Monday, April 7, 2008

Spahhhh!

Can you believe I forgot to take my camera to the spa?? Sorry guys, I realized it after I'd already left the house (and didn't want to walk back in and stress my kids out even more that I was really going to be gone. for 8. whole. hours!) Here is a photogallery of the places I mention but I have a couple from the brochure and I'll try to give as much detail as possible to paint some more pictures... :)

Started with a beautiful drive out through the hills of Austin. I couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather. A cloudless sky, 49 degrees when I left at 8 AM, and high 70's in the afternoon. Just a gorgeous, perfect day. And we've had such a warm winter here, the many flowers (several varieties I'd never even seen, still trying to identify) were in full bloom, it was glorious!

You get a big furry robe and sandals when you check in. Then you enjoy padding around the property or taking a dip in the hot tub or steam room between treatments(pretend that's me above, close enough!). The locker rooms are so beautiful and they provide their own grapefruit body products (one of my all time favorite body washes, it's like injecting a glass of freshly squeezed juice-Good MORNING!!! I don't have any, but I'm always tempted because the fragrance really brings back the spa experience so vividly!) and a fantastic massaging shower head with a temperature you can control by degrees, so I took THREE showers that day! Just stood under the water, and didn't worry once that William was pouring honey on the carpet or trying to burn the house down!

You wait for them to retrieve you for your spa services in The Blue Room: think lots of overstuffed chairs and chaise lounges, a fireplace, coffee table books, tea*, and a connecting screened in porch with rocking chairs over looking the pool. This chaise lounge in the corner(above) is "my spot", it's the best place in the room(IMHO! I'd expect to have to fight someone for it!) but it's always empty, waiting for me, to tuck my feet under that afghan while I wait. :)

My first treatment was the Daydreaming Massage: a Swedish and aromatherapy massage, with a lavender pillow over your eyes and hearted lavender pillow on your tummy, followed by a scrub and wrap. Last the therapist pulls all the blankets up around you like a cocoon, while you just lay there and doze. Magical! I floated out of there, with eyes half closed all the way down the path to a hammock by the river...


It was a little too cold for the pool the first time I went there, but this time I lounged on this fabulous chenille covered mattress the width of a double bed, raised up on a platform poolside! It was the most comfortable thing ever! They also had a bunch of draped cabanas, water features, yada yada, (a fantasy pool if you will!)



This time I did no reading. And almost no talking. A lot of time just staring, or with eyes closed just resting, listening to the occasional "tweet". It was heavenly. (I also walked at a snail's pace, a luxury I do not have spending 24/7 with a three year old!**) I brought "THE PAD" and my pens, however, and enjoyed just thinking and drawing. At lunch***, I had a quiet little table to myself overlooking the garden. The waiter commented when he brought my dessert, "It's so refreshing to see someone DOODLING here! I'm not sure I've ever seen someone bring a pad with them to sketch!" So we chatted a little, he's an aspiring songwriter, hoping for a break... sorry, didn't get his info)

One terrific discovery I have to rave about was an outdoor shower I hadn't noticed on my first two visits(it's to the right tfo the treatemtn area you see above)! There was a drape to pull across on the side you enter, a teak wall with the showers fixtures to the left, a limestone wall to your right, and in front of you a beautiful garden and fountain (with a wall behind it for complete privacy) to gaze at while sudsing up and rinsing off! Talk about "back to nature"! I guess that's how Eve must've felt!

My second treatment was the Radiant Results Facial. This one rocks because in addition to all the face pampering, they also massage your neck shoulders and hands and slather on all the same good stuff!

When you check out, you get a spa gift(the first time I got oatmeal soap and a mommy milk soak, the second time I got a cookbook with all their spa cuisine recipes) This time I got one of their signature tote bags for taking to the pool or to the gym (ya know, so you look like you hang out at the day spa regularly!)

The day ended with a dinner date at Eddie V's downtown, where Paul and I had some fabulous seafood. After stuffing ourselves, they brought out a flourless torte with "Happy Birthday" piped in chocolate on the plate and a rose for me, how sweet! We enjoyed listening to the jazz band that was playing for awhile, but since we're not twenty anymore, we came home early and went to sleep! (We didn't even watch the movie we'd rented ("King of Kong: Fistful of Quarters"), it had already been a perfect day! ;)


I think that's it! Hope you enjoyed "the visit", and you're left feeling inspired to plan your own getaway for some pampering, wherever it may be(instead of feeling jealous, that was not my intent!) You deserve it!****

Have a great day! More birthday card pics to share later, and something VERY special tomorrow!!!! can't wait, can't wait!! (And, if you've written about sending a RAK to make soemone's day, I promise I'll get back to you soon, I'm trying to get caught up on all my emails after being away form the computer for that one day! Thanks for your patience!)

*I'm pretty sure I had at least 4 cups of assorted brewed tea, two glasses of iced teas, and 2 glasses of mint lemonade! how's that for hydrated?? As promised I did choose a selection of tea bags to bring home to share(my fave being "African Amber", very exotic!), but then I realized as I was driving out I'd left them all in the pocket of the robe, DOH! (Really hope someone finds all those tea bags before they go through the wash with all those nice white robes! oops!)


**that is, unless we're really in a hurry!! in which case, the pace is at a standstill because he's stopped to examine a bug or a rock or a leaf or some lint or nothing...


***watermelon gazpacho; served in a big chilled martini glass(it was SO YUMMY! sweet and SPICY!!), Lake House Salad, with edamame, sprouts, cucumber, tomatoes, candied walnuts and Feta dressing; prosciutto and provolone panini with roasted red peppers and arugula, chocolate banana swirl frozen yogurt!



****I got the impression a lot of the ladies there that day go A LOT. That would be really nice to be able to do, but I often think I wouldn't savor it quite as much if I went all the time, KWIM? The first time I went I was blown away by how beautiful it was. The second time I went (just one year later, it had lost a tiny bit of the magic, simply because I wasn't surprised by anything, I remember thinking I would have liked it more going with someone to enjoy showing them around. Having been two years since my last visit, however, (and not having had a day to myself in over a year!), this time was as sweet as my first trip! I really appreciated the familiarity of it all, like coming back to a place you dream about... :)

19 comments:

Michele said...

why do you do this to us common folk who consider a night in the family hottub a mini vacation :) Sounds glorious - glad you had a good time

Carolina said...

How did you manage to come back...this just sounds so wonderful and I'm so excited for you - it sounds like you had a wonderful Birthday celebration! Thanks for sharing details and some pics...will for sure keep it in mind for future get-aways!

Barb Schram said...

Now, if I talk my hubby to sending me to Austin to this spa...will I get quality stamp time with Melanie too? Spaahhhh, one can dream!

Lee said...

Ahhhhhhhhh........that sounds soooo heavenly!!! I've never been to a spa! I know!! I never wanted to go by myself and don't have any girlfriends who live close enough to go do that! Someday....I may get brave and go alone!! The photos are wonderful and very tempting!! I'm so glad you enjoyed some peace and serenity....that does not come often!! LOL

Vanessa said...

WOW! What a wonderful birthday! I have got to go to a spa sometime. Your description made me feel like I was almost there.

Gina K. said...

Where have I been? Happy Birthday sweetie!!

Libby said...

OMG I am so jealous!! I *live* just up the road from the spa (in Steiner) but have never been! Someday! Your day sounds wonderful (Eddie V's too? Yum!!) - a very happy birthday to you!

Jessie/knightrone said...

I have to tell you, I am more than a little jealous, although I would hate the whole experience probably!! I hate to be touched by people I don't know!! Glad you had a wonderful birthday, and if you get a second, send me the info for the new RAK. Thanks!!

Rose Ann said...

This sounds soooo totally fabulous, Melanie!! I'm so happy you had such a wonderful time!! You deserve it!!

Jennifer Buck said...

What a beautiful place! ...and good for you for taking a break for a little pampering! You deserve it! Take care and thanks for sharing! :)

JenMarie said...

Sounds heavenly!

Michelle said...

Melanie,
You should write their brochures. You make me want to move in.. What's the name of the place? I'm in San Antonio and several of the spas here are down on the Riverwalk and fighting crowds there isn't my idea of relaxing.

Neva said...

Sounds like you had a marvelous time and I am green with envy, can you see it? Glad you were able to get away from it all.

Carol said...

AAHhhhhhhh......you described a deliciously, relaxing and sumptuous birthday present! How fortunate you are:) I'm sure you deserved it too:)

Stampmouse said...

omg looks like heaven lucky lucky

Janet said...

Oh, lucky you! I must admit I am a wee bit jealous. I am glad you got the chance to relax and unwind. I hope we get to see some of your doodles and sketches from your notepad!

Deb said...

Yummm...that place sounds like heaven!

Bee said...

Glad you had a good relaxing time! :-) I hope I can do something like that one day! I always joke that the day I will become rich and famous (thanks to my bestseller novel!) my 1st luxury will be to hire a massage therapist! ;-)

Angela O. said...

sounds awesome! Glad you had a good time.