Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Right In My Own Back Yard

I crossed another Year of Yes thing off the list this weekend - Have a massage. Whoever commented that I needed to revise that to "Have a massage every month" was correct. Of course, if money were no object I totally would. I'll have to work up that Life List item, "Remove money as a concern," first.

Anyway, I wanted to encourage you all to get yourself properly massaged as often as you possibly can. I don't go often enough but when I do I always have this moment of remembering, "Oh, right, I love this. And it makes my whole body feel better. Aaaaaaahhhhhhh."

The nice thing about this spa near my house, Body By Brooklyn, is that when you purchase a treatment the use of the facilities for the whole day is included in the price. Now, I've had massages before but I haven't been to a full on spa so this was a whole new experience for me, just like the movies! Let me walk you through the day.

We decided to arrive about 90 minutes before our treatments to take advantage of the facilities. We checked in, got locker keys and declined the tour since Teddy's Girl could walk me through what I needed to know.

In the locker room we changed into our bathing suits. The spa provides lovely robes and you can either bring your own flip flops or borrow a pair of theirs (cleaned after each use like the robes). We left all our possessions save our glasses and our locker keys in the lockers and headed to the hot tub. Quick shower is required before dipping.

Then we sat and talked while bubbling away like lobsters in a pot. Man, I love everything about a hot tub. The motion is nice, the feeling of floating is nice, the warm water is divine. I own one bathing suit. I bought it probably a decade ago and Saturday was the first time I ever used it. (If you need to step away for a moment and laugh at me I'll understand.) I had taken the tags off it last summer in preparation for my trip out West then I forgot to pack it. Brilliant! I wound up swimming in my mother's second suit. Really hard to chide someone for overpacking when she saves your bacon like that. But on Saturday I finally ripped the hygienic barrier strip off the crotch of my suit bottom and got some use out of the thing.

When we were too bubbling hot we climbed out and decided we might just try the cold plunge pool. It was like swimming in the ocean in New England. I put my feet in and got immediate ice cream headache of the ankles. Ouch! So I got out and grabbed my robe.

Now the lounge area has a full bar and a food menu. We decided to be decadent and have a drink. They didn't have peach juice so we revised our bellini order to mimosas. You know it's a good day when the biggest compromise you have to make is settling for a mimosa because there's no peach juice. We sat talking some more and alternately sipping our fizzy lifting drinks and our water. It was such a delight that when the nice bartender came over to see if we'd like another one we said yes! He whisked away our empties, brought our mimosas then made sure we had refills of water as well without our having to ask. I felt well taken care of. Noticed, if you will, which is more rare and more important than you might think.

Just on time a wonderful young woman named Elizabeth came to get me. She asked if I needed to use the ladies' room and waited while I did. Then she led me back to a small, dimly lit, warm (but not oppressive) treatment room. She asked me if I had any areas I wanted her to concentrate on and I mentioned that my shoulders and calves were suffering from all the walking I was doing with the dog without stretching first.

After turning on some music and leaving me alone for a couple of minutes to change she quietly reappeared. For the next 60 minutes she took wonderful care of my old muscles and bones. I liked that her few instructions to me were clear but not demanding. I never felt unsure or hurried. I could have used firmer pressure at some points I think but at no time was the pressure so light that I felt tickled or uncomfortable. The warm towel treatment on my calves and shoulders was just what I needed, too, and she had timing that removed them the very second that they began to get too cool. I started to get a little panicky when I knew the end was near. I wanted more.

I did have a little trouble shutting my brain off. I kept thinking about who I wanted to bring to the spa and writing snippets of this post. With no pressure to do anything I didn't want to, though, I could gently bring my thoughts back to neutral when they wandered.

When it was all over Elizabeth thanked me (she thanked me!) and told me she'd meet me outside. I lay still for a minute or so, sat up and stretched for another minute or so then put my robe on right over my naked self and carried my suit in my hand. Elizabeth was waiting just down the hall with a fresh glass of water for me.

"How do you feel?" she asked kindly.

Like walking through fog I replied, "I...feel....awesome."

She laughed and high fived me then led me back to the lounge area and we said our goodbyes.

I got suited up again so I could enjoy the hot tub once more. While I was in there two other ladies arrived and the nice bartender man brought their drinks tubside! OK, if I'd only known. I'd have ordered some sort of juicy smoothie and had it brought right to me. I also thought about going into the sauna for a bit but I knew that Teddy's Girl would be coming out soon and I didn't want to miss her. Also, I needed more water, so I sat quietly in the lounge area and sipped some more. When she arrived fresh from her 30 minute salt scrub and 30 minute massage we sat and sipped some more before we bid the pampering adieu.

My massage plus my drinks and tax and whatnot was $119. I left the dear Elizabeth a $25 tip, taking my cue from Teddy's Girl. I chose to put the price on my debit card and the tip in cash but could have put them both on the trusty card. For about $45 you can purchase a day pass with access to the showers, lounge, hot tub, cold plunge and saunas. You can become a member of the spa, too, and have access to these things year round. (I did the math and, for the full year membership you'd want to go about twice a month to make it worth the price.)

I am Dorothy and Teddy's Girl is the Wizard. She's taught me what beauty and delight resides in my own back yard. Thank you! As I said yesterday on Kizz & Tell, I'm saving my pennies to go back again, maybe for a deep tissue massage. Who wants to join me?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:30 PM

    Knowing some of your subject matter, I was awaiting a joke about the idiocy of the bathing suit hygenic strip. Just what disease is that going to prevent?
    I'm with you on the getting antsy at the end of a massage. You know it's bound to end soon, and wondering just how soon can ruin the last minutes.