Wellness Retreat hosted by Autumn Calabrese that I attended in March
I was very blessed to recently attend a Luxury Wellness Retreat hosted by Autumn Calabrese in Santa Barbara, CA in March 2018. This was Autumn's first Wellness Retreat and I was not going to miss it for the world!
I have not eaten so much wonderful and healthy food in my life! I even dropped two pounds while there. I met some truly amazing people. The venue was gorgeous, but maybe a bit too remote. I had an allergy attack while there. I haven't had one that bad in years and didn't bring anything with me. Thankfully, others came more prepared and Sam (photographer) graciously went into town to pick up some stuff for me. The allergies suppressed my immune system, so of course, traveling by plane I had the flu by the time I was home. The irony of going to a wellness retreat and coming home sick was not lost on me. I was doing so well avoiding the cold & flu this year...anyway...
Thursday, I flew directly into Santa Barbara airport where I and another Retreat participant was picked up by a car service and taken to Turner Vineyard. My excitement continued to grow as we got closer to our destination. I've never attended anything like this before and I've been a huge fan of Autumn's for several years. I had no idea what to expect. The vineyard was a beautiful home surrounded by grape fields out in the middle of nowhere. It was quiet and beautiful.
Upon our arrival at the Vineyard, I was greeted at the door by Autumn Calabrese, and her sister, Calie Calabrese. Their brother, Bobby Calabrese was in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Bobby had a wonderful selection of appetizers ready, along with a tea and water bar. All three are down-to-earth, friendly people.
After initial greetings, I was escorted to my room. Bobby had offered to take our bags up to the room. Turned out my roommate was the same lady that I met at the airport.
The Retreat was limited to a total of ten women and most of them were already at the house when I arrived. They were a great group of ladies! Very glad to have had the opportunity to meet them. They came from all walks of life, from all over the country, and all but three of us were Beachbody Coaches and mothers. It was interesting and yet disappointing at the number of discussions regarding Beachbody Coaching.
We were supposed to watch a movie that night, but there was a technical issue and wasn't able too. Turned out that was fine. We all were tired from our travels and getting to know each other, so bed was a better option.
Friday morning, we had a great breakfast prepared by Bobby. Part of the offerings was the Fixate Gluten-free Bread. OMG! I've been tempted to make it since I watched the video, but just hadn't done it. It was great! There was eggs, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, granola, tofu scramble, among other items.
Breakfast was followed by a morning workout lead by Autumn and Calie, which took place outside. It was a beautiful cool morning. The workout was very similar to the 80 Day Obsession program. We did a lot of cardio, body weight exercises, and we used the Beachbody Sliders by laying towels on the ground. We then had free time to shower and explore the vineyard.
I was part of Group 1, which was assigned to a cooking lesson with Bobby for lunch. I made guacamole, which was a Fixate recipe. Turned out delicious! Everyone gathered around the dinner table for good food and great conversation. We all had a chance to talk, continued to get to know each other and ask Autumn questions about pretty much anything we wanted.
After lunch, we had more free time and Essential Oil Massages from Calie. It was wonderful! I've used essential oils before, but don't really know that much about them. After this, I will definitely look into it more! :)
Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. Group 2 had their cooking lesson with Bobby and prepared a great meal. We discussed a great number of things related to health, fitness, Beachbody coaching, family, life, and Autumn graciously answered questions and did videos with the others who were asking questions on behalf of friends or clients.
Later that evening we all sat around the living room and did a group meditation led by Autumn using a guided meditation from iTunes. We also did an interesting exercise of writing in our journals for 12 minutes and then we burned the pages. We wrote about things that came to mind, things that we wanted to release.
Saturday we had another great breakfast prepared by Bobby.
We waited a bit for the foggy weather to clear a bit before going outside to workout. We completed most of it outside but came in to finish the cooldown and stretching as it started to rain.
There was free time afterward to shower and explore the property.
Lunch was prepared by Group 2 and Bobby. Again, it was wonderful food and lots of it!
After lunch, each person had a one-on-one consulting session with Autumn and Calie. I was looking forward to this session, as I had tons of questions, but due to the allergy attack, my brain was not working. Also, another participant had shared a very personal experience and it was on my mind, which changed my focus. Autumn took notes and after about 2 weeks I received a personalized plan via email. I had been following the 80 Day Obsession program, but based on Autumn's suggestions, I will revisit the 21 Day Fix program.
As a group, we walked around the vineyard. I was disappointed that there wasn't a winery or wine cellar on site to tour, but Turner Vineyard is a beautiful home with gorgeous views of the grape fields.
Before I knew it, it was time for dinner and it was Group 1's turn to cook with Bobby. I helped to make a great Lentil Salad. I love lentils, but for whatever reason, I've never had any luck cooking them. Bobby showed me to add about an inch or two of water above the lentils, cook until tender, and then drain the remaining water. I don't know why, but I've always thought that the lentils should absorb all the water, which ended in them being mushy. Now I know better. :)
Dinner was followed up with dessert, the Cupcake Bar! They were delicious! The cupcakes were Bobby's gluten-free recipe. There was a variety of toppings available, including a peanut butter frosting and chocolate frosting.
Afterward, we talked about a variety of issues. Autumn and Calie discussed Leaky Gut Syndrome, sugar, and inflammation. We did a few minutes of meditation and went to bed.
Sunday, we had a great breakfast and finished up any questions or discussions. Took photos with Autumn, Calie, and Bobby. Then got ready to head home. The car service picked us up and dropped us off at the airport.
I learned a lot and it was great to meet the Calabrese siblings. They are very down to earth people and very easy to talk too. I'm not sure that this particular retreat was worth the price that I paid, but I feel that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me and glad that I went.