Thursday, October 18, 2007

Viva Vegas?

Typically, when I go on a travel trip to write about a place, unlike many writers, I don't do a lot of research ahead of time. Oh, I might do just enough to make sure that I'm on top of what to do and see while there, but I just don't want to do arrive at a destination with a preconceived notion about what it is like.

That's kind of tough to do with a place like Las Vegas where stereotypes abound: gambling, smoke-filled casinos, Fat Elvis, drunk businessmen and strippers just come straight to mind when you think of "Sin City." My prejudgements were dashed, however, and we had a fantastic experience. I kept teasing Mitch that we were going to run into the fabulous Marg Helgenberger, but we never did even though we were told the popular CSI show has been filmed several times at our hotel, the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort, a very elegant spa and golf resort located to the west side of the valley.

Listen to this, while we were there, we had the opportunity to hike into the hills of nearby Red Rock, where we took a yoga class from Kim Culp of Sherry Goldstein's Yoga Sanctuary. Kim was a Radio City Music Hall Rockette for 10 years, and we could tell we were in for a workout as she hopped and skipped from her car to the park's entrance gate.

We hiked for about a mile into the desert, and she took us to this formation of rocks that created a natural theatre for our meditation and exercise. I've taken yoga before, but there was something extra familiar about Kim's presentation. After the class, I asked her if she had ever read the Power of Now by Eckart Tolle, and it turns out she is not only a student of his teachings, but also uses the philosophies presented in the book throughout her yoga instruction as well.

The cool, dry air of October washed over us, and Kim's calming voice, carried by the natural acoustics of the canyon created a mind/body experience I will not soon forget.--Ruth Mitchell

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