Monday, November 28, 2011

Facial finished up

I just noticed an entire paragraph was deleted from my facial post!
(I think I went in to erase some comment about O abandoning me on Thanksgiving :) and must have gotten a little carried away...)

To wrap up the facial:
I loved it!
I totally cannot believe I have never had one before-the whole spa thing is really my scene :)  If you have not had a one, sign up right away! I'm totally converted and plan to head back asap-it was completely rejuvenating and left me feeling like my skin was just glowing. (Though when I looked in the mirror hours later I was horrified to discover that I had been running around Target in just my nude face). All in all, it was a lovely experience. (I'm sure I had a lot more to say but I'm moving on to write about my first massage in Budapest...)

PS: I do not know about the rather strange comment on the previous post-I certainly did not have facial surgery and don't condone anyone performing surgery after merely chatting with a doctor on the internet!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My First Facial

So a few weeks ago O received a facial gift certificate from a work thing. Lovely boy that he is, he offered it to me!
I signed up the day it was expiring and presented myself at the salon. The girl asked me if I had ever had a facial before and I confessed that I had not. Feeling a little defensive and conspicuous, I tried to blend into the whole spa seen, acting like I knew what was going on (which I did not and I was rather anxious to be sure). She told me to put on a robe and some weird rubber flip flops and meet her outside. I was thinking-she must be confused, I signed up for a facial, what part of that requires me to remove my clothing? But, I did it anyways, pretending this was perfectly normal, as if I always run around in rubber flip flops, you know, when in the spa, do as the Romans, or something like that. She seats me in a chair in the hall and I'm thinking, do you do the facial right here? No, of course not, she explains the facial while giving me some foot scrub (that was freaky but I did my best to keep my facial contortions to a minimum and tried to relax and enjoy myself...).
During my little soak, she asked about my facial routine at home. I thought "hmm, I try to rinse off my mascara every three days" but did not think I should say that out loud. Instead I decided to focus on what I do (as opposed to what I neglect) and said "I really work on moisturizing" She seemed totally satisfied and probably inferred that I also do other things from that comment :)
Next she takes me to my room and tells me to remove my robe and get into the bed and under the covers, pointing out that the bed is even complete with a heated pad. She leaves and I think-what am I getting done here again? I remove my robe (but I left my levis on) and leapt under the sheets, just deliriously relieved that she pointed out which end to put my head on (if she had not, I would have thought my head should be on the raised end, and she would have known she was giving a facial to a hillbilly). She came in and I strived to exude an air of complete comfortableness (she could have told me that I was now supposed to run around the mall topless for 10 minutes and I probably would have gone with the flow, as I was so anxious to fit into the scene) (oh and yes, there is a secret Aveda Salon in the mall, quite a surprise)
I had expected a surgical metal table or something similarly sterile, not the dimly lit cozy room with Native Americans playing the pipe in the background that I found myself in. The mood was quite calming. After taking me on a sensory journey, my facial began. First she pulled out this delish steamer thing, I really would love to have one of those to wear around my neck at home, I'd feel like I was living in Florida (or the swimming pool) every minute! Next came an exfoliant and cleanser. There was a tense moment where she was cleansing my skin and she started towards my eyes, she even put soap onto the lids! I thought, this lady is crazy, she is trying to blind me!! (After all, I never put soap on my eyes! Not even when I have used false lashes-then I just gently brush the lashes with a tissue and some Cetaphil!) I developed a bit of a headache trying to keep myself a-on the bed and b-from screaming out of nervousness and c-from squinching my eyes noticeably. Eventually she washed it off (I don't even do water on the eyes much) and to my eternal relief, the soap did not seem to leak in through the lids! After that tension filled moment, she placed hot towels all over my face and ran around to squish my arms a bit, swung my legs back and forth (O would have loved that, he always tells me he needs to get that thing where you hang upside down to stretch out your spine) then came back and painted a mask on (with a paint brush, I opened my eyes enough to peak at that point). I sat with my mask, mentally begging for some cucumbers on my eyes to complete the moment (they never came), and began to feel entirely relaxed. When it was all over, she sort of jostled my shoulders (I think she thought I had gone to sleep, I looked that serene) and told me to take my time getting up, she would wait outside. I wondered about that, because if I really could take my time, I thought I might actually take a nap, but, the moment the door shut, I jumped up like a deer and shot back into my robe, out the door, back into my clothes, and then back to my ending consultation with a water and some home made trail mix.

FYI: If you happen to every be in the position of giving someone a facial, explain everything to them-so they don't have to feel like a lunatic hick :) And don't assume they will know anything, not even which end of the bed to lie down on. Finally, please don't forget the cucumbers.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

O's man jewelry

Our bathroom (which was flooded in August) has been repaired. We moved in last week and I generously gave O three drawers to put his stuff in. However, as it has come to my attention that he devoted an entire drawer to his jewelry (don't ask), I'm thinking of revoking that privilege.

Most of you have never seen O fully accessorized but this is what he looks like on the weekend...

 I can reveal all of O's secrets bc he told me I don't let him read my blog. In reality, I don't control the internet, O is just trying to slither away from his obligatory spouse support blog reading by distracting me with flattery. As if I would believe I were that supreme. Actually, now that I think about it, he does continually convince me I'm a size zero (imagine the shock I get every time I try to buy pants) so maybe it is not so far fetched.

Monday, November 7, 2011


So I've got to finish this Europe trip so I can move on to all the other lovely things going on around here, such as how I walked in on O combing his eyebrows (with a full size comb) the other day, and an amazingly fun dinner theater with the world's worst group of singers...

so, we left Brno and headed to Budapest via Bratislava

We first stopped off at the grocery store where we bought loads of European candy (no surprise), mixes for dumplings, halushki, and of course, svikova! Now we can have everyone over for a Czech dinner! (that is assuming anyone will agree to come-after their last experience...)

First we stopped off in Bratislava, the capitol of Slovakia, the number one most underated city in Europe (according to many sites on the internet), and L's fav place ever!

Slovakia and Czech Republic were once one country (Czeckoslovakia) but they split in 1993 to form their own countries. The languages are similar and most adults can understand both (they all grew up speaking or listening to both-TV shows, news, signs, papers, etc). Kids now have a harder time understanding the other language. O was fine translating, he spoke a little Slovakian on his mission and most people we ran into spoke Czech very well. A departure from Prague-most people here did not speak much English.

Bratislava was hit very hard during Communism. Many beautiful buildings were torn down and replaced by absolute monstrosities (or, in some cases, nothing at all). What was left untouched was left untouched (in other words, everything fell into complete disrepair). There are some parts of Bratislava where the Communists even sold the cobblestones off to German towns that were trying to rebuild after WW2. The Communists were certainly not a sentimental bunch :(
People are just now starting to fix up the buildings- we saw a few buildings that had been purchased by big banks and other well known companies that were redone beautifully.

Bratislava "white house"

Front of the building

We only had a few hours so we took Rick Steve's self guided tour of the town.
Bratislava is absolutely charming (in a decrepit sort of way). (I cannot imagine what L did not like about it!). O and I predict Bratislava is going to be the next big thing. It is perfectly situated about 2 hours from Prague and less than an hour from Vienna. Both are huge centers of business and have large populations. (Bratislava and Vienna are the two closest capitols in Europe). So close to Vienna, people could live here and commute, and businesses can come in and still work with all the Viennese (real estate in Vienna is not just out of this world, its pretty much non existent these days). If you want to invest in property, buy something here! (of course you will have to deal with the strict renovation rules).

Anyways, Bratislava is starting to emerge from from its communist days back to its former (Hapsburg) glory. This was the capitol of the Hapsurg empire during the reign of Maria Theresa.

The old town consists of tiny little lanes branching off one main cobblestone drag. The main lane was completely lined with little cafes (this was actually what I pictured Rome to be like, until I landed and found out I was completely mistaken). O and I stopped for frozen hot chocolate-it was like 500 degrees, and were surprised to see that the waitors here serve tap water (first place in all of Europe that you can get a free drink of water!)

old town, lined with street cafes

(not so frozen) frozen hot chocolate. (they obviously have no idea what frozen hot chocolate is as there was nothing milk'shakish about this luke-warm 'pudding').

as they have been coming out of communism, they have been placing statues of random people all over, just for fun...


O being photographed by the "paparazzi"statue


fake statue (in other words, real person)

one man band-O got a real kick out of him as he was playing a song that my dad apparently just started belting out on the train in Prague with O and L.

While eating our chocolate pudding, we were mesmerized by a family of Germans/Austrians. There was a father and three sons and the best way to describe them-goons, that is really the only word. They just seemed so gooney, they would be the perfect bumbling bad guys in an animated film. The two older boys laughed in the most insanely goofey manner, throughout their meal, the younger one (who looked to be about 13) sat and smoked a hundred cigarettes nervously, while the father looked on in a scheming sort of manner, with his 7 inch long grotesque toenails. Truly, words cannot describe this very strange bunch.

After our rather rich chocolate, we headed to St Martin's Cathedral to see its display of fabulous robes, crowns, jewels, and other artifacts. We also got to head down to the crypt (which I loved!). That was worth the train to Bratislava all by itself! They have buried church leaders and important townspeople there for centuries and still have a few spots available!

As we walked back to the train station we stopped at another cafe for Halushki, the countries national dish. It was delish (much better than when I tried to make it, my potatoes oxidized and turned gray, making the dish extremely unappetizing)

Following dinner we raced back to the train station and caught the train to Budapest, Hungary.

We arrived in Budapest quite late, could not find a single person who spoke english well enough to give us directions, took a bus to the city center, got excited that our hotel was right in the heart of the nightlife!, discovered that our hotel was not there at all, took the metro back to the train station, walked across the street to our hotel. (keep in mind we were hauling our backpacks around the entire time!)

More to come...