Sun Tree Spa, Round 3: The Swedish Massage

Waking up from a short nap, I looked up at my wife with a kinked neck “what time is it?” She looked down at from her book and responded, “a few minutes until a quarter til the hour, why?”

SHIT!! Were Late!! … went through my mind as my cellphone started vibrating and dancing across the TV stand.

Turning it over, the display screen illuminated in white letters 306-694-5055 swiping right to answer the call I lift the receiver to my ear, “hello… yes, correct. We are on our way up.” I laughed set down the phone and looked at my wife, “We’re late.”

While quickly walking down the hallway she says, “I thought our massage was at 3:00pm? And yesterday we sat around for about 15-minutes. I just thought we would skip that portion of waiting around because you’ve not been sleeping well. And…” her sentence trailed off as the elevator opened up.

“I get it… but I did say before going to lay down that our appointment was at 2:45pm. Guess we can’t blame myself for this one. Ha! The first time in 14-years! Ha!” I said with a ginormous grin.

The doors opened and we introduced ourselves to the woman standing behind the counter. “Your masseuses will be with you shortly she said,” we nodded acknowledgement as I tried to wipe the sleepies out the corner of my eyes and wake up before having to speak to others.

Coming around the corner were Linda and Leona.

As it turns out Linda was there to perform her Swedish death grips on my wife and somehow I landed a massage with a gal named Leona.

On the way down to the “treatment room” Linda and Leona were asking Shauna and myself questions about our bodies, what ached, where we had pain, where we had injuries and what we were hoping to get out of the massage this afternoon.

“Aaron’s probably not quite awake enough to talk,” began Shauna as we strolled onward, “he woke up about six-minutes ago.” Leona acknowledged Shauna’s remarks and slowed down the routine questions for me to process each one and respond.

Upon the treatment door opening a frosty-nip of cool air rushed passed each of us. “WOW! That’s supremely cold,” said Shauna who held her tongue quit nicely. “I don’t think anyone has been down here today. Let’s see if we can get this room to warm up whilst you change and climb into the warmed beds,” said Linda.

Even for myself this is pretty cold in here,” I said as the two masseuses departed the room.

Shauna reluctantly peeled off her warm bath robe, kicked off her Spa flip-flops and climbed under the bed. “Did you go full nude?” I asked trying to figure out just how much clothing to leave on. “Bottoms always on,” she replied tucking herself into the warm blankets and I followed suite.

Bodies under the covers the two masseuses returned to the room. A bit of chit chat started and abruptly stopped after I began to fall back asleep. Hands on oil, hands on calf. Hands on oil, hands on foot. Hands on oil, hand going up passed the knee. My mind raced around, what in the fuck am I doing here? Just don’t think about it. Just let the oooooooh fuck that hurts! Her thumb pressed into the muscle and slipped up the back of the calf, then thigh and up to the bottom of the buttocks.

I could hear the moaning and flinching within the room as both Linda and Leona performed their treatments on our sore and tired travellers bodies. Shauna was saying something to Linda about changing jobs recently and the tension in her lower body has changed from her previous job where she walked more than sat. And it is now the reverse, more sitting than walking. Linda informed she would work out those little knots within her tired muscles.

Whilst this conversation continued on the other bed, Leona’s hands changed positions and were now moving along my hands, forearms and upper arms. My entire body tensed at once. I couldn’t help it. Why was this happening? Each pressure point hit, created more tension in my back until the warmed blanket was removed and the oil went deep into the shoulders, the shoulder blade and down to the L4 – L5 region of my lower back.

Instantly pain struck near L4.

A screeching halt of happiness!

Strong fingers picked at the knots and tension along my spine! The real torture had officially begun!

Someone asked what I did for work and all I could get out of myself was a groan of displeasure as another knuckle slipped into the side of my ribcage. Followed by a nudge to have me rollover on my back. Then the stress around my shoulders, neck and upper spine were worked on.

The “torturer” continued to work on the knots and tension in my body, then I heard something about Linda being a cat person and my eyes fluttered open to see Leona’s face hovering above. As the story penetrated the room, I heard a question about where we were going for our anniversary dinner followed by a response from Shauna about it being a surprise. And my own response that I hoped she still like McDonald’s. Everyone laughed.

What seemed like another half-hour flew by with oil and hands moving about here and there resetting the tension in the upper chest and down each side. Until someone looked up at the clock and announced we had gone over time and they would step out for us to take our time to get redressed and depart the room.

Looking over at Shauna she was huddled over the towel warmer were her bathrobe had been stashed from the beginning. “How do you feel?” I asked her as she pulled the rest of her clothing on. “Let’s talk after we are headed back to our room,” came the response.

Upstairs we went with Leona by our sides. Like we were going to hightail it back to our room and forget about paying. Although if given the chance that’s precisely what I may have done since this massage was more like torture than the peaceful and relaxing time we both had imagined it to be.

Standing in front of the counter lady she showed us a receipt.

“Wait, what?” came out my mouth as I reviewed the new receipt. “We had a package deal. It was $319.00 per person plus taxes and included the ‘complimentary wine’,” said I, starring down at the new receipt. The woman couldn’t explain the reason behind the change in the pricing but then looked over at a paper rate sheet pressed between two pieces of plastic. “It says here, the Rejuvenation Package is $333.00 per person.” To which Shauna pointed at the same signage as the counter person. “But we booked this like 3-weeks ago, at the $319.00 rate. I don’t understand…” trailed off my voice as my hand reached inside my wallet for the Visa.

Calculating in my head… it dawned on me that the “complimentary wine” was now a “paid for wine” and we were getting screwed! What the fawk! Should have waited to return to the mountains and hit up Wildflowers Massage in Canmore, Alberta instead!

Looking at Shauna we paid the new receipt.

Walking back downstairs to our room, I smiled and said, “at least the insurance will cover part of this terrible Swedish massage and I really want to take a shower to get all this oil off my body. How was your massage?” She took a minute to think about it, then says, “I’ve had better. What about you? You sure did make a lot of noise in there?” Starring at the ground watching the weird teal and brown carpet go by under my feet, I replied, “yeah, I learnt this afternoon I am not a fan of the deep tissue Swedish Massage. Please remind me next time we get a massage that its either an ‘aroma therapy message or a facial.’ I really could have used a nicer softer pair of hands running down my lower back. This was like paid torture!”

~ Aaron JacksonCrabb

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