Mom and I had the most wonderful day!  We spent the entire day at the Spa at the Hershey Hotel.

We hadn’t initially planned to visit Pennsylvania, but Michigan was colder than we were enjoying and a lot of places had already started to close.  So we breezed through Michigan and curved around through Pennsylvania.  As soon as Brian mentioned Pennsylvania I screamed ‘Hershey!!!’  Which totally freaked mom and the cats out, but mom understood the yelling when I showed her the website for the Spa at the Hershey Hotel.

I lucked out and was able to get appointments for us later the same week. Chocolate Dipped Coconut Immersion. Doesn’t that just sound like heaven?!

The perfect summer Chocolate Spa experience combines the sweet tropical aroma and super-hydrating properties of our exfoliating Coconut Sugar Scrub with the moisturizing and skin soothing benefits of our rich Chocolate Fondue Wrap. It’s a delicious head-to-toe treat for your skin!

Chocolate Fondue Wrap – Our exclusive formula of warmed moor mud and essence of cocoa revitalizes and nourishes the skin as it relaxes the body. A luxurious body brushing is followed by the fondue application. The body is then wrapped in a soft warm blanket to enhance the total effect. A Vichy Shower rinse culminates the effect.

Coconut Sugar Scrub – This sweet scrub will leave your skin silky soft and best of all … chocolately smooth!

We arrived way early, but we roamed around and looked at the gift shops in the hotel and then checked in for our appointments. They’d said we could come as early as we wanted and hang out in the relaxation rooms.

We checked in and were assigned a hostess who showed us around the Spa, locker/dressing rooms, steam room and the relaxation rooms. This place is fabulous! 

Our hostess gave us robes and slippers and then showed us how to work the electronic locks on the lockers.

Normally for a massage they suggest that you undress to your level of comfort…. usually recommending you strip down to panties. Since we were getting a coconut scrub our hostess said we’d probably want to strip completely since anything left on would get soaked during the Vichy Shower. Glad those robes were thick and snugly!

After undressing and storing our stuff in the lockers we wandered through the three Relaxation Rooms before settling in the Quiet Room. The other two rooms were smaller and you weren’t supposed to talk. Yeah… like Mom and I were gonna be quiet?!

The room was beautiful. Rich, dark wood panels on the walls, coffered ceiling and a gorgeous fireplace dominating the far wall. Mom and I settled into the cozy leather chairs with a cup of hot chocolate (not hot cocoa… hot chocolate.  Liquid chocolate. In a cup. Hot.) Bowls of purple and silver Hershey’s Kisses sat on tables around the room. Heaven.

Before long our therapist came and softly called our names. Mom’s appointment was a half hour before mine so I played around trying to take the perfect picture of the Hershey’s Kisses and then hunted for a place to go to dinner after our appointments. 

My therapist was super sweet. We chatted about Jacksonville… she’d attended a Russian Bible School in the area. Her parents immigrated from Russia before she was born and we talked about the current political BS over immigration. Honestly, what would America be like without all of the immigrants?  I’m sure the Native American would sure appreciate it, but most of the rest of us would need to get the hell out. I’m third generation American…. I’ve got a bit of Native American so maybe they’d let me stay…. but would I really want to?  Isn’t the diversity what makes America interesting?  I mean… just think of the foods that we’d be missing!! And the accents and languages that have blended together. I know I’ve wondered off onto what might be called a political track… but not really… hate and exclusionary ideology does effect us everyday and everywhere. I like my blended country. I like that an Irish/German/Native American girl and a Russian girl can meet at a day spa and be friends. Why would we ever want that possibility to go away?

Back to the spa:

So I enter the spa room… and immediately think ‘Shit! I’ve unwittingly committed myself to a sanitarium.’

The walls were covered, floor to ceiling, with white ceramic tile. The white tiled floor sloped gently toward the drain middle of the room. A table stood in the middle of the room covered in sheets of plastic. Over the table, jutting out from the wall on a long silver arm, hung seven shower heads.

Dear gods, I’m in the hydrotherapy chamber.

My therapist explained the treatment… which still sounded vaguely like a treatment in an asylum… but with chocolate. Oh well…. I was already here… and there was chocolate.  If I’d managed to accidentally commit myself at least I’d done it at Hershey’s.

Remember where I told you that we’d been told that we should probably leave all of our clothes behind?  Yeah… now I was told to lie face up on the table (that was covered in sheets of plastic) and cover myself with two (ridiculously small) towels. Ooookay.

What the hell, right?  It’s a spa… you’re supposed to be body positive… or at least act like you are. This was still way better than the time that I was at a Hot Spring Bath House and the attendant took my towel. Took it!   So fine, here I at least had two towels.

The therapist left while I climbed up on the table and fussed with the towels and tried not to stick to the plastic wrap covering the table.

The treatment started with a coconut sugar body scrub. OMG. Heaven. The scrub felt and smelled delicious and left behind a light oil that soaked into the skin. After the scrub was scrubbed on it was rinsed off with warm water. Then I was instructed to sit up again (I’d already sat up once so that she could scrub my back… I didn’t know there was going to be sit-ups!  I could have eaten more chocolate Kisses!) and she dried off my back and wrapped a few towels around me… then executed this impressive maneuver where the plastic wrap was folded/rolled and swooshed out from under me without getting a drop of water on the other sheet of plastic wrap below.

I settled back into the table and she magically switched out the big drying towels for two new tiny modesty towels…. then came the Chocolate Fondue Wrap. My skin was coated with a rich, delicious smelling chocolate mud. I really wanted to lick my arm, but I was hoping that this was just a ‘trial commitment’ and I’d get to leave later… Once I was completely slathered down with the chocolate mud I was wrapped up in the plastic wrap. Which was a tiny bit freaky, but mostly because I watch a lot of Law & Order and Investigation Discovery…. I tried to convince myself that I was in a cocoon, but mostly I thought I looked a lot more like someone on the ID channel and I wondered which show I might end up on when I went missing. I’m hoping for Homicide Hunter… Lt Joe Kenda is pretty cool…. I bet he could find me! (Of course… I’d be dead… but anyway….) So you see now why it’s so dangerous when my mind starts to wander?  I’ve gone from a lovely spa treatment to an insane asylum to a starring role on Homicide Hunter. I’m dangerous if left alone in my own head. Which is just where I was left (imagining the interviews friends and family would do after I went missing from the Hershey Spa/Sanitarium… ) after I was covered with two more big fluffy towels, a tarp (I swear to god, a blue tarp!) and a heavy blanket. The therapist dimmed the lights and told me that she’d let me nap for a while and then left the room. Of course my nose chose that moment to begin itching.

Either I was left alone for a very short time or I did end up takeing a bit of a nap.

I was uncovered, unwrapped and then it was time for the Vichy Shower… which is apparently what that silver arm with the seven shower heads hanging from the wall was called. It still looked a bit like a water torture device, but once the gentle blast of warm water hit me I was ready to forgive its evil looks.

Once all the chocolate mud was rinsed away the therapist preformed her magic trick (which required a fourth sit-up) and the wet plastic wrap was whisked away and replaced with warm, dry blankets. The shower was followed by a light massage with chocolate scented lotion. (I really wanted to lick my arm.) I dozed and melted into the table while the therapist rinsed the chocolate mud down the drain in the floor and then dried a path for me. I was left alone to ooze from the table and drunkenly find my robe and slippers. Out in the hall my therapist handed me the fancy scrubby brush that came with the package and a bag of purple and silver chocolate Kisses. (Apparently a reward for all those sit-ups!)

I found Mom reading a magazine in the Quiet Room and together we made our way to the dressing room and finally back out into the rainy Pennsylvania night.

We were both starved and not quite willing to have our day of decadence end just yet. I found a restaurant nearby with stellar reviews on the Find Me Gluten Free app so we decide to give it a try.

Piazza Sorrento was absolutely fabulous!  I asked for a gluten-free menu when we were seated and as soon a our waitress arrived she said ‘I see you have the GF menus, are there any other allergies or dietary concerns that I should be aware of?’ Wow!  Usually you have to point that out 15 times… she asked us!  (I heard her asking the other tables throughout the night if there were any dietary concerns… and I heard at least two other tables had GF people too.)

The food was insanely good. Mom and I decided to split everything because I was already drooling over appetizers and desserts… and they brought us GF bread to dip in the olive oil and crushed pepper. 

We shared an order of Hot Crab Dip with GF bread…. Lasagna and Chocolate Lava Cake with ice cream. Each plate came with a little slip of paper that said ‘gluten free choice.’  Just one more touch to make us GF people feel safe.

I’m so glad that I got to share such a fun and decadent day with my mom. She has always done so much for me.  I love being able to take her to new places and spoil her back.

If you’re ever in Pennsylvania… scratch that…. Go to Pennsylvania and stay at the Hershey Hotel (the hotel was beautiful too) and spend a whole day at the spa. Also, you should definitely visit Piazza Sorrento… and go hungry!

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