Ever have one of those days that starts out fabulous and then just keeps getting better and better into the evening? A day that is so scrumptious and delicious it feels like more than one day? I pinched myself yesterday to remind me I still had one day left of the weekend...Sunday!
I actually kicked off the weekend with a beer after work with a few of my new co-workers on Friday. The entire week had a funny vibe to it as not only was it a short workweek after the 4th of July holiday but the SUN and HOT WEATHER suddenly arrived like a hot bomb out of nowhere. After a soggy, cold spring (including a wet, miserable 4th of July under umbrellas for those brave enough to head out to the fireworks shows) it was a breath of fresh, hot sunshine we so desperately needed. So we headed over to the Three Lions Pub right next to the British Pantry in Redmond for a quick toast and some laughs.
Saturday was an amazing day both indoors and out. I met my friend L for lunch and spa'ing - something we'd talked about doing to celebrate my birthday last year but we never got around to it. And then *poof* another year went by so we decided THIS was the year to do it. Had it really been an entire year? Funny how when you get to be our age a year is a blink of an eye, not a long, drawn out period of Wait.
L is one of the 4 or 5 friends I get together with a few times a year for dinner. One of my old friends going all the way back to elementary school. I can look at her and smile and not say a word and I know she's remembering the same things I am too - walking to school together, boy drama, growing up issues in general...we sat outside for lunch overlooking Lake Washington and just relishing how gorgeous it was outside. My default lunch drink order is (plain) iced tea and a glass of water. But we jazzed it up this time and toasted with a couple of bloody marys. Nice.
After a couple of ho-hum salads we headed over to the spa at the Woodmark Hotel for some major pampering...facials and manicures! L was SO generous treating me to this! The spa is newly-remodeled and just recently re-opened about a week ago so this was my first time back after it had been closed for a few months. So fun seeing my long-time esthetician M and giving her a big hug! She truly, truly loves what she does and it shows.
Now, I've been going to this spa for nearly 10 years but hardly ever have gotten a facial. Just some periodic waxing (peach fuzz on the face and, ummmm, some 'downstairs' cleanup too - heh) and brow tinting. Not real pampering like a facial.
And boy did I forget what I'd been missing! The facial experience is not only steaming, extractions, masking and other treatments but also a neck, shoulder and pecs massage as well. I guess I really was overdue for this as I literally felt like tensions were released and now flowing freely through my entire body. I felt like I was floating on air when it was over.
Next, we changed out of our spa robes and slippers and headed over to get manicures. I normally love to keep my nails polished and groomed but the past few weeks I've just kept it to clear polish and some filing to keep them neat. So, it was time to bust out some bright pink! And the forearm massage and heated paraffin treatment were out of this world. Again, I felt the tension in my arms - which I didn't realize I'd had - release like an internal, freed-up logjam and just FLOW. Just flowing away into nothingness.
Behind L and me were a couple of other women celebrating a birthday and I laughed when one of them started getting a little lively on her second glass of champagne. "HEY! Is that Pink #14?" I smiled and looked over my shoulder..."why yes, it is!!" HA! Damn if that girl has an eagle eye for polish colors or what! Too funny.
I gave L a huge hug and thank you for such a generous gift! We both looked relaxed and glowing...this spa treatment stuff works wonders! I strolled leisurely back to my car and drove home in a state of relaxed bliss.
But the day wasn't over yet.
I headed off to a dinner party at another friend's house (yes, another "L" and her boyfriend D). L has a fabulous, large L-shaped backyard which is perfect for outdoor dining and entertaining. And on summer nights like this Saturday it was the perfect showcase. Dining outside by candlelight surrounded by wonderful people, incredible food, barbecued ribs, chicken, salmon, you name it...wine, roasted beets, salads...a foodie's paradise. And the surroundings of her garden...the hydrangeas, herbs and other flowers in a secluded backyard was just, well, magical. Humorous and sophisticated conversation...books, travel...I found myself enjoying incredible salmon and salad seated right next to two long-time journalists; I learned one had written one of the very first books about the greenhouse effect (which was endorsed by then-Senator Al Gore). Wow! What a ground breaker.
And while it may seem a little vain or silly, I gotta say it here: I actually went totally bare-faced to this party. ZERO makeup. I stopped home after my facial to quickly change clothes, grab a bottle of wine and head up to the house. I was running a little late - beyond what might be considered fashionably late - and I glanced at myself in the mirror. Oh my goodness...I was glowing! My face looked fresh and relaxed. My skin tone looked even...the famous ruddy cheeks looked toned down and not screaming for a coverup of foundation or powder. And my mood was so relaxed I didn't feel self-conscious at all. What a fabulous day (and evening!)
And even today (Sunday) - that sneaky, ever-deepening vertical furrow in my brow? Nearly vanished.
I may have found an alternative to a first-time Botox appointment after all.