Things I LoveWining/Dining



One would be hard pressed to suggest that a unique group of women executives do not have their priorities straight: work hard; accomplish as much as you can; then reward yourself with a weekend in beautiful surroundings with lots of pampering. That’s exactly how it is every year, the first weekend in February, for the Organization of Women Executives where I have been an active member (including past president) for more than 10 years.


A major guessing game takes place each fall when members start wondering where Spa Weekend will take place.  After the last four years at Terranea, this year’s weekend took us for the first time to the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Niguel.  Everyone was greeted with a glass of champagne, but it pays to room with the board chair as we had additional amenities in our room including wonderful cookies and a candle …
View from the room …
Our brilliant spa chair

The task of recommending where we go — based on rates and many other factors — belongs to the board member who will assume the presidency in the following term.  In many ways chairing Spa Weekend can be a more daunting responsibility than the one ultimately assumed. Our president appoints her board to find our speakers, chair special events, recruit new members, etc. After the intense year of overseeing spa weekend, the next year is more about oversight.  It’s an excellent system that has served well.   Kudos to this year’s chair Lisa for doing an fabulous job!


Clockwise from upper left:  Lunch on the terrace at 180 Blu
with a visitor; in-room breakfast; view from the gym makes
a work-out ever more pleasant!

While the official event is from Saturday lunch through Sunday brunch, 80% of our members now include Friday as well …  I was fortunate to arrive mid-day on Friday which means I could enjoy my spa appointment that day and have Saturday more unstructured until the beautiful dinner that evening.



We gathered in small groups for dinner Friday night at either Raya (above), featuring Pan-Latin cuisine, or enoSTEAK


A huge hit this year was our hospitality suite, where we had more spirits to enjoy and all
the fixins’ to make S’mores over the outdoor fire pits!

My deep-tissue massage from a big guy named Ed was absolutely out of this world. No question it is a luxury to enjoy treatments at a high-end spa, but this one was just amazing from start to finish.  A lot of group interaction takes place as members are coming and going in the spa, plus special events offered: wine tasting, tide pool exploration, new members get-together and the like.
Lunch on the terrace featured an omelette bar


Dinner began with a beautiful composed salad; followed by either salmon or beef; and
then a duo of desserts



Suffice to say, the hotel could not have anticipated how hard we party … the outstanding Adam Jackson trio provided music that was irresistible.   We likely recruited some new members — women passing through the lobby danced along with our group!



The first time I attended spa weekend years ago, the hubby asked me to describe my day.  I told him lunch, spa, work-out, dinner and wine in a beautiful setting, etc. “So what’s the agenda?” he inquired.  That IS the agenda! And a great one it is.  I adore this group; more importantly, I both learn from and respect the women in this group.  How great to be a part of something both fun and rewarding ..