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Spa Day

“We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking. We move along the surface of things [but] there are times when we stop. We sit still. We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.”

James Carroll

Today is my Spa Day; my day of ultimate indulgence and relaxation. I’ve never actually been to a spa for a proper spa day and that’s not about to change. Rather I’ll be indulging in a slightly budget version of what I imagine a spa day to be, including: a massage (that my employer will reimburse), followed by a pedicure (that uses a gift certificate I have) and ending with an Epsom Salt bath at home. Nonetheless, I’m pretty excited to indulge in so many pampering treatments in one day; something I’ve never done before.

While not technically part of my spa plan, it bears mentioning that my perfect Saturday starts with coffee with my husband at the new JJ Bean coffee shop on 17th at Lonsdale. The space is beautiful, bathed in white and pale blues with cedar poles that reach to vaulted ceilings, creating a sort of tropical forest effect. The staff are friendly and compliment our quirky mugs (our cups that is, not our faces), which is always a good sign. We find a cozy alcove and sink into our comfy chairs with coffee, pastry and newspaper. We emerge an hour later refreshed.

Photo courtesy of Nick Webb via flickr

Photo courtesy of Nick Webb via

It’s warm but overcast today and just a bit foggy. The moist sea air envelopes me as I make my way down the hill to the seabus and across the water to my massage with Brad at The Vitality Clinic in Yaletown. This isn’t my first time seeing Brad and it won’t be my last. Brad is a very genuine, caring person who provides a deeply relaxing massage. As he massages we catch up – it’s been a few months since we last saw each other. I tell him about some of my latest never-done-thats and my upcoming trip to Costa Rica. I learn that he’s about to leave the clinic and be a sole practitioner and I am excited for him. Meanwhile, the massage is perfection as always and I know I will follow him wherever he goes.

After the massage I head back to the seabus and to my pedicure appointment in North Van, sipping a bottle of mineral water I brought with me, because that seems very spa like to me. Also because I am quite thirsty and drinking water after a massage is said to be beneficial.

Ariving at Pure Nail Bar I have a seat on one of the long white couches and put my feet into a bowl of warm water while I rummage through several cases of nail polish colours. I find a few I like: a gold sparkly one, a milky jade green and a deep purple. I settle on the purple one in the end. It reminds me of a grape popsicle. I’ll spare you a detailed description of my pedicure but it is heaven and I don’t mind at all getting my second calf massage of the day.

Chatting with my nail girl as she works, I peruse a Chatelaine magazine and feel ridiculously relaxed, almost drunken in my utter lack of tension mental or physical. (By the way, has Chatelaine gotten way better or have i just gotten older? They have the most delicious looking recipes.) I ask my nail girl if she gets her nails done or does them herself. She replies that she mostly does them herself but tells me that she and her coworkers do frequently exchange foot massages. That sounds nice. I’d try to start that at my work but I’m not sure how well it will go over in a law firm. That would be a very odd day at work.

Pedicure complete it’s time to head home to soak in an Epsom Salt bath, in honour of the original meaning of spa, which is essentially a healing soak in some mineral laden hot springs. It is the perfect end to an amazing day of pampering.

What would your perfect day of nurture be? Would it be spa themed or something else entirely?


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