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A place of healing, Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

Breast cancer has surrounded me way too personally over the last 10 years through friends and family. There is not often much you can do as a friend, so you have to get creative!

My “support” for my ladies has been in experiences: Getting them out to the movies when the doctor approves; picking small theaters like iPics and arriving early to cover the seats with clean sheets, blankets that are new and cozy, and arranging a yummy meal.  Or taking short trips to local getaways in small inns, such as my recent Gideon Putnam find, where we take over the facility to eliminate the chance of immune systems being compromised.


Planning a Getaway

When planning an outing or a getaway for a friend that is immune-compromised, there are a few very important factors to keep in mind:

  • Will it be healing for the soul?  Spas fit this bill quite well.
  • Are there private spaces, so as to not take chances of mingling with the general public?
  • Is it within driving distance or if allowed to fly, within an easy drive from the airport?
  • Can the food be adjusted for any cravings?
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Our rental car, a Ford Mustang. Photo credit, Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

One of the first things you can also do is rent a fun car!  With all the work Ford is doing to support breast cancer research, support them by checking out the Ford Mustang.  We rented a red Mustang for the trip.  I just wish their red was a bit pinker…

I recently discovered the perfect getaway within driving distance of the New York Tri-State area; the Gideon Putnam Resort and its Roosevelt Baths and Spa in Saratoga Springs. Believe me, it is even worth flying to once the doctor releases your friend to travel by plane!  Pulling up to the Gideon Putnam, a feeling of peace comes over you.  The grandness of the hotel, yet tranquility of the setting in the state park is perfection.

The Rooms

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A suite at Gideon Putnam. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

I recommend staying in a combination of rooms, including a Putnam Suite, which has a dining area and two baths. This will allow for a private dining area for the group. I would give this to the lady of honor and work with the resort’s guest services to book the additional rooms in the same area. The rooms are quite comfortable and have wonderful Philosophy products, with super comfy beds.  The gathering areas in the rooms are ideal for girls’ “just chilling” time.

 The Food

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Breakfast at the Gideon Putnam. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

Dining at the Gideon Putnam is oh, so yummy!

For breakfast, the chefs use local, farm fresh eggs and offer many options. Desserts are all baked in-house and I can attest they are worth the splurge. Depending on the stage of recovery and immune condition, there are a few dining options:

  • Have meals in your suite served at your dining room table.
  • If weather permits, use the outside area.
  • Book a table in the dining room at the resort.
  • Work with the resort to use other rooms, such as the Garden Room, not used by the general public.
  • If you choose to venture into the town, Saratoga Springs has so much to offer and the Gideon Putnam provides shuttle service, so you don’t have to worry about parking.

The Roosevelt Baths and Spa

Now for the healing waters…But first, a bit of history. Back in the 1830’s, Gideon Putnam had a vision to develop the springs into a spa for healing, much like the healing waters in Europe. 100 years later, Governor Roosevelt appointed a commission to develop a facility for health treatment. The spa began construction and the bath houses were constructed.

Since then, the spas have been renovated, but the tradition of “Taking the Cure” continues. They say the waters are a gift from the earth; naturally carbonated and used both for drinking and bathing. To think this place was built so long ago and the tile and tubs are all original; there really is some magic in that.

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A bath at the Roosevelt Baths & Spa. Photo credit Dana Zucker, Triathlon Traveling Mom.

Our attendant led us to our private rooms, which included a bathroom, the tub filled and ready for soaking, and a massage table.

We learned about the wonderful minerals in the water, which makes it dark tan in color with a slight bubble to it. I turned the lights down and climbed into my tub for a 40 minute soak. Time flew by and I could feel the minerals working on my body. My neck and shoulders felt amazing! And, my Sydney walked up, lifted her shirt and said, “Just feel how soft my skin is”.  And, it was.

I had an opportunity to visit with the Spa Director, Kim Rossi, after my baths to learn more and this is what she had to say:

Take time to nurture yourself with nature inspired therapies, authentic healing waters, and expert care.

Please take a look at the a page from the brochure to learn more.

Whatever you choose to do for your friend, just make sure you DO IT!  While she may be reluctant to ask for help, there are so many things, both big and small, that you can do to ease this time, even if it’s just providing a shoulder and a smile.