And spent the day at a spa.
Yeahhhhhh. A spa. Take one pasty-white girl just flown in from the Heartland, smear her up one side and down the other with soft, red clay mud and soak her in a warm pool for half an hour or so and you've got one happy, happy girl. My cousin and I were newbies and never did quite figure out how one guy in the pool managed to be reading the newspaper. And another was snapping digital photos of his group of friends.....all without getting mud all over the paper and the camera. But they did.
Once the mud dries and all of your little pores are squeaky clean, you step into an alcove with lots of shower heads and rinse it off. All of this, I might mention, was in the great outdoors..........another odd experience for me since anyone standing outdoors back home this time of year, even in full snowmobile regalia, is likely to freeze to death, nostrils splayed with every visible nose hair coated with frost. As I stood under the shower enjoying the warm water under the palm fronds, I kept thinking to myself...........sister, this hardly ever happens to you in November in Iowa.
That's when I noticed the white bottom.
Out of the corner of my eye, mind you, but white it was. Like a lily. Like a perfectly appointed Easter lily on the communion table of the Evangelical United Brethren church of my youth. Glaringly white and there it was, standing right next to me at the adjacent shower nozzle. Ahhh-hem!!!!! Mister! I'm thinking! I can see your butt!!!!
I averted my eyes. Of course. And I thought to myself, my goodness but I have much to learn about spas, this bare-bottom thing was not mentioned in the nice brochure the pretty lady at the counter handed us when we paid our money.
I assure you, no weirdness was involved. None. The nice man with the white bottom was actually wearing a rather conservative pair of bright green Hawaiian-print swim shorts but at the time I happened to turn and glance in his direction as I tried to adjust the spigot on my shower head to warm up the water, he happened to.........well, clearly he was simply adjusting things so that he could get a good rinse. We were all covered with mud, remember. He was even cordial enough to reach over and show me how to adjust the water temp on my own shower when he saw me struggling with the technicalities of the nozzle.
What the hell, I thought as I closed my eyes, stepped further into the jets of warm water and tugged at my bathing suit, letting it rinse off the cheeks of my own lily-white behind. We're all just one big, happy, muddy family here, aren't we??
The first thing one notices after a proper mudding is the total sense of relaxation. Once rinsed, I could have taken a long nap on a flat rock. I felt like every ounce of energy had been sucked from my pores and washed down the drain with the shower water. No time for that. Our next stop was the underground grotto where perky young attendants painted our entire bodies with a silky, minty green whipped creme sort of stuff, promised to contain aloe and all manner of things that would moisturize our skin for the next half hour as we sat in the sauna. Again, my first body painting. Hmmm. I can see how someone might get used to this sort of thing.
Notsomuch sweating in the sauna. Not my favorite thing. It's hot in there. Really, really hot. Hot like summer in Iowa. If I closed my eyes I could almost hear the sounds of the Iowa State Fair and smell corn dogs. But NOW I know why they say humidity is good for the skin. Half an hour in that miserably hot sauna, sitting there bathrobed and frosted like a cupcake, my skin was soft as the inside of a bunny's ears. Lovely. Just lovely.
Good news. They sell the stuff. The spa is called Glen Ivy, there are several locations and you can buy all these magic things in neat and tidy little jars. I'm ordering some. I doubt that they will work the exact same magic in my Midwest bathroom. But they'll surely bring back some great memories.
Just like this photo.
These are some of my cousins.
These are some of my cousins.
I sat at their family dinner table, laughed with them all weekend, slept in their guest house, enjoyed their kids and unfortunately, wrapped up the holiday by coming down with the flu. In conclusion, all I can say is...........you can really tell how much people love you by how they react to you throwing up all night in their purty little bathroom.
Barf bag aside, it was a great few days.
I had a blast. Thanks for the great memories, guys.
Love you bunches.