Only another 20 miles, and two wrong turns later we arrive at the Inn at Occidental, located in…Occidental. We just had time to throw our bags in the main house’s homey living room, which is loaded with charming folk art and antiques, and race over to Freestone, the neighboring town, for our spa appointment at Osmosis, a Japanese style day-spa with beautiful bonsai and bamboo gardens.
For years I’ve been meaning to try their special cedar enzyme bath (the only one in the country) and it sounded most welcoming on this particularly nasty rainy afternoon. It started by meeting our “bath attendant” who explained the whole process in great detail over a cup of osmosis tea which kick-starts the procedure. After making sure we had no further questions, she excused herself to go “dig out two holes to bury us in.” Joan and I cracked up at this very non-zen description, but when we were later led into what looked like a gigantic tub filled with steaming sawdust with two body-shaped holes dug out, we got the drift.