allergies, asthma, and aha’s

i was close to twenty years old, living in Hawaii and JUST found out that i had allergies. nothing severe, but enough to make springtime in the island of aloha slightly more annoying than beautiful. for the first time ever, i discovered MY sinus, where it was located and that it was the source of a great deal of distress. dis-STRESS! and it was another ten years before i experienced my first asthma attack. again, nothing major. it came with a bout of bronchitis that had me down for a week. i may have used my aunts inhaler a few times over the next two days. in the long run, it seems i was lucky.

that luck has come in pretty handy when dealing with the one and only SuperBoy! being the parent of a child with allergies is rough business. i am unable to imagine how i could be helpful to him if i didn’t have firsthand experience. that’s not to say that those without allergies or asthma are of no assistance, just that it provides a level of “comfort in knowledge” for he and i. i have more comfort asking him about his pains and ailments and am more able to help him define the specifics of what’s going on.

while mild for me, allergies and asthma are very serious where SuperBoy is concerned. he has been in anaphylactic shock three times, hospitalized on three occasions for other allergy related ailments, and spent the better part of his six years being triaged, diagnosed and treated in emergency rooms, urgent care centers and doctors offices. i have spent his college fund and any vacation monies on prescription and over-the-counter medications. this is, in fact, why i call him SuperBoy. he’s a trooper. he takes it all in stride and embraces the reality of his condition. he doesn’t resist much (‘cept SHOTS) and is quite charming, as always.

today, SuperBoy saw a pulmonologist! a certified professional assessor of breathing (and asthma and allergies as they pertain). she is an amazing doctor who started our visit with a quick handshake and an immediate verbal interaction with my son. he was a bit bashful today and so we moved quickly into the “getting to know you” phase. she simply stated “i see he has a strong history, tell me all about it, I’M HERE FOR YOU NOW“. and that, my friends is what’s known as bedside manner! needless to say, she had the obvious knowledge and experience of someone who’s been helping children breathe and improving their quality of life for as long as i’ve been breathing and alive. her words brought me an instant feeling of compassion and understanding. she’d read his history (as requested of me with the intake paperwork) but exhibited a real interest in the QUALITY of my son’s life.

i led her through the milestones and major events of SuperBoy’s amazing existence. all the while she took notes but rarely took her eyes off of us. she asked what she wanted to know but already knew the answers. she kept her eye on him and soon asked him join her at the examination table. still bashful, he resisted, but she appealed to his gentlemanliness with requests for assistance in opening some drawers that doubled as steps. SuperBoy can’t resist a damsel in distress! she examined him and listened thoroughly to his breathing (remember? he had bronchitis two weeks ago, and the stomach flu last week). she spoke briefly with a young resident (medical school intern student person along for the ride) and returned to the chair next to me. again, she floored me with her understanding of us (i paraphrase):

he’s a good boy. handsome obviously, and smart. his lungs sound good. clear. he has been fortunate, he’s had some good doctors, BUT HE HAS A GOOD MOM. the doctors have guided you along the way, as they should, but you’ve done a good job making the right choices for him and you. my job is only to assist you further in maintaining a good quality of life for him in which he can be a child, be a boy, play and do sports and you’re both comfortable. we need to change a few medications and tweak a few things and it will all go smoothly. we will test his allergies and find out where he stands and keep an eye on everything. tests can only tell us this or that. but what you see with your eyes and what you know is what is true. what you experience is what is true. ok mom, let’s go over his medicine.

a weight was lifted. a weight i’ve been carrying for almost six years. you can never hear “you’re a good mom” enough. i believe the words but have doubts, as i think most parents do. i’ve been told by family, friends, coworkers and other doctors, but this time it really soothed my soul. i’ve spent so much time and energy worrying about my choices to limit certain foods and activities. questioning my own judgement calls. this lady is a doctor of breathing! and she gave me kudos for keeping my son breathing. it was the best pat on the back i’ve received in a looooooong time.

after changing pounds to kilograms, she tweaked his prescriptions, gave me a list of medicines to swap out, requested a phone book sized list of tests, showed me a short video and had her nurse demonstrate a few things, we were on our way. before leaving, i was given the option to request any additional foods to test for allergies. an option? for me??? i’ve been waiting for this!! for three long years!!! to pick and suggest things that iiiiiiiiiii think could be affecting him. happy happy! joy joy!!

perhaps (at this point) you’re (a little) unaware that this may possibly have been the best doctors appointment for me where my sons allergies and asthma are concerned. THE. BEST. after almost six years of battling allergies and asthma, after three long years of dealing with food allergies and reactions, after years of colds turned bronchitis within hours, years of missing school and work and fun — we have someone telling us that not only could it not have been avoided, but that we have been doing the right things all along. HALLELUJAH! she requested a follow-up visit in three months to assess her assessment.

being sick can be hard. having asthma and allergies is harder. and caring for yourself during those times is nothing less than excruciating. caring for a child who is sick because of asthma, allergies and food allergies is one of the most painful things a parent can endure. it’s a sit and wait type deal. you have to watch everything they eat and come in contact with, while trying to keep them as normal as possible. you have to teach them how to protect themselves and deny themselves yummy treats if you’re not there to examine and approve said yumminess. and if something does happen, you do what you’ve been trained to do and then you have to wait. wait for the reaction, wait for the medication to set in, wait for the breathing treatment to work. wait wait wait. all while involved in a life or death situation.

as the parent of a child with life threatening allergic reactions…. you worry, you question and you fear the worst, everyday. you arm your little one with emergency medications, information, phone numbers and the like. and still, you worry. if you’re lucky, you get a doctor who can explain it to you in a way that makes you comfortable, yet informed and prepared. if you’re luckier, you get a doctor who says “don’t worry, you’ve been doing it right all along”. this was that doctor for me and this was that day.

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my first, my little man, my SuperBoy.

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vacation elation: part 2 ~ the ship, the staff, the service

have you ever had service so wonderful and surprising that instantly all previous service failed in comparison? the kind that makes you struggle hard to believe that anything before this exact moment was service at all? i had that experience just a few weeks ago while on my very first cruise on the Carnival Liberty. believe me, it was service unparalleled. the ship itself was impressive.  the staff was equally impressive and they delivered this phenomenal service that has me grinning from ear to ear. i stayed at two very nice Hilton properties during this vacation, and the service was also very exceptional, but it was still unlike the service delivered on the boat. i was in awe and very grateful.

the Carnival Liberty on the left... floating boating fun (docked at modified stop No. 2 ~ Grand Turk Island. home of Margaritaville. <-----this is where you should look FIRST, if a group of us Cruisers come up missing).

first, let me get you some actual factual information about the ship itself:

  • 13 passenger decks (several more that are not passenger friendly)
  • Specialty restaurant (Harry’s), 2 dining rooms, buffet (prepared fresh for breakfast (including omelet station), lunch (including stir fry station, burger stand, burrito bar and deli) and midnight buffet), ice cream parlor, pizzeria
  • Wi-Fi, in-room safe, refrigerator (pssst! there was no refrigerator available in our room, perhaps in one of those bigger rooms with room to spare…?)
  • 3 pools (1 indoor), children’s pool, (don’t forget the water SLIDE!)
  • Fitness classes, gym, hair salon, 7 hot tubs, sauna, spa, steam room
  • 9 bars (i think i visited each one, at least once), casino, dance club, library, showroom, video game room
  • Children’s programs (ages 2-17)
  • Laundry facilities, laundry service
  • Internet terminal

deck nine, the lido deck, (where the party was at), and the home of the water sliiiiiiiiiiiiiide

here is some information that was provided by ship staff:

  • 2,929 passengers (on this cruise)
  • almost 1,200 staff (including doctors, nurses, security, bar servers, food servers, bartenders, housekeeping, maintenance, chefs, fire department, sales and management)
  • the boat extends approximately twenty-seven feet underwater.
  • this is the funnel burning exhaust and paper waste:
  • the funnel... extending high into the sky, above every other accessible part of this humongous floating party

  • approximately eight tons of food waste per day (i made sure to clean my plate after i heard that news)
  • there are at least fifty-five nationalities of employees on this cruise ship, all born and raised in their native countries and fluent in their native languages, as well as English.

we had a quaint little room. it wasn’t “little” per se, but it was “to the point”. we had a total of three closets, four drawers and two cabinets in which to live from during our seven-day stay. as well, there were two drawers under the couch that made for excellent and adequate shoe storage. the bathroom was also “to the point” but seemed to handle two women in it’s midst without much complaint. we also had a window. a nice sized window, not the round porthole that we most associate with boats, but a window big enough for me to sit in. to sit in and gaze out into the endless world. where the ocean goes for miles and the sky goes for miles and they come together somewhere in the distance.

... where the water meets the sky...

i truly intended on taking a photograph with each staff member that i made a connection with. but as i went through my days and nights, i came in contact with so many that i fell short on photos from day one. either way, i made connections and i would like to share some of the wonderful people that i met.

myself and Tatiana, the spoiled and the spoiler... respectively

Tatiana from Estonia: Tatiana was my formal food server for the Captain’s dinner every night. she was a delight from day one. she spoiled me rotten and i would be a complete liar if i said i didn’t miss her. she knew right away what i liked and didn’t like (because my food tastes are elementary and simple) and she made special requests for me. i have never been so privileged. i enjoy a simple salad with a chunk of bleu cheese and every night, when i arrived to the table, my cheese plate awaited me. when there was no simple salad option on the menu, she still managed to get me one. i tried to leave early on two different occasions but she kept me in my seat by presenting me with the dessert menu and saying “sweet time?” flashing that little twinkle in her eye. we oooh’d and aaaah’d over creme brulee together and each night we gave the dessert menu our own personal review. the last night on the ship, i debated all day over whether or not to go to dinner. i was having fun and getting in my g’byes as i passed fellow cruisers. after some debate, i decided that Tatiana deserved a proper goodbye. she had been so wonderful to me and i didn’t want to leave her that last night without thanking her for her service, advising her supervisor of her wonderful service and ensuring them both that as soon as i had a chance, i would write to Carnival Cruises and tell them about the magnificent service i had received.  she was amazing and i will always remember her.

Luis from Mexico & Dokphikun from Thailand: after boarding the ship and attending the mandatory emergency meeting at our assigned location i was completely lost. i could not find my way back to the food so i decided to go to the room and see if our luggage had arrived. after entering the room i was soon greeted by Luis. he wanted to know if there was anything i needed. he was so wonderful and he called me by name. he didn’t attend to me anymore during our trip, but he did work down the hall. he always said good morning, good afternoon and good evening and his response to my asking him “¿como estas?” was always, always “todo bien”. it’s all goooooood.

towels. folded like a frog.

towels. folded like a dog (i think).

just a few moments later i met Dokphikun. she tended to our room and kept us in tip-top shape the rest of the way. she also used my name from the first time through the last time i saw her. i don’t know if this is standard practice, if it was special for our cruise group, if it was because it was on our door (i don’t think that mattered at all) or if it’s just something that she does… either way, it was wonderful. i would often see her in the hall during the morning or evening and she always said “hello Tanisha”. it was music to my ears. and to think, when i was younger, i would cringe at people using my name. i made it my mission to talk to all of those that came to my service, to ask them about them and find out as much as i could. Dokphikun and Luis set the tone and it was delightful.

towels. folded like an elephant. all the handiwork of Dokphikun.

Orlando from India and Ketut from Indonesia: two of the best bar servers ever! these guys were on a mission to keep me well hydrated and very spirited while i spent my days poolside. they ensured that my cup raneth over and over and over. always serving with a smile and calling me “Neesha” (say whaaaat? seriously? seriously. like we’d known each other for years) when they requested my signature. i know that we shared several hi-fives, a few knuckle bumps and at least one hug each. i know that at one occasion i waved my hand in the air, blindly, and within a few minutes Orlando came to my rescue asking me “you needing something ma’am?” hell-to-the-yeah!! that’s what i call service, sir. great guys, both of them.

Joseph from Thailand: the bartender that i had the most one-on-one contact with. when i approached the bar, i greeted Joseph by name and asked him how his day was going. he served me next and always asked me to try my drink and make sure it was to my liking. he’s my kinda bartender. 😀 he cared that i was satisfied and wanted to make sure that he had met my expectations. that’s certainly a way to ensure repeat business if you ask me.

Eliana from Romania(?): how rude, right? i don’t remember exactly where Eliana was from but she was my bar server at dinner. she was tall and elegant. her accent was gorgeous and made “may i bringck you sumzing from zee bahr?” sound like “how many carats do you want in your diamond ring?” i’m not sure if i ordered from her because i wanted a drink (bahahaha) or if i just wanted to hear her repeat everything (moh-heet-toe or jhin-jher hale or nuh-sing?). she was equally as personable and pleasant as the rest of her service team.

Kristian from Hungary: Kristian came to deliver a wheelchair. unfortunately while on vacation, my aunt suffered an injury. when exiting onto the Lido deck  she fell into a unmarked drainage hole and severely sprained her ankle. she had to get x-rays and e’rythang. sad. the next day we docked in Key West Florida. we didn’t get off the boat until late, but we still went ashore and tried to find the ultimate Key Lime Pie and a little something to bring home. in order to do so, we needed a wheelchair. Kristian was the gentleman that delivered the chair to our room. he was very happy, very helpful and very handsome (hubba hubba). he was upset to learn the nature of the accident and expressed his concern.  we used the chair to eventually make it off the boat and onto land. it was probably eighty-something degrees but it was also eighty percent humidity. i don’t know the actual numbers but it was horrible sticky madness. i was elated to find a mini-mall with air conditioning, a liquor store with Monster and even more elated to get back onto the air conditioned boat.

sadly, i do not know the names of two of my regulars: the gentlemen who served me daily an egg-white omelet with peppers and cheese and my staple “veggie burger with cheese ma’am?”. they were both at a distance and reading their name tags sufficed to be a challenge. they worked two of the busiest stations and trying to converse with them just held up the line and got us both dirty looks. both men were polite, helpful and happy. it was a common thread throughout the entire staff. it was simply beautiful to see and made my vacation a little more vacation-y.

and last, but definitely not least on my list is Jayash and Lany, both from India: both worked in security. i came upon Jayash quietly surveying the happy dancing crowd on the night of the Mardi Gras Cool White Night Party. such a large crowd in close quarters makes me a little uneasy. i chose to cruise around up top where i could see everyone, but also enjoy the ocean breeze and gaze at the stars.

up top, near the dj booth... and away from the body heat

 i started here, on the dj side, and made my way around to the forward side. people were filling up each level as they arrived from dinner and it got more and more crowded. it was my first white party also, so it was quite interesting to see an entire boat full of people ~ all dressed in white. and dancing. once i made my round around the top i came down i landed next to Jayash. he was quietly examining the crowd.

the party from Jayash's point of view...

i asked him a few questions that led to so many answers. it was great. he took me on a tour and i felt so much more comfortable… at sea. we had good conversation. i shared my fear of cruising and plans to become a big-name published writer and he shared his daily at-sea routine and his plans for a future together with his girlfriend. after our introduction, i would see him throughout the days and nights. i introduced him to the other ladies in my party and anyone i happened to be loitering around with when i saw him. he was very attentive and kind.

Lany was also very kind. he would often wave and say “good evening ma’am” as i usually saw him around dinnertime. he wore a very genuine smile and was chivalrous, opening doors and bowing slightly as he saw me in and out. on our last day, we had checked our luggage and were supposed to meet in an early group. due to cane return and wheelchair complications, we were singled out and blasted over the intercom as we were late. when i finally made it to the right area, Lany was there and he said “you! we’re waiting on you?” he shuffled me this way and that and shook my hand as he said “goodbye ma’am, it was a pleasure to meet you”. i told him that i would write about him, made him write down the blog address and told him to say goodbye to Jayash for me as i had not seen him since early in the day before. he nodded and said “my pleasure ma’am”.

the ship sufficed as more than a home away from home. and the outstanding staff and exceptional service definitely made my vacation experience something to write about. i was thoroughly impressed from start to finish. my only hope is that the other passengers and guests recognized it in the same way i did. i found this to be one of the most memorable and touching vacations i have thus experienced. i will hold all levels of service next to this one and hold my expectations high. i have been spoiled by the Carnival Liberty crew and i don’t think i’ll ever settle for less. i am writing that letter, i am singling each and every one out for their good deeds and outstanding service as a whole. they have made a friend, a fan and a sailor out of me.

share your exceptional service experiences with me. did you tell that person that they had provided you with outstanding service? did you tell their superior or write a commendation to their management? tell me what you think great service is. until next time, when we return for part three ~ the cruuuuiiise… stay sweet, darlings!

experiencing the experience

today is my aunt’s birthday. it’s a milestone, but we won’t get into numbers (or she’ll kill me). she enjoys celebrating her birthday almost as much as i do. she also enjoys pampering herself with mani-pedis or a trip to the spa. today we went to the spa! and what a day. have you ever seen “the blah blah blah experience”? and wondered if it was actually an “experience”?? i personally think it’s completely overused, but today i was pleasantly surprised to actually experience an “experience”. it was better than i expected, and i’d like to share with you the details of the day without turning this into a full fledged advertisement or boring you to death.

today we went to glen ivy hot springs. off the freeway and hidden by nature, apparently it’s been there since 1850. who knew? anyway, the morning started pretty gloomy on our side of town, not ideal for a trip to the spa, but not going and rescheduling is just not what we do. so, with SuperBoy dropped off and our bags packed, we hit the road. clear sailing all the way. as we got closer to our destination, it got warmer and brighter outside. nice. it was packed! well, the parking lot was packed. as you approach the entrance, you can tell that you’re somewhere else. i think that they have a retractable roof over the place. it always seems to be blue skies without a care in the world over there and i just don’t see how that is possible. the are no empty spaces. there are plants, trees and foliage everywhere. there was even a little brown bunny sitting quietly in the shade. cute.

up the stairs to the registration and payment location. the staff is extremely polite, helpful and cheery. they all seem very happy with their jobs. they are always helpful and often caring of the guests. it’s not like going to the local store. it’s a place of pampering, and they do their share. at the registration and payment location there are lots of questions, an exchange  of money or credit and then a map! a huge map!

“this over here, this over there, these things: here, here and here. have fun.”

today we started our fun with the mud. yes mud.

wait.. i started my day with a mango flavored bellini. i don’t know what’s included in a bellini, but the first ingredient is champagne, and so, as you should already know.. i’m in, with both feet. whoooo!

i would also like to share with you that this is a spa. a place of relaxation. everything done here is in, on, around or related to water. if you have problems with seeing people of every shape, size, color, swimsuit type and tattoo coverage, this is NOT the place for you. if you do decide to go, approach with an open mind and be aware that the same is being done for you. this is not a place for judgement or commentary. just go, do what you do and enjoy yourself. honestly, no one is worried about you, so don’t be worried about them.

ok. back to the day.. today we started our fun with the mud. yes mud. red clay mud. fun stuff. you walk under a small gazebo and BAM! mud everywhere. people are in varying states of mud coverage or drying. you start by stepping down into the mud pool. it’s not what you think. it’s not a big bowl of thick mud looking like oatmeal… it’s a huge pool, filled with warm water. just beyond the stairs is a large cement surface and in the middle of that is a huge HUGE ball of mud. the red clay mud. the water is not clear, but it is far from “dirty”. once you’ve dipped yourself, it’s time to play. gather mud from the rock and slather it all over. from head to toe. some only cover their limbs and perhaps their back and chest… whatever they can reach. the fun stuff is watching the groups of (mostly women) folk laughing and covering each other. not too thick now, or you’ll never dry. with our visible areas covered, it’s off to dry. you can lounge on one of the many beach chaises or take a trip inside the “wasa” (a warming room). either way, once the mud dries, it’s time to slough it off. along with any and all of the dead skin you have ever accumulated and/or missed previously. scrub scrub scrub. gosh, i was so ashy that my skin was white. you are also welcome to rinse off and wash with lavender cleansing gel. here is what the website says about the red clay mud:

“Red clay has been used as a purifying agent since ancient times. It draws from the pores, absorbs impurities, and releases waste and dead skin cells while tightening and revitalizing the skin.”

i have to admit that while i have been to the spa several times, the mud is my favorite. they will even take commemorative photos of you and your friends covered in mud and mount them in a “Club Mud” paper frame. good stuff. i personally scrub the dried mud off with a towel and then rinse. my skin is soft to the touch and void of any rough spots or problem areas. some folks choose to lounge in the mud pool for a while and rid themselves of those impurities. others, like myself, just mud and run. we dry, we scrub and one to the next one! lessssgoooooo!

after the warm rinse and dry off we ventured to Cafe Sole for lunch. we were not the only people with this idea! a line for salad, a line for hot food, a line for something else and a line to pay! whew. all of the food is fresh and prepared in front of you. it was gorgeous! absolutely gorgeous. at most places that you go to for services, food does not tend to meet one’s expectations, but this DID. it was in the medium price range, but healthy sized servings. servings for adults enjoying the day away. most people shared their entree, particularly the nachos. good lord, the size of those things was just huge. score! one bellini down, hardER lemonade in it’s place.

with lunch barely finished we turned a couple of corners to “the grotto”. umm, no, it is NOT the infamous grotto at the fabulous and fuzzy Playboy Mansion that donned the phrase “what happens in the grotto stays in the grotto”, no.. this is a grotto containing a “moisturizing experience”. and an experience it was.

ok. so this is where i got the title. have you ever embarked on something called “an experience” only to find out that it was anything but? i have. epic fail and total disappointment. but the grotto, well, that’s an experience worth experiencing. so, now that we are mudded, scrubbed and grubbed, we are ready to moisturize. check in and what? downstairs? wow. we load into an elevator and downstairs we go. when we exit, we are given simple instructions to remain suited, but to remove everything else. through the door where

“The fun starts as an attendant coats your skin with a rich, warm, light green body moisturizer of aloe vera, shea butter, coconut oil, and other beneficial elements.”

they literally paint your exposed skin from the neck down, slathering you with this magical lotion potion that would moisturize a rhinoceros. through another door and deeper into the grotto you go. warm air and low lights make it inviting and comfortable. this is it. this is the experience. you sit in this warm room, coated in magic and just absorb. the warmth encourages your pores to open and allows you to maximize absorption. wait, i found some mud. how did that get there? there is ice cold water everywhere you go, even in the grotto. i didn’t try to sit on the fiberglass formed rocks for fear that i would slide right off and onto my rump with a smack. there were several others in there and everyone was just smoothing the magic on. rubbing their silky smooth and slick skin. it feels nice. oops, wait, i found some more mud. perhaps the grotto is no different than applying waaaaaaay too much lotion, but without a grotto, clean up is going to be mission impossible. i’ll leave it up to glen ivy.

when you’ve had enough of the warm air and trying to sit, through another door to rinse it all off. the showers are ideal and perfect. there are standard shower heads, some lower so assist with all that is lower and for someone like me, there is a giant round rain shower showerhead, up high. aaaaaaah. heaven. my shower at home is very low. even with the showerhead pointed as high as possible, the water hits me in the chin, so THIS is a treat. the grotto moisturizing magic is thick and requires a little help in addition to the water rinse. towels.

once rinsed and equipped with towels, through another door. cooler air to close your pores and help you KEEP some of the moisture. cold water, apples and a very juicy pear. the grotto experience is phenomenal if you ask me. i don’t think i would ever go back without partaking in it. it was thoroughly enjoyable.

hardER lemonade finished, bellini number two. next on the list was a trip to the saline pool. warm warm warm. and just a lovely place to relax. it’s only three-and-a-half feet throughout and has a bench seat all the way around. it also has bubbling jets just high enough to massage my lower back. i never want to leave the saline pool. i enjoy glen ivy as a whole, but the saline pool reminds me of my days at the besties house, jumping in and out of the swimming pool and spa. according to the website:

“The Saline Pool earns its name from its warm water treated with Epsom Salts. An excellent place to soothe tired muscles.”

maybe that’s why i enjoy it so. with SuperBoy the rambunctious four-year-old, something of mine is always sore. today it is my left ribs. he kicked me so hard the other night that i was unable to comfortably continue sleeping. i guess this is my version of “calgon, take me away”, so:

“epsom salt? do yo thang!”

we finished the day with a brief sit in the sauna. another of my favorite activities. sitting upon almost hot tile with hot steam so thick that you can’t see each other. an instant sweat from head to toe without pilates, kickboxing or chasing my son. yes! sadly, you can’t stay in there too long. people tend to get light headed or heart palpitations. me? i just love it. i stretched out for a moment and watched the steam turn into water droplets that slid along the angled clear glass window above my head. usually there aren’t so many gals in there, but today, we were thigh to thigh.. and so.. i’m out!

off to another shower. to rid myself of any more mud or grotto magic. the showers at spas are to die for. tall enough for a gal like me to not have to fold herself in half. the water always seems to be the right temperature and everything smells so great. now, for me, the hair and body care products provided are nothing shy of a  complete breakout. my skin is too sensitive to use them, but i enjoy their smell just the same, so i wash my hands and feet several times so i can revel in it.

after rinsing again, spinning my swimsuit dry in a handy contraption made for just that and replenishing some of the water that was compromised by the sun, the heat and the bellinis, it was time to redress and vacate. sad. it took me a significantly longer time to get dressed. having to drive home after a day at the spa is nothing shy of torture. with spaghetti for arms, i gathered my things and walked out with a smile.

having had time to consider enjoying an “experience” helped me to actually enjoy the experience. i didn’t read too far into it, i followed the instructions and i enjoyed myself. i would definitely consider “the grotto moisturizing experience” an “experience” and i would love to do it again. there are many things to do and enjoy at glen ivy. this is what i did and this is what i enjoyed. go. and when you’re done tell me if what you did was an “experience”.