I love me some hot water. I like hotel stays and hospital stays because of the endless supply of hot water showers. I’m not sure if I knew of hot springs prior to my stay in Costa Rica in High School, when we visited a natural hot water springs at the base of Volcan Arenal, BUT I can assure you once I was there, I didn’t want to leave. The agua caliente there came in the form of a huge waterfall and river, to which I sat under for what could have been hours. I was in love!
After that, I had heard of places like that in Colorado, and then again when I visited Japan. Now, Japan was interesting because not only were there tons of these places in Japan, but they were as common as a movie theatre with their patrons…. meaning children, elders, women, men, couples, big families all would frequent these places- in the nude. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. For me, I felt it weird to strip down naked and hop into cozy pools with other naked people.
But that didn’t really deter me from future hot springs visits in my own country, where body image issues are much more common. Not only that, but they are as near as Calistoga! I think I had known this for many years, but didn’t really think to make the trek until I made this list and was googling interesting things to do in California (#26 on my list).
This was a great experience with my friend Jamie. We went to Indian Springs Spa & Resort, started with the mud bath, a mineral bath soak, a steam room stay, a catnap next to the buddha pond followed up by a few laps in their naturally heated mineral water olympic size pool. If I were to offer a critique, however, it would be that the pool design definitely removed it from the ‘nature’ element that a hot springs is. I would have made it replicate more of what it was in Costa Rica- Waterfalls, river pools, plants and such. But otherwise, Jamie & I will definitely return in the Winter.