Greetings loyal readers of mercierbeaucoup.com! As you were promised previously by the beautiful, intelligent, highly talented scribe of this blog, here is my first guest post. I am AP, the oft-mentioned significant other of said scribe, taking his first leap into the unknown realm known as the blogosphere.
There is a lot of pressure that accompanies an inaugural blog post – should I detail my background? My darkest secret? My biggest fear? My craziest dream? My greatest ambition in life? I could, but I’m not going to…at least not yet. Instead, I’m going to tell you about last weekend, when, as part of her 30th birthday weekend extravaganza, I surprised RM with a little getaway.
After a truly delicious and festive birthday dinner at Bacaro last Friday night, RM and I woke up at 8am the next morning, a little less fresh than planned. This was likely due to the after dinner party at Painkillers, a funky little tiki bar near Chinatown (NOTE to Reader: Stay away from the Inglorious Bastard, you’ll pay for it later). After finally getting our act together, we made our way to the Alamo on 12th St. to pick up our chariot (and yes, I was duped into the upgrade – I think Alamo sales reps are ex-Lehman Brothers traders). After a nice 2.5 hour drive into Connecticut (including a necessary stop at Mickey D’s for a few Egg and Sausage McMuffins aka instant passport to childhood), we arrived at…The Spa at Norwich Inn .
Yes, I wanted to treat my lady to a nice spa getaway. Yes, I wanted it to include all the fixings – massages, champagne and cheese, nice dinner, and brunch. Yes, I did my research in advance. No, I did not expect to loose my manhood in the process.
I’m not a spa guy. I’ve had massages and yes, one-time I had a pedi (not sure who was more afraid, me or the poor girl that had to deal with the talon claws I was born with), but I really don’t know much about spa weekends. First, and I’m sure this is obvious to the majority of readers, they are primarily intended for women. Lots of women. In fact, Norwich patrons are 90% women. Fact. This was made clear by the nice old Brit who helped start a fire in our villa that night. This fact didn’t surprise me, as when we entered the lobby earlier that afternoon to check in, there were countless gaggles of women yapping it up, planning their spa activities for the weekend, and in general, shrinking my manhood with each passing second. What was priceless was the look the young male receptionist gave us when we said, “Wow, lots of women here.” It was if to say, “No shit, Sherlock, you’re at a spa. Want me to teach you how to tie your shoes, too?”
Ah yes, the staff at Norwich. Without a doubt the most bizarrely eclectic group of hospitality employees I’ve ever encountered. Honestly, each person was more special than the next, and it’s tough to choose the weekend’s MVP. Was it the two balding, overweight hairy massage therapists, aka The Bobs, that did our couple’s hot stone massage? Or the Concierge that rented us Monopoly, but not before telling us the worst Las Vagas casino story of all time (did you know playing Yatzee leads to a Royal Flush in poker?!)? Or perhaps five-month pregnant juice bar attendant who looked like she was one Raspberry-Mango smoothie away from ending it all (though, kudos to her for making one wicked peanut butter-chocolate milkshake)? It’s a tough call – jury is still out…
Now, one important thing you need to know about the Norwich Inn. If you do stay in a villa (as opposed to standard inn rooms), they cannot deliver alcohol to your room – Connecticut law. While the villas are indeed on the property, you must outsource your boozy agenda to none other than Big Harry’s Discount Liquors (no website, of course, or else I’d DEFINITELY include the link). Big Harry’s is right down the street and they’ll deliver whatever you need your villa. I had arranged for a nice bottle of champagne to be delivered to our villa while we were getting massages. To Big Harry’s credit, it was waiting for us when we got back…in a brown paper bag…with no bucket of ice…and no champagne glasses…and a “Big Harry’s Discount Liquor” business card stapled to the brown bag (which is now on our fridge at home). I tell ya, Big Harry knows how to class up a special occasion! Nonetheless, we sipped our Moet in a couple of shit-brown porcelain mugs and played Monopoly (I dominated, despite RM’s urban planning background) for a few hours before dinner.
Dinner was quite good actually. Nice wine list, decent food, and very nice server. However, please note that if you dine at Kensington’s (on site restaurant), your nice, leather-bound menu will in fact, have the calorie and fat count below each dish. Yes, readers – Norwich Inn moonlights as a Fat Camp. We didn’t really notice it until dinner, but upon reflecting further on the day’s events, we realized that all menus had fat/calorie content counts and posted event schedules had “Morning Walk” and “Aqua Aerobics” (the pool is 4 feet deep, and about 15 feet long – not sure how much aerobic activity is possible). I’m all for self-improvement, especially physically, but perhaps had I known, I may have opted for an Inn that doesn’t remind you that you’ve taken in 24,000 calories that day.
All that said, we had an absolute blast at Norwich Inn. After dinner, we went back to our villa, passed out in front of a nice fire, woke up rested and had a nice, fat-filled buffet breakfast before we got on the road back to NYC. We had countless laughs and lifelong memories were made.
And don’t worry, readers – I redeemed my manhood at the Knicks-Celtics game at MSG the next night…