So with @SpaCat in tow I flew back to Cali. (I should mention that was a crazy trip with taking a cat in the cabin – but that’s really @SpaCat’s story to tell – lets just say she got “patted” by security & it was NOT a spa like experience.) We arrived to sunny skies and 89 degrees toasty compared to the 40 degree rain we left that morning. YaY!
My friend had left the beach house and we would be living in hotels until we had some confirmation about how much longer the assignment would last. Alas, here I was, in a strange expensive place, carless, living in a resort, with the spa industry (and beaches) stretching before me.
Then, kapow, my motivation for finding a job, exploring the industry & getting myself in a situation so I could stay evaporated. Let’s just call it sunstroke. Granted I was exhausted from hightailing it outta Dodge so quickly & I had told myself the first week I would take a mini-vacation, adjust to the time change, enjoy the scenery & soak up that California attitude.
First week schedule:
11 AM Wake Up (hey I was still on Eastern time)
11:30 AM Check out HBO (I don’t have cable at home this was a treat)
noon Go to the coffee shop & read at the pool & may or may not eat lunch
3 PM Walkabout for an hour from the Hyatt Newport Beach
5 PM Sit in the jacuzzi
6 PM Shower & go out to eat with my friend
Sounds good I know, but the days began to roll out like a red carpet and the rest of the world faded – especially when you’re in an incredibly luscious locale – and I evolved into a zen zombie. I even made excuses not to go to the spas there – too expensive, who needs to go to a spa when they are living the spa way? Plus, my living was discombobulated, as we would stay at Hyatt then move to the Fairmont (where I totally missed out on going to the Amadeus Spa onsite) back to the Hyatt, etc.
And that first week turned into two, then three and before you know it I’d been there a month and a half with nothing to show for it except a tan and toned
legs. And let’s not even get into the fashion. . . . I have loads of great clothes BUT turns out what I brought was the wrong thing . . . I needed my closet aaarrgh!
Then it hit me, I was scared. My old self-conscious braces and glasses teenager had returned. It was sort of like Mean Girls. The populars ruled and I was the redheaded Lindsay Lohan. I think I look ok, but these gals were all gorgeous, whether they were petite Asians with the blackest, blindingly beaming hair or blown out blondes so glam they could be celebs (I’m sure some were). What business did I even have being there? Plenty & I knew I had to get back on track.
The next morning, I dusted off my suntan at 8 am & ran along the dramatic Pacific Coast Highway to Balboa Island – a quaint little island on the edge of Newport Beach. As I passed the spectacular oceanfront homes, my resolve to stay here returned & I concocted a plan. I began contacting my industry friends and scoping out the spas. And I figured out some ways to be healthy and practice my spa life mantra in a little bitty hotel room with only a portable fridge (that’s for another day) I even made appointments at several spas:
Crew Salon – an edgy salon at the Anti-Mall in Costa Mesa
Rosey Toes – an adorable nail salon on Balboa Island
Pure Blu Spa at the Marriott – resort spa retreat in Fashion Island
Christophe Salon in Beverly Hills – pricey celeb coiffure
(reviews to come)
I finally began to feel that I was making progress.
Spa Benefit: As a stranger in lala land, I discovered that going to the spa has a fringe benefit maybe even more valuable than relaxation & primping. Meeting new people and making friends! For instance, while having my manicure, I chatted with the clients & nail techs about the area and got loads of great tips & hidden gems about the area. It’s truly amazing how spa brings people together – I love this!
Then the unthinkable, my friend was told the work was over until mid-February – so we had to head back to the midwest. Come mid-February the saga continues. . . I miss my palm trees and sunshine. . .