I’m almost two weeks into my vacation in blissful Santa Barbara which seems a planet away from the Siberian-esque winter we have been weathering in New England. Each day, as I walk along the ocean, I witness people running, walking, biking, surfing and paddleboarding as opposed to shivering, shoveling and sliding their way through the icy tundra. AH! That’s me breathing a sigh of relief.
Yesterday, my husband, having been invited to play golf, surprised me with a welcome suggestion: Why didn’t I spend the day at a luxury Spa just up the road from the golf course? Really?? Twist my arm! A little online research revealed a special Spa Day for locals, which I qualified for by virtue of my 2 week rental. The deal was a 50 minute massage, a glass of bubbly and full usage of the facilities for $125. Sign me up!
So it was that he drove up a winding tree lined drive and through a massive stone archway and deposited me in the front of the hacienda style edifice that is Bacara, a stunning resort and spa surrounded by lush, tropical foliage. Pristine white stucco with a classic red tile roof, the unimposing facade led into a magnificent two story lobby dominated by a massive chandelier. I was directed down a curving staircase and out to a path that led past the flowering shrub surrounded pool and into the cool confines of the Spa.
First, I was ushered into the elegant ladies’ locker room and issued a robe and slippers for my treatment. But since I had a couple hours to kill, I slipped into exercise clothes and went downstairs to the extensive fitness area. One large room held spin bikes and Pilates apparatus, another every form of cardio machine and a third, free weights and weight machines. After clocking a half hour on the treadmill and hoisting some light weights for my upper body, I retraced my steps to the front motor court. There I grabbed a chicken wrap and exotic iced tea at Blend, a little panini, smoothie and salad venue where I lunched at a shady bistro table. Next to Blend was a wine bar and tasting room. Made a mental note: drag husband here after golf and “exhausting” spa day for a glass of vino.
Back at the Spa, I checked out the inventory at the boutique which was well stocked with goods from Osea, Fresh and Babor with lots of testers for the irrepressibly curious like me. Then I changed to my robe and went upstairs to the Serenity room, where like-robed ladies waited in front of the fire on comfy chairs and couches for their treatments. I had requested a female masseuse but I was claimed by Matthew who was most definitely male; also cute! young! and hot! But all discomfort melted away in the candlelit room where I was kneaded into submission accompanied by the sound of waves crashing on shore.
When my time was, sadly, up I dragged myself off the table and into my robe and upon leaving the room, found Matthew waiting with a hefty glass of champagne. I think I could get used to this pampering thing!
Since there were many options open to me, I had also booked a waxing session and a young woman named Kathleen whisked some fuzz off my face. “Am I hurting you?” she asked, concerned. “Hardly,” I cracked. “Once you’ve had a Brazilian, everything else is child’s play.”
Once done, I finished my champagne and had a shower and shampoo. Refreshed and blow dried, I sauntered out on the grounds and read my book with a private ocean view. “Life is tough, isn’t it?” my husband texted me. “Yeah, it is.” I wrote back. “But somebody’s gotta do it, and today it’s me!”