I decided that one day of my holiday would be devoted to having the perfect day: doing nothing but things that I enjoy and pampering myself. Ideally this would have happened on my birthday, but since my birthday falls on a holiday and everything is closed, I picked another random day instead. I was going to have the perfect day. I was not going to change out of my pyjamas.
It started off with...a trip to the dentist. Okay, so maybe that was not quite how I would have planned it, but that was the only time slot that my dentist could fit me in, and, well, oral hygiene is important. Also, at least I could have a chai tea at one of the fanciest hotels in Ottawa, bizarrely located in the middle of an industrial park in the Silicon Valley of the North, Kanata. In my pyjamas.
I then moved on with the rest of my Special Lady day, working out at the gym. This may not sound like a special treat for some people, but it felt great for me to go for a run, seeing how the only treadmill in Cambridge Bay has been broken for a year and it's too cold to run outside.
Afterwards, I enjoyed a breakfast sandwich and a latte at Quitters Coffee in Stittsville, served to me by the owner Kathleen Edwards, a musician I very much admire. Recently she quit music to open up this lovely coffeeshop. It's a lovely venue, with the new Beck album playing on the speakers as she chatted up her clients and talked about her plans for the shop in the future.
And then I was off to the best part of my day: Le Nordik in the quaint village of Chelsea, Quebec. This is one of my favourite places to be. It's a spa that is partially located outdoors, so you can soak in a hot tub while enjoying the beautiful forest scenery of the Quebec countryside.
But first I had to get there. This was a bigger challenge than I expected, as in the years I have moved away from Ottawa, I have apparently forgotten how to drive to Quebec. This happens, I suppose, after a few years of living in a community that only has a handful of roads. But eventually I found my way to the spa and allowed myself to be lost in the wonderful bliss that is Le Nordik.
Of course, by the time I got to the change room of the spa, I realized I had forgotten my bathing suit. But dammit, I was going to make this work, and ended up wearing my sports bra instead.
I tried out the saltwater pool, which has enough salt content that people can just float in it, like a sensory deprivation tank. I floated in it, willing my mind to transition into a state of mindful relaxation, where you notice and accept without judgment the sensations that your body feels (like the urge to scratch your butt). Sometimes, if you want to keep your mind from wandering, it helps to concentrate on a mantra (like My Sharona...M-m-m-m-My My My, Woo!)
After the salt water pool, I moved to the regular water circuits. The general routine is to do hot, cold, rest, hot cold rest. For me, that was hot (eucalyptus steam room), cold (standing under icicle-lined waterfalls), wine. Hot (sitting in lotus position in the earth sauna), cold (running through the snow), massage. My Swedish massage in the massage cabin was heavenly. The French woman worked my hips and back which made a bunch of emotions bubble up from deep down inside, causing me to compose a poem in my mind during the masage and then immediately forgetting it as I dozed off. Basically, Le Nordik is a wonderful place with many places to doze off.