One of the perks of having to work hours that make grown men cry is that my company offered all employees who had averaged over 45 hours per week during the last four months of 2007 a weekend at the Four Seasons in Santa Barbara. The weekend took place in mid-February, and it turned out to be one of those places that normal folks like the Holliday Boys usually only see in movies. We arrived to the resort to find some guy in a bath robe on the putting green, passed by the croquet field, and arrived rather starstruck at the front desk. The girl at the checkin obviously didn’t realize Aaron and I were brothers, and initially offered a room with a single king bed. I set her straight by asking for separate beds, and Aaron helpfully noted that “we could always push them together later”.
Our first order of business after checking in was to check out the spa and take advantage of the chance to get a massage. The list of treatments was extensive, and we finally made appointments for treatments that offered a bit of everything, from mud to massage to weird facial treatments. We hit up the resort’s restaurant for dinner, and again ran into some confusion about two guys spending a weekend together at a resort and ended up being seated at a romantic corner table. Portions were small but pricey, and I’ll probably not be ordering abalone again.
On day two we joined the owner of my company and his girlfriend on a rented yacht and were given basic lessons in sailing. Despite the fact that we both took turns at the wheel and trimmed the sails we still arrived home alive, although in fairness Jason was keeping close tabs on us to ensure his own survival. We got back in time for our spa appointments, and the fireworks began. The resort’s guide recommended that most spa treatments were “enjoyed without clothing”, but both Aaron and I figured a pair of boxers was the way to go. Both of us were met by the masseuses (massagers? whatever…), led to separate rooms, and then told that the mud treatment was too messy for boxers. Luckily I noticed the blanket on the massage table and crawled under it, but Aaron missed this important detail and was greeted with “Oh! Mr. Holliday!” when his masseuse returned to the room. Aside from that little disaster there weren’t any further surprises, and while it was great to get a massage, the mud smearing was a bit odd. In any case, we both came away relaxed and more-or-less useless, and spent the rest of the night watching TV and eating room service food.
The next day’s highlights were a ridiculously great brunch featuring crab claws and caviar, followed by a visit to the beach and its resident bikini-wearers, and concluding with the croquet championships of the world. Since neither of us knew the rules of croquet it made for an interesting game, and other guests at the resort who passed by were obviously aware that Aaron and I were a bit different from most of the folks the resort was used to hosting.
And that’s the highlights for February. It’s a little over three months until the great Iceland expedition, but until then there may not be a lot of fodder for the journal, so the one-a-month entries may unfortunately continue for a while.