Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sick day (or, how I almost went to a gay bathhouse)

So, I wake up one morning this week, all scratchy-throated, sniffly and sinusey. What with all this rain, you would not think it possible for me to be as dried out as I felt. My skin was chapped, and it felt like the Mojave in my sinus cavity. Natch, I took the day off work and went on a quest for a sauna in Sacramento.

Last year the hubs and I went to the greatest spa in Santa Cruz. It had whirlpools, steam rooms, spa services, a sauna and was the most Zen-like, peaceful place to while away an afternoon. I emerged refreshed and way healthier than when I arrived. In other words, exactly what I needed the other day, only I needed it to be located at, say, F65 (such an odd place in Sac that I have to say I’m strangely drawn to it, and wouldn’t it be perfect for a modernist, hip spa-type-dealy?).

I also recall hearing about a Japanese spa in San Francisco that would have been the perfect cure for my malaise. But again, I just needed it to be here, in our fair Sactown.

The only way I know of to get information such as “where in Sacramento has a spa with a sauna?” is to check online, and not much came up, except a place out toward Rancho Cordova (I’m specifically not mentioning the location or the name, you’ll see why).

So I drive out there, walk in and politely inquire about their services. I am equally politely informed that the facility only welcomes men. I ask if he means like, on certain days? Then other days its women? Like at the Kabuki place in SF? Uh, no. Men all the time.

I’m bummed. There were no other places listed in Sacramento (besides gyms). So I do the only logical thing. I go have lunch at the Limelight. Why there? I don’t know. They do have good food, and if I can’t sweat out my ick, then maybe gorging on delicious food will help (didn’t). So in my (delightful) chat with the friendly barkeep, I mention my day’s failed quest and after he stops laughing he informs me that I’ve visited my first gay bathhouse. Nice. And other friends have confirmed it is true. I should have known — Rancho Cordova being the home of much of Sacramento’s seedy underbelly (i.e. Centerfolds, etc.). I know, there’s good stuff too (Sky High Sports, Rascals, and the air shows at Mather, but I’m making a point here).

Now, while I’m happy for the gays of Sacramento that they have such a resource at their disposal here in our little cowtown, I want to know: where can I spend an afternoon at a spa/sauna and perhaps get a massage, without joining 24 Hour Fitness or California Family Fitness (or turning into a gay male)?

Rumor has it that I can drop in to Alhambra Athletic Club and use theirs, but will it be all gym-ish and smell of sweat and socks instead of massage oil and incense?

I’m banking on someone out there knowing how to solve this important question.

(originally posted on Sactoblog)

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