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Well Within Spa, Part 1

Posted on March 17, 2023 at 22:29:43

Posts: 7323
Location: Bay Area
Joined: December 11, 2000
During our sophomore year (1990-91) at UC Santa Cruz, my friend Andrea (the petite curly blonde) and I lived in adjacent dorm rooms. She shared a triple room with Haley and Lumberjack Girl. The latter two each had a steady boyfriend. So, on Friday and Saturday nights, Andrea often got sexiled. She would spend many of those nights in my room.

I'm not sure if Santa Cruz's Well Within Spa had to shut down, following the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. But in April 1991, Andrea once again had to crash in my room. Her period was coming to an end, and she suggested that the next weekend, we check out Well Within Spa. So she called, and we learned that (a) rates at night and weekends were slightly higher, (b) at all times, it was a buck off, for students, and (c) all rooms were private. Some things haven't changed; you still need to place a phone call, in order to make reservations. They do not have online reservations.

Well Within Spa provides, for each customer, a cup of tea and a towel. They do have on-wall dispensers for liquid body wash, shampoo, and conditioner.

Not that we knew anything about the venue, but Andrea reserved the indoor hot tub room with sauna. I would subsequently get this room many times. We advise against wearing a bathing suit. One, that feels nasty. Two, bathing suits often do not hold up to the hot water and dry heat.

All my friends have loved, loved, loved this room, with sliding doors, which lead to a small garden and stream. You can close these doors. Or, you can slide them around, to leave openings. We've been here on hot, balmy, and cold days/nights. We've been here on sunny, cloudy, rainy, windy, and foggy days/nights. There's something about letting fresh air in.

While still a student, I'd come to this room with April & Sabrina; my housemate Doug; Quyen; Kim & Pauline; my roommate Will; and Sachiko. You learned that some people can stay in one place for seemingly the entire duration. Pauline, for example, would find a comfy spot, close her eyes, and just sit there the whole time. If it did get too hot, she'd place her towel on the wooden planks, lie on her back, and dangle her feet and calves into the water.

Others can only tolerate brief moments. Kim, for example, would constantly change seating position. She loved to kneel in front of the (open) window, and breathe in the air. Then she'd "wade and float" in the middle. Then she'd sit on the steps, with her body out of the water. Then she'd sink in, and skedaddle to the wall. Then she'd tell Pauline to move it, so that she could lie on the wooden planks.

The indoor hot tub is relatively large. With the jets turned on, Kim, Pauline, and I had so much fun, circling, frolicking, and sloshing around.

This room with the indoor hot tub also had a small sauna. The first time I walked in, my glasses fogged up, and I couldn't see! Oh man, when Andrea closed the door, we sweat from head to toe, on places we didn't know could produce sweat! Since this could get too hot, Andrea kept the sauna door slightly ajar. Nice!

See the shower? Well Within Spa provides a bucket and ladle. Turn on the shower, and fill the bucket with water. Then bring the bucket of water into the sauna, and use the ladle, to pour water over the heating element. Andrea and I learned the hard way, not to have your head/face over the heating element, as you pour water over it. The steam will scald you!

Pauline loved, loved, loved the steam sauna. This is how she liked to end the session. She would have one person constantly make steam, while the other person scrubbed/washed her with the liquid shampoo and soap. Then Pauline would walk out (thus cool down), and rinse off in the shower.

That first time Andrea and I went to Well Within Spa, we learned the hard way, that a standard 50-minute session is not enough time, to enjoy both hot tub and sauna. 10 minutes before your session is up, a dull bell rings. Andrea felt like we were juuuuuust getting the hang of the place, when that bell rang. Because the shower had low water pressure, we did not feel that 10 minutes was enough time to shower, dry off, and get dressed.

So the next time, in early June 1991, Andrea booked back-to-back sessions. Yep, after that, she and I went to Recycled Stereo Plus, where I bought the Pinnacle PN-5+ minimonitors. I wish I could thank Andrea, for suggesting Well Within Spa, making the call, and being a swell companion and friend, as we (naively and blindly) went through with the experience.

If you ever have time in Santa Cruz, call ahead, and book a session or two at Well Within Spa. It is conveniently located just a block off of the Pacific Avenue Mall. There is street parking, but the rates at lots are low. Well Within Spa supposedly opened in 1985. But even back in the early-90s, when I was a college kid, Well Within Spa was "old school." As such, it isn't pretentious and as pricey as other spas.

-Lummy The Loch Monster


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RE: Well Within Spa, Part 1, posted on March 17, 2023 at 23:38:17

Posts: 22597
Location: SoCal
Joined: October 19, 2008
LAST time I had a 'Spa Day'? La Vita Hot Springs in Carbon Canyon

GONE now for probably a couple decades.

I went full-tilt. Hot soak. Steam. Massage. Towel Wrap. Took most of the day and I felt like a well cooked piece of Pasta when I emerged....and spent the next 20 minutes on the LAWN trying to recoupe for the drive home.

But these days? well as the Ski Slope and some other resort stuff.....
Too much is never enough


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