Ah, the weekend at Hot Springs...
There was rain, and shopping, rain, eating, rain, bathing, rain, massaging, rain, facials, and yet more rain. But seriously. We got there, checked into the Arlington, and went up to our room. Chris and I shared a room because, well, I'm cheap, and we're sisters. I was a bit surprised by the size of the room. I think it was 10 by 15 total, which made seeing the fifteen inch TV easy. The space between the tub, toilet, and sink was about the size of a couch cushion. I guess you could call it cozy. Yes, cozy is a good word to describe the room. Also, what's the opposite of sound proof? That's another word to describe our cozy little room.
So we went down to the Venetian Dining Room to eat dinner at the Seafood Extravaganza. I knew it would be fabulous, because it was in the articles I read on-line about where to go if you are looking for fine dining. And it was only $25, which was reasonable. I don't know who does the writing for the sites I researched on-line, but clearly they don't get out much. The seafood feast was not so extravagant after all, and it sure wasn't worth $25 per person! But hey, we ate at the Venetian Dining Room, right?
So we went to see a movie we were both looking forward to. Note to self: even a great movie falls flat when the seat you are sitting in reclines to a 45 degree angle to the floor and the back of said seat ends at the middle of your shoulders. So you have to scoot your back side to the edge of the chair to have someplace to lay your head, and when your back protests to that, you have to sit up in the seat and put your hands behind your head to cradle it, and when your arms fall asleep, you have to hold your head up just using your neck for the rest of the movie.
When we got back to the room, and settled in for the night, Chris took something to help her sleep, because she can't sleep in strange places. We got comfy, and turned out the lights. There was lovely ambient light coming in the gaps around the door, and the melodic sounds of the elevator bell each and every time it passed our floor. It would ding once on the way down, and twice on the way up. Or it could have been the other way around, but that's hardly the point, now is it?
In the morning, we zipped across the street to join the throng waiting outside the Pancake House for breakfast. It was worth the wait. I tried a buckwheat pancake with my eggs. It was fantastic. I put some of their famous apple butter on it, and loved it. Then we decided to explore the hotel for the rest of the time before our appointments. It's pretty cool to have stayed in an historic hotel.
We showed up for our facials, and added on paraffin hand and foot treatments to our facials. **HEAVENLY** They finished with us just in time to send us to the bath, where we did the traditional walking around in a sheet, and letting a strange lady scrub our backs, leg, and arms, while we pretended being naked in front of other people is something we do every day. I had booked us for a couples massage, so we could enjoy our time together, so we had to leave the bath house part of the hotel, traipse across the waiting room, and down the hall in our practically transparent sheets, to get there. Chris had Leon for her masseuse, and I had a little oriental lady named Tamen. They told us how to lay on the tables, and left to let us do it in private. I told Chris I was never so glad to see a gay man in my life. I think she fell in love with him. We had the hot stone massage. **FABULOUS** Come to think of it, I was kind of crushing on Tamen by the time she was done with me.
We ate the best pizza at Rocky's on the Corner. It is across the street from the race track. We pulled into the parking lot behind the restaurant, and a scruffy dude with long hair and a Rocky's hat told us we had to give him $20 to park there and they would reimburse us when we ate inside. We looked at each other and said, "Yeah, riiiiiiiight!" You see, it was race day at the tracks, and that's how they keep race goers from parking in their lot and walking through the place on the way to the races. I understand why they would make people pay, but they understood when we were skeptical and checked if it was just a well thought out con. I mean, really. How stupid would we look if we forked it over, went inside, ordered, and asked for our $20 back. "What $20?" They might say. "Why, the $20 your parking attendant took when we parked in your lot." "What parking attendant? We have no parking attendant." While all the time, Joe Bob, the "parking attendant" was laying down twenty bucks on the favored horse of his choice mumbling something about stupid tourists falling for it every time. The manager and I had a good laugh over the situation. At least he had a sense of humor. "Joe Bob" didn't think it was funny that we didn't believe him. But the pizza was everything I remembered, and if Chris hadn't had a gall bladder attack when we were sitting there, she would know it, too.
We shopped around downtown, and found some really great stuff. We spent all our money, and then some, and then we came home on Sunday. It was a very nice time, and we learned a few things which we will incorporate into the second annual sisters' weekend getaway. But that's at least a whole year away. Maybe it won't rain. But I'm packing an umbrella just in case.