Friday, December 21, 2007

So Close....

Ah, it's almost time to hop a plane!

My day got much better at precisely 4:17pm when I shut the door to my office and walked out. I could just feel the tension roll down my back and slide off the back of my heels as I headed for the door. If I had looked behind me, I may have even seen a puddle.

If you think back, I haven't taken much time off of work since the fiasco that is my life took its turn in July. I went to Chicago for a few days (only missing two days of work) and I took a Friday and Monday off in August when I thought I was going to move. And then didn't. I think I am long overdo for an escape.

And to begin the escape, like usual, I got a manicure after work. Now my nails are a pretty, sparkly shade of red. Very festive. It gets me in the spirit.

I went to Duque Salon on old Ballard Ave. Ms. Traveler and I walked by there a few Saturdays ago and asked each other if we had been and, more importantly, how exactly do you pronouce that word? It's "doo-kay".

The manicure was cheap and the paint job is good. Except there are little bubbles now from the top coat. But for $25, I'll live. The atmosphere, however, leaves something to be desired. Maybe I'm just spoiled by Habitude, but I have yet to find a spa that makes me feel as at peace as the upstairs of Habitude. It feels like a ski lodge - deep greens and reds, lots of rich, wooden furniture, dim lights, quiet voices (my technician and I have even been shushed before) and gentle music playing in the background.

Duque feels more like a nightclub. There's thudding music playing low and since the space is big and open, it's very noisy. One particular hairstylist refused to let the hairdryer she was using drown her out so her voice carried throughout the place. The nail station is upstairs, in a very tiny loft, with windows that overlook the salon. But one of the windows is open and glassless, so you hear everything that's going on below. Not serene or tranquille at all.

When I first arrived upstairs, I was asked to pick a polish, which was quite difficult due to the lack of lighting. There was one, little lamp on the corner of the table, so every polish I was interested in, I had to remove from it's bracket, hold it under the light, study it, then grab another one to compare it to. Pain.In.The.Ass.

The technical part of the manicure was fine. The technician didn't hurt me at all when working on my cuticles, which is actually a problem with some technicians. They just jam those cuticles back with no regard to how sensitive I might be. But this woman was very gentle, frequently checking in with me to ask if I was doing okay. Point for her.

The biggest disappointment was, after the hand and arm scrub, I was asked to walk over to the sink and rinse myself off. Wha....? But I'm supposed to just sit here! You want me to walk? All the way over there? And do it myself? Hmmm. Deduct five points.

So, I think if I'm in a pinch, and just want my nails done up all pretty, I'd go there again. But to decompress and start my vacations on the right foot, I'll save my pennies and go to Habitude.

Well. Look at the time!
Rachelle will be here soon to take me to the airport, where I will sit for two hours, jotting down observations and thoughts so I can entertain you when get to my folks'. I need a laptop. You guys would get live blogging from the airport! Maybe I should have asked Santa for that instead of new pants. Crap.

Until tomorrow, au revoir.
Or, since I'm going to Texas - see y'all later!


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