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Today is the birth of a new resolution-a truce to myself. I'm going to shift my lifestyle and simplify. As well as substituting computer time for calisthenics, I'll be burning that 'things to do' list. My aching shoulders and strained eyeballs will be grateful-so will my devoted counterparts-kids, companion, coworkers and those long forgotten girlfriends. And that's how I'll start this new lease on life.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is the perfect spot to do just that. Not only do they offer family-fun packages and romantic getaways, but there's a retreat to lure us ladies. The sweet two night deal includes some gourmand grazing, a Zen-filled spa experience and use of the resort's five mineral pools. What a sure-fire cure for any frenzied female!

I immediately call up two of my nursing cohorts who could also benefit from a break. Before long, our swim suits are packed, dancing shoes are polished and we're off for some sisterhood-style serenity!

Access from Vancouver to this Harrison Lake sanctuary was not always a quick ninety minute drive. Back in 1886, when it was the St. Alice Hotel, travelers would arrive either by riverboat or train and coach. I discover that, for a short time in the 1940's, it also served as sanitarium for women who had participated in the war. "If it did the trick for Florence Nightingale-types back then," I comment to my two traveling companions, "just think what it will do for three overworked nurses today!"

Corridors trail away to varied accommodations, one being our chic suite in the resort's West Tower. Over the next two days in this contemporary gem, we catch up on lost zzz's, sip too much wine, and yak, yak, yak. In between our gabfests we "find nature...just up the road." It's a befitting community catchphrase that ties in with a cornucopia of activities. Hawks and herons pose stoically on the sidelines of three nearby golf courses, second-growth forests shade interpretive trails, and from October to January migrating bald eagles arrive in droves.

During this warmer weather, the entire lakeshore is a playground for castle carvers and aquatic neurotics. But we don't need to stray that far to take a plunge. At the hub of our getaway, the steam rises from five mineral-infused pools. We perfect our backstroke in the lap pool, get pulsated by jetted hot tubs and immerse into the mineral pool, an oasis that welcomes 'adults only.'

The whole meal deal wouldn't be complete without a treatment at the Healing Springs Spa. With the effects of age creeping in at full tilt, we all go for the area that's most visible these days. The anti-aging Ogenage Replenishing facial, rich in minerals and elements, promises to preserve our youth and reduce a few wrinkles. What more could three fifty-something-year-old faces ask for?

My esthetician, Beth, is blessed with hands that are softer that silk and unless my upper body has somehow melded with my double chin, this is no basic facial! She begins with a relaxing back rub, easing every bit of tension out of my scrunched up shoulders and rigid scapula. After eventually placing a self-heating mud pack beneath my tired torso, she goes for the pores. And over the next seventy-five minutes, they're revived like they've never been charged up before. Cleansed, toned, exfoliated, oh my! And then there's the grand finale -the youth-making mask. "This product tightens and temporarily lifts facial skin," she comments, while applying the spackle-like spread. "Well, bring it on!" I mumble, drugged with euphoria. What an awesome way to 'face' my new reality!

On the final night, we celebrate our camaraderie with a Copper Room experience. The Art-Deco inspired venue is reminiscent of a bygone era and under the team of culinary experts, we dine on artistically-crafted courses. The feast is accompanied by the crooning Jones Boys who perform everything from Big Band to Bublé and as the dance floor fills up we raise our glasses for one final toast. "Here's to new resolutions and great restorations." They've been the key watchwords for this weekend retreat. And in the soft glow of candlelight our three gleaming, taut and toned faces reveal that it's true.


Where to go
You'll "Find nature...just up the road" at Harrison Hot Springs Visitor information
499 Hot Springs Road, Harrison Hot Springs,

Where to Stay:
Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa
100 Esplanade Avenue, Harrison Hot Springs,
British Columbia, VOM 1KO, Canada,
Reservations 866-638-5075 or 800-663-2266.
Tel: 604-796-2244.

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1. Harrison Hot Springs (courtesy: Harrison Hot Springs Resort)
2. Three Get-Away Gals Enjoy Some Down Time (Photo: Jane Cassie)
3. Dip Time into one of the Five Mineral Infused Pools (Photo: Jane Cassie)
4. Entrance to Spa, Harrison Hot Springs Resort (courtesy: Harrison Hot Springs Resort)
5. Camaraderie in the Copper Room


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