Packing for Spa Day



I am way overdue for a day of indulgence so a couple of weeks ago, a friend and I booked Spa Day Packages at Westglow Spa and Resort in Blowing Rock for this Wednesday.  Westglow is local for us — it’s about 20 minutes from my house — but has an international reputation with awards from Travel & Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler magazines.  Tomorrow is a teaching day for me so I’ll be really busy.  I want to get an early start on Wednesday so I am packing my bag tonight.

The day package I chose includes a massage and lunch, access to the dressing room, pool, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, tennis courts, weight room, and best of all, the fireside relaxation room that looks out over the beautiful Appalachian mountains.  I’ve been there several times when it started snowing.  The scene is always magical. The relaxation room also has tea, juice, fruit, warm cloths, cucumbers for your eyes, cold water flavored with lemon ice cubes and blankets for guests to enjoy.  Doesn’t that all sound lovely?

Westglow offers a variety of classes including yoga, pilates and water aerobics, as well other activities such as a morning hike. The hikes are usually off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Cone Manor, my favorite place to walk.  Weather permitting, my plan is to be there in time for the 9 AM hike, then work out in the weight room for a bit before my late morning massage. After lunch, I’ll doze, read  and journal before the late afternoon meditation and yoga sessions.  A glass of wine at the very end of the day has not been ruled out.

So what do I need to pack?  Westglow provides towels, comfy robes and spa shoes, as well as  luxurious toiletries.  The clothes and other items included here are similar to what I’m packing.  They are mostly from TJ Maxx (like much of my wardrobe!), Sierra Trading Post, and Amazon.  For links to the items, please click over to my Spa Day Pinterest Board.

1. A few toiletries.  Since I have rosacea, the only facial moisturizer I use is Zinco by Rosacea Care.  That, deodorant, comb and hair brush, and lip therapy go into the bag. I generally don’t pack makeup because I feel downright purified at the end of the day and all what I want to do that evening is to continue relaxing at home.

 2.  Active wear for hiking. The forecast for Wednesday morning is for the low forties.  I’ll want my fleece leggings, some warm socks, my hiking shoes, and a fleece base layer with a quilted vest.  I’ve walked enough chilly and windy trails lately to know that gloves and a fleece headband to keep my ears warm are good ideas.  This outfit is what I’ll wear to the spa since hiking is the first activity of the day so no need to pack it.  It is nice to have it all laid out and ready to go though!

This color combination of gray and coral, with a bright pop of blue to top it off makes me happy. I stow the little things I always want on a hike – a pack of kleenex, a hair tie and lip balm — in the pocket of my vest.  This one has lots of pockets so as the morning warms up, there are plenty of places to store my gloves and head band.

3.  My swimsuit.  Because at some point in the day, I will probably swim a few laps in the pool before relaxing in the whirlpool.  I generally prefer tankinis if I’m going to be active or hanging out in my suit for a while, but a one-piece blue-bathing-suit works for spa day.  I want something that is going to stay put while I swim, but is cute and flattering (who knows who else might come in for a massage!)  for the whirlpool or for lounging on the pool deck.
blue-bathing-suit This blue one with slenderizing asymmetrical stripes fits the bill.  No need to bring a cover up or flip flops since I can wear the spa robe and shower shoes.  When I go to the spa in warmer months, sunbathing on the deck outside the relaxation room is a lovely option so I add a bottle of sunblock and a hat to my bag.

4. My book and journal.  The book on my night table is Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth.  The reviews are great but I’ve yet to start reading it.  I am looking forward to reading a few chapters while relaxing by the fire.

My journal comes with me just about everywhere these days.  I’m packing it along with my favorite pen.  And just in case I’m in the mood for something more frivolous, I’m throwing in my new adult coloring book, Paris Street Style, as well as my fancy colored pencils.

5.  Comfortable clothes for yoga and meditation.  Fleece leggings will be too warm for yoga, plus I have been admonished by yoga instructors to wear pants that let you to see your knees!  I’ll wear a long tank with a built-in bra and capris for yoga , then throw on the cowl neck sweater for meditation.  I haven’t been to yoga in ages.  Fortunately the class is usually pretty small and caters to individual levels.  I like to wear yoga socks (aren’t these darling!) and bring my own mat. Because.

Don’t you love the combination of black, navy, gray and my favorite aqua?

fuzzy-merrilsAt the end of the day, I’ll throw the vest on over this outfit, put on my favorite fuzzy Merrells that I’ve packed in my bag, turn on my seat heater and head for home.  Hopefully my son will have built a fire and picked up some sushi takeout for dinner.  I’m looking forward to a fabulous day!

Getting back to good routines

One of the many things I love about my job is the way that the beginning and ending of semesters demarcate time.  With the end of each semester, there is a break and an opportunity for a new beginning.  And with the start of each semester, there is the chance to begin anew.  I am wrapping up the tail end of my Spring semester today — a few random make-up and early exams to grade and I’ll be done for six weeks.  With this new beginning, I am looking forward to getting back into some of my “good” routines — meal planning, blogging, and exercising.

I’ve been pretty slack about meal planning this year, which means more money is getting spent for less healthy meals and a bunch of produce lands in the compost bin.  It’s generally a good idea to start planning the week’s dinner by checking out what is in your produce drawer…  Mine is pretty full with lots of salad makings, a couple of big artichokes, some root vegetables and asparagus.  Next I look at my schedule to see which nights I’ll have more or less time to spend on dinner and which nights I’m planning to go out.  Then I check out the weather to see which nights are likely to be nice ones to grill.   And finally, I peruse the freezer, bread box, deli drawer, etc. to see what else I have on hand that needs to get eaten sooner rather than later.  My general idea is to start with Meatless Monday, try to have at least one fish night and not more than one red meat night, and, accept the fact that we’ll likely have pizza for dinner when I have plans to go out.  So, incorporating some other things which need to get eaten, here’s what I’ve come up with for this week’s dinners:

Monday – Rösti casserole with baked eggs and roasted asparagus

Tuesday – Grilled flank steak and roasted root vegetablesartichoke2

Wednesday – Chicken souvlaki with tzaziki sauce, greek salad, pita

Thursday – Pizza and steamed artichokes with red wine-roasted garlic sauce

Friday – Dinner at the lake

The links take you back to my old blog, Another Marvelous Meal.

It is an absolutely gorgeous day in the High Country.  Carolina blue skies and it is finally beginning to look like Spring. I’m thinking of hiking one of the trails out at Cone Manor this afternoon or at least do four miles on the Greenway.  It is a bit chilly this morning, but according to Ray should be in the mid-fifties this afternoon.  Pat on my back for a great start in re-establishing my good routines!  Next I can start working on getting rid of some of the bad ones I’ve settled into lately…