Monday, April 11, 2011

Spend a Day at a Spa (in New York City!)


This one is a rather funny story... and it all began while exploring the streets of New York with my friend Teresa. We were visiting New York for a quick three day getaway, and were trying to check items off our list of things to see and do. Sightseeing and shopping around Soho was one of those things, as well as exploring the cobble-stoned streets of Greenwich Village.

We went through these neighborhoods, and more, all on foot or by hopping aboard the subway. (And may I say, I found the rumor that New Yorkers are "cold" or "unfriendly" to be completely untrue - whenever Teresa and I were unsure of where to go in the subway or which route to take, random New Yorkers would assist us by giving us directions, telling us shortcuts, and giving tips. New Yorkers are awesome!)

Learning to navigate the New York subway system.

By the time mid-afternoon hit, our feet were dying. We had both worn sandals, which are cute and trendy for summertime city strolls, but not very practical. Hobbling along the SoHo sidewalk, arguing about whether or not we should head back to our hotel, Teresa and I bumped into a young girl selling spa packages. They were valued at "300 dollars" according to her, but we could buy them for $60.00 U.S.

Now, I know what you are thinking. It was what I was originally thinking as well - "Don't do it! It's a scam!" But Teresa was eying the foot massage and pedicure part of the package the way a dog eyes a T-bone steak or Thanksgiving turkey that's sitting too close to the edge of the counter. I'd never had a pedicure, or a manicure, or been to a spa even, and so we decided to go for it. Our feet really were tired. After paying, we moved to walk inside the building the girl was standing in front of, but she gently tugged on our arms and pointed to the address on the spa package flyer: we had to go to the Upper East Side. Our feet protested, but there were no refunds, so what choice did we have?

All dressed up to go to our Broadway show!

By this point, as you can imagine, Teresa and I were concerned that we'd bought a day of invisible pampering in an empty lot. On the other hand, we'd already paid, and neither of us had ever been to the Upper East Side before, so we looked at it as a sightseeing, touristy adventure, and hopped aboard the subway once again. We were determined to stay positive, and made plenty of jokes about what we thought we'd find once we arrived at the address. I never would have done this on my own: there is always the possibility of being kidnapped and sold into human trafficking. With Teresa, though, I felt safe. If the address was an empty lot or scary looking shack, we planned on walking quickly away, arms linked tightly!

Luckily for us, the spa was indeed a spa. It had an Italian name, but was run by Iranians. We were ushered in, and to the delight of our toes, were given a pedicure first thing. I must say, I could get used to having pedicures! It was weird at first, having someone all up in your feet and between your toes, but after I relaxed, it was heaven! We then were given back and neck massages, and had our hair done (which was nice, considering we were going to Broadway that night to see “Wicked”.) It was my first time in a spa, and honestly, since then my ONLY time in a spa. If you’ve read any of my other posts, you’ll know that I’m kind of a cheap shopper! Spas are too pricey for me, typically.

Our Fifth Avenue spa - not an abandoned lot after all!

Soooo... I don’t know if this blog post has a “moral” or any tips. I’m not sure what Teresa and I did – buying a sketchy looking spa package for an unknown location halfway across Manhattan – was a good idea. It worked out well for us, in this case! If anyone has any other similar experiences, or experiences that went completely opposite to ours, please feel free to comment! I would love to hear your story!

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