Despite our fellow row mate being super hot, Gins and I mostly ignored him and chatted our heads off on the flight - sharing recent adventures, updating on mutual friends and family and tackling Big Life Questions while munching on snack size peanuts. (I took a photo of her at LAX but alas, it was not approved for publication.)
WitzEnd in Venice, where we scarf down an embarrassing amount of food (hey, it was free with the Groupon) and enjoy three awesome musical acts - The Novelists, Bo The Girl and Tyler Conti - a man with a voice, a guitar and enough sex appeal to kill an elephant. (His mom was there too, so we thanked her for his existence.)
Susie had to get up early the next morning, so we left early-ish, and headed back to her place. There were more indulgences, conversation and laughter. Then, Lisa takes me to a 24-hour spa in Koreatown because...hey, it's a Groupon! Called WiSpa, as described by Racked LA, "Wi Spa is not for novices. It's for die-hard spa-goers that know their way around a traditional Korean bathhouse and aren't afraid of a little nudity. Okay, a lot of nudity."
As far as I was concerned, there wasn't enough nudity but then again, I was born with a lack of modesty. In fact, I sometimes forget that nudity is still not accepted as normal behavior; it's the same as me constantly forgetting that pot it still illegal. (Ridiculous.)
|Wiltern Theater, one my favorite old haunts.|
Walking out to the general area with heated floor tiles, we see men, women and children relaxing all over the place in that beautiful unselfconscious way that only non-Midwesterners can. WiSpa has a series of special sauna rooms and the first we tried was the Salt Sauna Room, which is filled entirely with smooth, hot salt chunks, although I thought it was Rose Quartz. It is incredibly beautiful, like a wee pink church where everyone lays down to pray.
|"The respiratory system is purified, circulation improves, the immune system is strengthened, and muscles are relaxed. In addition, halotherapy (salt therapy) is healing for skin conditions."|
|This photo doesn't do the beauty of these rocks justice. I could have stared at them for hours.|
|Holy shit, this place was hot.|
|"This natural mud stimulates the lymphatic system and assists in the heavy metal detoxification process."|
After all this, I need an antidote to all that heat, which is why they have the Ice Sauna:
Ultimately, we left the spa around 1:30 a.m., more cleansed, detoxed and purified than I've ever been. We get in to the organized madness of Lisa's car and she puts on the very slow, very live version of 'Hotel California' as we head through downtown LA and off toward Long Beach.
Listening to this classic Golden State anthem, I count the palm trees, note the many helicopters and screaming cop cars and ponder the personal bonds of my home state. Mr. Henley is correct - I can never really leave, no matter where I go.
And again, I feel held.