So my first few days in Denver were a little scratchy, but that’s not to say I didn’t have a good time. In spite of some technical difficulties, nothing could take away from the beauty of the area, the instant ability to be on a magnificent hike with stunning views, and always the hilarity of spending time with old friends.
This is really why I travel – to be with people that I have always adored and enjoyed, but because of life changes and moves, don’t get to see as often as I would like. It’s not about seeing national monuments or breathtaking vistas (although sometimes I see those too ;)), it’s about the people. So these opportunities are always the true joy of my trips.
However, not all the people I encounter on my journeys are charming or endearing. They never are.
One of my closest and dearest friends from college lives in Denver, and I couldn’t wait to see her. She tends to work all the time, as she and her husband run an amazing system of homes designed specially for Alzheimer’s patients (check it out!!), so for her to carve out a few hours to spend with me was a treat I looked forward to. She had delightfully arranged for us to get massages and then go out for dinner.
I always enjoy massages, but don’t treat myself to them as much as I should. But this time my friend warned me that this massage was not going to be like other massages I had experienced before. You know, the kind where you strip down to your skivvies, get under a sheet, and let their magic fingers knead you into a coma. No, this one was going to be quite different.
I knew I was in for something unconventional when my friend advised me to wear comfortable clothes, ideally what I might wear to a yoga class, as I wouldn’t be taking them off for this experience. Okay, that sounded interesting. But it was only after I entered the establishment that I first became fully aware that something unusual was going on, when, as I blithely engaged in a loud discussion on my phone, I slowly noticed that the rest of the room was quiet, and bodies were lying patiently behind screens. Eeek. My previous acquaintance with massages included private rooms, whale sounds and separate reception areas, not complete public exposure to everyone and everything.
So I shut the hell up and waited for my friend to arrive.
Once she did, we were led behind the ubiquitous screens, where the massage chairs sat, all lined up like tin soldiers. It all started like a pedicure, with foot baths and lotion and all kinds of gentleness.
And then the real massage started. I was moved to lay down on my back, at which point a paroxysm of uncontrollable coughing naturally commenced. Sigh. My microscopic Vietnamese therapist gave me a cup of green tea, which inevitably tasted like hot water, to soothe my inexplicably irritating throat. The other prone bodies were getting ancy, I could tell. The place resembled a morgue. Argh. This always happens to me. Take me to church and I guarantee I’ll have a seizure in the middle of communion.
Eventually the hacking subsided, and we were able to continue. Never in my life have my muscles and bones been so scraped, dug into, beat on, poked or slapped like this tiny woman administered. I have no idea where she got her strength because she was the size of a wood nymph. She yanked my arms out of the sockets and made my hands smack my own face. She took my feet and dragged her thumbnails between each metatarsal, practically separating them from the ligaments. Ack! The pain was nearly unbearable, but all I could do was laugh because who ever came up with this stuff?
And that was just the front. After some time, which felt like a year, we were moved off the massage chairs and led to the massage tables. Ahhh, more! There, we laid on our fronts, and the assaults continued on our back sides. She repositioned my scalp to a different location on my skull. She dug so hard under my scapula I think my nerves ran off and left my body screaming in terror. And then she beat my back until the wind nearly left my body. I can’t even tell you what she did to my heinie. Squats got nuthin’ on this chick.
This went on for 90 minutes, and for the first time in my life, I was counting the minutes until a massage was over. And all for the incredible price of $35! It was the most grievous and hilarious massage I’ve ever had, and while I’m not sure if I would do it again, it certainly made me laugh. Kudos to my friend for taking me, because it was definitely an experience to be shared with someone you love.
Thankfully, we rewarded ourselves with a delicious Vietnamese dinner afterwards. We needed it, to regain our strength and tactile sense. I had something with coconut milk and hot pepper in it, and it was divine. The perfect recuperation from a murder well executed.
Good thing too, because when I got back to the campsite that night, all the electricity in the entire campground had blown out. Fantastic! In all my Rving experience thus far, I had never encountered a situation when an entire campground had lost power. It was a bit eerie. The whole place was blacked out. Not a single light on, not even from generators. And this was after I had at last resolved my whole phone issue. How was I going to charge it now? What about my computer? How would I work?? What about the AIR CONDITIONING? Ack!! I didn’t need another thing to worry about!!
So I worried about it until I was finally able to fall asleep at around 2am, and by morning the lights were all back on again. I really don’t know why I worry about anything at all.
And then I got a new neighbor.
I’m going to stop here today so you won’t have to go too long again between posts. Denver was so much fun, it is impossible to contain it in a couple of posts. So you’ll just have to stay tuned. 😉