God Put a Thin Mint in the Garden

The following post is part of my account of the fairy-tale that I was lucky enough to have my friend share with me earlier this month.  If you’re so inclined, please feel free to start at the beginning:  Tuna Cavatappi Be Damned (6/6/12), Unintentionally Apt (6/7/12), The Demon Known as Self-Doubt (6/8/12), Time Present and Time Past (6/11/ 12), Enjoy the Ride (6/15/12), At the Gates (6/18/12), Lavender, Who Knew? (6/19/12), How Often Do You Get to Eat Bison? (6/20/12).


Friday, June 1


Here Cheryl and I were.  Texas.  Lake Austin.  The spa.

We were full from our lunches and entirely content after eating the most delicious desserts.  It was two-o’clock  in the afternoon, and we really didn’t have anything that we needed to do until Claire Cook’s Reinvention seminar around five that evening.

What do you do when you’re plopped down in a little piece of heaven on Earth?  Explore.

We started with the garden.  In the pictures on their website, the spa’s vegetable and herb gardens seemed to consist of only a few rows here and there with a fountain in the middle.  The reality of it all, though, was so much better.  Rows and rows of vegetables and herbs filled their beds and came out to greet us as we passed by: squash, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, basil, thyme, parsley.

There were pomegranate, fig, and pear trees.  There were flowers—edible and inedible.

I could recognize most of the plants we passed—not all, but most.  Thank you for the horticultural education, Mom! We spent a good thirty minutes—maybe more—searching for the labels of various species.

At the end of one row, Cheryl grabbed my arm, “Mich, look!”  She nodded at a mass of mint and pointed at the placard next to it.

Chocolate Mint

“Oh, we have to smell that.”

Simultaneously, she and I leaned into the mint and inhaled, sighed, and inhaled again.

“It’s like God put a thin mint in the garden,” Cheryl said softly.  “He put a thin mint in the garden.”

Finally able to tear ourselves away from the miracle of Chocolate Mint, we followed the path we were on to the right of the building we’d later learn was called the Garden Library,

and we eyed the water bicycles that were lined up neatly along the dock with trepidation.

Riding a water bike was the one thing my son really wanted me to do.  Online it looked like fun.  Up close and personal…I wasn’t so sure.  Images of falling off of a bike into the murky depths below kept playing themselves out in the movie of my mind.  Not that I’m that clumsy or that the depths of Lake Austin were murky in any sense of the word.  In truth, my desire to go outside of my comfort zone and to embrace new experiences was apparently limited to things like eating bison, not biking on top of the lake.

We passed the pool between the main resort pool

and an arbor covered with orange trumpet creeper vines.

Then we wound our way down the path past the dining room, gym, and tree house.  Past all of the buildings, the grounds opened up—green grass, gravel paths, ducks, hammocks, and even a lone deer grazing on some plants on the hill.

Once we finished exploring the outside areas, we went for the buildings—the closest of which was the Treehouse where we’d be listening to Claire speak later.  The outside of this utilitarian styled building did not do justice to what we found inside.  There were two workout rooms overlooking Lake Austin

and the Treehouse Lake Room itself.

What can I say about this resort?  The gardens?  The rooms?  It was as if we’d left the reality of the everyday world behind and stepped into the pages of House Beautiful or Home and Garden.

After tearing ourselves away from the Tree House, we stopped by the drink bar to top off our water bottles and the activities desk to sign up for a boat cruise Saturday afternoon and a 3-mile hike Sunday morning.  Then it was back to our rooms to shower with those amazing lavender bath products, change into clean clothes, and relax on those soft, soft beds until time for the seminar with Claire.

A girl could get used to this.

4 responses to “God Put a Thin Mint in the Garden

  1. Hoping to read later that you stepped outside of your comfort zone and rode the water bicycle! I don’t swim, and it looks like fun to me!

    • You know what? I didn’t, and I felt so guilty when I got home and faced my son’s disappointed frown that I really, really wish I had.

  2. Great Pics!! Love to go there . So glad you got to go and share with us.

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