It's day two of the Oprah adventure from St. Louis, Missouri! Today's plan of action? Retrieve our Oprah taping tickets and then trek to the spa for some serious relaxation.
The venue for tomorrow's show is the Peabody Opera House and is conveniently located just a few blocks from our hotel, so we made it over in plenty of time for doors at 10am to pick up our tickets.
They're pretty strict about cameras being allowed in during the taping, so I'm trying to document as much of our journey as possible in the meantime. I'm a lover of the long-arm shot, and Aunt Mary doesn't see why we can't we just walk up to all the perfectly able-bodied strangers milling around and ask them to take our picture.
So we compromise pretty regularly. Above is our long-arm shot with Aunt Mary's big head in the way of the sign. (She wasn't quite getting the concept when I kept telling her to move her head over...hence her laughing...we do a lot of that too.)
And below is the picture the security guard named "Candyman" took for us right before he helped the ladies in line behind us scalp tickets from his friend "Cotton" for the NCAA basketball tournament. Yes, in case you're wondering...lots of colorful characters here in St. Louis.
As with everything else, getting tickets was easy-breezy. They let us in right at 10am and we were probably out no later than 10:10am with tickets in hand and a bathroom break under our belts.
So what's a girl to do before heading to the spa for the entire afternoon? Well, you go back to the cute little tea place of course so you can fill your tummy, sip tea, and gawk at your Oprah tickets!
Finding decent food has been a bit of a challenge, so we were happy to return to our little gem The London Tea Room before making the trek to the spa.
And when I say trek, I mean trek! The nice spas downtown near us were all booked up...probably because of other Oprah-loving women and lots of NCAA basketball fans...so the closest full-service spa we could find was at a casino about 20 miles away.
No pasa nada! We just hopped the Metro Link to the end of the line at the airport and then took a cab the rest of the way. It was really quite simple, and in no time we were robed and ready for action!
We literally spent the entire afternoon getting pampered...body scrubs, facials and pedicures with a quick stop at the slots in the casino for good measure. It was divine!
Everything has been truly fabulous. Aside from the lack of healthy dining options and a few strange interactions with the people serving us at various restaurants and our hotel, we really don't have any complaints. All the oddities have provided for lots of laughter, so it's really hard to get too bent out of shape.
Among the highlights though have been getting asked to move tables once we already had our food because that table was "reserved" for people who mysteriously never showed up. Our waitress directed us to a tiny pint-sized table in the corner with only one chair. We obliged and Aunt Mary stood for at least 5 minutes thinking the waitress would surely be getting her a chair before she gave in and begged another patron for an extra chair from her table. In the battle of chair face-off, the waitress won.
Another priceless moment was checking into our hotel. When Aunt Mary asked at the front desk if they had a bell hop to please help her pregnant niece get her bag up the stairs out front, they directed her to tell me to drag my bag AROUND THE BUILDING to the back entrance which was at lobby level. Her face must have said it all because the General Manager was outside shortly heaving my bag up the stairs and mumbling.
And then there was tonight...because of ravenous hunger and a sheer lack of options I had the pleasure of eating at a chain restaurant I had stubbornly sworn off years ago. I was reminded why I had sworn off said restaurant when I had a 3 minute "who's on first" conversation with our waiter regarding the greens in my salad. It went something like this.
Me: I'll have a side of the seasonal veggies, an order of smashed potatoes, and a side house salad with mixed greens instead of iceberg.
Waiter: So you want romaine?
Me: No, I noticed that you have an entree salad made with mixed field greens. I'd like a side salad made with those with balsamic dressing.
Waiter: Oh, okay so you want romaine.
Me: No, I'd like the mixed field greens mentioned in the menu.
Waiter: Okay, so you want a Caesar salad with balsamic dressing instead?
Me: I don't think we're speaking the same language. I would like Mixed. Field. Greens. They are different from romaine.
Waiter (flustered): Okay... (scribbling something but obviously not okay)
He turns to Aunt Mary...
Mary: I'll have the veggie burger but with smashed potatoes instead of the house salad.
Waiter: We're out of smashed potatoes.
Me: But I just ordered those.
Waiter: I'm really sorry. I'm really busy.
Me: Ummm, okay. Why don't you just bring us some Southwest Spring Rolls to start with and come back to take our order when you're not so busy?
Spoiler alert - I ended up with potato skins and no salad. Mary ended up with french fries. They apparently had mounds and mounds of potatoes in the back for potato skins and french fries but smashing those suckers with some garlic was out of the question.
And last but not least was the hilarious phone conversation I had with the spa yesterday when trying to book our appointments. I felt like I was literally begging them to take our money.
We wanted to book this indulgence package with massage, scrub and pedicure, but I was told they couldn't accommodate us. But when I had first asked if they had openings in the afternoon for services they had said yes. We kind of went round and round with lots of putting me on hold and accidental hang ups. I went item by item on the menu of services but every time I tried to book something "there wasn't enough time" or I was too pregnant for that service. I finally said "maybe you can help me brainstorm here. We'd like to come into your spa and spend money on services that are available. Which would those be?"
Hence body scrub...facial...pedicure. Done, done, and done.
And yes, we've still managed to keep our zen and our sense of humor.