What a treat to have my friends Johnna and Shelby celebrate my birthday at this legendary spa. We hopped in the car after our workouts and headed out on the 91 freeway. It is a quick 40 minute drive from the OC. It is a very reasonable spa and relaxing to spend the whole day with friends, while enjoying the benefits of the natural hot springs and lounge chairs. I actually read two magazines. It is tough to get the OC Wino to relax but it worked.
Lounging by the pool, we had a nice bottle of wine, relaxed, and struck up funny conversations with the other patrons and even pulled a prank or two.
Then we headed towards Club Mud. We slathered the mud all over our bodies and laid in the sun to let it dry. Afterwards, we rubbed the dry mud off and our skin felt like a baby's bottom. Speaking of babies, you must be 16 years old with parental supervision to visit the Spa. Sorry McCall.
This is the Retox food intake we enjoyed. Everyone was eating these huge plates of Nachos. Realizing the spa was known for them, we decided on a single serving to test them out. Cheese sauce is not my thing but Jalapeños are and they were quite good. Didn't try this artful cupcake but the picture turned out good.
A little wine stop was necessary on the way home. Did you know if you buy a six pack of wine at Pavilions you get 10% off? The only redeeming quality for that God forsaken market.
Glen Ivy Hot Springs, located in Corona, California
Last Saturday, we decided to take a little adventure. My friend Kevin is a huge foodie. He can find the best sushi, dives, dim sum, bbq, practically everything. He was telling us about going to Little Saigon. So my son Trent, his sister Julie, and I ventured out to Westminster for a day of exploring and culture.
We started out at a really tasty spot called Le Croissant Doré. It is a bakery known for it's fruit tarts. But it has the best beef stew with the most amazing sauce that actually tastes somewhat healthy! They serve it along with their own french bread. It's called Bo Kho. It is made with pieces of meat, tendon, and tripe. Sounds truly disgusting, but it was one of the best stews I have ever put in my mouth!
Since it is a bakery, they are known for their fruit tart cake, but my favorite were the little round creme puffs! We all enjoyed thai iced tea with boba, which pumped us up to continue our adventure.
We decided to walk because it is the best way to get the feel of the culture and be able to see all the funky things when you are in a new location. Somehow we ended up in this fun Asian mall because Trent was looking for a phone case. I swear to god, this mall had everything from Hello Kitty to phone cases to jewelry to buddhas to authentic food stands.
This is when I spotted the eggs. I've had Korean roasted eggs before from the I-Spa and I thought this is what I was buying. I wanted to treat everyone to the awesome delicacy. However I had no clue what I was getting into.
The egg dish is actually called Balut. You are supposed to drink the juice out of the egg and eat what is inside. We did not know this and just peeled the egg and dove in. The rest is history.
After challenging our bellies, we decided to end the day with the most amazing, relaxing, full body massage at the Bali Foot Spa. For only $20/hr, we all literally went into a trance and the memories of the baby duck egg vanished from our minds.
It was a great day filled with adventure, culture, and culinary experiences. This trip only cost us $45 a piece for all our food, spa services, trinkets, and a hell of a lot of belly laughs.
One of my greatest escapes when I've had a long week or weekend is to go to the I-Spa. As much as I love the luxury of The Montage, Aquaterra at the Surf and Sand, or La Quinta Spa in the desert, I have to say, the I-Spa is the queen bee. It is located in Irvine on Barranca and Jamboree across from The District.
The experience is unbelievable. At first you sweat in scrubs in Himalayan salt rooms, mud rooms, and even a calming cedar room. Cool off in the refrigerated room and finish up before your treatment with delicious Korean fare.
Now you are going to venture down into your treatments. You can't be shy here because it is necessary to strip and become completely naked. Anna, my favorite therapist, scrubs me down with a hard loofah pad for one hour and that cold cucumber mask is so refreshing. Then I get wrapped in Korean salve and get an awesome hair and scalp treatment. After rinsing off, you go down for your massage. They are standing on you, pulling at you, and treating you like a rag doll. But the intensity and the smoothness of your skin after the treatment is phenomenal. This collection of treatments is called the Gold Massage. At $130, it is the best bang for your buck for sure. Plan on spending about 4 hours enjoying the whole adventure.
The staff at I Spa is incredible and are extremely nice. However don't get shocked, or get any ideas, when the therapists come out to work on you in black bras and underwear. If anything, they are trying to get close to your level of buck nakedness.