Monday, August 30, 2010

The Best Laid Plans........

Perhaps I should just go through life never planning anything - just fly by the seat of my pants and see what happens.  I usually feel like I am doing just that anyway.

So my vacation started off very promising.  I got up early and showered and shaved (can't have a massage with stubbly legs).  I had packed my bag the night before and was out the door by 10:00am Saturday.  I was so excited to be spending a weekend by myself at a Spa.  I was warned that perhaps I was heading to the border at the wrong time, but I really thought the rush would be over by the time I got there at 11.  I was horribly, horribly wrong,  As I made my way to the truck crossing - Peace Arch was showing a 3 hour wait, I was stunned as I got closer and saw the traffic backing right up the hill on 176st.  Thinking that I was smarter than your average bear, I made my way to the inside lane and zoomed past everyone at a complete standstill and snuck into the duty free store.  I figured if I bought something, I could sneak out the otherside past everyone else.  Well, it seems that I was sadly misinformed.  They had the parking lot set up with 11 lanes that they let out into traffic one at a time - over 2hrs and 55min.  I had to call the spa and delay my first appointment at 1:45pm.  I almost finished my book by the time I made it through.  Remember, that 2hrs 55min was just until I could ease back into traffic.  It took another 25 minutes from there.

I finally arrived at my destination tense, tired and all sweaty.  Now the real fun could begin.  But wait!  It gets sooo much better.  So I had planned everything down to the penny - including tips for spa treatments and dinner.  I paid my mastercard bill via the internet on Friday so I could use that for services and hotel room with a little bit of cash for meals and entertainment.  Imagine my surprise when my card was declined upon check-in.  I promtly called the card folks who explained to me that paying via internet meant that I didn't get credit for the payment for 2 business days (at least).  In otherwords, I would be home for a day before I got credit for it.  Once I got over my embarrassment, I used the cash I had on hand to pay for the room and the days treatments. 

My room was lovely and I had a nice comfy white robe and slippers waiting for me on my bed along with a schedule of all the spa treatments I had planned for the weekend.  I was in a hurry so I unpacked quickly, slipped on the robe and headed to the spa.  I must say, I experienced the most wonderful 90 minute massage of my life.  I am not sure I actually fell asleep but when she was done, I had drool running down my chin.

Back to my room for a shower and off to dinner and a little blackjack.  I am used to eating alone in public places.  I just bring my book and settle in to ignore everyone else.  I am not sure any of the servers in this particular restaurant have ever dealt with a single woman eating alone.  I presented myself to the Hostess for seating.  She promtly asked how many.  When I gave her the lonliest number, she took off her glasses and looked at me.  She then patted my hand and told me not to worry, they would take care of me.  Really?  If I had been a twosome, does this mean we would have been left to fend for ourselves?  She then pulled a waiter over to seat me and leaned in and said "she is by herself, so make sure she is comfortable."  he actually took my hand and led me to the table.  He then LOUDLY called over to a busboy to come and clear the extra setting as MADAM WAS DINING ALONE!  Oh boy, did I feel special.  An elderly Native American (see, I can be PC), wandered over to my table and sat down.  He said I looked good enough to eat.  EEEWWW.  "I am sure you won't be alone for long".  I didn't feel hungry anymore.

After a very fast hovering of my meal, I headed to the casino and the cash machine.  It didn't work.  My card was not accepted.  Since I used all my ready cash for 2 nights stay plus the days 2 spa treatments, I was coming up short.  I decided to call a friend, who has been there for me in the past (not sure what I expected her to do) but now my blackberry wasn't working either.  Not the best of starts to a lovely weekend of rest and relaxation.

I racked my brain.  How was I going to make it through the weekend with no bank card and no cash.  There was a lesson here - stop relying on electronics.  Thankfully, I was at a Spa not too far from home.  I could be there and back in 2 hours - assuming no boarder issues.  I headed for the boarder and the bank machines at home.

All was good, I ran the house, grabbed what I needed, hit the bank machine on Broadway (tada - it worked) and headed back to the boarder.  The wait this time was only 15 minutes.  However, try explaining what happened to the boarder guard and not get in trouble.  Turns out, he wasn't buying at all.  It was a disturbing event.  He made me turn off my engine and get out of the truck.  "Please move to the front of the vehicle and place your elbows on the hood of the car and do not move.  Stay looking straight ahead."  He then called someone over and examined my car with mirrors underneath and then they climbed in the back and took everything out.  Normally, I thought if they were going to search you, they moved you off to the side not in front of everyone.  They then brought a dog over to snip both me and the car.  That had me a bit worried as I was still covered in lotions and creams from the massage.  No telling what they use in the products and what might set a dog off.  These Boarder guards already thought I was an idiot as I tried to explain myself.  Needless to say, they finally let me go - another hour I will never get back.

I awoke rested and refreshed after my late night antics.  I went down to enjoy my breakfast.  How on earth do you screw up eggs?  These were so incredibly rubbery I could not eat them.  Thankfully, the wait staff were prepared for me this time and I was shown directly to a single seat.  I think I felt a little let down not to be considered "special" this time.

I had time to get back to my room and put on my robe and slippers again.  I had another two treatments scheduled.  I enjoyed the most incredible facial of my life.  It started with a 15 minute back and shoulder rub.  The whole thing was delicious and I highly recommend it.  This was followed by a manicure and mini-pedicure.  The mini part is because I HATE anyone touching my toes.  I just had my feet pumiced and my calves massaged and generally just enjoyed it.

After a small swim in the pool and a shower, off to lunch.  I decided I would just eat at the snack bar and sit down to play some cards.  Long story short, I played for a couple of hours, went for a walk and then  it was time for dinner.  I was prepared this time.  Nothing to prepare for this time.  The waiter from the previous evening, came right up when he saw me and whisked me to my table without saying a word.  However, his look said everything.  I am going to die alone.  Played a little more after dinner and then went to enjoy my room - big comfy bed and giant flat screen tv with 8 movie channels.  I was buffed, lotioned and happy.  The previous nights adventures were forgotten.

I checked out slowly this morning wishing I could stay longer but the Spa is closed on Monday's.  I guess to make up for the debacle of the last two boarder crossings, I was through in less than 5 minutes and home in less than an hour.

I highly recommend the Silver Reef Spa Hotel and Casino.  The room was very nice, the Spa was fabulous and it seems they watch out for singles.

I have a very busy week planned since technically, my vacation days start today.  So, stay tuned.


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