(Yes, I'm a little sun-burned. I have trouble remembering sunscreen....)
When I decided not to travel for my vacation, I decided another thing. I was going to treat myself to a Day At The Spa, using the money I would have otherwise spent on traveling. Doing some online searching, I found a nice-sounding spa nearby and browsed through the multitude of services they offer.
I have never been to a spa before. I've had a few manicures, and once I was gifted with a professional massage at a hair-and-nails place (it was pleasant, but nothing especially impressive). I decided that since I was giving myself this day of pampering in lieu of a trip, I should go all-out. I tried all kinds of crazy treatments that I'd heard of but never experienced.
I thought it would be good for me to be professionally relaxed, after all my body has been through, what with sports, surgery, crutches, limping, physio, etc. Not to mention that I thought it would be an excellent conclusion to my mental getaway. Maybe I could put aside some of the stuff that has been plaguing my mind recently. A day of relaxation and pampering sounded lovely.
So I tried the following treatments:
- an emerald ocean bath (This involves sitting in a huge seawater hot-tub while a 20 minute program of different jets pummel you. Also, someone gives you a scalp massage and cool compresses. Quite nice.),
- an ocean luster body scrub (This one was a little weirder: you lie on a table and somebody exfoliates your body, then squirts you with the weirdest hand-shower-like-thing I've ever seen. Felt good, but was just strange and awkward.),
- a swedish massage (This was definitely my favorite part. I've gotten some really lovely massages from friends before, but this was much more thorough and elaborate. It was done on a fancy massage table, with soft music and candles, and a few different scented lotions, for 50 minutes. Front and back, and when I was face-up she put a soothing pack over my eyes. Very relaxing, and very nice-feeling. I found myself half-dozing off, which is highly unusual for me! I was definitely in another space, and I liked it a lot.),
- a facial (This was nice too, including a relaxing face and hand massage along with skin treatment. I like the way my face felt afterward -- but I think it should resulted in a more permanent change. Only 2 days have passed, and my face feels almost like it always has again.)
The strangest part was spending the majority of my day mostly-naked in the company of strangers (all women, incidentally). Now I realize that is nothing unusual for some people! ...but for me it felt odd. When I got there, I changed into nothing but a robe and sandals. For each treatment, the person would step outside and I would hang my robe on the door and crawl under a towel/sheet/whatever, trying to arrange myself modestly.
After I finished with all the spa treatments, I put on normal clothes again, then I went to their salon and had my hair highlighted (see above photo). I'm pleased with how it came out, though next time I might ask if she can do a lighter shade of red.
It was a neat day, and an interesting experience! I'm glad I tried it, and it was a very different sort of present to give myself. I'm not sure I'll do so much in one day again though. I felt kind of silly at a few points -- a little over-pampered and embarrassed. Still, like I say, it was a cool experience. I can definitely see myself going there again the next time I want hair highlights, and I wouldn't mind getting myself another one of those massages at the same time!