Joya Spa at the Montelucia

JOYA SPA 3Yes, we know it’s now the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia but it will always just be the Montelucia to us.

What’s wonderful about all the five star resorts in the Valley, is how they are all a different theme.  Sanctuary is Asian inspired, Camelback Inn is Southwestern, and when you go to the Royal Palms you feel like you’re in Tuscany.

It’s a great way to spend the day as with any treatment you purchase, you can stay as long as you want an enjoy their facilities.

Well the Joya Spa is all Morocco from the treatments to the rituals to the interior design. It is gorgeous and opulent.  My enjoyment from my spa experiences not only come in the form of the  treatments but the environment in which they are done. The relaxation rooms and how they are decorated are really important. And the Joya spa doesn’t disapoint, it actually sets the bar.  It’s pure pleasure for the body as well as the senses.

The staff is welcoming and warm and you really start getting pampered from the moment you open up its gorgeous doors.

As you begin the entrance into the spa you pick as stone to set your intention for the day.I love that! I like a little spirituality and what I lovingly describe as “woo-woo” in my treatments.

Here’s what I learned about the stones and thought I’d share.

Tiger’s Eye – clarity , focus, grounding , protection

Sodalite – intuition, truth, meditation, calm

Aventurine – prosperity, career steadiness, protection

Rose Quartz – heart, love, healing, purity

Amethyst – spirt, balance, peace, transformation


You continue down a beautiful hallway decorated with morroccan furniture and come to this beautiful clear crystal imported from Brazil that is said to clear negative energy.


In you go to change and get ready for your treatment.  You can use one of the many amenities, hot tub, steam room, sleeping room with the most comfortable beds you could ever imagine.


The relaxation room where you go  to wait for them to bring you back to the treatment rooms is lovely.  Burgundy  comfy sofas with indian rugs is simply gorgeous.

Off you’re taken to your treatment room and darn it! if I can’t remember the name of the gorgeous charm on the door that brings you good luck. Some one help me out if you know. It’s been bothering me to the point I’m just going to call them and ask.

The treatments are amazing.  Order one of everything!  Not only are the therapists very knowledgeable but very caring and friendly.  We just turned into puddin’.

Joya spa 7

Then it was off to enjoy lunch and the spa pool. Just look at these views.

If you’re a local, watch for fantastic specials.

Make sure you sign up for the Joy Spa emails to take advantage.

Here is their website. 




Who Doesn’t Love a Block Party?

Diva Dana is putting on this bad boy and she could use our support.  It’s going to be a great event and we can all help her make it a success. Proceeds raised support the Desert Foothills Library which is the only privately funded library in the company.

More info at



Gong Meditation


(l-r, Diva Tina, Diva Wendy, Diva Lisa Gonster, Diva Diane)

Lisa Gongster has an incredible story.

She was a corporate pilot flying jets. Big jets. An incredible story in itself being a woman in a male dominated field.

That all ended when she came down with vertigo.

So bad, it ended her career.

She tried everything to try and cure it. Doctors, tests, more doctors, more tests.

Someone suggested something, she did it.

Nothing helped.

All of a sudden life as she knew it, was over.

She heard about sound therapy and the gongs.

And that, my friends is what helped her heal.

Now she goes around the country holding classes, workshops and helping other people heal too.

Pretty amazing isn’t it?

My friend Wendy introduced me to Gong Meditation after she tried it an absolutely loved it.  She saw colors, her body tingled, it was amazing.

I had to try it too.

Hearing the word “Gong” conjured up an image of Mathew McConnaughey playing the bongos naked. Don’t ask me why.  I just wondered if this was going to be really weird.

I have been struggling with meditation.  Trying to keep focused, trying not to fall asleep, trying not to think about stuff, trying to calm the mind….the struggle ensues.

I thought this would be a good way to help me meditate.

They have everything there.  But I brought my own blanket, pillows, bolsters. I mean, I really looked like I was moving in.

I wanted it to be as comfortable as possible.

So my first time….I brought everything, got as comfy as possible, Lisa started on the gons and the other instruments and I started to drift off….

I fell asleep.

Damn.  No colors. No tingling.

I felt like I was missing out.  Especially after everyone around the room described their experiences with colors and light and tingling.

I will tell you though, it is unbelievably relaxing.  And I felt incredibly relaxed after but also reinvigorated. Like I had been sleeping for hours. Who doesn’t need that?

To learn more about sound healing and the gongs and the effect sounds and vibrations has on your health just go on Lisa’s website

I’m completely copying it here to give you an explanation.

“Sound meditation is a mental practice engaging your attention to sound. Sound acts as an auditory stimulus that overrides the activity in the brain and synchronizes the brain’s activity to the frequencies and rhythmic patterning being heard.

•When used with live sound, the experience is not just with the ears, it is a full body sensory experience in which the body comes into direct contact with vibrations.

•It is sound that makes this type of meditation practice unique. The sound waves travel as energy from the sound source to the listener, who may then experience a shift in awareness, increased alertness, an ease in mental activity and reduced discursive thinking patterns.

•Sound meditation has a biochemical effect, reducing stress hormones and creates a feeling of contentment and relaxation.

Immerse yourself in the Sacred Journey of Vibrational Healing. The Mixture of Sound, and frequency will Cleanse, Uplift and Heal; Restore your Inner harmony to RE create PEACE with-IN your BEing. Each participant will Reach a Higher state of Calm, Deep Relaxation and Complete Serenity when surrounded by the harmonic tones of the pure vibrations. Once emerged into the natural rhythm, a higher state of Truth, Purification and Restoration occurs.”

Sounds pretty amazing, huh?

I’ve taken several classes and enjoy them immensely.

To find a class near you, check out Lisa’s website

I’m not giving up on the color and tingling though!

Here’s a sample of what it sounds like….



hamitlon 2

First of all,  I don’t like musicals.

Who fast forwards through the music numbers during the TV show Glee?

I did.

What a weirdo.

So that gives you an idea.  Pretty bad.

So when my friend could get a fabulous deal on Hamilton tickets, one would think that I would turn that down.

But noooo.

I have heard people rant and rave about Hamilton, I’ve read the reviews, I know how tickets were thousands of dollars in New York and very hard to come by. It’s the hot thing since 2015 when it opened.

So you need to know I also have a bad fear of missing out.

So my dislike of musicals combined with my fear of missing out.

I tried it.

And…oh I looooved it!!!


(The set. Photo credit: Gayle Bass)

Great singing, amazing music and funny.

Love funny.

Not only did we get to see this fantastic musical, but we got to tour backstage too.

My friend Gayle (who I can never repay for the great tickets as I have no social status in the Valley, nor good hook ups) has a friend who works with the tour.

So we got to go tour backstage.

Pinch me, right?

It’s amazing to see the amount of people that put a show like this together.

Here’s a complete rip off about the musical on Google.

An American Musical is a sung- and rapped-through musical about the life of American  Founding Father Alexander Hamiltonwith music, lyrics, and book by Lin-Manuel Miranda, inspired by the 2004 biography Alexander Hamilton by historian Ron Chernow. Notably incorporating hip-hop, rhythm and blues, pop music, soul music, traditional-style show tunes, and color-conscious casting of non-white actors as the Founding Fathers and other historical figures, the musical achieved both critical acclaim and box office success.

louis at hamilton

(Here’s Louis and Gayle watching Hamilton)

It’s a definite bucket list item.

There is supposed to be a movie adaptation, but when that’s happening, no one knows.

Find tickets for a show near you.


Cavalia – Odysseo


As I soaked in these amazing creatures and performers, I realized just how important the arts are during times like these.  With news story after news story telling us about people harming people, seeing something so beautifully created and executed really brings your faith back into humanity.

I sat in awe watching Cavalia’s Odyseeo.

Then the guy behind me started kicking the back of  my chair.

To the beat of the incredible music.

And we’re back.

That faith restored may have been brief.

Well this post is not about educating people about proper etiquette in public situations, but believe me, I could make the case of how people that wonder how world wars occur are the same ones that can’t even say hello when they pass you on a hiking trail. (See how not be an a$$%#@* while hiking in the Valley.)

But this post is to focus on this incredible production of Cavalia’s Odysseo that puts your faith back into people at least for a little while and makes you forget for a few hours about the turmoil going in in the world.


(No special filter was used taking this photo of Gayle Bass and her co workers at :Right This Minute.” It was a dirty lense.)

You just wonder how someone could even imagine such performances let alone actually create it.

Odysseo is the current production of Cavalia – which is an entertainment company out of Quebec, Canada that specializes in equestrian and acrobatic techniques. It was founded ion 2003 by Normand Latourelle in Montreal, Quebec. Wikipedia informs me that this performance is often compared to Cirque de Soleil  and that Latourelle was one of the original founders of Cirque.  Odysseo has been touring since 2011 and is an entirely separate entity.

I googled more information on Cavalia is a fabricated word, inspired by the Spanish and French words for horse (caballo and cheval) and the French and English word cavalier.

It’s nothing short of amazing, inspiring and moved me to tears.

And with my faith restored, I drove home and didn’t mind as much when someone cut me off on the way out of the parking lot.

And we’re back.

It’s progress.

Thank you Gayle Bass for bringing me.  Louis loved it as well.  Below is a photo of Louis, Gayle and her co-workers from Right This Minute.



Here is some of the artwork you see as you’re walking to your seats.

I was thisclose to pulling out my credit card to buy either of these gorgeous pieces, but I had to remind myself that I’m going to Sicily, Italy.

The show runs in Scottsdale from February 21, 2018 for two weeks.

You can get your tickets here.

For those of you in the rest of the country, check for a show coming near you.


Sicily Is Calling

We’re not sure if you saw the video…


But we’re going to Sicily….Not Mexico.

And we’re partnering with A Girl’s Gotta Go and want YOU to come too.

So you can listen to us bicker in person.

So here’s the dealio…

sicily photo 1


Doesn’t that look freaking amazing????

Your 10-day tour of Sicily is packed with architectural treasures that have withstood the ages. You’ll begin your tour with guided sightseeing in Palermo’s ornate city of piazzas, markets, and churches.

You’ll relish the baroque style of the city’s historic sites, and savor authentic Sicilian culinary specialties that have been handed down for generations. From panelle, arancini, and cannoli – to almond biscuits and Marsala wines – your escorted tour of Sicily is an epicurean’s dream when it comes to cuisine. You’ll also be treated to a tasting at Sicily’s oldest chocolate factory.

As you tour the perimeter of the beautiful island of Sicily, you’ll also enjoy a cruise to the small island of Motya for a museum tour, as well as escorted tours through Sicily’s centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the elaborate Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina.

From palaces to churches, you’ll encounter ancient works of art, architecture, and archaeological treasures. You’ll visit the Valley of the Temples with its Greek structures that have endured 24 centuries, the iconic St. George Cathedral and Ibla district of Ragusa, and the adorned tiled Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte in Caltagirone.

You’ll travel to Syracuse – birthplace of mathematician Archimedes – for a guided sightseeing tour that includes the 5th-century-BC Greek theater. You’ll also enjoy seeing the Church of Santa Lucia – filming location of Michael Corleone’s wedding scene in The Godfather – then relaxing with a granita and brioche at a local bar.

Your Sicily tour package concludes on the beautiful Taormina Riviera with an opportunity to visit Mount Etna – Europe’s largest active volcano. A sumptuous meal will put the finishing touch on your beautiful Italy tour of the ancient island of Sicily – with new memories to cherish for years to come.

Exclusive Group by A Girl’s Gotta Go
Land only $2,184 per person double occupancy.**
Group Air on Lufthansa from Boston leaving May 26, 2018 is $1359.00 per person.

More information email


Palermo to Taormina Riviera | 10 Days | May 27th- June 5th, 2018

Your Sicilian Tour Includes:

  • Motorcoach; boat cruise.
  • Free wi-fi available on your motorcoach and in most hotel lobbies
  • Full breakfast daily
  • One special lunch in Palermo
  • 6 three-course dinners with wine; including a welcome dinner in Palermo, special dinners in Marsala and Modica, and a farewell dinner in Taormina

sicily tour map

City | Activity

Palermo | Welcome dinner; guided sightseeing, visit the cathedral and the Norman cathedral in Monreale; lunch at Focacceria San Francesco
Erice |Visit the hilltop town and try the famous almond biscuits and Marsala wine

Motya | Boat cruise; visit museum

Marsala | Visit a salt mill; dinner at a local restaurant

Sciacca |Take pictures from the panoramic viewpoint

Agrigento |Guided walking tour of the Valley of Temples

Piazza Armerina |Guided visit of the Villa Romana del Casale

Caltagirone |See the famous Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte
Ragusa |Guided walking tour of the Ibla district, visit St. George Cathedral

Modica | Chocolate tasting at the famous Dolceria Bonajuto; dinner at a local restaurant
Noto | Guided walking tour, visit San Nicolò Cathedral
Syracuse | Guided visit of the archaeological site

Catania | See St. Agata Cathedral, Piazza Duomo, and Via Etnea
Savoca |See the Church of Santa Lucia; taste granita and brioche at Bar Vitelli
Taormina |Orientation, visit the Greek theater; farewell dinner at a local restaurant


More info  here


a girls gotta go


Phoenix Police Citizen Academy

If you ever want an incredible experience full of adventure, we encourage you to enroll in the Phoenix Police Citizen Academy.  Not only do you learn all about the police department which is nothing short of fascinating, but you go through part of their training.  Diva Diane and Diva Lisa took part in media today and got to experience the tactical village.

Contact Phoenix Police Sergeant Joel Leavitt for upcoming classes and to get an application. They are holding at least six academies a year. It’s one night a week for six weeks.