True, the very nature of indulgence is having—or at the very least, aiming to have—too much. But what if your idea of indulgence is rather small and unassuming? What if you seek luxury in small bites, in slips and sips?
For my birthday this year, I told the husband I didn’t really want to do anything. While the Vegas Blow Out Birthday last year would be hard to top, even if I were trying to do so, I just felt like a quiet little something would be more than enough… and somehow, several quiet little somethings were strung together in the most beautiful, filling way.
This record of modest indulgence brought to you all by my fair city, Tacoma.
Indulgence #1: Swedish Massage at Jewell Day Spa
I was gifted with a certificate for a pre-natal massage, back in September. And then the baby came early, and I had no time for a silly massage. And then I started savoring the idea of it so much, I decided to wait a good couple of months… to really earn it, y’know.
This was my first real massage ever, and oh my, it was heaven. Jewell is a lovely spa, full of quiet voices, delicious smells, and slippered feet. Before any service (and there are several to choose from), they set you up with a relaxing foot soak, a cup of tea, and a heavy, heated, aromatic neck roll. You sit in a cozy, but firm upholstered chair, soaking and brewing and breathing.
The massage itself was the most sense-ual thing I’ve ever experienced. My masseuse, Myrna, had such understanding, clever hands that sought out all my tightest, clenchiest muscles. I felt her fingers between parts of my back and shoulder I didn’t even know could separate like that. Every bit of it was soothing, gentle, and restorative.
Now I finally see why people do this… it’s not only a fabulous indulgence in the moment… it’s like hitting a re-set button on your brain and the connected muscles. I plan to make this a yearly birthday treat from here on to eternity.
Indulgence #2: GF Chocolate Aztec Cake at Corina Bakery
By now, you probably realize how much I love Corina Cake Bakery. It’s not just that they’re a cute little shop, or that the baked goods are tasty and pretty besides. Nope, I love them for their commitment to creating gluten free treats that taste like the real thing.
And now I love them even more for their Order By The Slice program. Sure, you can order a full GF cake of your choice… but what if you just want a slice? Now you can call 48 hours in advance, name your cake, and (if it fits within their scheduled line-up for the day, and it usually does) they’ll bake your cake, hold your slice, and sell the rest at the bakery counter.
So, in keeping with our birthday tradition, Kanarie, LittleBird, and I—along with my Mom, who came to spend the day with us—all trekked down the hill for mid-day birthday cake and coffee. I pre-ordered a slice of Gluten Free Aztec Chocolate cake… cayenne pepper, cinnamon, and ginger mixed in the filling give the cake this fantastic little after-bite to each bite. Mmmmhmm. And then I ate nearly the whole thing…
Indulgence #3: Steak & Wine at the Harmon Downtown
I like the Harmon for sandwiches, burgers, and of course, beer… but I tend to forget about their dinner options. The husband and I decided to make a gift certificate into a date night… good call. A good friend knew we’d be there and pre-ordered a bottle of 14-Hands Merlot (we got to look like big shots), so we both ordered the bacon-wrapped filet mignon, medium rare. Wow, that was an amazing steak. Cooked just perfectly, and sooo flavorful. Really delicious with the wine. We will remember this, oh yes.
(Image from here.)
Indulgence #4: The King’s Speech at The Grand Cinema
We are so lucky to have The Grand Cinema playing indie, small release, and foreign films right in our neighborhood. And as someone who has seen perhaps three movies all year, I think i’m pretty lucky to have caught The King’s Speech. Colin Firth is heartbreaking and so brave, so dedicated to showing the truth of an agile, imaginative mind jailed by a stammer. Geoffery Rush and Helena Bonham Carter are equally wonderful… the husband pointed out how happy he was to see her play a real woman… not a head case or a wide-eyed girl-woman.
Indulgence # 5: Coming home to the sweetest girl.
Though it’s possible we had that shell-shocked look of New Parents In Public, we so enjoyed our night out. At one point, I actually said “I miss her!” And I did. But I must admit, for a few blissful stretches at a time, we didn’t even think about where she was, or whether she needed food/a diaper change/a sweater/a snuggle. We were just the thing we’ve been for years now… a couple in love.
But then, then we got to come home to a great big gummy smile.
Blame it on the toxins released, the spicy chocolate, the caffeine, or the wine—three glasses is the most I’ve had in about a year, now!—or on the emotional pull of a satisfying story, but all those senses fired on overload, and I got a little weepy. We got to come home to the thing we will always be for the rest of our lives… a family, and parents to the sweetest little messy-faced girl in the world.
Best birthday present ever.