BAY AREA RETREAT FAQ
Where is it?
Cold Springs Retreat Center is a beautiful, peaceful location in Penngrove, CA. It is about 1 hour north of SF and the East Bay. map
What time is it?
8:00am: Chi Kung warmup (for hands-on classes only)
9:30am-1:00pm: Morning class session
1-3pm: Lunch and siesta
3-6:30pm: Afternoon class session
You are allowed on the property 8:00am-8:00pm.
Showering and other major personal grooming off site please.
How do I get there?
- Folks near-ish by can drive. There is parking, albeit limited (see below). Carpooling is great.
- Out of towners: We recommend the Sonoma County Airport Express shuttle bus:
- It picks up and drops off at the SFO, Oakland and Santa Rosa airports.
- Takes about 1.5 hours from SFO or OAK, depending on traffic.
- $38 regular; $36 seniors 62+
- Get off at the Petaluma Fairgrounds stop.
- We will pick you up in Petaluma and drive you to Cold Springs, about 20 min away.
- It's a nice bus, even David's mom takes it and she's never been on a bus before in her life!
Is lodging included in the price?
Yes, tuition includes one night of lodging per day of class. We arrive the evening before the first day of class, and depart right after lunch on the last day. For 2-day classes, you arrive the eve before and depart after dinner on the 2nd day.
Can I just make day visits?
Yes if you live nearby you can participate in classes and sleep at home, for a reduced rate. See individual class registration pages for pricing. Price includes all meals so you'll want to arrive in time for breakfast.
Although this is an option, we strongly encourage all participants to sleep over in order to get the most out of this immersive experience.
For 2-day classes, can I add a 3rd night?
Yes, for an additional fee of $75 and depending on availability with the following class. Food is not included the next day so you would need to leave first thing in the morning. Well, maybe after a dip in the hot tub ;)
What's the room situation?
There are multiple rooms that sleep 2-10 guests each.
Is there a choice of rooms/beds?
In some cases we will assign rooms. Otherwise, you may choose your own upon arrival. You can choose your specific bed upon arrival as well.
Please let us know:
- If you are a couple or super close friends and can share a larger bed.
- If you are a snorer. You know who you are! Be honest and please let us know.
- If you strongly prefer to not be in a co-ed room.
- If you have a problem with stairs as some rooms are on the second floor.
For the Fall retreats only, there are two "glamping" tents with one/two cots each, as a rooming option.
The classroom yurt can also be slept in if you'd like to retreat there, or maybe if you would like a later night hot tub and prefer not to chance waking up roommates.
Is camping an option?
Yes, there is a level circle area for tents. Pricing is the same as a bed in a room, per person.
What should I bring, lodging-wise?
Earplugs, eye mask, reading light, extra towel, notebook and pen for dream journaling.
Do prices vary depending on rooming?
No, all sleeping situations are the same price per person.
Is food included in the price?
Yes, tuition includes 3 meals per day, including for day-use students.
The last day of 4/5-day classes will include breakfast and lunch only. (We checkout right after lunch on the last day of class.)
For 2-day classes, tuition includes 3 meals each day.
Dinner is NOT included on the night of check-in for any class. So make sure you either eat well before you arrive, or bring something with you.
I don't eat breakfast. Can I pay less?
No, it is a flat rate for the meal plan per our caterer. Also... you should eat breakfast!
Lisa Rost! Lisa’s lifetime of culinary experience combines a unique blend of delectable creativity, heartfelt service and a passion for organic locally sourced foods. Her meals augment the experience of retreatants by deeply nourishing their bodies while inspiring an awareness of their connection to the life that feeds them. They are able to do the work they have come to do while being supported by an inspired chef attuned to the field. Lisa is in awe of the power that food and beauty have to bring people together… to nourish, restore and connect.
What's on the menu?
Words like fresh, alive, colorful, vibrant, healing and soul satisfying best describe Lisa’s food, which is globally inspired yet distinctly Californian. Before the retreat you will receive a questionnaire regarding your diet so we can best accommodate your needs. Coffee, tea, filtered water and some garden treats are also provided.
Can I bring my own food?
You can store your super special items in the kitchen, but there is very limited space. So please bring only what is absolutely necessary. No, you don't NEED that Costco-size bag of Skinny Pop popcorn!
What's the deal with parking?
Parking is limited to 20 vehicles. Vehicles are to be parked in designated parking areas only. Parking on the road is not permitted. Any illegally parked cars are subject to towing; applicable fines/towing fees are the sole responsibility of the vehicle owner.
How close is it to town?
The cute town of Penngrove is reachable within 10 minutes, with the bigger towns of Cotati and Rohenert Park just 15 minutes away max. The "city" and airport bus pickup point of Petaluma is 25 minutes away. That said, we strongly encourage everyone to stay put at the retreat to have the full immersive experience. Additionally, as parking is a squeeze, some cars may have to be parked in.
What's the weather like?
March: It can go in any direction in March, lion or lamb. Cold and wet, warm and dry, cold and dry, but not warm and wet! It can be foggy, sunny, windy, calm, who knows. In March 2019, rainbows were plentiful!
May: Beautiful spring weather. Slight chance of rain still, before it ends for the whole summer. Can be quite chilly in the mornings and evenings. Usually warm (60s-70s) and sunny!
September: "Indian Summer" is the warmest and driest time of year here. It can get hot, in the 80s-90s. It pretty much always cools down at night, in the 50-60s. It can be foggy in the early morning. Chance of rain is highly unlikely. Chance of gorgeous days is highly likely.
What should I wear?
- Layers: It's all about layers in these parts.
- Comfort: We will be sitting, doing not-so-physical chi kung, trading abdominal work, etc. So just be comfy and cozy.
- Shoes are not allowed in the indoor spaces, so make sure to bring slip-on shoes or sandals easy to remove at the entrances. Also bring socks or slippers to keep your tootsies warm inside.
- CNT Classes: We will be working directly on the abdominal area, so wear clothing that can reveal your belly. ie no dresses, unitards, leotards, onesies, jumpsuits, snowsuits or Winnie the Pooh footie jammies.
Is there cell phone service and wifi?
Yes, don't freak out, you can stay connected. There's good wifi and all cell phone networks have worked just fine.
OTHER THINGS TO NOTE:
Bring a notebook. While you may video/audio record some demos on your devices, please no audible typing, tapping or clicking for note taking.
Bring a headlamp or flashlight.
Tread lightly: Please keep the property and all furnishings in good order.
Pets: Pets are not allowed. There are birds and small lizards around for animal companionship :)
Housekeeping: There is no daily housekeeping service. While linens and bath towels are included in the unit, daily maid service is not included. We suggest you bring an extra towel for the hot tub.
Hot Tub: There is a hot tub on the deck with a nice view. Ahhhhhh. But please shower before use!
Fireplace: The fireplace is a high efficiency insert. Please do not throw any paper or other combustible materials in the fireplace. Please refer to user guide in house manual prior to operation.
Outdoor fires: Are not permitted. Please be extremely careful with fire in this area.
Septic: The house is on a septic system, please only flush toilet paper or pipes will clog.
"Cold Springs is a beautiful, healing and healthy retreat center. A wonderful place for future TaoTouch retreats. The accommodations are excellent, and the setting was wonderful. It is on 3 acres backing up to the hills in the east, and looking out over the valley towards west.
The owner, Darin, was very helpful and present, doing what he could to make each person feel very comfortable. His energy and thoughtfulness was in every aspect of the place. Darin is very conscious of making the lightest possible footprint at the retreat center with recycling/compost, composting toilet, water saving features, dishes, silverware and mugs, etc. There are flowers, fruit trees, berries and vegetables interspersed with pathways and are now starting to produce. It is nice to walk through the plantings enjoying nature.
The food was amazing! Everyone’s food considerations were accounted for. I could not believe the effort and consciousness that was put into all the meals and the creativity of the food. The food was delicious!"
- Nancy Belton, September 2019