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21 Days – Charles Motel & Spa, Soak #2

Charles Motel & Spa
Posted on April 16, 2013 in
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Day 2 and there’s been a lot of bad (world & national) news this week, particularly the Boston Marathon bombing incident on 4/15, and I’m feeling perturbed.

I decide on a private bath at the Charles Motel & Spa, because it’s familiar and no-fuss. Charles Motel & SpaI’ve never had to wait for a bath there—easy in, easy out.

The Charles was built in the 1930s and while it has been updated, the pink-tiled baths retain their historic feel. There’s a soaker on the roof that accommodates one to six people, but in the bathing area proper, back of the lobby, it’s gender-specific: ladies on one side,  gentlemen on the other. The ladies’ baths are separated by dividers, with curtains pulled closed for privacy. From my experience, fellow soakers generally respect the quiet atmosphere at the Charles. I like the old-fashioned ambiance, the lack of pretense, the simplicity of it.

For those wanting to stay the night, there are apartment-style rooms, most with kitchenettes, priced for short and long-term stays. (more info on the lodging at the Charles)

I take a ridiculously long time choosing a bath (silly because they’re so much the same; a difficult decision anyway!), turn on the gush of water (this powerful stream tends to imply a limitless supply), get in, and make an effort to tune in. I’m warm. I breathe. Innn with the good. Ouuuut with the bad.

It’s just so nice, being submerged in hot liquid, gazing up at the soft light coming from the window overhead, drips loudly echoing in my confined space. I pick up a whiff of what must be the water—it’s faint, almost undetectable, but the odor makes me think of wet rocks.

A lot of mineral baths have a sulphury smell; we’re lucky, there’s none of that unpleasantness here.

But hmmm, my nose might be confusing wet rocks with minerals. Or maybe water that comes from underground really does smell like wet rocks. Whatever, I feel like I’m smelling something ancient and somehow protective and wise.

The hot soak helps me forget about world news, and uncurl. Ahhhh.

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