Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm so Awesome, I'm Jealous of Myself...

This weekend I checked another item off my list in true 'Diva' style.  I enjoyed a two day getaway with just my mom while we got pampered.  During our retreat we took full advantage of everything that the 'Safety Harbor Resort and Spa' had to offer, as well as enjoyed the town.  We did it up right.  So to describe the weekend, it will sound very much like you are reading the brochure for the property....

Nothing says Diva Weekend like Red Solo Cups
You will begin your weekend escape by checking in at one of America's oldest and finest spa resorts, and will be greeted by one of our friendly associates.  You will then follow the hall to the Olympia Tower to your spacious guest room complete with French Doors leading out to a private patio overlooking the Tranquility Gardens.  (It helps if you are reading this in a very soothing woman's voice where English is not her first language.)  After getting settled in, make your way to our quaint town for the 3rd Friday street festival.  Here you will taken in local culture with live music, local art exhibits and amazing food and beverage vendors.  (Translated - mom and I drank beer at a dive bar while people watching.)

The next morning, start your day off with breaking a sweat in the cardio room followed by some strength training in the state of the art weight room.  You can cool down with the healing mineral waters that can only be found in Safety Harbor.  (aka - they give you free water.  How nice of them!)

Enjoy an early lunch at the Fountain Grille Restaurant.  The contemporary inspired cuisine is complete with an innovative selection of delicious dishes that feature fresh ingredients and flavors of the Mediterranean.  After a light lunch, head back down the spa and fitness center to take advantage of all the amenities before indulging in your spa treatments.  Relax your mind and rejuvenate your spirit in the spa sanctuaries.  Here you can release all the stress of your life in the Turkish Steam Room and Finnish Hot Sauna.  Cool off with a plunge in the healing waters of the mineral springs pool.  (Or like I describe it - I sweat my butt off until I couldn't take it any more)

Now that you are relaxed, mom and daughter can enjoy more bonding time with a glass of wine in our private pedicure room.  You can sit and chat during the deluxe pedicure that features a sugar scrub for exfoliation, moisturizing lotion and hydrating masque that will relieve and refresh your feet.  Once your feet feel renewed, head to the meditation room to relax your mind before heading to your facial.  (aka - I took a nap!)

After you calm your mind, you will receive a 50 minute European Deep Cleansing facial.  This facial is a purifying treatment for any skin type that includes gentle exfoliation to remove dull surface skin cells, a luxurious massage and a heated hand treatment with scalp massage to complete the experience.  (Gentle is a large exaggeration - I must have some busted skin right now because she was digging all over my face with her needle during the 'extraction' segment of the facial.  I will give her some credit.  After the torture chamber segment of poking and prodding to bring to the surface all the bacteria I pretend isn't there, she did give me an awesome massage.)  

Now that the euphoric day of blissful spa treatments are complete, you can prepare for an evening of exploring the local downtown community.  With so many flavor profiles to choose from, Safety Harbor has a meal for whatever your craving is.  (Mom and I were craving BBQ so we had ribs, collards and a bottle of wine... because we are classy.)

Bonding over Martinis
After a nice, quiet evening, enjoy the comfortable spacious queen sized beds for a great night sleep followed by a filling breakfast at one of the local eateries before checking out.  When you check out of Safety Harbor, be sure to take the inner peace and calm mind that you gained during your stay.  (In other words, when you get home to 4 construction workers in your house and all your furniture in disarray, remind yourself that it is for the greater good of your home and shouldn't ruin your chi!)  

Well, you might think differently, but if my career selling cheeseburgers doesn't pan out, maybe I can be a hotel copy writer.  All jokes aside, I had an amazing weekend with my mom celebrating her birthday while crossing something off of my list.  She is such an amazing woman and I enjoy times when we get quality alone time like this.  We like to stretch our birthdays out as much as possible, so maybe we can start an annual tradition that during our 'birth month' we take at least one night a side to get a little Diva treatment and mom and daughter time.  One weekend of great one liners (such as the one this post is titled after,) story swapping, pampering and bonding over wine is never enough.  So, cheers to crossing another item off my list and celebrating a birthday, but more importantly, realizing that this shouldn't be a one time thing!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bruises Fade. Wounds Heal. Winners last forever.

The Battle Field
Silence crept across the barren battle field while we took our positions.  The air was cool and crisp but all I could feel was the warmth of my breath against my mask.  Heart racing while I prepped my weapon.  Then it came - the sound that the war has begun.  Quickly I darted for cover while I staked out the enemy.  The popping sound of guns were ringing in my ear.  One by one soldiers hit the floor.  It came down to two of us.  Only one could make it out alive.  I wasn't ready to give up the fight.  Slowly, I picked out the right timing to make my move into the enemy territory.  I gazed around the field and saw my target.  It was time to take him out.  The shootout began.  Rapid fire exploded across the field because neither of us are going to surrender.  Then it happened.  POP!  The enemy has been hit.  I was victorious.  

Team Barile AKA The Assassins
Yes, I am being quite dramatic with this bucket list item.  But this week, I crossed paint balling from my list.  My sweet friend Betty has been very encouraging of me during my 30 before 30 experiment.  She found a living social deal for paint balling at a place in Lutz.   We gathered up some other soldiers and the 8 of us headed out on Sunday to take the field.  Most of us were playing for the first time, but we had a few veterans as well.  We split our group up into two teams of 4 and played various rounds on 3 different courses.  I was pretty stoked when I finished the first round as the last man standing.  Everyone was in complete shock.  I did take a little offense to the fact that everyone expected me to be one of the first guys out, until we played our second round when I was instantly taken down.  I was quickly humbled.  

You Don't Want to Mess with Me

The Face of a Warrior
Team Victorious!

All the Soldiers Ready to take the Field
Honestly, I haven't had that much fun in a long time.  We are talking about making it an annual event.  Paint balling was a great rush and also a reminder of how out of shape I am.  I was getting killed by a group of 10 year old punks so badly it was comical.  But a great time nonetheless.  

Even after an epic battle, we can still be friends.

I will make one suggestion to anyone who is thinking of taking the field, especially to the ladies.  You will bruise.  The paint balls did not hurt when they hit, but they did leave some serious marks.  If you are going to try paint balling, go in the winter when long pants are a daily fashion choice.  Thanks to the beautiful marks on my legs, I will not be wearing shorts in public for a LONG time!

But, you can't go to war without a few scars, so in the words of Betty 'the fighter' Veinger - 

Bruises Fade.
Wounds Heal.
Winners Last Forever...