On a recent 12 day jammed packed business trip to the Southwestern region of the US ,  I took time after work to take of myself and enjoy some of the nature’s best moments.

Colorado is easy . The numerous parks and places to walk even in downtown Denver are amazing. However after all the walking and light weight training , luggage and a long flight , a trip to Chinatown was necessary to get the kinks out . The Miracle Massage and Reflexology offered good reviews so I ventured down to SW Denver. After an hour of foot and back prodding from Luie, an intuitive guy who knew where all the sore spots were,  I was relaxed and renewed.. Tipping in these low cost places and be half the cost of the massage . At 25.00 per hour a 10.00 tip is suggested, Luie got 15 …… he deserved it .

Ready to clear out the toxins quickly a bowl of PHO next store was required. Fresh herbs and limes help the liver to detox and increase the positive effects of the bodywork .  I love Vietnamese food because you can eat gluten and dairy free  which helps us cleanse more efficiently .

Early fall in New Mexico was beautiful . The purple sunsets extraordinary . Hiking around the hills east of Albuquerque proved to be great after work release.The signs posted that Mountain lions may be close by were a little discouraging so I was extra careful and stomped around a lot and did not venture off the paths.

In Santa Fe , I was a little more cultured and made to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Lorenzo staircase to see what all the fuss about. Very impressive , beautiful craftsmanship , I was not disappointed. Santa Fe is artist’s dream- sculptures,and art in every form line the streets in a tasteful way . The people are friendly and the folks at the Vitamin Cottage were incredibly smart . Very impressed too with the Sprouts staff ! For a taste of incredible Thai food visit Thai Cafe downtown .You will love the vibrant colors of the tables and plates …very cheerful and happy and the fr food is cooked from scratch without msg .  329 W San Francisco Street ,Santa Fe , NM .esh

A break came on Saturday after a training , I drove a couple of hours NW through several Indian Reservations to a little town -Jemez Springs. The hills reflected a varied color palette and cottonwood trees lined the small stream interweaving throughout the drive. I felt as though I were transported back into a Laura Ingalls novel, By the Shores of Plum Creek .  A friend of mine, Jolene  used to rave about the Bath House house here and she was right ! There is now a scenic route that highlights all the lakes and hot springs in this area, if you can spare a few days for exploration, go for it . There is luxury and budget lodges available.Would love to allow about 4 days here.

Go for the soak and a massage . They also offer wraps . Ask for Sherri . She was strong, joyful  and gave me a fantastic massage after a long  hot spring soak in an old concrete tub . No frills but the job gets done. Hiking , natural parks and specialty shops featuring local artists  dot this road . They do need some help at the local library in case anyone  needs a PT job !

On your way out of town , The Ponderosa Winery was also on the check list. I didn’t know that made wine in NM . Different flavors from similar grapes due to the uniqe growing conditions  , the humming birds, flowers and fresh peaches enhanced the bucolic scenery . Just be sure to drive the speed limit as you are NOT in US territory when driving through the 2 Indian reservations back to Albuquerque.

Trying to avoid the excessive hi  carb and greasy  typical SW menu , I found quite by accident , a Vietnamese restaurant who made my favorite dish . Beef & mint stuffed grape leaves, served hot with small bowl of spicy PHO . ( I usually take out 1/2 of the rice noodles to save on carbs ) . Everything was fresh and reasonably priced. Viet Rice . Checked it out.1340 Rio Rancho Drive SE . The service may be slow but it is well worth the wait .

Salt Lake City offered a more rugged severe mountainous view. But back back tucked away from the highway and the massive salt lake was Sundance , Robert Redford’s Eco resort that I had not frequented since the 80 ‘s . I took the chair lift up the mountain  and hiked 2 hours down . Was ready for business that evening !

Most of us are leading such hectic lives. Try and carve out moments of gratitude and exploration when you can . You will find yourself rewarded in so many ways and will be able to bless those you meet along the way.

In continued health ,

Sally Byrd

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