Kalin’s Chronicles: Spa Etiquette

MP900431114Close your eyes and say “aaahhh” — It’s Spa Week! Time to put in some serious R&R at your favorite spa. Through April 17, spas across the U.S. are offering specials on massages, mani/pedis, facials, and everything in between. So I thought I’d offer some tips on spa etiquette for first-timers, and as a refresher for spa veterans.

Spa Etiquette Tips

  • Arrive at least 20 minutes before your appointment to check-in, change, and relax.
  • Turn off your cell phone, and speak quietly to be considerate of the spa atmosphere.
  • Remove all jewelry – they’ll get in the way, and can be damaged by the oils used.
  • If you’re uncomfortable with nudity, leave your underwear on. A sheet is covering you at all times, and only the parts that are being massaged are exposed.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: Doing time at the airport

oraoxygenFor those of us who reside in the United States, there’s always the dreaded winter season when it comes to flying. You never know when a snow or ice storm will leave you stranded for hours, or even days at the airport. And after jumping through hoops to get onto another flight, all you can do is sit and wait. Or is it?

Instead of stewing and stressing about the situation, I suggest spending your time in a better way – by taking advantage of the airport’s amenities. Today’s airports have more than your typical fast food and magazine shops. They’re becoming mini shopping and entertainment centers. According to the Bureau of Transportation, non-flight spending reached more than $7 billion in 2008. And one of the best new places to spend money is at the airport spa.

U.S. airports offer full spa services including massages, manicures, facials, and even oxygen therapy. A Message Inc. offers 10 to 90-minute massages at Denver International Airport. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport visit The Massage Bar which offers chair and foot massages, along with 10-minute heat therapy where a warm flaxseed wrap is placed on the neck and shoulders along with a soothing eye pillow. The Message Bar is also located at Nashville International, Pittsburg International, and Washington-Dulles International airports. (photo: Oraoxygen Detroit)

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WAF’s Five for Friday: The “Artist’s Date” Edition

00399469Whether a) You need some “me time”  b) You need to recapture your creativity c) Are on a tight budget, or d) All the above, today’s edition might be what you need. Mani/Pedis are great for a little pampering, but we also need to make time for the pampering of our creativity, mind and spirit.

The Artist’s Way calls this time an Artist’s Date, but you don’t have to be the next J.K. Rowling or Picasso to find these excursions helpful. All they involve is spending an hour away from the noise and bustle of every day life to focus on just about anything else. There’s nothing to buy and no agenda to follow. It’s just you, your thoughts and an hour of exploring something new. To get you started, here are five suggestions for your own artist’s date. A few caveats – turn your cell phone off, leave your wallet at home, make the artist’s date with you, and only you, and try to do it at least once a month.

1. Empty Church – Have you ever been inside a beautiful Catholic Church? Alone? Believer or not, the architecture alone is enough to get your mind off your problems for a while. Many church doors remain unlocked during weekdays. The next time you drive by one in between errands, run inside and sit for a while.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: St. Simons Island – By Land, Air and Sea

St Simons Island While many U.S. cities are experiencing fall weather, there are still destinations along the southern coast that are beach-ready.  For example; St. Simons Island, Georgia — which was recently listed as one of America’s Top 10 Beach Resorts by AOLTravel.com.  The Largest of Georgia’s four Golden Isles, St. Simons is my favorite.  It’s small enough to enjoy every part of it during a weekend visit — by land, air, and sea.

Start off on land with a historic tour of the island.  See its maritime history at the Fort Frederica National Monument, where the colonists won a major naval battle during the Revolutionary War.   Then tour the old Coast Guard Station which was built by the WPA in 1935.  It houses the Maritime Center with interactive exhibits on the Native American first inhabitants of the island, the island’s World War II history when the U.S. Navy used it to watch for German war ships, a tiny bit of history of the black slave descendents in the area who maintain the Gullah culture, and the island’s shipping and fishing history.   You can also visit old plantations as well as the Tabby House, a souvenir and gift shop housed in a former slave cabin.  The historic marker outside gives a little history of the blacks who were enslaved on the island before the Civil War.  (Image: St. Simon’s Island Beach)

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