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Ten Steamy Minutes In Cancun

Submitted by on August 17, 2011 – 10:56 pmNo Comment |

A little jet lag, mounds of laundry and a few pounds heavier, I’m back from Cancun.  Hubs and I had a fantastic time, with our daily routine consisting of: breakfast, reading by the beach, lunch, reading by the pool, dinner, drinks, sleep.  It was seriously the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever been on.

Since we spent nearly the entire trip in our bathing suits, we mostly took scenic pictures (see above) ; and because we were quite lazy, there’s not too much to share with you about the vacation, save my experience at the resort spa…the resort spa steam room to be exact.


On the second day of our tropical vacation, Hubs and I elected to get massages.  Contrary to what this blog might make you think, I am not a spa frequenter.  My line of thinking is that if it’s a choice between 50 minutes of Shiatsu or Michael Kors, the stress knots will have to take up residence in my shoulders.  Thus, I am only vaguely familiar with spa etiquette and even less so with Mexican spa etiquette.  So, when Louisa, my Spanish-speaking spa hostess guided me to my locker and pointed to the slippers and robe, a wave of panic (the first in a series of many I would face in the next few minutes) set in as I debated whether I should take off my bathing suit and enjoy the spa experience in the buff or play it safe and leave it on.

Opting to abide by one of my style rules (Better to be overdressed than underdressed), I kept my bathing suit on and threw the robe on overtop.  Louisa then led me down a hallway of glass doors, stopped in front of a particularly foggy one, and gestured for me to take off my robe.

“Here it is,” I thought. “The moment of truth.  If I’m supposed to be naked, Louisa or whoever’s on the other side of that door will surely let me know.”

Louisa seemed indifferent to my swimsuit and pushed open the door to a fog filled room where a very large American woman (who, for purposes of this post I will refer to as “Lamerican”) was sprawled out on what appeared to be some sort of step–in her bathing suit!

“Spa etiquette test numero uno? A+,” I inwardly exclaimed.

Now, as previously mentioned, this was only my third or fourth time at a spa; and on none of my previous visits had I ever been in a steam room.  So, not only was a grateful that Lamerican had her bathing suit on, I was also pleased that she had answered my next spa etiquette question of where to sit in a steam room.  With Louisa still holding open the door, I took my place on the bottom step adjacent to Lamerican.

Now, as not previously mentioned, I am mildly claustrophobic. No sooner had I sat down, than panic set in as I realized that I. COULDN’T. BREATHE. The panic only heightened as Louisa closed the door saying that she’d return in DIEZ MINUTOS.


I began to fidget rapidly in between gasps for air.  And the voices in my head (they randomly show up at times like this) started to talk back and forth to one another.

“Maybe you can just get up and leave. You don’t know anyone here. No one will judge you,”  said the voice in my left ear.

“Don’t be such a pansy,” screamed the voice in my right ear.  “If you walk out, people in this spa will most certainly judge you and henceforth you will be referred to as the girl who couldn’t hack the steam room in Cancun.”

“BUT I CAN’T BREATHE!” Left ear voice protested.

Suddenly, the door opened and in walked a small Asian girl (Smasian) who gracefully hopped up on the top stair of the steam room and assumed Lotus pose.  Now, the voice in my right ear was doing the cursing.  Also at this time, Louisa motioned for Lamerican to leave the steam room.

Perhaps the entrance of Smasian/exit of Lamerican had sufficiently thinned the air in the room or perhaps I was getting used to my environment, but I felt much less panicked as Louisa closed the door for the second time.  In fact, taking a cue from Smasian, I leaned my head back and closed my eyes. And then I heard it…A loud whooshing sound that started off distant and got closer until all of a sudden the noise was overhead and the room was filling with steam thicker than it had been when I initially entered it; and even worse, some of the steam was coming from the vent directly in back of my legs.

“OH MY GOSH, THAT BURNS!” I yelled loudly as I jumped to the top stair and forgot all sense of spa etiquette.

“See, I told you that you should have left,” the voice in my left ear taunted back.

So now, I not only couldn’t breathe, but the backs of my legs were suffering from 3rd degree burns and I’d embarrassed myself in front of Smasian.  My only consolation was that the steam was now so thick that I could not see Smasian and she could not see me panicking…again.

Originally, I had planned to spend my time at the spa in prayer, thanking the Lord for my trip and asking for direction for the future for Hubs and I .  I did, in fact, pray while I was in the steam room.  My prayers went something like this: “Dear Lord, if a year is like a day to you, could you make DIEZ MINUTOS like five seconds to me?” and “Heavenly Father, if you’re punishing me for something , please make my misdeeds clear so that I can turn from them and never go through this again.”

Sometimes when we pray for something, God is silent.  This was one of those times.

Eventually, I slipped into something resembling a breathing routine (which I envision using again when I go into labor) and was able to at least slow my heart rate during my last few minutes in the steam room.  After what seemed like a small eternity, Louisa returned for both Smasian and I.  Personally, I though that since Smasian came in later than me, she should have had to stay later as well, but then I realized I could breathe again and stopped caring.  Besides, both of us were about to endure the same and only slightly less torturous fate: the ice bath.

I wish there was a moral to this story, but sadly there is not.  So, I will just hang my head in shame and leave you with the a picture of one of the other steamy moments of my time in Cancun… The day I touched a woman’s breast.

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