I hope you read Tessa's account of our afternoon at the Buckstaff Bathhouse in Hot Springs Arkansas. We took in a mineral bath, I had my very first pedicure and had a fabulous time.
My cosmetologist Shannon was impressed that I was willing to get my toes painted. I thought it made the experience more fun! She took pictures of me and my toes to show her friends that a guy got his toes painted.
Getting the toes done was fun, but it was generally what I expected. Perhaps it was more fun than I predicted. But the bath part, I just didn't know what would happen there and I couldn't wait to find out.
I returned to the lobby and the front desk to retrieve my ticket, a small slip of paper that entitled me to a bath. Next I was met by Bobby and he led me into the locker room.
I was instructed to take off my clothes and come out with just my soul. I heard the girls talking about wearing their bathing suits, but I was all in for this experience.
My bath attendant Bobby kept assuring me, "I'll take care of you, Buddy." I didn't doubt him for a second. In the beginning, mixed in with being Buddy he referred to me by name. "Wes, follow me. Take this sheet. I'll take care of you buddy." Bobby led me to a very large, very old tub. This thing was amazing. I believe he said it was 101 years old. The temperature gauge reported 104ºF. And the water was swirled and agitated by a machine by my feet. Should I put my feet near it?
As he drew the bath Bobby invited me to climb in. "Come on in, Dr. Wes."
I don't think he called me by my name again. I was "Doc" or "Buddy" for the rest of my visit. I loved it.
To the steam bath. There are two kinds. I was not offered a choice, which was a shame because I would have rather had the kind that the girls got to use. Their looked like this; it closes up around your body, leaving your head poking out the top.
I was in a small room. Inside it is super hot. I remark on this as enter, "Wow, it is hot."
Bobby replied "It's what you want!"
After some time in here I was laid on a table with hot towels under me and wrapped in sheets keeping me tight with the heat. He put another sheet over my face, made sure it was pressed over my eyes, and then gently commanded me to relax. I did. It was relaxing.
Then it was time for a shower. I want a shower like this at home. There are jets that circle around you so it is a festival of water.
This place was quite a time warp. We learned that Al Capone used to come to Hot Springs. This place is probably exactly the same as when he enjoyed treatments here.
See the tower peeking over the mountain in the left side of this picture? That's where we went next.
We admired the view. But it didn't last long, a storm was blowing in. You can see it out the window.
Sarah Michael retreated indoors, the tower was swaying in the wind and it scared her. Jessie wrestled with a garbage can while the tower worked sheltered just inside as well. I just wanted to stay outside and watch. It felt dramatic.
It is going to take some time to get used to my toes, as well as the reactions of the public.
It was a fun day.