A Day (or Two) at the Spa

The only spa I'm truly familiar with is spaghetti.

However, I'm not at the spaghetti factory enjoying meatballs and garlic toast. Instead, I've just had a Brazilian (Google it). For the first time I now understand why Andy from The 40-Year-Old Virgin yelled out Kelly Clarkson's name while having his hairy chest waxed (you should Google that, too).

Sweet glorious goodness the things people do to feel good ­- and smooth.

My beautiful friend Chantel Belanger, owner of Trillium Day Spa, invited me on a full-service spa day several months ago, but it seemed perfect to schedule it on a day just before Christmas.

I head to the spa at 632 2nd Avenue (above Freshies) mid-morning and prepare for the day’s events. I'm vaguely aware of what to expect, but she says the words “full-body scrub” and that can't be a bad thing.

Chan greets me downstairs for coffees with her hugely contagious smile and then we head up for the first job of the day, an eyebrow wax and tint.

I've never had my eyebrows waxed, and the blue heat from the wax feels quite nice on my face. That is, until she rips the wax off and the teeny tiny eyebrow lashes come with it. The tint looks great, though. I plucked my eyebrows to oblivion as a teenager and they've never fully grown back. After, she tints my eyelashes; I didn't even know that was a thing.

We then prepare for the Brazilian wax.

“You need to help me write my waxing memoirs,” Chan says as she drapes wax over – quite literally – everything. She tries to distract me with conversation but it's not enough to help me forget the tearing of each strip. I find myself channelling my deep yoga breath to get through the hour.

After we're done, I tell her I need a cold compress and a stiff drink.

“You should have had the drink before,” she says. Indeed.

Now clothed, we head to the other room where Chan proceeds to give me a pedicure, a pleasant change from the very recent wax trauma. I select a couple different shades of red from her plethora of polishes and sit back as she (the brave soul) tackles my toes using a coconut oil and sugar scrub.

“I'm sorry I didn't take off my old nail polish,” I say.

“Ninety per cent of spa clients say I didn't take off my polish, I didn't shave my legs, or they apologize for having funny baby toes,” she replies. “It's totally fine.”

Chan tells me she moved to Fernie from Comox in 2007, after spending several years working at spas in other parts of BC. She also lived in Europe for two years. When she came back to Canada she realized she had grown and needed a change. She moved to Fernie and worked as a lifty at Fernie Alpine Resort, but never imagined opening her own spa. And then things fell into place.

This past August Chantel celebrated her sixth year of Trillium Day Spa.

She gives me a manicure, filing and shaping before she paints my fingernails a dark ruby red. The time has flown by and it's after 5 pm. We decide to postpone the facial and body scrub until Tuesday and agree to meet for dinner at Yamagoya.

Like so many relationships in Fernie, Chantel and I have always intended to hang out. We know we like each other, but time gets away from almost everyone and before you know it you've been making plans for two years and never actually followed through. I'm happy this spa day has vetoed that pattern.

We have an incredible meal before heading out for drinks. My spa day has produced new self-confidence and I put on a dark shade of lipstick (gasp!). Sassy Spa Jesse is not single, and not mingling, but still.

We recover from Saturday's events and meet back at the spa on Tuesday night for a full-body scrub and facial. I'm covered in oil and nearly fall asleep on the table. The only thing missing is a strong physique of a man feeding me grapes and another one fanning a big green leaf my way.

Chan asks how my three days post-Brazilian is holding up, and I tell her it's quite nice.

As it turns out, spas might even be better than spaghetti (maybe).

Additional spas in Fernie include 901 Fernie, Amore’s Esthetics, Enchanted Esthetics, Island Lake Spa, King Fir Spa, Lizard Creek Spa, and the Three Sisters Day Spa. Treat yourself this 2017!