The Big Birthday Surprise
Boyd is impossible to buy presents for. He doesn't have any hobbies right now outside of RVs and technology, and he buys what he wants when it comes to those. He doesn't have favorite foods, restaurants or sports teams. So, when it comes to gift giving occasions, I am often at a loss. Such was it this year.
Then my sister-in-law told me about a hotel with theme rooms near where the local casino had just opened a spa. I checked online and both the venues received decent reviews, so I made reservations and concocted a story that my aunt, who happened to live near the casino, was having computer trouble so we needed to go visit to help her. We have done this in the past, so it was quite plausible, and as always, Boyd agreed to go without complaint.
How Do Spies Do It?
I stealthily packed an overnight bag over three days prior to the big day. I arranged for the dog to stay with Boyd's parents and even took her food and snacks to them earlier in the week so Boyd wouldn't be suspicious. Multiple times I slipped up and made reference to what we would be doing on Friday on our way home from the hotel. When he questioned these plans, I weakly fumbled through mildly plausible excuses and he didn't push.
The day of the event, I left the cat enough food for our overnight adventure plus a day (just in case) and when Boyd questioned the bag I had put in the car, I quickly (and smoothly, for the record) advised him that my sister-in-law asked us to take a few things to my aunt since we were going.
About 10 minutes from the casino, I advised Boyd that my sister-in-law just texted and wanted us to stop at the casino's new spa to get a gift certificate for her sister. Always accommodating, he pulled in and let me out to go get the gift certificate. Once inside, I advised the staff that we were there for his birthday (they didn't seem impressed) and texted him to come in under the guise that they wouldn't take my credit card (American Express – happens to me a lot in rural areas).
Boom, There It Is.
When he came in, I gave him a birthday card and asked him to trust me and just have fun over the next couple of hours. I think he was surprised, but he went along with it even not knowing exactly what we were doing. For someone who is a self-confessed scheduler, that's true love.
The staff quickly took charge and led him to the men's facilities and me to the women's. After changing, we were escorted to the room where we had side by side tables for our “Companion Relaxation Massage”.
My massage was pretty standard and uneventful. Not great, but not bad either. I did, however, hear throughout our time in this room, several curious things from Boyd's side of the room including:
- A rendition of Happy Birthday that made up for poor pitch with great volume. Bless her heart. She was 62 years old and barely 5″ tall.
- Lots of deep, Lamaze-like breathing. From the masseuse, not Boyd.
- “Chinese say you live long time this year.” Neither of us understood this one, but we both heard it.
- “Just like a human pretzel.” Ok, I'll admit, I had to look when I heard this one. The masseuse had him on his side with his left leg stretched over his right and her face was right near his naked bum and she was breathing heavily while pushing his leg for a longer stretch.
- “This is the Miyagi way.” This comment was followed by a hand clap near his face and a giggle. From the masseuse, not Boyd.
- “You ever hear of skin rolling?” This didn't appear to be too bad from my vantage point, but after later hearing Boyd's explanation of what was actually happening to him, if anyone ever tries to do this to you, RUN. For real.
So the spa experience was less than relaxing overall. And Boyd ended up being sore for several days afterward. YAY – the gift that keeps on giving. Still, he was a good sport and let me take him to the next part of our adventure without much trepidation.
You Have to Eat…
We had been warned that everything in this town closes at 6pm, so we decided to see what there was to eat at the small casino the spa is attached to. While walking through the casino, Boyd saw the deluxe version of his favorite slot machine (The Green Machine) so we played a bit and he managed to win $200. Needless to say, we ate at the steakhouse there guilt free (burgers and nachos for all)!
Dude, its a Cave…
The hotel was a quick 10 minute drive and had theme rooms – our theme was Cave. Neither of us had stayed anywhere like this before, so we were pleasantly surprised. Our room had a hot tub, huge walk-in sauna and gianormous shower with multiple heads and jets of all varieties which we fondly nicknamed “the human car wash”. There was a circle bed with a mirror above it. It was everything you would see in a movie and more than a little cheesy, but hey, we just went with it.
As we get older, we have found that, while we still like to try new things, home is always the best. The only exception in this case was the shower. It was awesome and the complete opposite of our small, water efficient shower in the RV. I think we each took 3 showers in less than 12 hours there. Yeah, it was that good. Or maybe we are that desperate for a long, hot shower with room to move. Probably a bit of both.
The circle bed was hard to sleep on. Boyd is over 6″ tall, so his feet hung off the ends and at 5″6′, I was also pretty cramped. The hot tub was nice and NO, we didn't eat ice cream while in it. We didn't realize the sauna took over an hour to get warm, so while we tried to use it, we didn't get the full benefit.
The hotel's internet was broken the entire time we were there, so we were unable to work and that caused us to cut our trip a little shorter than I planned, but that is one of the tradeoffs of having your own business – work doesn't get done unless we are there to do it. But it was nice to get away for just a little bit.
Not a Total Fib
For the record, we stopped to see my aunt the next day on our way out of town and sure enough, she did have a couple of computer concerns we fixed for her.