I went straight back to work once @LemonLassie left LA to head home. It took a while to recover from our non-stop, jammed-packed schedule during the five days she was here. As such, it's taken me way too long to get these cards up. I do apologize. Rest assured, I have not forgotten.
Here is where our adventure begins.
I picked Lauren up at the airport on Thursday July 28, 2016 around 1pm. After stopping briefly at my apartment to drop off her luggage and grab food, we headed from Long Beach to Downtown LA. This is about 45-60 minute drive without traffic. Unfortunately rush hour here in LA starts around 3pm and we hit it. We arrived at the convention center at 5:50pm for early check in only to be turned away promptly at 6pm.
We had made appointments at a Korean Spa in Ktown for 7:30 and decided to head there early to check it out.
*The first picture is of my cat Apollo sitting next to Lauren on the couch after first meeting her. He's looking at me like "who's this strange cat you've brought home?"
The second image is of Lauren shortly after arriving at my apartment. I'm sure she will love that I'm sharing this picture with all of you.
I had done a lot of research into Korean Spas in LA in the months prior to KCON. It's something I have wanted to try for a long time and Lauren was completely on board.
I decided on Hugh Spa due to their reviews, amenities and pricing. Now it may not look like much from the outside, but it's what's on the inside that counts. Let's try not to judge this book by it's cover.
Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with Korean Spas, there is nudity. You are actually fully nude when any spa services (such as massages, scrubs, etc...) are performed. At some spas you stay in the buff when enjoying the amenities the spa has to offer as well. This is a normal thing in Korea.
A lot of Korean spas are co-ed, but the men and woman have separate areas and amenities so you are only exposed to the naked bodies of those who share your gender. At Hugh spa, the facilities are for ladies only (aside from nail services which are in a completely separate part of the building).
Lauren and I both choose the Milky Body Scrub and Massage. After paying in the reception area, we were given robes, towels, locker keys and instructions on where to go and how to prepare for our treatments.
You MUST remove your shoes before entering the dressing rooms. Fortunately, the spa is considerably nicer than any gym I have ever seen. The floors and lockers are made of wood and everything has a luxurious, clean feel to it.
We were instructed to strip down and put only the robes on, keep our keys with us at all times (they are attached to wrist bands) and head to the shower room to rinse off and then sit in the Jade Steam Sauna to open our pores. From there we would be called to the massage room when they were ready for us.
Since this was our first time at a Korean spa, Lauren and I spent way too much time exploring the facilities, taking pictures and figuring out how many towels to take into the shower room with us.
After showering briefly we took a soak in a large marble tub filled with warm water. Because we had dawdled for so long in the dressing room, we were called into the massage room before we had a chance to check out the Jade Steam Sauna. The spa Ajummas assured us it was okay and ushered us into the massage room.
The massage room is connected directly to the shower room. This whole area is very humid, moist at all times and quite warm. Due to this, the massage technicians wear black bikinis (they look like bra and panties). I can't blame them as they were melting in there. There were four massage tables with a thick, vinyl covering on them. We were instructed to lay face down.
What was to follow was the most amazing spa experience I've ever had. First, we were scrubbed down top to bottom, front to back, in every crevice of our bodies. The women wore special exfoliating gloves on their hands and coated us in a milky solution to aid in removing the dead skin cells from our bodies. It's a rougher process than may be comfortable for some. However, these ladies were very nice and would check on our comfort levels. A clean towel was draped over our faces at all times to ensure privacy.
After 30 minutes of this the years of dead skin that had built up contributing to dull complexion and rough skin patches had been scrubbed away into rolls of gray tissue left all over the table and our reddened bodies. They poured a gentle cleanser into our hands and sent us to wash our faces in the shower room. We rinsed down thoroughly in order to removed the clumps of dead skin from our newly shining skin suits before returning to the tables which had been washed clean in our absence.
Next we were treated to a 40 minute full-body massage. It was heavenly. About 20 minutes in they prepped our faces for the cucumber and collagen facial by packing a mask over our eyes and placing a gauze type of mesh wrap over our skin. Our wet hair was wrapped in a towel with a second towel rolled up around the edges of our hairlines. A cooling cream mask was applied on top of the gauze before the massage resumed. This facial pack hardened over time creating a mask-like effect that reminded me of art class in elementary school. The difference is this one was soothing, calming and restorative for my very sensitive skin. About 15 minutes later the mask was removed, our faces were rinsed and massaged and then our hair was washed and conditioned thoroughly with a mint treatment and then wrapped VERY tightly in a towel to create a top knot.
After a good rinsing we were once again in robes and ushered to the locker rooms to enjoy the amenities.
*Picture one is of the dressing rooms.
Picture two is another view of the dressing room which included sinks, soaps, hair dyers, tea dispensers and other curiosities.
Picture three is a view of the shower room and the large marble tub I mentioned.
Picture four is of the Jade Steam Sauna Room. We did end up trying it out later in the evening. It's so steamy in there it's hard to stay longer than 3 minutes and everything is barely visible through the water vapor. If you're looking to detox try this room. You'll sweat out the toxins in a jiffy.
** Credit for these images belongs to Hugh Spa. These were taken during hours of non-operation so the rooms (aside from the changing and commons areas) are not normally so brightly lit. The rooms have a relaxing, dimmer lighting effect when in use.
It's at this point we realized we had only just met each other in person a few hours earlier and already we'd seen each other naked. If were weren't comfortable with each other now, we never would be. lol
There is an order in which you are supposed to partake in the spa amenities. There is an number between 1 and 7 posted outside the door to each room and a list of the health benefits. The location of the rooms is in no particular order though so you must find your way around. We did a quick tour to acquaint ourselves with the layout and then perused the cafeteria. Yes, there is a small eating area with a kitchen that makes Korean dishes to order.
We already did rooms 1 & 2 (Shower Room and Jade Steam Sauna) so the next room was the Charcoal Mud Clay Room. Here you must lie down inside a wooden frame, on top of thousands of warm little balls of charcoal clay. The benefits of this room are healing properties related to the circulatory system, metabolism and removal of toxic waste from the body. This was very enjoyable but hard to maneuver around in due to all those little balls. It was kind of like navigating through really course quick sand.
One of the side effects of this room is the little balls of clay tend to hitchhike. This was most evident when one poor young woman kept having them fall out of her robe throughout her stay. In every room she entered, more balls would fall to the floor, clinking as they rolled away. It became comical as she was constantly losing them but couldn't figure where they were on her person as the robe was all she had on.
The Himalayan Salt Room was next. This is another heated room where you lay on the floor. This time however, you lay on top of a canvas which is spread over several tons of Himalayan rock salt. Its a quiet, meditative room filled with 84 different minerals that promote blood flow, fat cell break down, toxin excretion and reduction of scaring and stretch marks.
After leaving this room we ordered food from the cafeteria. I have a lot of food allergies so Lauren enjoyed bibambap on her own, which she drenched in "Mild" sauce and then seriously regretted after breathing fire and I enjoyed rice and a special baked Himalayan egg.
The Near Infrared Magnet Room was next but I went alone as it was another heated room and Lauren needed a break. This is a pretty barren room drenched in a red glow. It's heated but not too hot. It was calming and is supposed to aid in blood flow, skin repair and clear complexion, as well as over all healing and clearer thought process.
ROOMS SIX and SEVEN are IN BETWEEN rooms meaning you can do them in any order at any time. We first tried the Oxygen Room. This is a peaceful room that has filtered oxygen pumped directly inside. You take a mat and small pillow from the entrance and make yourself comfy on the floor. This is not a heated room. The benefits included aided breathing, increased oxygen flow to cells and blood and can aid in sleep. This room is highly recommended if you have insomnia.
Finally, we ventured into the Ice Room. This is a cold room that is covered in ice (just as it sounds). This room is a refreshing change from all of the heated rooms and it helps to close your pores after releasing all of those toxins.
*Photo credits again belong to Hugh Spa.The pictures are in order of the experiences listed above.
We spent four hours at the spa and left completely relaxed, pampered and ready for KCON. After finally leaving, we drove around Koreatown looking for food... we got a little lost along the way but ended up at a 24 hour KBBQ restaurant for a late dinner.
This was my first KBBQ experience and though a little challenging due to my allergies, it was delicious.
By the time we made it home it was 1:00am and the first day of our KCON adventure had come to a close. It was time for sleeping as morning comes early and morning means KCON begins.
We were pampered, looking beautiful and we had a game plan. Lauren and I were ready to take on KCON. Or so we thought...
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TAGGED IN THE REST OF MY KCON ADVENTURE SERIES, PLEASE LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS.
MELODY MOD SQUAD:
VIXXEN MOD SQUAD:
BABY MOD SQUAD:
BIGBANG MOD SQUAD: