God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mud Baths--Hot Stuff!

This week's points of interest...

If one were Casey, there wouldn't, couldn't have been a more idyllic week--nothing to do but swim, play, eat gelato, laugh and just be a kid out of school from morning until late, falling into dream land when the head hit the pillow--only to start up again in ten hours. What more can summer offer?

Now me---well, I played some along with other unique and mindless experiences. Since I am told that it is healthy to laugh at oneself and even more fun to have people laugh with you, I share a couple highlights.

1. I have lived many years and so it is difficult to find new experiences. But sometimes one descends uninvited and shockingly unexpectedly. This was true Sunday night when in a sound, surely dream filled, sleep...I levitated from the bed to the floor. On the way down--which must have taken at least a second or two as it was a long way--I hit my head twice on the marble corner of the night stand. Upon landing my body somehow contorted itself into a figure 8 pretzel. I'm not sure that I consciously awoke until meeting the floor. It all took place so quickly that it was almost over before it started. It took a while before I could minimally wrap my mind around what happened.

Now picture a body lying there--Me.
Of course, Ken woke up, thought a while about what the noise had been and why the room shook, realized that I was moaning on the floor and, after due deliberation about the proper response, asked if I needed help getting up. It seemed to me that I did--slowly and painfully. My head hurt and I was sure I had another cracked rib--the first one being when I splattered myself on the sidewalk in Whistler, Canada.

The rest of the night I slept restlessly wondering if I needed to go to the hospital for a head x-ray. Each time I woke up, my thought was "Oh, good, I'm here." Sunrise was a good sign. I still have the bumps and twitches, but am quite fine. Of course, I only sleep in the middle of the bed now--poor Ken.

The final event in this saga was the e-mail from my son, from whom I bizarrely expected sympathy. His message back was something to the effect that perhaps we should invest in the bungee cord market. Gotta love him.

2. Fortunately Tuesday brought another new experience that in quite timely fashion followed Sunday's fiasco. I had never been to an Italian spa and decided that this year would be a good time to try it. So, my friend Rita who lives in Chiocchio, right over the hill from Greve, and I decided to treat ourselves to a girl's day at the spa.

Rita had done this before so she made the arrangements and suggestions as to which treatments, beside the thermal pool, we should have. My job was to drive us about an hour or so away to the Grotta Giusti Spa in Monsummano Terme.

We had decided on a massage, of course, a mud bath treatment (I have always been curious about just what this was) and an inhalation treatment.

My body loves massages and so that was good; however, the most I can say about the mud bath is that I now know that once is enough. In my visions, you actually laid down in mud and settled in. I was pleased to find that really it is a bed of squishy, hot mud that is covered with a malleable piece of plastic so that the effect of being in mud is there but you stay clean! After I sank into this squish, the attendent covered my arms, legs and torso with heavy, mud-filled plastic oblong balloon type things. By this time, I was hot and wondering what I had gotten myself into. The mud is 47º (117º) and I was to be left there for 15 minutes.

After about 4 minutes, I began to melt and developed a frightening sense of claustrophobia in the little cubicle where I was imprisoned. After about 8 minutes, I began to think about Dante and hell and that the mud bath must be a forerunner to an eternity spent in the depths. Needless to say, it was a joyous moment when the attendant returned and freed me.

The next phase, though, wasn't a whole lot better--other than it was not hot. Given what looked like a white stiff heavy cotton version of a monk's robe and cowl, which was donned over the head, we waddled along until we found our way to the hydromassage area. Here we took the monk's outfit off, fortunately, we had bathing suits under them. A male attendant then took each of us (one by one) into a shower and while he stood behind a waist high wall, hosed us down with the equivalent of a fire hose--front and back, during which time we stood under a shower. This was very weird.

Finally, being hosed off, cleaned and bedraggled, we went to the inhalation room. There we spent 14 minutes with mouths wide open breathing in steam. If we didn't have our mouths wide enough, the stern matron would stride over and tell us to open wider. Following this was another 14 minutes with tubes up the nose, breathing through them was to help with nose, throat and ear obstructions or something like that. Sadly, we have no pictures of any of this---sorry!

At this point, both Rita and I were ready to return to the relaxation of the pool and spas and simply soak and relax before starting the journey home. We laughed and had a good time and I would do it all again with a friend. It is the companionship that makes it a day worth having--and, maybe, too, the massage. Thanks, Rita for going with me!

And.. there was more to the week. Lunch with Art and Barb and Judith in Deruta and more. But, this is too long now so will tell the rest another time.

Sunday Ken and I go to Piemonte for 5 days without child. It will be nice to be empty nesters for a few days--but, bet, we end up missing him!


Anonymous said...

OMG! That was hysterical!

barb cabot said...

Jane this has got to be the most hysterically funny story. It needs to be in a book. Your descriptions of the mud bath relating to Dante and hell...too too funny for words. You had me laughing so hard. Hope you are okay after the fall out of bed.. Enjoy your empty nesters time in Piemonte.

Martha said...

I felt same way about the mud bath I 'gave' myself as a birthday present one year at Montecatini Terme. Very claustrophobic which usually I am not. I'll stick to Rapolano Terme.

Anonymous said...

Great response from jeff! LOL I thought that perhaps you needed bars on the bed like a crib . . .

nancyhol said...

Like the others have said, the story of your spa day WAS hysterical!

But the falling out of bed part is scary. You could have had a concussion from hitting your head.

I did the mud bath routine many years ago (probably at least 30) at the old Murrieta Hot Springs, and we did go directly into the mud. I didn't like it at all, but I wouldn't have liked your treatment either because I DO get claustrophobic.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,
I just caught up with your blog. Loved the story of your spa day, too funny.
Yikes, sorry that the bed dumped you on the floor, hope you haven't suffered any ill effects. When traveling with Danielle (age 3), I put pillows on the floor by her bed, you might want to give it a try. You just can't always trust those beds.

Tell Casey I said Happy Belated Birthday and that I send him a big hug.

Mary Pace

Pokey jo said...

Jane, I could totally relate to your spa story as Colleenk and I went to one as part of our Food Lover's Tour. I wrote about it in my trip report which will be (hopefully) published soon. colleen and I laughed about our experience for days!! although we had no tubes up our noses, thank goodness!!

I'm sorry about your falling out of bed, yikes!!! I wonder what caused you to toss our of the bed? Were you dreaming about being on a trampoline?

It was fun to also be in Chiocchio with Rita (and Lino). They really are the best!!


Sandrac said...

Yikes! I hope you're feeling better now, Jane, and suffered no lasting damage (from the fall or the mudbath!)

girasoli said...

Tubes up the nose and a fell from your bed! That was a challenging week. Glad you are ok.