My Opinion: All Rubbed, Pampered and Porked Out

For most people, I expect the thought of several days at a luxurious spa resort conjures up images of impossibly-fit people in snazzy workout gear engaging in all manner of group activities designed to render said people even more fit. Then, I expect, most people might envision those same spa-visitors imbibing healthful smoothies and delicately nibbling on assorted incarnations of salads. The spa clientele might be imagined indulging in a nice massage here and there.

That’s how we are taught to picture it by the gorgeous brochures and online ads for spas everywhere. Pretty people, wearing — and looking good in — adorable and totally-coordinated outfits of spandex — nary a hair awry, even during the most seemingly vigorous exercise — certainly no sweat has ever been depicted trickling down a brow, from an underarm or into any cleavage. We see individuals reclining on treatment tables with flawless makeup fully intact and hair swept up and neatly contained in towel turbans.

These same effortlessly elegant individuals are then beautifully photographed as they — appear to — eat small portions of food as beautiful as they are.

Those mental images are, in fact, MOSTLY accurate. I know this because I just returned from my yearly Reward for Having Written Some Fairly Successful Books — seriously, this is the ONE perk of my job — when Lake Austin Spa has an event called “For the Love of Books” and I get to make an “author appearance” for the entertainment and edification of the lucky folks in residence at the spa that weekend. I get to BE THERE for four whole days, but I only have to “appear” for an hour on one of those days.

It is truly Heaven on Earth; if that is not their slogan, it oughta be. And, until my friend Katie and I arrive, everybody there looks pretty much like I described. The Spa folks have not asked US to pose for any promotional photos.

Katie and I put on the spa robes IMMEDIATELY upon arrival and make our way up to the Lake House Spa where we proceed to fill every minute of every day — except MEAL TIMES, naturally — with treatment after treatment after treatment. The only time we take off the robes is to get on a treatment table. The only times we are not ON a table, we are AT one, gleefully gobbling down gourmet meals that we neither had to cook nor clean up after. This is our daily routine, morning ‘til night … and then we sleep.

We proudly hold — and stoutly defend — the title of “Most Spa Treatments in the Shortest Amount of Time.” Our goal each time we visit is to be completely SICK of people fooling with us by the time we leave. We want that last massage to be almost chore-like.

We have never failed in our mission.

This trip, we added a new “most” to our already impressive spa résumés. While the meals are carefully-concocted and designed to be as healthy as possible and, at the same time, utterly delicious, the staff WILL bring you everything on the menu at every meal, if you ask for it … and, it must be told, they do have bacon on the breakfast menu. One morning, our table was served by a young man who had not been previously exposed to the extreme eating prowess that dear Katie and I have carefully honed over the years. We ordered an extremely modest — for us — repast of poached eggs and buttered toast —with a side of bacon, and he glibly asked how much bacon we wanted: two slices? six? 13? “THIRTEEN?!” we cried, breathless at the mere thought. Boy-hidee, danged if that didn’t sound just about right, now that he mentioned it. He dutifully trotted off to the kitchen with our order and presently he returned, bearing our bounty.

And so it came to pass that Katie and I now hold the All-Time Lake Austin Spa Record for THE MOST BACON Consumed at One Meal: 26 perfectly-fried pieces!

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