I am pleased to make greeting cards available featuring some of my favorite photographs. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and would like pricing info.
Update 8/30/19: This Spa has changed it’s policy since I posted this review. Guests are no longer allowed to stay and enjoy the baths and lounge all day because they are so busy. You are permitted to arrive one hour before your service and to stay one hour after your service. I am so sad about this change but I wanted to make sure you knew this if you were going to visit the spa.
Original Review 5/3/19: When I first put up my website, it was my intention to periodically write about wonderful things. Whether it was a good meal, or a pretty window box, or a remarkable Russian supermarket, or a beautiful scenic drive, or a lovely place to stay, or delicious crabs with a view of the bay, or an inspiring performance, or a talented artist or a scrumptious recipe or a fabulous spa, I wanted to share my wonderful experiences with others. So today I am going to share my love of a wonderful spa with you.
Springs Eternal Spa at the Omni Bedford Springs Hotel in Bedford, Pennsylvania is a true gem of a spa. I adore spas, but I can be hypercritical. I expect a level of perfection that I don’t think many other people care about because I truly treasure the opportunity and experience.
One of my absolute favorite things is a spa with mineral water baths. There are not a lot of spas that offer this experience near where I live in Philadelphia, PA. The Springs Eternal Spa is only about a three and a half hour easy pleasant drive from Philadelphia through the pastoral farmlands of Amish country and the scenic mountains of central Pennsylvania.
The resort itself is located in a beautiful mountain setting with mineral springs, a golf course and a large historic building with numerous cozy reading nooks, nice relaxation areas and several restaurants. I just adore the old photographs everywhere. And of course, the fire pit with the s’mores kits and warm blankets to fend off the chill is just an added bonus.
The resort has an impressive large indoor mineral springs pool that is open 24 hours. It can be extremely noisy when children are in the pool, but there are many hours when it is serene and quite. It is surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs with large fluffy towels.
The spa itself is small but wonderful in so many ways. The locker facilities are well laid out and spacious and the robes are comfortable as are the sandals. This may sound like a small thing, but it is not. I have been at some very luxurious spas with some very mediocre robes or uncomfortable sandals. It is less than pleasant. The showers have both rainshower heads and hand held showers which is really great. Little things like this make a big difference for me.
The Bedford Baths area is absolutely terrific. There is a deliciously hot, large mineral whirlpool and a cold mineral plunge. If a spa whirlpool is lukewarm, I am very disappointed. This mineral whirlpool is not only nice and hot, it is filled with mineral salts which have been proven to reduce aches and pains and to improve your mood. The cold plunge is refreshingly cool as opposed to blindingly cold like at some spas. I really adore going back and forth between hot and cold water at a spa. They also have an excellent hot fragrant eucalyptus steam room and fun deluge showers with a special scrub lotion. In addition, there are chilled wash clothes in a refrigerator unit and iced infused cucumber mineral water from their springs to drink along with scented spray mist you can enjoy. Spending time in the Bedford Bath facilities is genuinely calming and there is an endless supply of the most wonderful plush towels everywhere you turn.
I especially appreciate their delightful pleasant co-ed relaxation lounge. Some spas only have separate areas for men and woman. My favorite spa at Ceasars in Las Vegas does not have good co-ed areas. If you are with your partner, it is really very nice to be able to join them between treatments. There are plump comfy lounges with soft blankets on each one, inviting you to snuggle in with a good book or to take a sweet nap. There is a fireplace and windows overlooking gardens. And they play the most serene spa music at just the right volume level. I am very aware of spa music and this is one of the best places for it.
The teas and infused waters are refreshing and tasty and there are assorted berries and a nice nut and dried fruit mix for you to nibble on while you zone out. Sadly, they no longer serve lunch in the lounge, but there is a small take out cafe down the hall and you can bring a sandwich or salad back to the lounge if you want.
The staff members are charming, pleasant and helpful.
What is really impressive is that they have a Vichy shower wet room. This is one of my favorite features at any spa and they are not common at small spas. There are also Hydrotherapy tubs. If you go to their website you can read about their many available services. It was hard to make up my mind because they all sounded pretty wonderful.
I chose a mud wrap and it was truly fantastic. My capable therapist Kira painted heated mud on me while I relaxed on a heated flotation table that was so comfortable. Then I was wrapped in a warm cocoon while she gave me an excellent scalp and facial massage. With the Vichy Shower upgrade, she used the many shower heads to wash the mud off with warm water. Usually, at small spas, they hand you a wash cloth and send you to the shower to wash the mud off yourself. This was so much more relaxing. After washing me off with gentle loving expertise, she massaged a lotion all over me. I felt so pampered. In fact, when it was over, I could barely stand up. I feel so fortunate to be able to experience this kind of stress relief. There is really nothing quite like it and Kira was an excellent massage therapist.
Later I had an amazing regular massage from Jonathan. He zeroed right in on my trouble spots and put hot compresses under my shoulders while stretching them and working on them. It was as good as a massage can get. Really. He was very responsive to my requests about what pressure worked best for me. Also, the massage table adjusted in very helpful ways. It is things like this that contribute to an excellent overall spa experience.
Clearly the staff at this spa is top notch as are the facilities. I did not want to leave. It really is a very special place. I do hope you have the opportunity to have a wonderful spa experience too!
Click red arrow to play song. You may Like, Download, and/or Share using the icons in the upper right corner of the image. Watch video of highlights of opening of the grotto below.
“Help Us Mary”
Music and Lyrics by E A Alexander
Choral/Cello arrangement by Dan Martin
Recording produced by Dan Martin at Turtle Studios
Soloist: Donnie Hammond
Inspired by Knotted Grotto by Meg Seligman
My newest song, “Help Us Mary,” was inspired by artist Meg Saligman’s wonderful art installation currently at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul. The installation is titled “Mary, Undoer of Knots” after the name of Pope Francis’ favorite painting. The song was recently performed as part of the art installation’s opening on September 3rd. It was amazing, and here’s a video of that performance along with a bit about Meg’s project. A special thanks to Michael Biello, and to my husband, Burnell Yow!, for the video footage, and to Burnell for putting it all together.
Enjoy. And please share and comment if you feel so inclined.
Another show, another artwork. The show is the ever popular Rittenhouse Fine Arts Show in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, just a 20 minute walk from the ArtHouse/Raven’s Wing Studio. The artwork is a mixed media piece by artist Keith Grace from Rockford, IL. That’s Keith in the middle and Shari, his wife and also an artist, to his left.
Artistic Process (From the artist’s materials):
“Each painting begins with sketches, often inspired by photographs that I have taken of friends and objects. These sketches evolve into the ﬁnal composition which is enlarged and drawn onto canvas.
“I then collage individual pieces of typography and other visual elements — such as maps and elements of pop culture — securely onto the surface with many layers of an adhesive, transparent medium to ensure a ﬂat, seamless application. The typographic images are chosen randomly by type font, size, boldness and color.
“Next, I block in color with layers of acrylics. Detail painting is then applied with oil colors, using a drybrush technique. This process is performed by using unmixed paint directly from the tube and rubbing it into the surface with a ﬂat, hard brush.
“For my new work I have been incorporating dimension by collaging tactile objects like thumbtacks, glass, shells and more.”
Power Suit by Keith Grace http://keithgrace.com
So much more to come, so be sure to bookmark this site and check back. Music and Art categories have stuff to look at and listen to.