The next time I’m blue, I swear I’m going to take a picture.
No, not that kind of blue. Not the depressed kind. And not the cold kind.
I mean quite literally blue.
As in all over blue. As in deeply, richly blue as one of the characters on “Avatar.”
I have been blue twice recently. Both times I was in a spa. Both times I had completely unusual but completely fabulous treatments. And both times I was totally and absolutely blue.
Now, anyone can go to a spa and get a treatment of some sort. A massage is quite lovely and a mani/pedi is always a nice experience. But those are a little too tame for me. Just how many words can you write about getting a massage or having your toes painted? But getting turned blue? Now we are talking. So it’s my own fault. Because I ask for something unique at each spa. Something different.
And apparently that translates to something blue.
Both blue experiences also involved a contraption-like thing invoking moisture and heat. Apparently, both places wanted to prepare some sort of blue meal. And I was the main entrée.
My first blue experience was at the Spa at Silver Shells in Destin, Florida last summer. This lovely place has a private pool where, after slipping on robes and slipping off all our cares, we enjoyed a leisurely time relaxing by the pool and sipping on icy water in goblets embellished with lemon. I am of the opinion that being served icy water in goblets embellished with lemon poolside as you await your spa experience is pretty darn close to heaven.
I was escorted to a room with a crazy raised bathtub looking thing and instructed to clamber aboard and drape myself with two towels. My therapist diplomatically left the room as I climbed up and festooned myself with towels. Then he returned and the real fun began. It was the wackiest and most wonderful experience I have ever had in a spa and, at the end, my skin was as smooth as a newborn baby’s butt.
First, he proceeded to scrub me all over, carefully in between the draped towels, with some sort of salty, grainy stuff that was a little rough on my skin but actually felt great. Next, he took some heated oil and rubbed it all over the salty residue. It was at this point that I began to feel much like a marinated Thanksgiving turkey. Then, he took the thin aluminum foil I was lying on and began to wrap me up in it. And the turkey illusion was complete.
He gently laid towels over top of the aluminum foil and left me alone for a few minutes to marinate. After I had marinated long enough, he came back and swung the contraption over the tub above me and proceeded to rinse me off with warm water. I didn’t know it was blue until I was rinsing off the residue at the end and I realized that, at the time, I must have looked like a giant Smurf in a bathtub. It was also then that I ran my hand down my arm and realized my skin had not been this soft since I left the womb.
My next blue experience was just last month at the Aji Spa in the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa in Chandler, Arizona. This incredible resort is perched right in the middle of the desert and is designed to be an authentic representation of the Gila River Indian Community’s heritage and culture. Everything from the architecture of the buildings to the beautifully landscaped grounds pays homage to this idea.
The Aji Spa is in a lovely building a short walk from the rooms and has a beautiful, sparkling private pool where you are welcome to relax before or after your treatment. I was being treated to their signature treatment – the Blue Coyote. I honestly didn’t even pay attention to the “blue”part of the description until … well. Let me tell you all about my treatment.
First, I was escorted to the luxurious locker room where I donned the requisite robe and spa slippers. It’s when you put on the spa robe and slippers that you slip into the spa mood. That relaxing, wonderful spa mood that you can’t duplicate anywhere else. Then my therapist led me to a room where I beheld a raised bathtub device very similar to the one I had seen at the Spa at Silver Shells. Only this one had a cover that looked like it was designed to fold shut, much like the lid of a baker you insert in the oven. This first impression turned out to be startlingly accurate.
I climbed up on the apparatus and draped a towel over myself, experiencing an interesting déjà vu moment as I flashed back to the same situation at the other spa. But the similarity ended when my therapist entered the room and proceeded to cover my entire body with a blue, clay-like substance. I was not going to be salted, scrubbed and wrapped this time – no, I was going to be baked! Technically, I was going to be steamed.
After I was covered with clay, the therapist lowered the top of the gizmo over me until just my head was sticking out. Then she turned on the steam. I was just a trifle concerned when she mentioned steam and visions of my turkey experience at the other spa were dancing in my head but the steam was warm and soothing and I soon relaxed and enjoyed it as she massaged my head and scalp.
I was just about to nod off from the euphoria induced by the scalp massage and the warm steam when she lifted the lid, told me to take a shower and dry off, then my massage in the other room would begin. When I looked down at myself and saw that I was completely covered in blue, I couldn’t believe I had let another blue experience go by without photographing the evidence. I was a Smurf. And once again had no picture. I rinsed off and enjoyed the fabulous, relaxing massage, then leisurely strolled back to my room as relaxed as it was possible to be.
The next time someone offers me a blue spa experience, I’m going to be all over it. And I’m going to get photographic evidence.
Because it’s not often you are a Smurf. It is something that should be documented.
Don’t you think?
About the Author:
Jan Ross is a freelance travel writer who travels the world and writes all about it. Her favorite things to do are taking foodie tours, finding fabulous new shops where she can buy shoes and other desperately important accoutrements and lounging on a tropical beach while a white-jacketed waiter brings her a frozen drink on a tray, possibly accompanied by some sort of succulent cheese or decadent chocolate. She may be just a tiny bit spoiled. She maintains a travel blog at www.wanderlustwonder.com where she writes about these topics and many more.