waters soothed their bodies and salved their souls. Chule attributes his longevity to Glen Ivy. “Without Glen Ivy, I would have died from stress. Here is where I relax. I am happy here. I love it!”
Weaving is an ancient textile craft in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads, called the warp and the filling, or weft, are interlaced to form a fabric. The way the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is called the weave.
The fabrics of our lives are woven of the warp of our character and the weft of our choices. Every day – indeed, every moment – our behaviors, how we express ourselves, pass like weaver’s shuttles left and right, revealing patterns in our fabrics. Like all of us, Chule is more than a weaver of blankets. Across generations he and Vera weave an old world and a new in the warp and weft of their lives. Their love and their blankets touch many people. The colors are vivid, the patterns rich, the results lasting. Chule’s blankets are both facts and symbols of a life’s work.
From its 1970s beginning, “Chule’s Wool Blankets” has been a family business. Chule wove. Vera hand-tied the wool fringes on both ends of every blanket. Lidi and Niko, adults with families of their own and full time jobs, displayed and sold blankets as many as 30 weekends a year at art shows and festivals all over California. After Vera tied tied the fringe, every blanket was washed to pre-shrink it, hung in the shop to air dry, and brushed to fluff it up and to remove excess wool fibers, before folding and storing. For 20 and more years the business grew. Chule added looms and other equipment, bought wool by the ton, worked endless hours, and visited Glen Ivy to get away. Through all those years the Spa was growing too, and Chule often remarked on the entrepreneurial parallel: “Give a good product at a fair price, and you’re happy. I’m happy, everybody happy.” His vision for his business was “to warm the world with blankets.” He saw Glen Ivy’s as “to warm the world with water.”
This year during the holiday season, Chule blankets will be for sale in the retail shop at Glen Ivy. With each blanket comes a measure of history along with the touch of two special spirits, woven together through time.
-John C. Gray, Glen Ivy Founder
Updated: In loving memory of Vera Cülevski
We would like to introduce you to the Clarisonic Face Brush Pro, a revolutionary skin care tool now being used in all facial treatments at Glen Ivy Spa, Valencia.
What is it you ask? This gentle cleansing brush with sonic technology is proven to gently yet efficiently loosen dirt and oil to clear your pores. With 300 movements per second with micro-massage action cleans more than TWICE as effectively as manual cleansing! Skin looks and feels softer, smoother, and absorbs products better.
One of a few Valencia-Santa Clarita retailers with this new product, Glen Ivy Spa, Valencia is selling the Clarisonic Face Brush Pro and replacement heads in their Spa Lifestyle Store. Add this to your daily beauty regime and it’ll be like having a daily facial! The Clarisonic Face Brush Pro also makes a great gift as the ultimate beauty tool!
Learn more about the Clarisonic Face Brush Pro on their website: http://www.clarisonic.com/shop/sonic-cleansing-systems.php
I love the idea of the holidays and all that they bring—the joy and good tidings, wonderful days with family and friends, and the satisfaction of finding just the right gift…and then December is here before I know it and it’s time to get into action. With a full schedule, finding ways to squeeze in the activities, make time for the details, and be prepared for the big day can be tricky, stressful, and often times leave one feeling guilty, unfulfilled, and exhausted. (A reality that all to often doesn’t measure up to that cozy image that “dances in your head” the other 11 months of the year!)
Because Glen Ivy is in the business of making people feel relaxed and renewed, we want to make sure that your holidays are going to live up to your expectations. That is why we have decided to make our December Monthly Challenge to you very simple. Remember what matters most…Whether you are super organized and have a check list a mile long (and are almost finished), or like me and just setting up your tree and rummaging through the attic for the lights, we know from experience that keeping your holiday priorities simple and in place will make for a more enjoyable time for you and those you love. We will also be sharing tips for how to manage holiday stress, ideas for making gifts meaningful, creative and personal without spending too much, and a fresh look on what the new year holds.
Earlier this month, the LA Times mentioned that a day at Glen Ivy is great way to Manage Stress without Breaking the Bank…A reminder that scheduling quiet time–on your own or with friends and family—can easily be “what matters most.” Make the time to reflect and renew, enjoy the healing touch of a massage, go for a walk in our gardens, have a quiet lunch with a loved one..these are all moments that can “put you in the mood” to give and receive all the true gifts this season has to offer..on day 16, 15, 14, 13..and all year ’round.