Yesterday when I was lying on a table having my feet and back and scalp rubbed, I started thinking about all the spa experiences that I’ve had. Some were great, others, well, not so much.

My first real spa experience was at Disney World (cuz where else?). We had planned a whirlwind trip to fill out a contract with the DVC offices. Or that was our excuse anyway. Alexis was ten months old. I think we made it to the parks one day out of the 4 that we were there. But one of those afternoons was scheduled for me. Chris splurged and bought me a spa package lasting from late morning until early evening. I was a bit nervous about it because I was still nursing Alexis at the time, and I didn’t know if she – or my boobs – could make it for 5 whole hours.

Overall, it was a great experience. There was a massage (not a new treat), a reflexology massage, and a facial. Probably something else as well, but I can’t remember. I don’t really remember the massage, but the foot rub… OMG. This was pure heaven. I actually fell asleep.

I hated the facial. It was the longest, most boring torture I had ever endured, but then again, maybe my boobs were bursting and I really wanted to get back to my family. 90 minutes is WAY too long for a facial. I didn’t realize this for several years and avoided all facials until last September when I won one on a cruise (Yes, a Disney cruise – don’t you know me yet?). Grudgingly I scheduled my appointment. The experience itself was actually quite pleasant. I didn’t feel like my face had been rubbed off this time, but my “free” facial ended up costing me about $200 in products. Products I felt like I had to buy because the spa technician told me I was getting wrinkles around my eyes. Now, I’m generally mistaken for much younger than I really am, so this was a huge blow to my ego. I guess she really knew how to sell a product (or 5).

On that same cruise Chris and I had scheduled a couples cabana beach massage on Disney’s private island. It might just be me, but I really don’t get the point of a couples massage. However, I went along with it for his sake. Besides, how bad could a massage be? BAD. Really, really bad. Chris got the cute tiny girl who could probably put dents in steel I-beams with her fingers, and I got the wimpy new girl who had a cold. I actually caught her wiping her nose with one hand while she massaged with the other one. I think I left feeling worse than when I got there because I was so stressed about the potential boogers on me.

By far, my best spa experiences have been at the Woodhouse Spa in Austin (blasphemy! It’s not Disney owned). I’ve been there several times alone, once a quarter my two best friends and I go for pedicures, and a few times I’ve dragged my mom (like yesterday). The whole environment is so soothing. And the robes have got to be the softest things I’ve ever touched.

Yesterday’s treatments were good. I started with that 45 minutes foot rub I mentioned, then moved on to Swedish massage. Mom and I both agreed that the only really odd experience was the scalp massage. It starts with something similar to Chinese water torture, only here they use oil, and they rub your hands and feet while it’s dripping on you. Unfortunately, the hand and foot rub does not counteract the drip, drip, dripping on the forehead. I must say I was very relieved when that was over.

Perhaps in the coming year, I’ll have the guts (and the money) to try a new spa in Austin. There are a couple of destination spas in town, but they’re so expensive I have a hard time justifying it. In the meantime, I think I’ll stick with Reflexology and Egyptian pedicures.


One Response to “I heart the spa(s)”

  1. Susan on November 27th, 2007 2:05 pm

    I like Viva Day Spa on 35th. I’ve only been twice, but I’ve had massages and a facial and they were wonderful. Very splurgey, but worth it (especially if someone else is paying).

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