Head massage

Forget about the poolboy and the cocktails. I’ve discovered the true secret of vacation relaxation and it has nothing to do with alcohol and tight buns. It’s all about the backrub.

I’ve never been a terribly touchy feelie type. I like massages but don’t regularly seek this service out.  As a result, the lovely massage gift certificates I’ve received at baby showers and birthday celebrations have sat in drawers for a good year or two before being redeemed, at the last minute, in a fit of stress about them expiring.

Think I enjoyed those massages much? Yeah. Not really. I found myself worrying through the entire massage about the work I should have been doing, if only my gift certificate was not about to expire and I was not about to waste a perfectly good, well intentioned, and potentially expensive gift.


Recently however, I was talked into getting a massage while on vacation. I was away from home, miles from work, the kids were accounted for and my only responsibility at that very moment? Relax. Which is harder than it sounds. Just thinking about how to get my vacation on is enough to  stress me out. Sort of like how thinking about sleep is enough to make me lay awake for hours.

But I was game. I was on Catalina Island where I was promised that in Deanna Stone’s expert hands, I would leave my cares behind. I went along with this plan, because honestly, what else did I have to do? I was on vacation! I’d already nixed the Buffalo Milk cocktail as providing anything more than a fleeting buzz and the only poolboy in sight was my husband. “Go get your massage already,” he urged.

An hour later I was completely chill. Not an ache in my body and not a care in the world. My kids pinched me. “Mommy? Are you ok?” they asked. “You’re so… relaxed or something”

It lasted almost all through the rest of my vacation. Only running for the boat, back to the mainland brought back some of the stress. Back home again I’ve made a resolution. First activity on all vacations from here on out? The vacation massage. And if I go back to Catalina, it will be straight back to Deanna Stone’s studio for me! Heading off for a relaxing trip yourself? Make a little time for a massage. Preferably at the beginning of the trip. You’ll be glad you did.