Today was our second visit to Spa Castle in Queens. It was to celebrate Samuel's birthday, and Valentine's Day, and Jennifer's birthday back in December, and the sheer fact that it's the middle of f-ing winter and we need to keep our spirits up.
Five important tips for newbies:
1. You have to take off your shoes before you even get to the locker room--there's a pre-locker room just for shoes--and you don't get to put them on again until you're walking out the door. It's a Korean thing.
2. You have to wear a "uniform" over your swimsuit in the public areas. They are basically pajamas that were too baggy for Sumo wrestlers. At least they upgraded the colors from bright orange to gender-appropriate blue and pink. So instead of looking like prison inmates, we looked like game pieces from the game of Life. (Kids wear unisex Easter Bunny yellow.)
3. If you're easily freaked out by eating in an indoor food court where everyone is barefoot, or showering in a room the size of a basketball court filled with naked men, this is probably not the place for you.
4. You can charge stuff just by swiping your wristband, which seems like a great thing until the end of the day when you discover you've racked up an additional $83 in incremental charges for massage chair vouchers, corn dogs, banana smoothies, chocolate milk, bottled water, and waffle cones.
5. It's fun to sit in hot water in the middle of winter, and be with your friends, and see your family happy, damn it.