Happy Saturday evening! We are having a beautiful New England Saturday. We spent much of the day down on the banks of the Charles watching the Head of the Charles rowing event. I will have lots of photos tomorrow of the event plus a list of my great Trader Joe’s finds and what I plan on doing with them this week. I also have a very very exciting Halloween giveaway coming up that I will announce within the next few days. So hang in there. . . We are thisclose to booking tickets to Ireland for 10 days in January, and that got me thinking about what we would do there. In our past few visits, I have always set aside a day for myself, and this ritual has become a twice yearly treat that I yearn for. I start the day by sleeping a little late and taking the family dog for a walk down by the beach.
Obviously not a photo of a morning walk! But look at that sunset on Galway Bay! After we walk, I eat a delicious hazelnut yogurt from Dunnes’ stores. Irish yogurt is far superior to anything that I can find here in the US. I realized that part of the reason I love this yogurt so much is that it has 10 grams of fat as opposed to the 0 grams that most of the yogurt I eat contains. It’s all good, I am on vacation. Following breakfast, hubs drops me off at the Spirit One Spa at the Radisson on Lough Atalia Road. The Spirit One Spa is undoubtedly one of my favorite places on earth. It is serene, beautiful, smells great, has extremely friendly employees, and is a world away from the bustling town outside, and a dozen worlds away from Boston and work. I usually book a half day at the spa which includes a massage, a facial or milk bath, afternoon tea, and several hours in the thermal suite, which is really why I go here. Here is what the Spirit One website has to say about the thermal suite:
A unique collection of cold, cool, warm and hot thermal experiences to detoxify, relax, enhance, slim, moisturise and invigorate your entire well-being, offering you the very essence of the true spa. Heated Relaxation Loungers Heated to a comfortable 36°c and designed in the ergonomic shape known to offer your body the most relaxed position it can take. The Laconium Offers a dry, gentle heat in a more relaxed environment with scented citrus oils and gentle light therapy. The Aroma Grotto A steam, moisturising cabin which is ideal for conditioning the hair and skin, enhancing and promoting true relaxation using light, heat, colour and essential oil therapy . Experience Showers Three showers, offering between them essential oils and water in the form of invigorating tropical rain and a light cool mist to refresh your mind and body between cabins. The Rock Sauna This is the hottest and driest of our thermal experiences at 85°c to 90°c, ideal for swift detoxification and invigoration. Sabia Med Explore the wonders of the sabia med or “beach” as it is better known to our guests, taking you through a meditative dawn to dusk light cycle whilst lying on a warm tropical beach. The Hammam Based on the traditional Turkish steam bath our hammam offers an intense steam heat experience with light and essential oil therapy.
Are you sold yet? Spending 2-3 hours going from sauna to steam room to a simulated beach, complete with hot sand, to a cool fog shower, to the relaxation room for a cup of herbal tea and a banana, then to a massage followed by a decadent afternoon tea is enough to melt anyone! My favorite part of the thermal suite is the Rock Sauna. I love really hot saunas, and this one brings it on. I leave here feeling completely refreshed and renewed. Once my spa experience is over, it is around 2:00 in the afternoon, and I am still a bit peckish. I take a nice long walk through Galway, pick up a big bottle of sparkling mineral water, and head to Sheridan’s Cheesemonger and Wine Shop. Located directly across from the apartment that I lived in (though it wasn’t there then!) Sheridan’s is one of my favorite wine bars in Galway, the other is Biquets. Go to both if you can. Sheridan’s Wine Bar is a small space upstairs from the cheese shop. It has a wooden bar looking out at the St. Nicholas church and the square where the Saturday market is held, and there are books and food magazines everywhere.
The wine bar has a great selection, and I always try a Spanish red, a nice ripe rioja or tempranillo with the cheese board. They have the best wholemeal biscuits that they serve on the cheese board, along with whatever cheeses you select and maybe some grapes and nuts. I love to sit at the window sipping wine, eating cheese, reading magazines and occasionally looking out at my old apartment and reminiscing about what an incredible time I had living there. Hubs meets me a little later, and we usually then catch up with friends, but I absolutely treasure the time that I have to myself on this day. I feel like it sends me back to Boston a rejuvenated, better person, ready to be a better worker, runner, wife, and volunteer. What do you do for you? Do you ever get the opportunity to take a day to yourself to do things that you love? If you could plan a day for yourself, what would it entail? Wishing you all a restful Saturday night that will hopefully be like a mini “you” day!