Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spa - aaahhhhh....

One of my favorite, and very generous, Furry Godmother clients gave me a half-day gift certificate to Lake Austin Spa back in December. I finally used my gift certificate yesterday. I got a massage, a soothing facial and had lunch at the cafe. The grounds of Lake Austin Spa are beautiful. Finding your way out to the spa is a little trippy, both in distance and in the vibe of the surroundings. You have to drive through this very Stepford Wives kind of master-planned community called Steiner Ranch. I am so glad that Chad & I have made our home in central Austin. We fought the social pressure to have a bigger house for the same price out in the suburbs. I think I'm allergic to the suburbs and master-planned communities. Anyway, once you get through Stepford Ranch, I mean Steiner Ranch, then you drive through some road construction to arrive lakeside at the spa. The spa grounds are landscaped with all sorts of native plants and fragrant herbs. The spa was pretty and nice-smelling, outside and inside. Recordings of nature sounds and serene music played throughout the treatment rooms and lounge areas.

The one discordance at my half-day at the spa was the overwhelming presence of a gaggle of birthday guests. I get the feeling some of them couldn't read, because they ignored the signs that were posted every 12 feet declaring the spa a quiet place for relaxation. They all had on silly, plastic tiara headbands and were ready for a hootenanny! I did my best to ignore these women until one of them threw the privacy curtain open on my post-massage shower. I was there in my birthday suit, and said, "excuse me," and tried to close the curtain quickly. Plastic tiara lady still had the curtain in her hand and stood gaping (the trips to the gym are paying off, I guess) while apologizing and trying to explain that she thought she had put her things in that shower. My mom has this saying, "they act like they've never been anywhere." Which means that the party in question lacks good manners and social skills. I think it applies here.

For those of you in Austin, I highly recommend that you browse Cissi's Market next time you're lounging around SoCo. One of my favorite previous clients, Victoria Lynden, was the creative vision behind this lovely coffee shop / deli / gourmet shop. Chad and I went this weekend for a look. We had coffee and a toffee crunch cookie (don't tell the South Beach Diet police!) The Kohana (Hawaiian) coffee was great. Cissi's Market is gorgeous inside with well planned, understated merchandising. Some of the items are a bit pricey, but it's good stuff. You don't want to fight the crowds at Whole Foods Market when you can get your indulgent items and coffee or lunch at Cissi's Market. The shop is named for Victoria's late mom which I find very sweet. And I'm NOT just saying all of this because she's the one who gave me the spa gift certificate, or because her dogs were my favorite canine clients!