The weather wasn’t looking too good as I headed out to the spa. However, it is northern Michigan in the winter so driving on bad roads comes with the territory but its never one that I enjoy. Fortunately, the good people at Toyota lent me a RAV4 to test drive and I was about to put it through some paces. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa had invited me up to experience an all-day spa visit.
The spa is located about 45 miles north of me by way of secondary, rural roads. I packed water, winter gear and a blanket in the car and headed out. In cold, inclement weather its ALWAYS a good idea to have a winter gear survival kit into the car.
WINTER DRIVING THE TOYOTA RAV4
The most important thing with winter driving is to drive for the condition which meant I topped out at about 45 miles per hour for most of the drive. Good thing I left with plenty of time to spare. The Toyota RAV4 handled perfectly and kept me on the road without one slip or slide, thank goodness. Oh, plus the heated seats were a great bonus for keeping me warm. Arriving at the spa I make sure the wipers are off the windshield so that when I come out they aren’t frozen to the window.
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa Check-In
Arriving at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa I check in and order lunch. You see, this is a huge “treat yourself” day as I’ll be spending all day at the spa. I’ve never done this before and I’m a little concerned that I’ll be bored and won’t be able to see it through. Thankfully I was there with a friend. We were scheduled for five treatments plus lunch starting at 10 and ending when we were done which turned about to be around 430pm.
After check-in we’re shown to the locker room where we tuck away our belongings and don a robe and slippers. The robe is big and cozy and all my worry about the spa not having robes for curvy girls is laid to rest. We head out to the zen area that is warmly lit with comfortable seating and wait for our first treatment to begin.
Grand Traverse Resort & Spa Treatments
First up is a body buff that requires me to set aside all my image insecurities, every. last. single. one. If you’ve never experienced a body buff treatment let me share the experience with you. First, you disrobe then lay on a massage table under a towel. Hanging above you, in a straight line the length of the table, is about 6 large shower heads. Scrub is rubbed onto legs, arms and back, next the water is turned on and your body is enveloped in warm water. Now, I adore water, love it and this would be a very enjoyable experience except even though you are covered up it feels like you are completely naked. Think about laying under a soaking wet blanket….what happens? That’s right it forms right to every lump and bump you carry. Fortunately, I was able to get over my embarrassment rather quickly and enjoy the treatment. There is something very soothing and relaxing about laying under a warm water spray. I could have easily dozed off.
After drying off from the Body Buff experience I moved to a clean, dry room and settled in for a relaxation massage. Generally, I’m not one to chat during a massage by my masseuse has a very friendly and easy going way about her and we chat for the duration of the massage. This is something I could get used to doing on a weekly basis. I’m only into my second treatment of the day and I’m starting to feel very relaxed. My mind is starting to let go of all the worries and concerns and let me shut down for a while.
REFRESHING BIODYNAMIC FACIAL
After my massage, I relax in the spa’s zen area where I chat with my friend about how she is enjoying the day. We are waiting for our facial appointment and I must say it’s nice to simply “be” for a few minutes. Before long I am onto my next treatment. We chat about my concerns (the lines, please make them disappear) and decided to add a few add-ons to the facial to work on fine lines and improve the skin around my eyes. Holy heck…this is really the life for me. The facial leaves my face looking fantastic!
After our facials, I’d have to say we are feeling fine. Our spa day could end now and we’d both be very happy. Sitting down to lunch my friend asks “Isn’t this bliss?” Yes, yes it is. Bliss is the perfect word to describe the day. After the third treatment, my mind is completely free of worry and I’m simply enjoying the moments. Lunch is a simple, yet delicious, soup and salad that we linger over with quiet conversation that turns, as you’d expect, to travel and writing.
SHAMPOO & BLOW-DRY
Because massages and facials wreck any semblance of style your hair may have had when you arrived a shampoo and blow dry was added to our list of treatments. It was great not having to worry about doing this before leaving. I simply let the stylist know how I like my hair styled and she took care of the rest. This was turning about to be a great investment of time.
MANI & PEDI
Last up was a manicure and pedicure. If you live in cold climates you know winter wrecks your feet. I think I need pedicures more in the winter than in the summer. I selected a very muted neutral color called Safety Pin and had them use it on both fingers and toes. Both the mani and pedi came with a refreshing scrub and hand/foot massage then color of choice.
A DAY OF BLISS AT THE GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT & SPA
Since our toes were painted last and it’s a winter storm outside we decide to spend a bit of time in the sauna to finish off our day. We are so relaxed and refreshed that even the thought of going out in the cold and driving home in less than good conditions doesn’t bother us. Once our toes are dry we change out of our spa gear and bundle back up for the trek home. My skin is so incredibly smooth, my face looks great and my fingers and toes are in tip top shape. What a fantastic day!
Plan your day of bliss at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa
More about the Toyota Rav4
While we were spending our day at the spa Mother Nature was busy blanketing the road with snow. The sun was setting so not only would I be driving home on snow-covered, potentially slick roads, I’d be doing so in the dark. The Toyota RAV 4 heated up fairly quickly and once my windows were clear I headed out. I snuggled into my warm seat and actually enjoyed the drive home. I fully trusted the Toyota RAV4 to keep me on the road and it didn’t let me down It gripped tight to the roads with bright headlights leading the way. A perfect ending to a perfect day.
By the way, I adore this backup camera that shows the Toyota from above. How cool is that? Talk about making parallel parking extra easy. I want this feature on my next car!!
Here’s a fun video about driving the Toyota around Traverse City which is another great place to spend the day.