Swimming pools are nice. Heated swimming pools nicer. Huge outdoor heated swimming pools to yourself -- heaven! Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga has a winter special where their famous mudbaths included with the price of the room. Afterwards, treat yourself to the naturally heated swimming pool.
Indian Springs Baths and Spa in Calistoga sits at the northern end of the Napa Valley. Most visitors to the Napa Valley only venture as far north as St. Helena leaving Calistoga about 15 minutes north relatively un-gentrified. Calistoga still retains the feeling of a small town. Its claim to fame is not so much the world class vineyards up and down the valley, but the natural mineral hot springs that Bay Area locals have for generations gone to "take the waters."
The place looks as though it could be a set for a 1940's era movie. When updated, the designers took care to provide modern conveniences and sensibilities but yet prevented them from intruding upon this fantasy. Very carefully maintained, the spaces and grounds are spotless.
My favorite is the olympic sized swimming pool with naturally heated mineral spring water. Although huge, it seems to lend itself more to lazy lounging and sipping cold lime water while cultivating one's tan. Special rates are available during the winter months, where a room tariff includes having hot mud shoveled over your naked body - an experience long remembered.
It's sunny and the temperature is in the 80's. It's my day off so I head over to Mission Bay UCSF and see if the pool is crowded.
It's crowded. According to the lifeguard, this pool is the most used UC pool in the Bay Area. On a warm sunny day everyone wants to swim. That's the case today at 2:00. If there are two people in the lane, then you split it half and half. If more people come, then you swim in a circle. I swim R E A L L Y slow so I don't like to synchronize my speed with others. I take a sauna instead.
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