"Hamau" said the woman softly as she escorted me through a narrow doorway. She was wearing the largest white gardenia flower in her hair I had ever seen " That means, please be quiet in Hawaiian" she smiled a wide smile. I took her direction and silenced my iphone and slightly embarrassed hid it from view. We entered a large circular room where I could see a small bench with a folded robe sitting atop and soft leather flip flops on the floor. " You may change your clothing here, please take your time, no worries and rest your feet in the foot basin, Miss Eliza will be with you shortly." Then she was gone.
I began disrobing and noticed how worn the flip flops appeared. How many people before me had worn them? I slid the robe on over my shoulders, the fabric felt silken and it was covered with hand painted beautiful shades of blue and turquoise I stood up and admired my reflection. My skin was ruddy and looked dry. I know I just got off a long fight but I could see the puffiness again around my eyes. I looked tired and older then I cared to admit. It's just New York I told myself, too much stress. I tied my hair up in a loose top knot and decided I would leave it all behind. "You're in Hawaii now, let it all go in this spa treatment and it's going to be amazing, no phones, no faxes, just chill!" I laughed talking to my own reflection when I began to hear music. It was soft, like a harp, but different, like a guitar, I had never heard this strange music before.
I sat down on the bench and dipped my feet into a surprisingly warm foot soak of Kukicha tea, there were Pulmeria flower petals floating on the top. I took a deep inhale and slowly exhaled and wondered if I would do this at home. Another woman entered the room and removed a large fluffy yellow towel from the shelf, she smiled and said "Aloha, I am Eliza, are you poloi? I have a pu'iwa waiting for you". She was like someones sweet grandmother, her hair resembled charcoal spun cotton and her eyes sparkled as she spoke. She knelt down and took each foot and wrapped it in the large towel drying my feet tenderly. "Uh...sorry...Pu who?" She laughed softly "you will see" and she stood up. Behind her was a box crafted from bamboo leaves, she pulled out a long string of flowers. When she turned to me I could see that she was holding a necklace, a Lei of miniature flowers! It was so beautiful and fragrant. This one had orchids of purple and white. I bowed my head as Miss Eliza placed it around my neck. "Nani! means beautiful" I inhaled the sweet perfume of the Lei and thanked her, "Mahalo".
I slid my feet into the worn flip flop sandals and noticed that they were warm! I followed Miss Eliza down a curved corridor which led to an outdoor garden, that's when the music I was listening to grew loudest and I could see a young man was playing a stringed instrument, the Ukulele. No stereo speakers, no Bose sound system, just real live music. Wow! this place was beginning to feel a world away from everything I knew. Miss Eliza appeared again. "Are you ready for your organic Hawaiian facial? Your skin will have a beautiful glow for the Luau tonight!" I smiled and she escorted me to a draped area where a massage table was set up with white towels and sheets. I laid down slipping my robe off of shoulders and I was lightly covered with cool sheets.The Esthetician entered and wrapped my hair snugly inside of a towel making sure all my hair was secure. Her voice was soft and she applied aromatheraphy oils of mandarin around my temples. Her hands were soft and they were moist with warm water as she slid them over my face and forehead.Cool mango and pineapple aromas filled the air as she massaged the scrub into my skin using circular motions over my throat and decollete area. She removed them with a hot scented towel and gently painted a mask that smelled entirely of coconut. She massaged my arms and hands with lemon scented cremes that were warmed and hydrated my skin from within.
Everything had faded away and my body felt numb with heavy relaxation. When the facial service was over the music stopped playing and I began to hear drum beats. The warm night air and intoxication massages made me feel renewed and Miss Eliza appeared again. " Would you like a inu as you walk Kama Ole?"
yes, I replied even though I didn't understand a word and I took a drink from her hand as I followed her out into the garden again. My beverage was sweet this time, tasting like Sake and ginger root. It was stimulating and I felt dizzy and happy at the same time. Hula dancers were performing for other spa guests as they drank from the wooden cups I had my tea in hours earlier. I sat on a padded sofa and stared into the rhythmic fire of the Tikki torches. The drum beats, the night wind, the scented aromas and intoxicating flowers, all of these sensory experiences caressed me and I felt imbued with renewal and relaxation. I glanced down at my robe that seemed to glow from the moonlight and make the blue hand painted design appear like the sky at dusk.
"How was your service sweetie?" I looked up and saw a tall handsome man wearing a floral printed Hawaiian shirt. His deep tan making his eyes appear blue. I smiled and blushed forgetting that my husband had surprised me with this trip and spa service.
"It was wonderful darling...please don't wake me!" and we laughed out loud.