Autumn is now upon us, and the leaves are starting to change here in Las Vegas, and you can smell the... wait, who am I kidding... Leaves don't change in Vegas. The temperature drops from 110 to 80, and the only way you know it's fall is by the amount of people putting bets on football games. But this is the time to start thinking about more indoor activities... like going to a spa.
One of the best spas on The Strip is located at The Venetian. "The Canyon Ranch SpaClub" is a 69,000 square foot, two-level health spa and fitness center, and you won't find any spa bigger than this in North America. Now let's get one thing straight: men can fully appreciate a spa day as much as they can fully appreciate a romantic comedy. That's why I am bringing my wife, Adrienne, along for the day to school me on the finer points of spending 12 hours in a robe, slippers and nothing else.
Carlos: Okay, honey, are you ready for our spa day?
Adrienne: Do you think people really believe we're writing this as we walk into the spa?
Carlos: Theater of the mind, sweetheart.
Adrienne: Do you really think people actually read your blog?
Carlos: That's a low blow.
Adrienne: Alrighty then, let's move on.
Carlos: The first thing I'm noticing as I walk into Canyon Ranch is this 40-foot high, indoor rock climbing wall. Let's get on that.
Adrienne: Lesson #1, my dear. Extreme sports have no place in a lady's "spa day."
Carlos: But it looks safe.
Adrienne: And I'm sure you'll find a way to change that.
Carlos: Okay, fine.
Adrienne: Check us in at the front desk, and I'll tell both of the people who read your blog about the amazing fitness room next to the base of the rock climbing wall. The have personal trainers, Pilates, aerobics, yoga, kick boxing, aqua aerobics, tons of machines... basically everything that you would expect from some of the best gyms in the country. There are also health and wellness consultations so you can find out how much body fat you've put on since arriving in Sin City. And, uh, right now, there are two guys side-by-side on treadmills high-fiving each other.
Carlos: That's because Michigan just scored, and they probably have some portion of their mortgage payment on the game.
Adrienne: Back so soon?
Carlos: Yep. Here's your key to your locker.
Adrienne: This is just a card?
Carlos: I know. They have some sort of cool system where instead of a metal, clunky key, the lockers just read this card.
Adrienne: Are you here for the Star Trek convention?
Carlos: Whatever. I think it's cool.
Adrienne: Alright, Kirk. Head into your locker room and let me tell the ladies reading this about the women's locker area.
Carlos: Live long and prosper.
Adrienne: Heading into the women's locker room, you are greeted by a young lady who gives you gives a plush robe, slippers and a guided tour. The amenities are nice yet pretty standard. Every 10 steps, there's a table full of fresh fruit, juices and herbal teas. I get undressed, slip on my robe, stroll past the whirlpool and sauna to head over to a lounge to wait for the next Canyon Ranch staffer to tell me where I'm going.
Carlos: They have football!! Guys don't care about the robe and slippers and lotions and apples and Jacuzzis and all that. All we care about is that we get to watch football on a huge plasma screen TV in a robe and no one is going to yell at us to take out the garbage. Can I just spend the rest of my spa day watching Ohio State crush Penn State? Apparently not, because now I'm being led out of the gridiron lounge to meet up with my lovely wife...
Adrienne: ...Who yells at you to take out the garbage?
Carlos: You heard that?
Adrienne: I read that. Hey look! It's Brooke Shields.
Carlos: Wow. See, honey, you hang with Extra's Carlos Diaz and you hang with the stars.
Adrienne: Take "Extra's" off the front of your name and you'd be Brooke Shields' cabana boy.
Carlos: Not a bad gig.
Adrienne: Alright, we've arrived at our private room. What have you signed us up for?
Carlos: We're going to give each other a special massage called a "Rasul Ceremony."
Adrienne: Lesson #2, my dear. Spa days don't involve GIVING massages, only GETTING massages.
Carlos: Stay with me here. We are going to embark on the ancient Middle Eastern ritual of Rasul, which takes place in this exotic, ornately tiled steam chamber. This cleansing ceremony includes self-application of medicinal mud, intermittent steam with herbs and a rain shower rinse from a fiber-optic sky. This treatment is perfect for couples.
Adrienne: Are you actually reading that from the Canyon Ranch pamphlet?
Carlos: Do you really think I know what "Rasul" means?
Adrienne: I guess I would be worried if you'd had the Rasul treatment before... Like in the last two weeks.
Carlos: Here's a funny story. One of the guys who works in the men's locker room says that guys have signed up for a Rasul massage with a woman that they met the night before in the casino or a club, but barely know. And then they show up thinking it's a couples massage, only to find out that they are going to be rubbing exotic mud all over EACH OTHER. He called that "the moment of truth" for the newly acquainted couples.
Adrienne: So what you're tellin' me is that we're going to be rubbing mud all over each other?
Carlos: Don't worry, there's a shower at the end to rinse it all off.
Adrienne: And this mud is... like real mud? Like, you know, wet dirt?
Carlos: Yes, but dirty in the romantic sense. You know, like Christina Aguilera dirty. And the steam shower that we're walking into right now looks like the Taj Mahal.
Adrienne: Equipped with two thrones for the king and queen of Aguilera-country.
Carlos: Alright, let's get dirty. We'll spare you from EVERY detail of the Rasul Ceremony, but I will tell you that getting dirty never felt so good.
Adrienne: You're gross. But I gotta tell ya, I am totally relaxed and ready for our couples massage.
Carlos: Not so fast, we have lunch reservations first at the Canyon Ranch Café.
Adrienne: They actually have a café in the spa?
Carlos: They do indeed. I'll meet you on the other side of the locker rooms in five minutes.
(20 minutes later on the other side of the locker room.)
Adrienne: I thought you said 5 minutes!
Carlos: Sorry, I put our kids' college money on Notre Dame, and they were driving.
Adrienne: We don't even have kids.
Carlos: Yeah... and since the Irish didn't cover, we may have to hold off on that for a while. Let's eat!
Adrienne: Whoa... this menu looks so freakin' good... And they have all of the calories, fat grams and fiber grams listed for each meal. I can't decide between the Miso Marinated Halibut or the SpaClub Vegetable Stir-Fry. What are you going to...
(Carlos has already flagged down the waitress and is ordering before I could finish my sentence).
Carlos: ...for starters we'll have two peach spritzers to wash down the Fresh Lump Crab Cake and Chicken Potstickers. I'll have the Kobe Beef Cheeseburger, and she'll have the Halibut and Stir-Fry.
Adrienne: I only need one entrée.
Carlos: The Stir-Fry is for me. I just didn't want to sound like a pig.
Adrienne: I think they figured that out there, tubbie.
Carlos: Sweetheart, these are smaller portions for health-conscience people.
Adrienne: Yes, but 15 smaller portions equal one huge one. You're defeating the whole purpose.
Carlos: You're not going to be massaging me for the rest of the day so what do you care. And besides, I'm in a robe, which means no belt to loosen at the end of this feast. I'm in heaven!
Adrienne: Fine. I'll take a mimosa on the rocks.
(30 minutes and 13 entrees later...)
Adrienne: I can't believe you tried everything on the menu!
Carlos: Research, honey, research. I wanted our two readers to get the full café experience.
Adrienne: So what do you recommend?
Carlos: I'm now too light-headed to remember what I ate. Oh, yeah, I got it now. The Kobe Beef Cheeseburger was awesome.
Adrienne: That was a special item on today's menu.
Carlos: You're telling me it was special.
Adrienne: No, dork. It was a special item not on their regular menu. I recommend the Vegetable Stir-Fry, adding shrimp. And the crab cakes were amazing.
Carlos: And for dessert, try the homemade cookies.
Adrienne: Alright, fatty, now what?
Carlos: Couples massage! I'll meet you on the other side of the locker rooms in five minutes.
Adrienne: Five MINUTES! I don't care if Notre Dame actually has a hunchback at quarterback, get going!
Carlos: I betcha the hunchback would cover the spread.
(4 minutes and 59 seconds later)
Adrienne: You continue to amaze me.
Carlos: Let's do this. Hey, maybe we'll run into Brooke again.
Adrienne: She doesn't hang out in the Canyon Ranch hallway, honey.
Carlos: So I see we have two women massaging us for our Two-By-Two massage.
Adrienne: Did you know that some spas in Las Vegas are gender specific.
Carlos: Really.... That's interesting... What does gender specific...
Adrienne: ...It means that women massage only women and men massage only men.
Carlos: But Canyon Ranch is not one of the places.
Adrienne: Do you see any other men in this room?
Adrienne: Hit the table, kid.
(52 minutes later)
Carlos: Was I snoring?
Adrienne: A little.
Carlos: Sorry. I couldn't help it. That massage was awesome. I hate it when you're lying on your front side during a massage, and "the padded O" that holds your face up is all hard. That was the softest "padded O" I have ever felt.
Adrienne: Too.. many.. jokes... Must.. mock.. Carlos..
Carlos: Are you relaxed, now?
Adrienne: I like it firm, and my masseuse wasn't afraid to get in there and work out all of my knots...
Carlos: ...Which I cause...
Adrienne: ...Yes, sir...
Carlos: ...I'll meet you on the other side of the locker rooms in...
Adrienne: ...Whenever you want. Take your time.
Carlos: I guess that massage did work!
(20 minutes later on the other side of the locker rooms)
Carlos: Well, that wraps up our spa day at The Canyon Ranch SpaClub at The Venetian.
Adrienne: You're in announcer mode, aren't you?
Carlos: Yes, indeed.
Adrienne: Listen, ladies. If you're needing to recover after a Friday night of partying in Sin City, or if you're looking to relax before a Saturday night on The Strip, Canyon Ranch Spa Club is the perfect place to accomplish either.
Carlos: And, guys... They have football and cheeseburgers.
Adrienne: Well put.