So lately my next-door neighbor Amanda and I have been spending more and more time together. Just to be clear, not in the Justin Bieber short haircut having Subaru Outback owner way, but more like the eating homemade Rice Krispie treats during a friendly yet charged game of “Catch Phrases” type of way.
One day after an early morning calorie busting zumba class at our gym (By the way, I sweat like a Black athlete with a pending rape charge), Amanda suggested we go to the spa. She told me how relaxing and calming the whole experience can be. According to her you basically sit around in saunas, receiving top quality beauty treatments from little Asian ladies, while you chat away with your friends and luxuriate in all your middle to upper classiness. Plus one of her friends had an expiring Groupon that I could use and there's a café inside the spa. Bougie-ness at a discount AND snacks?
Sign me up!
|King Spa and Sauna in Niles, IL|
Now I know I masquerade as being an HCB (High Class Bi-otch) but I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’ve never been to a spa before. I’ve only seen them in magazines like Vogue (with countless other excursions I can’t afford) and on TV shows like Sex and the City. Remember that one episode where Samantha gets banned from the day spa after asking her masseuse to go down on her and when he refuses she grabs his junk?
Well this was my chance!
In preparation for the event, as per Amanda’s instructions, I took a shower at home and scrubbed the epi right off my dermis. How embarrassingly gross would it be to get in the wet sauna and leave a pile dead skin floating behind you Pig Pen style? To prove I was fully committed to this outing and as not scare or offend anyone, I also shaved my legs, which I am pretty much against doing in the wintertime. Not only does the extra fur keep you warm by providing a much needed layer between your long johns and your legs but I like to set new records for myself, each spring tallying up the inches of matted leg hair to see if I beat last year’s record. Just kidding.
After showering at home, I dressed in a warm, yet cute ensemble and headed to King Spa and Sauna where Amanda met me in the lobby. When I arrived I got a bracelet with a key and plastic medallion attached to it.
|Small and Medium Dainty People|
After pajama selection, the men go in on the right, the women on the left. When you enter the hallway you're greeted with a "Please take off your shoes sign" where you lock your shoes in your designated cubby.
|The Korean part is translated as, "or ninjas will cut off your feet"|
Next stop: FULL FRONTAL NUDITY-VILLE aka the locker room. Luckily for me, I grew up attending afterschool programs and summer day camps at the YMCA. The YMCA being notorious for locker rooms full of smooth bottomed kids loosely chaperoned by their parents and old, wrinkly ladies with their nipples dragging on the floor who trade recipes in the showers. My childhood had prepared me for this moment. Thanks Mom.
Even still, seeing naked women (which doesn’t bother me) and actually getting naked in front of them are two different things. I’ve always been a pretty modest person. When I graduated from undershirts to training bras in the 6th grade my mom and aunt enthusiastically sat on the edge of my parent’s bed and giddily urged me to strut my new
itchy lacy, flower-patterned garments for them. I guess in their minds it was a coming of age fashion show type celebration of me turning into a lady
(like I had previously been a pickle or some other non exciting thing). Of
course I refused.
It doesn’t help matters when you have a WebMD diagnosed body growth that you’re not used to other people seeing. I have a childhood scar on my shoulder from a car accident and a hole in my back (we won't even go there but it's healed up nicely) that I really don't want to discuss with the masseuse. Also everyone's adaption time to nakedness is different but honestly you better get over the nudity thing quickly because you only get two hand towels. One to wrap on your head like Princess Leia and the other to dry off with. Neither one is big enough to wrap around yourself unless you're Nicole Richie.
|They teach your how to roll up your towel to make the Princess Leia buns!|
Inside the wet sauna room there a line of showers (no curtains) and 4 jacuzzi pools. 3 are hot and you are supposed sit in them in order of increasing temperature. The 3rd hot jacuzzi was so hot that I started fanning myself which caused this middle aged Korean lady next to me to slap me on the shoulder and cackle, "the heat good for you!" The 4th and final jacuzzi is purposely freezing cold. I think I felt my ovaries shrink when I got inside of it.
|Gold Room which is situated off the common room|
Inside the common area there a multiple hot rooms each one with certain attributes that are supposed to make you feel different through special ions or something. My favorites were the amethyst and gold rooms because they were pretty. There is also a cafe with yummy high priced korean foods like bulgogi and jap chae. We all shared an amazing dessert of red beans and fruit over shaved ice and I had a pumpkin smoothie.
Upstairs there are sleeping and meditation rooms with huge leather Lazyboy recliners that even elephants can fit in. There is also a bunch of other cool stuff like a "sweat chair" that looks sort of like Professor X's wheel chair (from X-men). Ot's supposed to make you lose water weight. They even have a movie theater room with showings every few hours. The Pursuit of Happiness, Harry Potter and Speed (I think they save that one for last when they want people to leave for the night) were on the schedule for that day.
|It looks suspect, but it was actually really good! Enough for 4 people to share.|
1. Yes it is weird hanging out with random naked women and even more so your neighbor.
2. Does Amanda have nice boobs? Nicer than I imagined.
3. Will I go to the spa again? Most definitely and you can go too! Right now, for the next couple of days LivingSocial is having a deal on the King Spa! Check it out HERE! You too can experience exotic foods and mingling with random naked people (but not simultaneously, thats gross).