I made a pact with myself about 5 years ago, that every birthday I would take a trip. Being a firm believer in using precious moments to enjoy what I love, travel is absolutely on the top of that list. I began to come up with a short list of places within a road trip distance for a weekend getaway. Palm Springs would provide just what I was looking for in rest and relaxation. Prior to leaving I put one of my travel tips to use. I quickly hopped on Travelzoo for local deals in Palm Springs and lucked up on a great deal for a discounted spa and pool day at the Estrella Spa at the 5-star hotel, Viceroy. I purchased the deal and called the spa for a Sunday appointment.  Then I reserved a room at the Marriott, packed a bag and my camera, and headed down the I-10.  The celebration of my birthday was in full swing and I was excitedly looking forward to slacking off poolside in 100 degree heat and giving my mind and body a break from the everyday hustle. Operation R&R was underway!

Saturday consisted of a light shopping, good eats and unwinding poolside.  The much-needed spa day was heavy on my mind. The next morning, I headed to the Viceroy for my day of pampering and pure laziness. The deal for luxury spa services included my pick of the Swedish massage and Estrella’s signature body scrub.  I made my way through the hotel lobby, bar, and pool area and was pleasantly greeted by the spa’s front desk with an ice cold bottle of water while I checked in, then escorted to the women’s changing area, which included a steam shower and a full grooming bar to change into my plush robe and slippers. I had begun to feel like royalty.  My masseuse greeted me and led me into the spa treatment room where I left all of my worries and cares at the door.   One and a half hours of pampering commenced.  As my mind and body were in full relax mode and almost asleep, I was gently nudged that the session had come to an end. The Swedish massage left my soul feeling revived and the scrub left my skin feeling refreshed and anew.

Feeling like a new woman, I was led back to the main area of the spa where a glass of champagne awaited my arrival. I headed back in the changing area, slipped into my bikini, then had my pick of sitting poolside, near the jacuzzi, or in one of the several cabanas. Considering the extreme midday heat, I opted for the cabana to regroup while enjoying some bubbly, before cooling off in the pool.  After a few hours passing, my time was winding down.

As I headed back to Los Angeles, I quietly reflected on the peacefulness of the weekend, and reminded myself that moments like these were necessary more often, not just reserved for special days.  I made another pact with myself.  To pursue and enjoy more getaways of a little R&R.

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Travel Noire

Aja Williams

My name is Aja Williams, a new resident of Los Angeles from the DMV area. Inspired by the world, I constantly daydream about the places I want to explore. As long as I can remember I have always had a desire for travel, and as I get older my passion grows and grows. A few destinations on my wish list include South Pacific islands, Greece, Turks and Caicos, and Dubai. Travelling has inspired me to share my stories and I appreciate forums like Travel Noire that expose travel within the black community. I also love solo travel as it gives me the chance to connect with, depend on, and trust only myself. As I travel more, I'm working to go beyond being a tourist and become a traveller, by immersing myself in different cultures. My life motto is "just go!"

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