Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Can't Spell Manicure Without MAN!

On Sunday, Traci and I had appointments for manicures and pedicures at a place in San Bruno, which is where the San Francisco Airport is located.  The day spa was called Bellezza and their Groupon offer was for a mani/pedi for $35.  Traci and I got in the car and headed out on the day's journey.  I am constantly amazed by the beautiful vistas we encounter just driving to an appointment.  The hills are beautiful whether driving right through them as we did for Saturday's Barnes & Noble run, or beside them as we did on the way to San Bruno. 

When we got to Bellezza, it was kind of underwhelming since it sits in a strip mall, an old strip mall at that.  Inside they had done what they could to make it warm and welcoming with the space they had.  There were two techs working on two other customers' feet when we arrived.  One of them stopped to greet us and confirm our appointments.  We sat down in two big, comfy massage chairs and put our feet into the waiting pans of warm water with some blue solution in it (probably to soften our calluses).  The water pans were sitting atop a massage plate so we got vibration in addition to soothing warm water.  We were given some water to drink while we waited, and Traci lamented aloud the dearth of "trashy magazines".  In fact, there were no magazines to be had in the whole place, trashy or otherwise.  The tech started on my feet first (poor woman) and cleaned up my cuticles, cut my toenails, and cleaned up my slightly ignored feet.  Then she scrubbed the calluses on my heels with a pumice stone, and I had to fight the ticklishness until she finished.  You'll be happy to know I did not pee.  Then she put some sugar scrub stuff on my feet and massaged up to my calves, rinsed them off, and put some sort of minty mud all over my feet and calves.  That was all very nice, but the next bit was the best.  After rinsing off the mud, she disappears and returns with some plastic bags of purple tinted stuff.  She was blowing into it and swirling the contents around like fine cognac before finally instructing me to lift my foot so she can put it in the bag.  She repeated the process for the other foot and squished around the goo (which I now know is paraffin wax) to cover each foot in slippery warmth.  As I sat there luxuriating, she went to work on my hands.  I should mention that Traci was getting the same treatment only slightly later than I because she was getting nail polish so they were getting my stuff out of the way so they could properly attend to her.  So they soak my hands, one at a time, cut, clear away cuticles, etc.  Basically everything they did to my feet was done to my hands, including that awesome paraffin wax treatment.  At the end, they use those plastic bags to slide all the wax off my extremities.  It was great, and a very relaxing way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. 

While we were there, the owner came out having finished a massage or something for a woman in the back room and started talking to us.  She commented on how nice it was that I would have thought to set this up for Traci and me; I had spoken to her personally when I called to make the appointments.  She went on to say that she just wants her husband to tell her he loves her and maybe kiss or hug her hello when she comes home from work.  It made me sad.  I don't understand how we still have this macho stigma that says men can't show affection, can't cry, can't get mani/pedis (ok, I'll admit that last one is a little self-serving) etc.  So on the way out, I went up to the owner and gave her a big, genuine hug.  I hope she tells her husband about it and enhances her description of me to resemble the muscle bound brother of Fabio.  I further hope that this makes him jealous and that he sees the error of his ways and starts a-huggin' and a-kissin'.

Upon leaving the spa, we had a hankerin' for a nice coffee and dessert so I looked up places nearby.  There was a little donut shop called Rolling Pin Donuts that had overwhelmingly positive reviews on Yelp so we set our sights on them.  By the time we decided on that donut place, we had passed it by, but Traci made the decision to turn around and head back.  I am SO glad she did.  The place looks like a cuckoo clock from the outside and resides in an even less kept up strip mall than the one housing the spa.  Inside the small shop was a bank of coffee dispensers and a large glass case packed with the most delicious looking baked goods ever.  On the top shelf were some lovely little donut hole looking things of abnormal shape.  Some were covered with either chocolate, maple, or white frosting and all were filled with custard.

It's hard to tell from the picture, but that is about two bites worth of maple-covered, custard-filled deliciousness (or one in Conery-bites).  We sampled the maple, chocolate, and white frosting covered ones.  The white frosting ones were a bit too sweet and the frosting added nothing; the chocolate was excellent; but the maple was amazing.  We agreed that it was the best of those custard bites (my name for them -TRADEMARK!).  Since we had some major couch time coming our way later that day, we also got a couple of items for later.  Namely an apple fritter. and on a whim - an old fashioned donut.

Later on at home, we got comfy, and cuddled up on the couch to watch the Blu Ray Watchmen Ultimate Edition (the one that incorporates the side comic story The Black Freighter).  While enjoying the LONG ASS movie, we broke out the remaining donuts.  As you might imagine, they were both fantastic but the surprise winner was the old fashioned.  If you're not familiar with the old fashioned, it looks like this:

It's more like a cake donut than a fried, puffy, Krispy Kreme style donut.  It usually has a bit of glaze but not always, and is even sometimes chocolate-covered.  Ours was like the one pictured - slightly glazed.  It was so perfectly created; it's amazing.  Breaking off a piece from the outside edge was like trying to break a piece of plastic, and I know how unappetizing that sounds, but bear with me.  You know when you're trying to break off a tab from something, or the thin piece of a pen cap where you have to bend it back and forth several times in order to stress it to the point that it will actually break?  Well that's what this was like, only delicious.  As I started trying to break off a piece, I had the thought that we'd gotten a stale donut but one bite assuaged that fear.  It was just super dense and when I bit into it it was perfectly cooked, slightly crunchy, just sweet enough and it ended in a wonderfully feathery, crumbly texture.  The apple fritter was well done, but those are easier to find; I've never eaten an old fashioned of this caliber.

So although San Bruno is about 45 minutes from us and we would not normally choose that as the place for a mani/pedi with any regularity, we might actually have to make this a monthly tradition.  The mani/pedi was ok, but the donuts were worth the drive!

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