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When Judy’s doctor called and gave her the good news about her remission from breast cancer, we screamed, laughed and cried together. “Let’s do something big – let’s take a trip,”  Judy suggested. For several months we were always too busy –work, family, doctors appointments, dog sitters — there were always good excuses. Finally the stars aligned and we mapped out a short getaway to the mountains.

The drive from San Francisco to the Ritz Carlton at Lake Tahoe gave us time to decompress. For three and a half hours, we unloaded about our jobs, our children, our friends, good movies and books.

Ritz Carlton Tahoe Spa

Perhaps nothing puts life and good health into perspective more than hiking, biking, spa-ing or skiing, with a close friend in a stunning high-alpine setting. We indulged in the curative power of the mountains, and truth be told, the pampering at the Ritz-Carlton.

We escaped to a place where stress was replaced with serenity and concerns about health issues were smoothed away by the forest sanctuary.

Recipe for a Perfect Girlfriends Getaway

* Select a destination that’s easy to get to. I chose the mountains, but we could have gone to New York City, Chicago or San Francisco and also had a great celebration. Big cities can be tiring – of course – we want to do it all and are on the go all day and evening.

* Choose accommodations offer lots of services and eating choices so you won’t spend your time shopping for groceries and cooking.

* Avoid over planning. Have a  “down time” every day to sit by a pool, read, take a long bubble bath.

Judy and I agreed that we wanted a quick trip with comfy lodging, terrific food, and a variety of activities, a spa, and stunning scenery. We got it all at the Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe.
Sweeping floor-to-ceiling views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains welcomed us each morning from our spacious room; a crackling fire in the fireplace lulled us to sleep at night.

Living Room - Slopeside View

We spent a lot of time outdoors; lounging by the resort’s heated pool on the meadow, swimming laps, and lounging again, at the adult-only heated pool nestled beneath fragrant pine trees, soaking in the Jacuzzis and while sipping local brews and chowing down succulent ribs at the Backyard barbeque.

Spa Serenity

The Ritz-Carlton Spa is an oasis of pampering. After we soaked in the large Jacuzzi, steamed in the steam bath, we unwound and warmed ourselves by the cozy fireplace in the private restoration lounge, then stepped into the dry-heat-lodge to detoxify, and then into the mentally uplifting eucalyptus steam room before a masterful massage.

Ritz Carlton Tahoe Spa

Spring Specials at the Ritz

Ritz-Carlton (Lake Tahoe, California): Beginning May 6th, starting rates drop 40%, starting at $199 per night.  Special romance, golf or Spring Spa Getaway packages dip to $399 a night and include two spa treatments or two rounds of golf at a Jack Nicholson-designed course. Play bocce ball, lawn games, or volleyball. In the late-spring and summer the whole mountain turns into a downhill mountain biking park.

Bocce Ball Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe

Take the chair lift up, enjoy the Lake Tahoe views and cruise down on the well-marked ski trails. After July 4th try your hand at free casting lessons and test your balance at free paddle board lessons.  After sunset watch for the glow of put-put golf games on the lawn or soak in the Jacuzzis in the moonlight.  Don’t leave your best friend at home. You and your dog can take advantage of the trails through the wood and the Sunday “Yappy Hour” around the fire pit.

Fire Pit - Horizontal

What did we learn? Celebrate every chance you can. Don’t put it off.  And tell those you love how much they mean to you.

North Star Ritz Carlton

The pounding of our hearts in our ears as we rode the Northstar ski lift to 8,610’ and the exhilarating runs down the mountain restored our sense of good health and reminded us to live life to it’s fullest. Riding the ski lifts allowed us to take in the splendor of the forests and views of crystalline-blue Lake Tahoe.