Springtime renewal doesn’t go as planned

Springtime in D.C.

Springtime in D.C.

It’s Spring!  That means birds chirping at 5 AM, and every grass and weed blooming outside, which means no sleep for the allergy ridden.  And that would be me!  So, imagine my delight at the thought of a day at a spa — indoors, filtered air, silence and, therefore, nap time.  Luckily, I had been given this as an early birthday gift.  Since I was in Charlottesville, VA, I decided to go to an old favorite, The Boarshead.  Appointments were made, and off I went at 10 AM so I could have a relaxing seam before my massage and manicure/pedicure.

When you go to a spa, you first have to sign a document that promises you will not die on the table nor give them any communicable diseases.  (I always wonder if everyone tells the truth. After all, how many want to say that they just got over a flu/cold or take hormones?)  With this done, I went into the Ladies Lounge and put on the fluffy robe and slippers and headed for the steam room.  First issue: the handle of the door was so hot I had to use a towel to open it.  When I got it open, the steam coming out could have skinned a cat.  I jumped back and reported to the desk there was a slight problem with the thermostat.  Of course, it took a while to find the technician and to get the problem fixed.  I took a hot shower and pretended it was the steam.

If only I'd been this relaxed ...

If only I’d been this relaxed …

Next step: a relaxing massage. A sprite of a girl who looks 12 comes to tell me she is my massage therapist and leads me into a dimly lit, warm room with a lovely bed awaiting me.  She says she’ll be right backand I crawlface down under the covers.  She glides in the roomand I hear her preparing the aroma therapy oils.  All of the sudden, freezing cold hands hit my back and I leap up in shock!  It took a full 20 minutes of the 50-minute massage to get me back to an “ommmm” place and enjoying what was otherwise an excellent massage.

At this point, I still hadn’t had the nap I long for.  Never fear though, there is always the pedicure chair.  In D.C. at my wonderful Korean place, it almost reclines flat so I can hit the massage buttons and drift off.  At The Boarshead I was expecting even better.  The chair was so wide it could easily hold two people, and I could see the controls for the massage and reclining functions.  I was so happy.  I sat down, put my feet in the wonderful warm water, hit the massage button for wave, and then the recline button.  No recline.  It was not set up.  The leather chair was in a very upright position with the chair back stopping just below your neck (unless you were under 4 feet tall).  I had no choice but to chat with the nail therapist.  Oh well, no nap at the spa.  At least I would have gorgeous red toes and fingers.

What I hope for, not what I got.

What I hope for, not what I got.

Once the toes were done, I shuffled to the next room and sat down for the manicure.  I happened to notice there were no nail drying machines in sight – not even little fans.  I asked about that, and the response was that The Boarshead had them, but a year ago the management took them away.  No reason known.  So, one was supposed to go sit for fifteen minutes in the “silence” room to let them dry – and then be very careful as to your use for an hour.  I then opted for clear nail polish — one coat only — and proceeded to go to the Ladies Lounge and blow them dry with a hair dryer.

Now, I am not complaining about the kindness of the gift.  I just suggest that if anyone is in Charlottesville, one doesn’t go to The Boarshead for a spa day!

P.S. And why are they all therapists?  What happened to masseuse, masseur, manicurist and pedicurist?  I personally don’t want any of them to be my therapist — that would cost me way too much.

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