Virginia is for (spa) lovers

I’m lucky to have dear friends I’ve known since childhood. And I’m really lucky, and happy and relaxed, when I get to leave the kids behind and take a few nights off with these long time besties. You read it right people. It’s a spa weekend getaway. And we deserve it.

For one glorious weekend, we were champions. Some people run marathons or compete in olympic sports. We entered our spa experience with the same professionalism, athleticism, and relaxicism as a real spa athlete. We lounged in robes, soaked, steamed, sipped champagne, laughed and, oh by the way, I had THE BEST MASSAGE OF MY LIFE. This masseuse cared about me and my body and he made sure I knew it. I will miss this petite but loving hispanic man forever. It was my first hot stone massage and it was unreal. I vow from this day forth I will hot stone or nothing. Why would you just get massaged with someones bare hands when they can use a hot delicious rock? Never again. You could even use a pebble. It would still be better.

More about the spa. The ladies lounge, picture this scene: Cucumber melon raspberry, organic, gluten free namaste-infused water, snacks, wine, and giddy happy women ready to receive pampering affections. As each woman was called one by one for whatever service they were getting, the rest actually cheered in delight, “Go Sonia, Go Sonia!” as the lucky woman jumped up, tightened her robe, and was whisked away into a yet-to-be discovered land of relaxing happiness. Spa face on. Ready. For pampering.

We also lounged in the hot tub with a naked “free spirit” named Amy with whom we shared some laughs, talked about life and love, PR strategy, and wine. Let’s discuss the wine. The first glass of wine was free. The 2nd was not – but you can also ask people who maybe, possibly, had forgotten about the free wine, or for some unknown silly reason didn’t want their wine if they would, you know, give you their wine. This is not against spa etiquette that I saw posted or that was described to me. I saw no asterisk on the spa brochure. Just don’t let the spa attendants see you trying to aggressively shake someone down for their wine. Anyway.

Pro tip: Plan your moms spa getaway in advance. This is really not a professional tip – I just said that shit for fun. Be persistent. Get that shit on the calendar. You must fight for your spa weekend until your last dying breath! Okay, I need to calm down. Once you get a date you can figure out where.

Where we goin’? Like many weekend getaways, we were looking for 2-3 nights and drivable from Philly. My one bestie is nursing a babe and they live in Alexandria, VA so she wanted to stay closer to home. We looked at a few places including: Salamander Resort and Spa, Lansdowne Resort and Spa, and Poplar Springs.

Lansdowne Resort and Spa won the spa showdown during our research. This spa was legit. Steam room, sauna, ladies lounge, hot tub, etc. This was one of the best spas I’ve ever experienced. Rooms were nice too! We also saw a beautiful tall man in the elevator. Also Salamander was around $600 a night and Poplar Springs was 5-6 hour drive. I think we made the right choice.

Lansdowne (in Leesburg, VA which was an hour from Alexandria) was in an industrial office type development, but once you were there the property was huge and gorgeous. We looked outside once or twice. Otherwise, we were in the spa.

Close by the resort in Leesburg is a main street with shops/restaurants and a little bit of a scene happening. Pretty hip place actually for a town called Leesburg, VA. We ate at King Street Oyster Bar and it was fab. Great food. Good service. Got the feeling there were no grown ups in charge there though. Bathrooms kind messy. Hostess might have been in middle school. Still the hippest joint on the street. Learned about oysters. Ate oysters. Win win. Also close by was outlet shopping. Complete with sneakers – which are had to explain to my friends – are cool if they are high tops and when styled properly.

Afterward dinner we Ubered to a little place called Spanky Shenanigans, which as you may imagine, is a hometown kind of pub in a strip mall that provided free rides home. Probably not family friendly. Our Uber driver told us lots (he was also a widower but dating and I am so happy for him) of peeps get it on on the back porch.

I don’t know about you, but since becoming a mom, going to the bars is not really “my thing” these days. Going to the bar at 10pm on a weekend with friends to have drinks and just hang out feels so foreign and yet so desperately needed and fun. I felt like a dazed sleepy stumbling grizzly bear waking up after hibernation. Once I felt the warm sun, stretched, and had an enormous shot of tequila, I felt right at home. Oh, there was a group from a wedding there and we giggled as one wedding guest struggled to stand up and talk to us. Every few minutes he picked his head up and mumbled something. Anyway, they had live music, cheap drinks, and good times. Apparently you can still smoke in bars in Virginia? If you’re into that.

Next time you need a ladies spa getaway, peep the Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. It’s the real deal. Tell ’em Large Marge sent ya.

Kimberly Neff

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