Thursday, January 24, 2008

Nothin' Standard About it: Part One

So yeah, Catfish had a bachelorette party. She did this before the wedding, as is the tradition, but I just haven't gotten around to telling you the whole tale yet. So this all happened in November but we're going to pretend that it is current and still relevant. I have warned you that it takes me about three months to accomplish things, so I'm still within the acceptable time frame. We're going to jump right in...

I wasn't supposed to head over to Miami until Saturday, but Catfish wanted me to come Friday and I wanted to go (read: escape) Friday and I told Mr. Ashley that poor Catfish really, really needed me there and as Matron of Honor it was pretty much my duty to do whatever she said, and he agreed that I should go.

So I went. My parents insisted I take their car because my dad had gotten it tuned up and cleaned out earlier in the day and they would feel safer if I took it. A vacation from the mom-mobile combined with a vacation from mom-ness in general was an exciting prospect, so I took them up on it. It's a good thing I did since I got discombobulated upon arriving in Miami and suddenly found myself in the Sun Pass toll lane with no Sun Pass. I paused for a moment, blinded by lights and paralyzed with the fear of doing something wrong, briefly considered backing up and then looked around desperately for somewhere to stick the $1.00 in toll money (that my dad made sure I had in the center console) while people honked at me.

This is a good time to mention that people in Miami are mean. I know I'll at least get one comment from someone in Miami saying "We're not all mean, blah blah blah" but in general, your whole coast can be tough to be around. There, I've said it. I thought it in Ikea too. You are an aggressive community. Some of you are probably nice, but I am a small town girl, I don't like your gum chomping and loudness and your pushy-ness. It's nothing personal, really.

So I drove on through the toll and later called my parents to tell them that they may or may not be getting a photo of their car going through a Miami toll booth, and that there may or may not be a $100 fine attached to said photo, but if they should receive something like that in the mail that it was not me. I also got yelled at by Mr. Ashley. He'll say he wasn't yelling, but he was. I think $100 is a little steep. It's not like I blew through it at 80 mph to save myself a dollar. Bastards.

Anyway, I soon arrived on South Beach and found myself at Catfish's super cute condo with a glass of wine from her recent trip to Sonoma sitting on the glass table beside me and no fear of little hands smashing both to the bamboo floor below.

There were books on the bookcase...that stayed there the whole time.

There was a vase with some grass stuff...never got knocked over.

She had glass coasters on her glass tables...can you even imagine?

I asked her if she even realized how lucky she had it and she said that she did know. That sometimes Mr. Catfish will be laying on the couch eating a bowl of cereal and she'll be in the kitchen ironing her cloth napkins (I'm dead fucking serious) and he'll look up and say, "Honey...I'm so glad we don't have kids." and she'll say, "Yeah, I know. That would suck."

So at least they know what they've got. Kids are great, but you can have some later. There is something divine about not having to share all of your food and keep your beverages up on the kitchen island.

Catfish and I stayed up most of the night, talking about wedding plans, stuff in life that sucked, the realities of marriage and children and how great it would be and how hard it would be and how much fun it all was. It was so nice just to have some girl talk.

At butt o'dark the next morning (I think it was 8am), her coffee grinder starts grinding beans for her coffee (yeah, I'm serious). I hollered a "Holy shit that thing is loud" and heard a groggy "good morning" from her bedroom area, followed by the sound of a text message coming through. She pads into the living room and settles into the oversized couch I'm snuggled up on.

We proceeded to read some of the funniest text message drama I have ever encountered, me being old and out of the loop with the text message world. The whole bachelorette party was "planned" via email. At the last minute, the Maid of Honor (yes, Catfish had a maid and a matron, she can do whatever she wants) got an opportunity for us all to go out on an amazing yacht. Honestly, I was a little bummed at first that this would mean no full day at the spa, but I was curious about the boat. We were given several days notice that this change was happening, but somehow someone didn't realize until the day of (I guess, who knows).

She is a notorious drama queen and was about 6 weeks pregnant with her first, and already feeling her ligaments stretching (insert huDge eye roll here). So she text messages the MOH and tells her that she needs more notice for a change of plans, that she can't be changing plans at the last minute and going out on boats in her condition.


Before anyone pities her...we're talking about a 70 foot yacht. Also, she could have still gone to the spa, we were going to be there until 1pm. Instead, her and the MOH (who don't even know each other) volley a series of snotty text messages back and forth, keeping poor Catfish updated the entire time. Although annoying, it was funny as shit and we got a TON of mileage out of the "not in my condition" joke.

So Catfish and I roll our eyes and drink our coffee and eat our breakfast and talk and talk and talk and then realize we could be talking at the spa!! So we jumped in her VW Beetle and off we went.

This company that owns The Standard buys landmark type properties and tries to keep them as they were, while imposing a few funky changes (dont quote me on that, this was 3 months ago). See The Standard sign upside down under the Lido Hotel sign?
We signed in and they gave us our locker keys on little bracelets and black Havaiianas (to keep, you know my cheap ass loved that) and we began our Standard Spa Experience....

We went down a long, weird hallway that reminded us of our drug influenced South Beach days and walked into a round marble room. I believe it was called the Hamam (feel free to look up the spelling yourself). There were 4 stainless steel bathtubs on one side, a marble island in the center and marble steps around the edges, with niches carved out of the smooth marble walls. Even the ceiling was marble.
We hung up our robes and kicked off our flops and laid our towels down on the marble, face to face, and laid down on it's heated surface. The heaters underneath the marble made the floors hum a little, so your whole body was warm and vibrating. You weren't supposed to talk (a rule Catfish and I have struggled with since Kindergarten...we did no better here) so it had the solemn, peaceful silence of a library or church.
It was HEAVEN to lie there quietly, meditating and able to appreciate life. I highly recommend it.
We got bored soon enough and crept down to the steam room. It was so thick with steam that we couldn't even tell if we were alone or not and we giggled nervously as our voices bounced off of the tile. Once again, HEAVEN.
Knowing that it was almost time for our treatments, we went back to the hamam and laid there softly chattering, giggling and shushing each other.
And then...and then...Willa came and got me.
Now I know, every now and again, I tend to sound a little lesbo-ish. I do have a lot of girl crushes. But Willa....Willa I would marry. Willa is The One.

First of all, she was really pretty. Second and most important, I have NEVER had a better massage in my life. I've had some massages too.
She covered my whole back with a steaming towel and massaged me through that before expertly rolling it down my spine which made my vertebrae pop. She played with my hair, taking my ponytail out and gathering all of the curls up in her hands and combing her fingers through them, gently tugging.
Yeah, I know, it sounds totally gay. It was unbelievable. It wasn't even weird.
She massaged my ears and stroked my face and and rubbed my finger tips and toes. She knew exactly where the aches and pains were and how much pressure to apply and how long to hold it. She was an angel, I tell you. A real, live angel.

It was so nice to be pampered like that. Don't worry, I kept it appropriate. I only get weird when I'm around you all.
I guess while I was fantasizing about Willa, Catfish was being treated to a spread eagle yoga show in the hamam, by a guy wearing nothing but a small red speedo. I'm kind of sorry to have missed it, the expression on her face while retelling it was priceless. It would have made a great first hand account, but we're going to have to take her word on the obsceneness and awkwardness of it all.
Catfish was still being body wrapped and scrubbed and soaked in a fragrant tub when I had to leave my sweet, sweet Willa, so I explored the grounds and decided to enjoy the pool area.
The Standard is famous in Miami for it's scene around the pool and I see why. Super cool facilities and great people watching.

See that wall thing at the far end? That's another small pool and a waterfall cascades over that wall. You sit on a ledge right beneath it and it pounds on your shoulders and neck and makes you never ever want to leave. Never, ever.
You could buy mud and lather yourself up and sit in the sun to bake and then rinse off in these tubs:

The View:

Some kick ass chairs I relaxed in (without anyone in my lap or screaming for me to push them):

The Fire Pit (When you all make me rich and famous, I'm renting the whole place and taking you all...well everyone who can prove they commented and/or voted):

Pretty freaking awesome, huh? You know what else is pretty freaking awesome? The fact that I'm up at 3:35am, after making up 87 excuses I could use to get out of it, after having to restart my computer and re-upload 3 of the photos because of an unexpected power flicker (motherfucker), after having to screw around with formatting for 20 minutes, after being so tired I feel like a zombie and realize that I'm not funny this late at night and all I can really do is post photos...

You owe me. If you don't vote after this, you're officially a bad person. Sorry, but you are.

I'll get part 2 to you soon, but after the mess that this became, I'm not making any promises.

(Edited to add: The formatting is STILL wonky. Crap on a stick. You're just going to have to deal with it people.)


Melissa said...

That place looks amazing! I want to go!

Rebecca said...

Bald Beaver?? Where's da beaver?

Anonymous said...

I'd love to hear more about Catfish's speedo/yoga show. Someone should tell speedo-boy that it's only relaxing to DO yoga, not watch someone else do it!

Dana said...

Oooo - I ditto Melissa! I can't wait for you to get rich and famous . . .

Angie said...

Why have I never read your blog before today? fabulous!!!I'm now addicted:)

FunnyGal KAT said...

Can't wait for Part 2... And "At butt o'dark the next morning" is my new favorite phrase (proving that you really ARE funny that late at night).

Kate said...

I voted! For all the awards you've been nominated for. Be sure to add me to the spa trip list!

Anonymous said...

I F'in forgot about the Speedo guy! Seriously disturbing, I kept thinking, "really? is he really doing this HERE in front of all of these people? In a Speedo?" Wack-job

Monogram Momma said...

well all I have to say is I sure as hell hope I'm invited!

Rebecca said...

Here's my comment. I think it's my third... Add me to the spa list. You're taking me!!

Unknown said...

OMG, I can't believe that you were able to spell everything correctly at that time of night. You are totally nuts. BTW, I think that I'm in love with Willa, too. I think I'm going to go home and give my husband (or myself) some action tonight. Have you considered going into softcore porn writing? You don't even need penetration to make it hot. LOL.

Anonymous said...

That sounds awesome (well, minus the speedo guy)! I've totally had a massage like that once, a "special" one where i almost proposed afterward.

AFRo said...

For the record, I comment all the friggin time lately and I still have my email to confirm my ballot!! I better be on that list.

Anonymous said...

I seriously thought my mom was the only person who used the word discombobulated. Love it!


Deb said...

Uhh... where are the photos?

Auti said...

I want a spa trip. Here I am.

Unknown said...

BTW- My husband DID get some action last night. I'll have to have him thank you.