Happy Spring (It's still snowy here, but it's melting and I don't need a hat most days or gloves)! I've been in hibernation mode for the last few months. I'm almost 22 weeks pregnant with a little boy and I've spent a lot of time reading, doing restorative yoga, taking walks, massaging tourists, and teaching yoga.
I like to say that my baby has taken me over; he tells me what to eat, when to sleep, and he allows me to do a little or a lot in a day. He's so worth it though. I feel him moving around through out the day. I tell my massage clients that they have two energy healers, and he's quite good, haha. I have a feeling he's going to be pretty funny.
We had such a fun retreat! We went snowshoeing or cross country skied everyday. I hired different local guides to take us to fun new locations. We hiked to Rainbow Lake on this day.
Hans was one of our favorite guides! He has an excellent sense of smell, which was great because we would have been lost without him. Also, it was so fun to see him jump through 3 feet of snow to get his stick.
Angie was our first guide with her trusty dog, Hans. She was so wonderful about helping us get our straps right with our snowshoes and making sure we were able to hike well in them. She's also very sweet and funny.
My favorite time to do yoga is at sunrise because that's when our subconscious loves to purge which helps us feel really balanced and energized all day. It's also a beautiful time to gaze out the window while doing yoga.
We had some lovely guest teachers at the retreat including lovely Sound Healer, Emma Kelleher. She helped us sleep so good that night! Sound Healing is where the teacher plays healing bowls that are tuned to different chakra frequencies. She intuitively plays them balancing all of our chakras.
I loved the storyteller's stories so much I forgot to take pictures. She told us great ghost stories from Breckenridge and Keystone! Viki and David really enjoyed the stories and Amber's yummy food.
Usually I help create the menu and do the shopping, but Amber did it all on this retreat and she was ommazing. We had two sugar and gluten free guests and she made delicious meals with gluten and sugar free options.
Not only did Amber cook for us, she also taught us how to cross country ski! She quoted my cousin; "you aren't really learning unless you're falling." We learned how to fall well.
Hilarie really mastered skiing after a few goes. It was so fun to see her get comfortable going down hills and gliding on the snow.
I'm so blessed to do what I love with people I adore, thank you!
I've been reflecting on all the wonderful retreats I've put on over the years and I realized that I've had a funtastic friend who has been able to share most of my retreats with me. Usually before I put on a retreat I say; "Viki, where should our next yoga retreat be?"
I've taken two years off putting on retreats because I needed some time to focus on filling my own cup and re-settling in a new place. I've finally settled into Breckenridge, Colorado, and my cup is overflowing, so I'm ready to put on my next retreat!
My new P.O. Box is:
Vanessa Fairy Mermaid Butterfly Charles
P.O. Box 6457
Breckenridge, Colorado 80424
I'll be offering a yoga retreat here in Colorado in February.
Before I give you more details I wanted to share about my friend, Viki Draper. She has inspired and helped so many people including me, so I wanted to share some of her light with you all!
Viki Draper (Schrader)
I met Viki in 2005 in Rochester, Washington when I taught yoga in an old classroom every Thursday. Viki had gone to school in the room I was teaching yoga in 60 years earlier. Viki is always laughing, makes everyone feel welcome, will help anyone if she can, and is always up for an adventure.
Our Rochester, Washington Yoga class is fantastic and the majority of them still do yoga together every week since 2005! They not only do yoga together but they also help one another when it floods, if someone is sick, or if someone just needs some extra help. Most of them volunteer at the Food Bank and the schools. We often would have dinner or chocolate and wine after class. Our Rochester Yogis aren't just a class, we are a community that helps one another be our best. Not only that, but these group of yogis convinced me to put on my first yoga retreat in 2007 on Whidbey Island! And then another one on Orcas Island in 2008, and then those yogis got me to put on my first Hawaii Yoga Retreat and the rest is herstory ; ).
The picture below is of our first retreat on Whidbey Island which turned into our yearly Blissful Life Retreats.
This is Baby Viki with her Daddy, Frank in Bremerton, WA, 1945 (If you look at the first photo of Viki above and baby Viki she still has the same smile-laugh)
Viki was the first baby born in the new hospital in Bremerton, Washington in 1944, during World War II. Her dad was working in the Navy Ship Yard. That hospital is now a nursing home and Viki jokes that she; "can go up there and die in the same place I was born and go full circle." Her mom and her mom's mom had a pie and chili shop outside the navy yard.
The women in Viki's family have been creative, ambitious, and have a "can do" attitude just like Viki. A year after Viki was born her mom became pregnant with Viki's little brother and she decided to have more support so she moved to Monument, Colorado where her mother-in-law and father in-law had a tree nursery.
Her dad would stay with the military to finish out his service for two more years at the Navy Base and in the Pacific where he was a part of the Army Core of Engineers that helped clean up after World War II. He even helped clean up after WII in Iwo Jima, but he wouldn't ever talk about what he saw there.
Below is a picture of Viki, her brother Terry, and their mom, Elsie
In 1947 Viki, her new brother (Terry), and her mom moved back to Washington State. They moved to Kid Valley by Mount Saint Helens where her dad was a logger. After a couple years they moved to Chehalis, but couldn't find housing so they lived in a motel that was a one room cabin with now three children and her parents.
Eventually they found a home to buy in Grand Mound instead of Chehalis because that's what was available and that's how Viki ended up next to Rochester which is where she still lives 65+ years later. Her family grew to five children with Viki being the eldest. They were all in one bedroom until her dad eventually added onto the house to make more bedrooms.