Jan 6, 2011

I did it!!!

Warning....DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE OFFENDED BY NAKED BODIES!  

Everything was closed here today due to the holiday.  The kids wanted to show Jason how fun the pools were at the MineralBad Leuze, so off we went.  After swimming in the pools for a while, I asked Jason if he minded swimming with the kids for a bit so I could check out the sauna area.

Soooo, I quickly realized THIS is the area that no bathing suits are allowed as people were walking in front of me, some in robes and some naked.  I made a quick decision-When in Rome, do as the Romans....or Germans.  I went into the shower room, took my suit off and wrapped my towel around me very carefully so nothing would show.  As I was trying to figure out the large diagram of the HUGE sauna area, I knew I was in trouble because I didn't even understand any of the German verbage.  I am rarely without my I-phone translator, however, in the Mineralbad no phones or cameras are allowed.  Here I was being so brave trying something that we just don't do in America-Go naked in front of other people, but I couldn't even find the saunas.  So, I pull my towel a little tighter and off I go....I am going to find this dang sauna if it kills me.  WELL, there isn't just one little ole sauna....there are NINE, not to mention, footbaths, fireplace rooms, wet rooms, sauna houses, Finnishche suana's, cool water pools, tanning beds.  (quick diversion....You would not believe the number of Tanning bed salons here, EVERYWHERE, even at the Marriott Pool.  This really surprises me because everything else in this country is focused on being healthy, so why the tanning beds?)  So, as I am walking towards my sauna experience, holding my towel tightly around my body, I notice a few children and women sitting soaking their feet in little tubs.  That looks safe to me... robes and towels still on, so I venture forward. I sit there and fiddle with the water but  could not figure out how to get the warm water to stay in the little tub.   I mean even the little 5 yr old beside me had her tub filled to the top! Ok, enough of that embarrassment.  I see a sauna and decide to go in even though I can't read the sign on the door.  It looks huge from the outside, so I open the door and all of a sudden I am Elaine from Seinfeld.  I'm in, so I have to stay in cause I'm too proud to walk out.  It is about 10 men all sitting on their towels butt naked.  In my head I am having this Elaine conversation, "Ohhh-nooooo, this is probably a men-only sauna, well I'm too embarrassed now so I will go to the top row because they are all on the bottom row, ahhhh this is warm,  I think I will just hold my towel a little around me, Is anyone looking at me, I'm going to close my eyes like I'm not nervous, wow-this is getting HOT, maybe I will unwrap my towel a little, I wonder if these men think I am trying to crash the men only sauna, are they looking at me, I'll crack one eye open and look, interesting -none of these men are looking at my naked body so maybe I will go ahead and unwrap, hmmm this is REALLY hot, why isn't anyone on the top row where I am, oh good, here come 15 more people including women, weird why are they all cramming in together on the first two rows, is anybody looking at me, It is so hot up here I can't breath, HOW am I going to get down through all these naked people, I am so hot, I have to GET OUT, OMG GET OUT OF MY WAY!!!!!  I didn't even wrap my towel and just started saying excuse me in German to everyone and walked out naked as a Jay Bird directly into a cold shower.   I didn't even care if anyone was looking (they weren't because they all grew up not caring about naked bodies) but I just needed COLD!  So, once I cooled off, I ventured to the next area.  The Sauna House.  I had learned my lesson about the top row being the hottest, so I picked a lower bench.  There was a huge window that showed the Neckar River flowing by and gave you the illusion of sitting on a beach.  The smell was also nice, as I later learned once I could come home and translate from the brochure.  They put oils on the rocks in the sauna house. I noticed thru the window all the people standing outside rubbing what looked like salt all over their bodies.  So, I again, think, "When in Rome" as I head out to stand naked in the cold air and rub some salt on my body.  I figured it had some type of health benefit.  It was NOT salt, but crushed ICE. 

Ok, that was enough adventure for me for one day, so I head back to Jason and the kids.  As, I am telling them all about the adventure, including how there was a little kiddy sauna with Vicks Vapor rub steam, Karina says, "I want to go there and be naked".  I was SHOCKED. This is my little girl that doesn't even want to undress in front of us.  The mother that I am, immediately said, No (HA!!!) I really said, " you understand honey that they don't wear their bathing suits in the sauna", Karina said, "yes momma, I heard you"  So, off we go again.  I am really nervous now for two reasons.  1.  Is my daughter going to sense how insecure I am about not wearing my suit because I would prefer for her to learn here not to be embarrassed.  2.  Is she going to laugh at all the naked grown-ups.  They come in all shapes and sizes here.  But, as usual, she is my teacher at times.  Not only did she just march right in that sauna (it helped there were a bunch of little girls breathing in the medicine like steam) but she then wanted to go in the sauna pool.  This pool is smack in the middle where everyone can see you.  So, off the two of us go.  I quickly go down the steps hoping the water will hide my body (yes, I am still apprehensive) and realize as she is coming down the steps-IT IS FREEZING COLD!  She almost screamed it was so cold.  So we were done.  She could not wait to tell her daddy all about the sauna. When we asked Jason and Cooper to go back with us, they both said , NO WAY.

I found these pictures on the internet.....

cold shower area

My first sauna entry
The outdoor area-even in winter

8 comments:

  1. That was too funny!!! Loved the similarity between you and elaine!!! I was laughing so hard!! Good for you for trying out new things!!:) love,m:)

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  2. Love, love this one. You wrote it so well that I could actually "see" your facial expressions. I laughed so hard. Thumbs up for being brave. This sounds like a great stop for the Perkins Euro Tour. ;) I'm so proud of Karina, too!

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  3. You made my day! I love this post! I am so glad that you are trying new things and kudos to Karina!

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  4. Hahahaha! Too funny! I am soooooooo proud of you and Karina!

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  5. P.S. there are gender specific saunas- for women only, for men only. I am just saying....for next time maybe?

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  6. that's too funny. Tell Karina she's going to have to take us there cause X loves to run around naked :)

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  7. This sounds a lot like my first couple experiences at the Schwabenquellen baths at the SI Center. I'm a California girl and have plenty of experience sharing a hot tub sans bathing suits with friends, but with strangers it's another thing entirely. But during the cold winter my desire for hot water and steam overrode my embarrassment. Leuze looks like fun, I'll have to check it out soon!

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  8. Overall it’s a nice experience for you, especially to your little girl who seemed excited about her new experience. I think it will be best if Jason and Cooper joined you in sauna next time. It will be a great bonding moment for all of you. Anyway, I’m glad you did it and hope you do it often for its really beneficial to our health.

    Neil Dalby

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.
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