Sunday, March 14, 2010

add on another...

I'm a little sore today. No, no...I'm okay. It's not my mental state, it's my muscles.

Specifically those attached to shoulder blades.

Back in September, I introduced you to Julie, the masseuse who managed to beat me to a pulp with her deep tissue massage. Well, I found another gal who is smaller. And stronger. And although she was gentle and I didn't hurt at the time...I awoke this morning feeling as though my shoulders were those of a linebackers. After a hard TwoaDay practice on the blocking dummies.

Yesterday we celebrated.

It was a wonderful friends birthday. Not just any birthday, but her 40th. A big number in the world of women. So a few of us planned her a little surprise.

Getting her husband involved, we planned to swing by early morning unbenounced to whisk her away for a day of beauty. At least we thought we were sly, but dear Melissa is a smart one, so she probably had it figured out ahead of time and just allowed us to believe we had pulled this off. Eileen spearheaded this effort with Christine, Kathy, Gretchen, Ellen, Leslie and myself all jumping onboard to partake in the festivities.

One complete day spent lounging in plush white terry robes in a darkened room with comfy couches and chaise lounges with attendants coming to escort us to various rooms of spa wonder. All interspersed with glasses of mineral water and champagne.

Spa West in Westlake, Ohio is a place that I've never been to before. I'd heard of it, I'd seen advertisements and I've even driven by the facility, but I'd never been a client.

I may never, when treating myself, go anywhere else ever again.

We started our treatment day at 8:45am. Standing in the lobby of the spa, we gave the hostess our names and instantly our coats were exchanged for mugs of coffee or glasses of sparkling water. Once we were all accounted for they opened the magnificent carved wooden door that led to the inner sanctum of the treatment area.

At first sight I thought it was an infinity hallway. All tricked out with mirrors to give the illusion of never ending linear walls. But no, the hallway actually was made up of door after door after door of treatment rooms. Along the walls were recessed cubicles highlighting rich oil paintings framed in opulent gold scroll. Amber glass chandeliers every six feet dimly lighting the warm Italian adesia slate flooring.

The effect was instantly relaxing. Like in a dream, it was one of ambiotic bliss.

Traditionally on someone elses birthday you give a gift. You normally don't partake in said gift. But Eileen said that this day was a day 'for the girls'. As she so eloquently put it when making the arrangements for this extravagant spa day, "We all deserve a day off, damn-it."

God Bless you, Eileen.
You are truly a genius.

Yanna was a little Russian girl, slight in stature with a mild, soft voice. She had the slightest of accents. She came to our enclave and called out my name, "Naaannnnzzzy. Pleazzze. Follow me." We walked down the opulent, glowing hall and finally reached a room on the right. "Pleaze.", she gestured for me to enter, "Make yourself comfortable. I'll return in a moment."

This room was just as beautiful as the rest of the building I'd seen thus far. The waterfall faucet and vessel sink. The heavy channeled glass shower door and slate tiling. The amber chandelier. Even the upholstered chair in the corner for me to place my robe was gorgeous. My mind started tallying the cost of fixtures alone. Cha-ching. There was some major dosh put out building this place. They didn't cut costs, that's for sure.

Throughout my hour and half long relaxation massage (no more deep tissue for me, thank you very much) I learned much about this young lady. She has lived here for 13 years, her fiancee lives in Avon Lake, she's been engaged for just 3 months and is planning a trip back to Russia to visit family next summer. She grew up outside of Moscow and although she is visiting some family, she was wondering how to get away and actually do sightseeing as it's been so many years. She had been so young when she left, her memories of Russia are few. She has a dog, Maximilian, that is a two year old Golden Retriever that has a fondness for leather shoes. She doesn't eat fish but has a love for Thai food. Green is her favorite color. She only asks to do relaxation massages and likes to do them with a firm hand but prefers doing facials. She enjoys her work. Skin is fascinating to her. She also has a fish.

That's a lot of information to gather during a massage, isn't it. Now, do you also remember me telling you back in March of last year how people have this strange inclination to talk to me? One of the other ladies in our group also had Yanna as a masotherapist after me. She commented that she found it odd that the young lady hardly said a word.

Hmmm. Interesting. You might have thought the conversation distracting. But her banter didn't disrupt my relaxation process one bit. In actuality it made me feel a little more comfortable. I enjoy silence, but had I not heard the sound of her voice, I might have drowned in the unavoidable drool massages bring on. Or at least been embarrassed by it. Nothing like leaving a little pool of spit for your masseuse to clean up after you leave.

Little Yanna did a most excellent job working out the kinks of stress that has been building in my muscles. It felt and strangely sounded like popping bubble wrap as she worked out the pockets of tension. It really did feel heavenly. And when I returned to the ambiance of our waiting room, I felt like a linguine noodle cooked al dente.

More lounging followed between services in same room with champagne and finally with everyone reassembled we vacated the spa. Heading over to Crocker Park's Cheesecake factory we all had martini's, lunch and dessert. A stop at Sephora, the make-up haven for us product whores, and then onward for some enjoyable, but not needed, shoe shopping.

Let's recap:

  • Massages

  • Champagne

  • Martini's

  • Lunch

  • Cheesecake

  • Make-up

  • Shoe shopping

  • Girlfriends

  • Birthday gathering

What an absolutely perfect day.

By the time I made it home late that afternoon, packages in hand, muscles expertly kneaded, I would be hard pressed to recant a nicer way to spend a Saturday afternoon. There's just something about the bond of female companionship. Something special. Something sublime. That's probably the reason why so many books are written on the subject and so many movies made about it.

So Happy, happy 40th birthday, Dearest Melissa!
Thank you (although you really had no choice!) for allowing us all to join in the celebration of your birth. As we left our soiree yesterday afternoon, we pledged to make this a yearly event. Personally if that' the case, I can't wait until her 41st.

And truly, I mean that.
I can't wait.

I've already booked another appointment with Yanna.

You see...I didn't get the name of her fish.



  1. Aren't 40th days the best with your gal pals? Anytime actually, but those are extra special. Happy to hear your time was amazing. :)

  2. Wow now THAT'S a girls day out!! Hopefully one day my girls and I will be able to afford something so luxurious!

  3. Maybe it's a fish called Wanda? We once had a goldfish (in the early '80s) named Abe Vigoda.

    I'm so impressed by your lovely day with your lovely friends. It sounds idyllic... Don't wait too long for the next one! --oh wait, you're already booked with Yanna! Cool!

  4. Oh what luxury! I could really go for something like that.

    Time out with the gals, no matter what you are doing is always special. Great way to bring in a new year.

  5. Mmmm.... I've never had a massage, but it sounds beautiful!

  6. I feel more relaxed just having read about your day. Spa treatments, cheesecake AND shoe shopping all in one day is about as good as it gets. Add a martini and OMG- it's over-the-top-amazing.

  7. im in need of one of those massages right about now. happy birthday to your friend.

  8. Any excuse will do to get another massage won't it? You deserve it all though. Sounds like you truly had the perfect girls' day out.
    Can't wait to round up my girls and do a similar variation of the day you spent.

  9. What a fabulous day: shopping, champagne, cheesecake, a martini, lunch. It sounds perfect to me!

  10. You know, I have never had a massage?

    Maybe for my 40th, when it finally arrives. ;)

  11. Wow, sounds like an amazing day! What a great way to spend a b-day.

  12. I absolutely love this idea...thanks for sharing it. there's nothing like an entire day with your girls. Hmmmm, I'm trying to figure out who's birthday is next. Be sure to report back with the name of Yanna's fish!

  13. @Matthew - Never a massage? Ever? Oh dear. You need to change that right away. Seriously.

    @Everyone else - It WAS an absolutely wonderful day! I would HIGHLY suggest it!

    and yes, Suzicate...I promise when I find out the name of the fish, I will most certainly let you know! I'm sure you asre hanging on the edge of your seat to find out. :-)


  14. Damn, I feel vicariously relaxed after that post.

  15. The perfect day indeed! Sometimes, when someone is speaking in just the right tone, it's almost like "white noise" to me and actually aids relaxation. What a fun day! I wish they happened a lot more often!

  16. Hey Nancy! Damn, I could just fancy a really serious massage. Your day out sounds fabulous. And like yourself, I think women make the best company. Way more interesting conversationalists. Indigo

  17. "I felt like a linguine noodle cooked al dente." That is just DIVINE. :o) I'm not sure what I want first now - whether a massage or a plate of creamy linguine...

  18. Sounds heavenly! :)
    I love having relaxing treatments like that,life just seems so much better afterwards!
    Maybe this should become a tradition for all the ladies to partake in every birthday day :)
    Good idea??

  19. Quite a day - you girls know how to live well :D

  20. Sounds like my kind of day!! I haven't had a massage or facial in such a long time!! I think I will suggest it to my girl friends!

  21. Guess who I used to go to Spa West with? He/she loved it.

  22. How absolutely decadent and wonderful. It seems all the birthdays after 40 are better spent with girlfriends, the best gift is the friendship. Seems like something better done more than just once a year!

  23. I've never gotten a massage before. It sounds absolutely amazing.

    Happy birthday to Melissa!!

  24. How nice! I'm glad you had a good time. I enjoy a good cracking from an osteopath, but massage never did much for me. I'm so glad it does for you, though!

  25. there is something special about our relationships with our girlfriends. and a place that throws a cup of coffee in my hand before they remove my coat is a winner in many, many ways. what a great way to spend a day! can I come next time?!

  26. yeah, i was gonna say, why on earth were you talking during the massage? that would totally ruin it for me!

    but i'm not gonna lie- i am SO jealous of all your girly activities- sounds like absolute bliss!

  27. I did that last summer with my 2 sisters and it was the best ever. Thanks for the reminder that I really need to schedule another sister spa day!

  28. I used to love my annual Pamper trips with my friends, there's something about spending the day in a big, snuggly dressing gown and no mobile phones. Reading this makes me feel I must find somewhere here to visit.....soon!


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