What Do You Mean You Won’t Be Home For The Holiday?

24 Dec

“Your Father and I won’t be coming for Christmas this year” my mother said. “You know your Aunt and Uncle are getting older and your Father and I haven’t seen them in three years. (Long awkward pause.) Are you there?.” she says.

Silence. What do I say? Like any dutiful child, I lied like a rug. I manage to get out something about how nice it will be for Dad and that we are so happy they are able to go. I reassure her that we will be just fine. It’s not like I can’t cook or decorate, after all I am 40 something years old and have run my own household for a good number of years. Who needs them anyway, they will just dirty up the dishes (that I have to wash by hand because they can’t go in the dishwasher).

So I am in panic right now! Christmas without my parents is almost inconceivable, in fact, it is WRONG! It just isn’t done and I felt like calling her right back and giving her a piece of my mind. For the last 15 years everyone comes to my house for Christmas. I get up at 3:00 am, I cook and clean all day, I whine and complain about how hard it is to work, shop, cook and clean. It is a miracle I still have my husband by the New Year. Even so, they could have invited my Aunt and Uncle to join us for Christmas rather than going to visit them. By now, I am very mad and completely irrational. My darling husband steps in to console me, but I am furious, and won’t hear a word he has to say.

So what am I to do, create my own Christmas WITHOUT my parents? Then it hits me, this is my “dry run”. It is time for me to make lasting memories with my family that my children will tell their children and so on and so forth. This is a test, one that I have not studied nor prepared for – and I am afraid of failing. My parents are testing me to determine if I can do it on my own, in fact, they probably already know that I will fall flat on my face. Clearly I am in some deep trouble here and a phone call to Dr. Phil may be in order.

What am I going to do? Immediately I knew the perfect answer, procrastinate. Like an Ostrich, with my head buried in the sand, I will pretend this situation simply doesn’t exist. It will be perfect! Until Christmas Eve and then the kids will jolt me back to reality. Obviously, that won’t work. Again, my ever patient and non-overreacting husband says, “Let’s go out”.

“Out?” I said, “Like not eat here, with the table set and the music playing?” My husband said, “Yes, Out! This way, we won’t have to wash the china, polish the silver, set the table, listen to you complain and whine about how hard it is to work, shop, cook and clean. OUT!” he stated. By now the kids are in the kitchen wanting to know what we are talking about – apparently, our voices were raised. One by one they said it would be fun to go out. They told us tales of other children whose parent’s have gone “out” for Christmas dinner. I know some of these children and they seemed very well-mannered, polite and perfectly well-adjusted. In fact, I know and like their parents very much.

So that is how it was decided. This year we will spend time together having fun (apparently polishing silver and washing china is not fun) and we are to go out for dinner.

My mother called back because she knew I was going to have a difficult time with their decision. I don’t really know if she called back to console me or offer a kind word of support to my husband. At any rate, I’m not mad now. I am really looking forward to a day with my family. Funny, I thought it would be hard to decide where to go but it was a unanimous decision in our household. “Bonneville” was the resounding vote. My husband adores the Fillet of Beef, and all of my son’s praise Chef EJ for the “best burgers they have ever eaten in their life!”

In fact, Chef has prepared a menu for holiday dinner this year and it will be available in addition to our regular menu items from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I am posting a copy of the menu for inspiration, in hopes of encouraging you to create your own lasting memories with your families and friends. I’d like you to think of this as permission to take the time to enjoy your family rather than spending the day in the kitchen. Spend your new-found time putting the toys together, playing with your children, visiting your friends and family, telling the funny stories of years past and enjoying the moment – take the time to create your own memories.

Christmas Menu 2012

Christmas Menu 2012

I’m not sure about being on my own this year, but I know that my Bonneville family will be amazing. In fact, the smell of fabulous food will waft through the air, a comfortable chair will be near the fireplace, there will be plenty of great photograph opportunities and good cheer will fill the halls. I suppose it isn’t any different from home.

From each one of us to every one of you, we wish you peace in your hearts, joy in your life and a season filled with traditions both new and old. Happy Holiday’s from your family at Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa!


Holiday Season Celebrations

27 Nov

Don’t Hit The Panic Button Yet!

Wow! Thanksgiving came and went. For those of you who were able to spend Thanksgiving with us here at the Resort, we are so pleased. It was a fantastic day for us and we certainly hope that it was equally relaxing for you, your friends and your family. With that being said, we all need to fasten our seatbelts because that was the beginning of the countdown to the end of the year. Now begins the decorating, cooking, cleaning, card sending, party going, gift shopping, gift mailing, church going, grocery shopping. out of town traveling, airport loathing race to new year. It is a joyous time of unrealistic expectations and emotional outbursts!

Do you feel overwhelmed?

We want to remind you to take some time to ENJOY the last part of 2012. Did you all hear that? Enjoy!There is no law that says every gathering or function must be at your home with you doing all of the work. Use your expert multi-tasking skills and carve out some time to create memories with the people that you love this year. After all, isn’t that why we set those unrealistic goals? So that we can create memorable moments?

Here is a scenario, imagine that you had to go to work early today because there were those “reports” due. But while you were assembling your reports, you realized that you forgot to place the order with Harry and David’s to send your cousin in Wisconsin a pear basket. Somehow Wisconsin makes you think of the winter coat that your son outgrew last year and you remember that Macy’s had a couple on sale that you should pick up. You frantically try to get the reports done while calling Harry and David’s. At that moment, your boss walks in and asks if you wouldn’t mind picking up the lunch order at the deli down the block. He mutters something about the holiday and how hard everyone has been working – of course you agree to do it. The customer service representative jolts you back to reality and makes you aware that your Visa card has expired. As you dig through your wallet for your new card, you give up and tell the customer service agent you’ll have to call back.

Do you need a break?

You bolt out the door to retrieve lunch and decide to dash by Macy’s to pick up the coat. As you look through the racks of coats it dawns on you, “today only save 40% on all children’s outerwear.” You realize it was an advertisement that you heard on the radio earlier this morning and it was not for Macy’s, but Kohls. Not wanting to go to another store, you take the coat in your hand to the register. Your phone rings at the same time the cashier says, “Miss, your credit card is expired.” With the line forming behind you, you hand the cashier a different card. You try to answer the phone and realize you have missed a call from your husband. The cashier calmly tells you that you are in the wrong store that you have handed her the Kohl’s card – unfortunately you are at Macy’s. She quietly labels the coat and agrees to hold it for you.

Feeling embarrassed and irritated because your husband isn’t answering your return call, you leave and get almost back to the office before you realize that you have forgotten lunch. You turn around, grab lunch and are greeted by a mob of angry staff. Complaints of, “It’s cold” or “I thought I would expire from hunger!” resonate through the office like the flu.

Disgruntled and behind, you begin finishing your reports. A small text on your phone reminds you that you have date night with your husband and you forgot to make plans.

A normal person would fall apart at this point. But here is the great news – you aren’t normal!  Thinking about pears and Wisconsin – you remember a small blog from Bonneville Hot Springs.  You pull it up and realize that you could grab your husband, enjoy some time together in the car and make it to the Wine Tasting by 7 pm.  You’re saved!

You end up having such a great time that you stay for the night, have a great breakfast in the morning and spa services before you leave.  You are happy, in love and the best part – you have a positive mental outlook!  When you feel rejuvenated and relaxed, Wisconsin, pears, coats, cards and work don’t seem like an effort – they seem fun.  The people around you are happy, the everyday tasks bring you joy and there seems to be more of you to go around.

Did You Overcommit?

We are attaching our event calendar – take a look and see if it can help you gain some time.  Everyone has to eat and no one said it has to be at your home!  Maybe you should grab the kids and come have breakfast with Santa before you get your Christmas tree.  Or, maybe you should plan to join us for Christmas dinner so you don’t have to worry about shopping, cooking or cleaning.  Or maybe, you can come for New Year’s Eve to celebrate and start the New Year with a positive mental outlook!

How Can We Help?

The Tradition of Traditions

2 Nov

As we come off our sugar high from Halloween, it’s hard to believe the end of the year is just eight short weeks away. At Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa, we are already busy preparing for the approaching holiday season, including an epic New Year’s Eve Celebration, assuming, of course, the end of the Mayan calendar doesn’t actually predict the end of the world, or the start of a zombie apocalypse. And as we prepare for these celebrations, I started thinking about all the different traditions we see here and wondered how they were introduced?

It all started back with the Babylonians some 4,000 years ago when they first celebrated the concept of a new year. This 11 day celebration would start with the first new moon at the Vernal Equinox (first day of spring). The Romans, who always loved a good party, continued this tradition until 46 BC when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar, (which closely resembles the calendar we use today) and named January 1 as the start of the new year.

The Babylonians also gave us the tradition of New Year Resolutions. Although nowadays we usually resolve to lose weight or quit smoking, the Babylonians would typically resolve to return borrowed farm equipment and pay off debts as a way to earn favor with their gods and start the new year on the right foot. Other popular traditions have included eating round foods, such as doughnuts, to symbolize coming full circle and bring good fortune. Legumes and hogs are also considered lucky and symbolize prosperity, which is why many in the US will eat black-eyed peas and ham on New Year’s Eve. Eating cabbage is another tradition that is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity, as well as rice on New Year’s Day.

One very common tradition to bring good luck in many cultures is water, as it is associated with cleansing and rebirth. Mexicans will actually throw a bucket of water out their window at midnight and in Thailand, they will splash complete strangers with water from the streets. One of the biggest traditions involving
water is probably the Polar Bear’s Club in New York City where people will actually plunge themselves into the icy waters at Coney Island. Now, since I’m no fan of the cold, I think I would rather come to Bonneville where I can plunge myself into the warm mineral waters for good luck in the new year. Also, at Bonneville I Imagecan enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres, modern day libations and a live band (this year we’ve invited Portland’s own Madson Band) to bring in the new year!  There’s plenty of room in our Great Room, so come out and join us! Packages start at $329 plus tax and include overnight accommodations for two in a limited view deluxe room, entrance to the party with the live band, a glass of champagne to toast in the new year and breakfast the next morning with a bloody mary or mimosa. Start 2013 by Finding Yourself in Hot Water.


  1. “Happy New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – The History, Traditions, and Customs of New Year.” Happy New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day – The History, Traditions, and Customs of New Year. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <http://wilstar.com/holidays/newyear.htm&gt;.
  2. “New Year’s.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <http://www.history.com/topics/new-years&gt;.
  3. “A ‘New Year’ Arrives, along with a List of Traditions.” PhotoBlog. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2012. <http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2011/12/30/9806043-a-new-year-arrives-along-with-a-list-of-traditions?lite&gt;.

Anniversary Trivia Contest

26 Oct

We’re celebrating 10 years of health, healing and wellness!

To celebrate our 10 year anniversary, we are offering four chances to win prizes at Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa! Each week, from October 26 – November 16, we will post a trivia question as it relates to our resort. Each time a participant answers the question correctly their name will be entered into a drawing for prizes such as complimentary pool passes, appetizers, bath & wraps and even an overnight stay at the resort!  


Participants must be 18 years or older to enter, have an active Facebook page and have “Liked” the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort page. Answers must be submitted via email to marketing@bhsr.us. Winners will be contacted via email except when provided a phone number. Bonneville Hot Springs will draw one weekly winner. Participants who have submitted an answer agree to receive monthly newsletters and special offers from Bonneville Hot Springs. 

Celebrating 10 Years of Health, Healing and Wellness

26 Oct

The waters at Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa have always been a place of health and wellness. Historical records indicate that the springs we enjoy today were first used by the local Native American tribes as early as 10,000 years ago. Tribes, such as Rogue River, Chitcoe, Calapoi, Klamath and Makah, would travel to our treasured location with their sick and aged to bathe in and drink from the waters.

It wasn’t until 1880 when European settler, R.J. Snow, discovered the springs here at Bonneville and told his friend, Thomas Moffett. Moffett, who quickly recognized the value of our waters, built Cascade Springs ImageHotel in 1881, and in 1885, started selling the water for 10 cents per bottle. Researchers, such as renowned chemist J.H. Fisk and the US Chemical Assayers from Washington DC, performed numerous chemical analyses of the waters and all agreed that the mineral content in these waters have potential good health qualities. News of this spread quickly and people from all across the country came to drink and bathe in the waters that could help with their kidney complaints, liver problems, dyspepsia, rheumatism, dropsy or general debility. Business for Mr. Moffett was booming!  

But in the early 1930’s, a fire destroyed Cascade Springs Hotel. Under new ownership, a new hotel was built in 1932 and was given the name Biba Hot Springs. It included a dozen cabins and a 38-acre campground with 75 electrical hookups. However, by the 1970’s, there was little remaining of the glory days of the 20’s and 30’s. Only a few cabins remained and the entire facility was in disrepair. It was during this time that current owner, Pete Cam, first visited Bonneville for his severe case of rheumatoid arthritis in his legs. 

Pete was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in his early 20’s and was wheelchair bound. An Eastern European doctor recommended mineral water therapy. So, Pete came to Biba Hot Springs hoping to find relief for his condition. He stayed in one of the cabins where he soaked numerous times a day for 20-30 minutes at a time and drank the water. After a week of soaking, he was able to walk on his own. To this day Pete still soaks in the mineral water daily and continues to enjoy good health…on his own feet.

Nearly twenty years after his first visit, Biba Hot Springs went up for sale. Pete decided to take advantage of the opportunity to build a facility that would help others heal as well. Over the next 10 years, Pete Imageworked to create a getaway place for people to enjoy the healing waters and on October 26, 2002, Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa opened its doors for the first time. Since then we have seen countless guests use our waters for health, healing and wellness. For all of you believing in our waters, we want to thank you by offering a $10 for 10 year special. Now through November 30, we are offering Monday-Friday $10 lunch specials and three hour pool passes for $10. Come and celebrate the past 10 years with us and find out why now is the perfect time to Find Yourself in Hot Water.



  1. Bloomquist, R. Gordon. “BONNEVILLE HOT SPRINGS RESORT, NORTH BONNEVILLE, WA.” GHC Bulletin. N.p., Dec. 2006. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://geoheat.oit.edu/bulletin/bull27-4/art2.pdf&gt;.
  2. “Columbia River Gorge Skamania County History.” Columbia River Gorge Skamania County History. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2012. <http://www.quinnmountain.com/skamania_history.htm&gt;.

Bathing for Breasts

22 Oct

Breast cancer awareness is serious business these days, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness month! It seems like everywhere I go I’m asked to donate a dollar, round up my purchase or am engulfed by a sea of pink ribbons. But after talking to some of the survivors I met at the Susan G Komen Health Expo in September, I feel like we need to do more than just wear a pink ribbon on our jackets, which is why, here at Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa, we have created a “Bathing for Breasts” day!

On Friday, October 26 we will be offering Athena bottled water, Otis Spunkmeyer’s Cookie for a Cause “Pink Cookie” and a special spa treatment specifically designed for breast cancer awareness. I don’t know about you, but a day dedicated to celebrate those who have survived breast cancer while giving hope to those currently fighting is something I definitely want to be a part of!  

Partnering with Athena Waters for this event was easy. If you are unfamiliar with Athena bottled water, it Imagewas started by Trish May who actually survived breast cancer herself. Wanting a way to raise money and awareness for the disease, she started Athena Waters in 2003 and then partnered with DS Waters of America in 2010 to bring a higher level of purity and cleanliness to her waters. She has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report, as well as on PBS TV and radio and recently won the Spirit of Giving Award from the Evergreen Healthcare Foundation (1).  

Otis Spunkmeyer created a line of cookies called Cookies for a Cause to build awareness for such organizations as Susan G. Komen and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Now, if you’ve ever bought a cookie out of our coffee shop, then you already know how delicious Otis Spunkmeyer’s cookies are. Combine this with a great excuse, I mean reason, to eat them and it’s Heaven on Earth! The “Pink Cookie” goes to support Susan G. Komen in an effort to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures(2). These luscious chocolate cookies with pink coated candies are reason enough to come see us on the 26th, trust me! 

Of course, if you’re anything like me, there’s always the promise of a special spa treatment to entice you to show for these kind of events. And with our Pink Pomegranate Ylang-Ylang Bath & Wrap, you’re sure Imagenot to miss! Whether you are suffering from breast cancer or not, our pink pomegranate ylang-ylang bath & wrap will leave you feeling so relaxed in our soothing waters, you’ll forget all about why you’re there. But if you do, you’ll have the comforting assurance knowing you are helping local cancer research and treatment centers and the millions of Americans who are suffering from breast cancer.  

So, join us in our celebration of life and hope on October 26. It’s a great way to give toward breast cancer awareness and an easy way to Find Yourself in Hot Water!



  1. “Trish May.” About Athena® Water and Athena® Water Founder. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://www.athenawater.com/athena.php&gt;.
  2. “Cookies for a Cause.” Pink Cookie. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://www.spunkmeyer.com/Our-Products/Channel-Information/Foodservice-Products/Frozen-Cookie-Dough/Sweet-Discovery/Cookies-for-a-Cause/&gt;.

Welcome to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

6 Oct

For a fun trivia fact, we learned that higher alkalinity in water reduces free radicals when taken internally.  Incidentally, our water was tested and fits the bill.  If you are visiting, be sure to drink and/or take home some with you.  If you bring your containers, the spa desk staff can fill them while you soak!

We have been having a great time trying to help people learn more about breast cancer, breast health, and the latest research developments.  this journey has taken us to a variety of places recently.  We have made some fantastic new friends, heard amazing stories of strength and courage and received support from some unlikely allies! 

Some of you may have had a chance to visit with us over at Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store in Troutdale, Oregon.  We want to send a special thank you to Dean (the General Manager at Love’s) and their friends at Frito Lay.  We spent the afternoon handing out awareness materials and talking with everyone about how our mineral water can be a compliment to traditional medicine and treatments.  ImageFunny, it seemed like every other person we spoke to had been touched by this disease.  What we learned was that people are determined and strong -their stories and experiences will be forever treasured in our hearts and an inspiration to move forward in the fight against breast cancer.

More recently, we attended the Susan G. Komen Health Expo held in Portland, Oregon.  We were astounded by the energy at the Convention Center!  Again, we heard from survivors, fighters, friends and family.  Words like determination, will, strength and courage resounded through the auditorium like a battle cry. 

We watched an incredible performance by the Survivor Choir – if you haven’t seen them, please take an Imageopportunity to do so.  Their performance of Simon and Garfunkel’s, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was amazing!  It was a performance that was felt by those of us in the audience and their courage was displayed like a badge of honor.

We also heard thank you’s – for our support and encouragement through difficult family times, for help to get through the chemotherapy treatments, for the escape that takes them away from the disease. It was humbling really to know that in some small way, we helped.  With our hearts full of pride and love, we hugged people and gave thanks.

We are thankful for every person that shares the water with us here at the Resort.  We are thankful that our guests share their stories and experiences about soaking in the mineral waters and finding change in their bodies, minds and spirits.  We are thankful for the many naturopathic doctors and students who believe in these waters and who educate people about the benefits of taking the time to soak here. 

More importantly, we are thankful for those stories of inspiration and the battle cries against this disease. Breast cancer gives us a reason to act with determination, find our will, become strong and be encouraged.  This disease, as horrible as it may be, empowers us to be better.

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