So much for the best-laid plans.
Having a roommate who does NOT have the day off, somewhat negates the plans of sleeping in...I awoke early and drowsily watched, as Lee rushed around a darkened room trying to get ready.
"You can turn a light on," I said..."I'm already awake."
She was determined to be polite, though, bless her heart, and soon she was out the door, leaving me in a quiet, dark room. This should have been blissful, but then a sense of guilt kicked in...thoughts of, "You shouldn't be lying around - how sloth-like!" as well as, "Maybe you should just go on into work...who needs a day off, anyway?" began invading my head...gah.
Not one to lay around, I decided I had to do something...ANYTHING - to keep busy, when suddenly, a brilliant inspiration hit me -
Perusing the internet on my iPad, I located a spa not more than 15 minutes from here that seemed to have positive reviews, and I quickly called and made a noon appointment for a facial, followed by a manicure. I figured my face and hands show the most damage from these long, feverish days, and they needed the most attention. It would be a small miracle if the beauticians could wipe out the dark circles invading my eyes, but it was a risk I was willing to take. And my hands....? Gah. Typing non-stop on a keyboard all day at work, as well as digging through a suitcase each day for clothes & personal items, have left my fingers & nails in a state of disaster themselves. Things were getting dire, and today was the perfect day to somewhat attempt re-beautification.
Right before I left, though, another attack of the "guilts" hit..."What you are DOING???", the voice said..."Even THINKING of going to a spa while working a disaster relief operation????"
However, a posting from a friend on Facebook alleviated most of my guilt, when she said, "Look at it this way...Red Cross 'lights' the way for victims of disaster. You are that light. Like any good flashlight, you only work as well as the batteries that power it. So, charge away, little light! Tomorrow you will glow."
Wow. Mary had nailed it. And so - off I went.
Arriving at Amber Spa, a quaint little place in the small town of Pennington, New Jersey, I was quickly ushered in and before I knew it, I was lying on a warmed bed while soft, soothing hands began massaging my tension and stress away. I closed my eyes, listened to the relaxing music, and forced my mind to just "float" and focus on the moment....
My 75-minute facial stretched into 90 minutes, with a bonus head, neck, and shoulder massage - followed by a hand & foot massage.
I WAS IN HEAVEN!!!!!
Afterwards, I was ushered in and seated for a manicure...and while my nails were getting their much-needed attention, a hairdresser took one look at my wild & crazy hair - which now resembled something that only a Muppet would be caught wearing - and offered me a complimentary shampoo and blow-dry.
Oh. My. God.
Is there a Heaven beyond Heaven??!!
Because....I was so there.
The ladies told me of their Hurricane Sandy stories...one lady is STILL without power, but as she put it, "At least I still have a house. Albeit a COLD house...but I can't imagine losing everything, like some people did."
Thousands of questions about the Red Cross - what we do, how we do it, etc - were thrown at me, and before I left for the afternoon, they were thanking me profusely and wishing me well. I thanked THEM for making me feel human again. Their service was IMPECCABLE. As I told them when I left the shop, "I hope I'm never back in this area again with the Red Cross...for YOUR sake...but if I AM...I will SO come back to the Amber Spa!!"
So...Amber Spa...you were AWESOME. I walked out of there a new woman - positively glowing, and feeling 25 years younger.
The icing on the cake? As I stopped briefly at the hotel registration desk later this afternoon to check for messages, the lady behind the counter said, "Your hair looks AWESOME!"
Why, yes. Yes it does.