Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm not big on pampering. I don't do manicures or pedicures, and "having my hair did" consists of going to the nearest Bishop's and having a heavily pierced and tattooed stylist whack off several inches. So getting a massage isn't a weekly, or even a yearly, event in my life. But when my friend Mary invited me to join her at the Bonneville Hot Springs Spa & Resort for some spa action, I jumped at the chance.

You see, as far as massages go, I'm a moth to a flame. An alkie to his bottle. As Julie says in the musical Showboat (see above), "Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly." And when I'm offered an afternoon of spa treatments, you gotta know I'll be there.

We started out mid-morning, and even though the weather was semi-crappy, meaning cool and blustery, the incredibly dramatic landscape of the Gorge, with silken ribbons of mist weaving around the hilltops, made for an amazing drive. In 40 minutes we'd crossed over the Bridge of the Gods, driven through the little town of North Bonneville and pulled up to the front door.

Now, from the outside this place has all the appeal of a Soviet-era institution, but once you're inside it just gets better and better. The spa staff whisks you into a (very small) locker room where you change into a plush white cotton robe and rubber slippers. I'd chosen their Ultimate Relaxation bath, wrap and massage, and my attendant Lainie (I had an attendant? Cool!) quietly ushered me into a darkened room with several tubs separated by standing screens.

I was given the choice of a lavender or chamomile-scented bath, and on a nearby table was a pitcher of water straight from the spring and a little cup of grapes (unpeeled, alas!). Lainie advised me that keeping the water at body temperature would allow more minerals to be absorbed into my body, but I ignored that and went for warmer water.

After about a half hour she was back and held up the robe while I disembarked from my porcelain ship (lower the gangplank!) and took me into another darkened room lined with bodies cocooned in sheets, their faces covered with towels. I had the urge to laugh, but stifled it just in time. Deciding on a medium-tight wrap (rather than tight or loose), she put down a eucalyptus-soaked towel and tucked me in for a half hour rest.

Then it was on to the massage with Nick, who escorted me to the men's side of the spa (?) for an 80-minute workout on the table. It went all too quickly, of course, but as we poured ourselves back into the car for the drive home, I was thinking maybe the next pampering event would be coming up sooner than later.


Cathy said...

Oooohhhh, this sounds like heaven. After all that pampering I doubt that I would have the strength to drive home.

Kathleen Bauer said...

Well, we did take a break for lunch, which gave us a chance to recover, but the rest of the day was spent at a, how shall we say, leisurely place.