Back from Canyon Ranch

When considering a Spa getaway, you may expect some fitness offerings, relaxing massages, and healthy food options; however, the depth of services from Medical to Spiritual at Canyon Ranch far surpasses the offerings of typical Spa resorts.

You can fulfill your continuing education credit (CME & CNE for physicians and nurses) with all their seminars, workshops, and guest speakers.


You can reflect, set intentions, start a new physical practice, change eating habits, enjoy artistic hobbies, or simply rejuvenate in their spa with their unique therapies and treatments.

You can improve your golf game, tennis game, challenge yourself on the ropes course or try indoor surfing, drumming, or dance classes.

You may need some time to de-stress, work on a relationship, recover from a medical circumstance or rehab.

You can do as much or as little as you like, but Canyon Ranch definitely provides plenty of opportunity to be inspired within a comfortable, friendly, and naturally beautiful environment. 

It is a complete mind, body, spirit transformational experience that is difficult to convey in words. You have to experience it for yourself in order to realize how meaningful it can be, not just for yourself, but also for those around you whose lives you touch daily.

And, last but not least there is always a way to make a difference. Please visit to learn about how Canyon Ranch Institue promotes individual and community well-being through collaborating with partners who share their vision of a healthy world.

Day 2-Vancouver, BC

We were really excited that it wasn’t going to rain today and we could spend the day going up to Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. We took the free shuttle (as long as you have purchased the Gondola ticket) from Canada Place to the base of Grouse Mountain where you board the Gondola. It takes you up over 3000 ft in just 8 minutes. Once you get up to the top, you can enjoy many activities such as a Lumbar Jack show which was entertaining. They also have a birds show, 2 movies, the grizzly bear habitat, the wind turbine, a zip line, paragliding, and a wolf exhibit.

We then took the shuttle down the hill to the Capillano Suspension bridge. It was very exciting and educational for the kids. They participated in a fun scavenger hunt going around identifying weather patterns, different types of trees and their characteristics, looking for forest animals and learning about their natural habitats, and comparing their own wing span to common birds that live in the forest. The Cliffwalk with it’s high, narraw, and partial glass bottom walkway was a thrilling experience although it could be a bit scary for those afraid of heights.

After our full day of exploring the tourist activities of Vancouver, we took the bus to the ferry terminal, the ferry (SEABus) across to the waterfront and then walked to a nearby restaurant called Nuba for some amazing Lebanese food. The restaurant was recommended by our concierge at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Just outside our hotel,  we stopped for dessert and had some of the best Gelato in Vancouver at Bella Gelateria.

Visiting Seattle and Vancouver, BC

I’m not sure how many of you have made last minute plans for a quick getaway or vacation, but my family made some very last minute plans to visit a cousin in Seattle and while we are doing that, why not drive upto Vancouver, British Columbia.

So, here we are. We flew into Seattle yesterday evening. Left for Vancouver this morning which was a quick and easy 3 hour drive. We checked into our beautiful hotel on the waterfront, The Fairmont Pacific Rim. Asked the concierge for some sightseeing, restaurant and most importantly some volunteer or service project recommendations. Since we didn’t have the opportunity to pre-plan the volunteer project, let’s see if it works out.

We already tried to contact the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society but they didn’t have any projects for us. Our Concierge also tried to see if we could volunteer with the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre, but no luck there either. We will continue trying.

In the meantime, we plan to have fun in Vancouver. This is our first visit to this lush and beautiful city, and we’ve already had a fabulous first day. We spent some time walking around the waterfront, but the highlight of the day was a Seaplane ride for a half hour city tour giving us a birds eye view of Vancouver and what a sight it was!!


Newsletter-Back from Puerto Vallarta

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Elly’s Back from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Elly and family are back from our short, fun filled and most gratifying trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Elly enjoyed packing for the trip. We spent the first two days enjoying our resort pool, the beach, golf, a relaxing facial and massage, a dolphin and sea lion encounter, and an unforgetable ziplining experience. The 3rd day was dedicated to a half day city tour and then an afternoon with the girls at the AGAPE.

We were greeted by the staff and shy girls who were ready to start working on baking cookies, making crafts, and clearing a storage room with us. We got a quick tour of their home before we got started. We switched from one project to another so that everyone had an opportunity to experience all of them.

The most touching moments were when the girls surprised my daughter and dad with a birthday cake, singing to them and giving them cards they had made. They all wrote beautiful thank you notes to all of us. The special messages were heart warming.

We took pictures with the girls and said goodbye. It was amazing to see the smiles on their faces by the end of the day. We were touched, emotional and grateful for the experience. We wished we could have stayed longer.

Even though we are back home and into our routines, we keep talking and thinking about the girls at the AGAPE. Hopefully we will be able to go and visit again someday.

To read more about this amazing long weekend getaway which included lots of fun, sun, a little giving and a whole lot of gratitude stay tuned for our next newsletter, Matters of the Heart coming later this week.

Vacations That Matter launches Blog

My family is visiting Puerto Vallarta in a couple of weeks and we are going to spend an afternoon visiting a women’s shelter . We will be baking and packaging cookies and making crafts which they sell locally to raise funds for their shelter. I asked them what they could really use since we were coming and had some space in our luggage. The initial response was, “you don’t have to bring anything, just spending time with the girls will be great.” I just told them I understood but my girls would like to bring a small gift to share as gratitude for allowing them to enjoy such a fun activity with them, so they suggested that the shelter could use personal items like toothpaste, deodorant and shampoo. Then they sent another message saying it would be too heavy for us to bring all the way from here, so easier items for us would be new underwear and socks to wear with their school uniforms. (Usually they get clothing but no donations of underwear and socks). So we’re off today with the girls to shop for our trip. I never imagined that just knowing what they could use and being able to go out and shop for it could be so gratifying……