Destinations / go
This photo: A 400-year-old chapel was imported from France. Below: A view of the grounds.
encounter any. To my surprise, actress Valerie
Bertinelli was on the bike next to me in class.
(I found out later she was there to get in shape
for the next season’s taping of the television
series Hot in Cleveland.)
What finally led to some profound
healing moments for me: first, the heated
outdoor olympic-length saline pool — which
I had completely to myself each time I swam
— followed by a visit to the 400-year-old
chapel that the Havenses brought in, stone
by stone, from France.
The chapel was about a 10-minute walk
from my villa, and one afternoon I decided to
check it out. The closer I got, the more stunningly beautiful the stone building appeared.
Rosebushes lined the path leading up to
foot-thick, ground-to-ceiling wooden doors.
I reached down to gingerly pull what looked
to be the original door handle. The door was
unlocked, and it opened. No one was inside.
I stepped in and was at once transported
to Dijon, France. It was as if I could feel the
ghosts of those who sat in the pews 400 years
ago. First I just stood there, looking around
in awe. Then, because I could, I walked up to
the pulpit, imagining what it must have been
like to stand there as minister of a congregation. Then, like a Quaker, I sat, in silence, for
about an hour on a wooden bench, focusing on
nothing but my breath as my retinas soaked
in the rich, various hues of the stained-glass
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APRIL 28: Culinary Week
MAY 5: Booty Barre
JUNE 16: Women-Only, Mom and Teen Week
JUNE 21: Women-Only, Mother/Daughter Yoga Week
AUGUST 18: Life Coach Martin Smith
SEPTEMBER 22: Tennis, Kris Kluis
windows. Something shifted. I’d finally found
what I truly needed — stillness — and I was
able to hang out in that space for a full hour,
completely at peace.
The day I was leaving, celebrity hairstylist
Sam Brocato and his crew arrived for Beauty
Week. I chatted with him and his crew during
breakfast. I left the San Diego airport at 1: 35
p.m. and arrived home in time to unpack and
start thinking about the workweek ahead.
I’d wanted to lose a few pounds on this trip,
and I did. But what I gained — an ability to con-
nect with and fully appreciate an inner stillness
and peace — was more valuable by far. M
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