I discovered something about myself during my first ever visit to a spa: I don’t relax very well.
There I was, getting an amazing double massage with my mother at Toronto’s Spa InterContinental and I was worrying about where to put my hands. Should I keep them tucked under the blanket at my sides or let them hang over the sides of the massage bed? And the silence was a bit maddening. I’m not a chatty person, but I found myself wishing my therapist would strike up a conversation to cover the sounds of our stomachs growling in concert with each other. Strange what your ears pick up when all you have to listen to are the faint strains of classical music.
The spa day was a gift from me to my mother, a package for two that included an hour-long massage, spa lunch, and a pedicure. When I presented her with the gift certificate I was crossing my fingers, hoping my mother would take me along as her plus one. Luckily she did, and my sister tagged along as well.
The day fell on the last day of a week-long vacation, which should have meant I was in a state of maximum relaxation. Instead, I was wound up about going back to work the following Monday.
But about halfway through my massage, I started to enter that longed-for state of zen. My mind emptied of racing thoughts and my breathing became slow and tranquil. I stopped thinking about work and worrying about whether my mother was having a good time next to me or whether I looked funny lying face down on the massage bed. When my therapist finally let me know he was finished and to take my time getting dressed, I didn’t want to move. My mother was snoring by the end of it.
After a wonderfully sumptuous spa lunch of salmon and wild rice in a lovely sunroom we basically had to ourselves, my mom and I went for our pedicures. Now, I’ve had a pedicure at the salon before, but this was an entirely different thing. We were ushered into a private room where we received an unhurried foot grooming treatment. The best part was when they applied a mask to our feet and wrapped them in hot towels.
Throughout all the treatments I was captivated by the invigorating scents of the Aveda products Spa InterContinental uses. Rosemary and mint are my new favourite scent combo!
All in all, it was a wonderful first-time spa experience, especially since I was there with family and we had the spa almost to ourselves. Now that I’ve gotten my spa feet wet, I can’t wait to go again!
Read about my second spa experience at Ste. Anne’s spa here.