In her book The Year of Magical Thinking, author and former Palos Verdes resident Joan Didion shares a simple yet insightful life truth: “Time is the school in which we learn.” This elegant sentence may inspire you to reflect on how your time is spent—when and where.
Our lives can be hurried…yes, even frantic. We live each day trying to squeeze in as much work, activity, or experience as possible in pursuit of our goals. But how often do we take time for ourselves—to truly relax our being and allow a whole different kind of knowledge to settle in? When do we take the time to connect deeper and expand our potential both outside and within?
For Marisa Marshall, this opportunity comes during the very first hours of the day. Each morning at sunrise, the Palos Verdes native and longtime resident takes her yellow Labrador retriever, Lucky, on a long, quiet walk around the Terranea grounds. For Marshall, the 2-mile loop she treks with her loyal companion provides her with a dose of happiness and self-reflection that she needs to start her day.
“These hikes with Lucky are more than a ritual; they are an escape to a sanctuary and haven,” she shares. “The setting allows us to literally touch the water and see the sunrise gloriously shining over the ocean with Catalina Island views. It’s a treasure and magic; it’s something that can’t be copied or duplicated.”
With most of the resort to themselves, Marshall appreciates the quiet serenity of this time, often with only the birds and dolphins off the cove below keeping them company. “It sounds cliché, but it makes my day complete,” she shares. “It makes me appreciate where we live so much. We can forget to take it all in, and for me, it’s why I come out.”
Marshall admits Lucky appreciates the hikes almost more than her. “He knows the trails, and he leads me through. He has his favorite little spots,” she says. “It’s so simple and it’s not complicated, but it brings me so much peace and joy. It’s that kind of escape and happiness that you can get from vacations…but I can get this in my backyard. If I don’t go for our morning hike, I kind of miss out for the day. It never gets old for me.”
Following their morning adventure, Marshall stops in sea beans for a cup of coffee, a quick bite and some water for Lucky. Nourished and refreshed, the pair leaves prepared to take on the day—knowing another moment awaits them tomorrow morning.
The Spa at Terranea, the award-winning heart of wellness at the resort, sits not far from where Marshall and Lucky journey along the bluff’s edge. The oceanfront oasis—with 25 treatment rooms, steam, sauna, salt wall, and more—makes the perfect hideaway for frequent guest Linden Moore. A career professional who spends much of her day on her desk computer, Linden says an afternoon at Terranea provides her with a moment to disconnect from her workday.
“This is my ‘me’ time,” she explains. “I come to The Spa for the day and just think and reconnect with nature.”
Moore checks into the Fitness & Wellness Center for a full-body strength and cardio workout, incorporating abs and light stretching. She then enjoys a restorative seaside yoga class. “The instructors are amazing, and I love the setting,” she says. “It’s in one of the most beautiful places on earth, so I actually look forward to working out.”
During her favorite ritual, the Ocean Prelude, Moore enjoys a dry brush exfoliation, seaweed wrap, saltwater bath and rhythmic massage. “There’s nothing quite like it. I’ve traveled all over the world to some of the most beautiful, off-the-beaten path locations, and I always come back to Terranea. It’s the ultimate mind, body and spirit oasis.”
She may also treat herself to a kale, pineapple, mint and coconut water smoothie from solviva. After spending a few hours pampering and conditioning her body, Linden takes time to recharge her mind—whether by sitting with a good book on a chaise overlooking the coast or meditating to the sound of the ocean. She leaves rejuvenated and ready to complete her workweek ahead.
Professional golfer Sam Wroclawski plays at The Links at least three to four times a week. The English-born golfer, who has lived in the area since 2003 and turned professional in 2015, uses Terranea as his preferred training ground.
“I’ve played golf since I was 10 years old,” says Wroclawski, who considers the sport an ongoing commitment to personal wellness. “I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and golf was a recovery vehicle to get me well again. Terranea is a healing environment and refuge.”
For this avid golfer, the sport is more than walking around the course and staying fit. It is also an opportunity to calm the mind.
“You’re around all the lush greenery and looking out to Catalina and the ocean. It’s really special,” he says. “I want to get rid of the stigma toward mental health and promote activities people can have in their lives to better their mental health and general well-being. I think golf has a really powerful way of doing that for people.”
As the sun sets on The Links, Wroclawski packs his clubs and makes his way home. The day may be over, but those moments on the course still linger with him as drives onto Palos Verdes Drive. Heading north, he sees the last bit of sun disappear behind the ocean.
When it rises again the next morning, Marshall and Lucky will already be up and on their way to the resort for their daily hike. And so life at Terranea begins again. You need only make the time.