Tag Archives: Japanese

RIP WaMu…Hello Kitty!

Man, all the craziness this week on Wall Street is really freaking us out. I mean, we don’t own a home or anything, but, wow, when we heard that our longtime bank of choice, WaMu, imploded last night in what experts are calling the largest bank failure in U.S. History, well, hell…that shit is a little too close to home, yo!

So, though we haven’t transferred all our funds yet, Christine and I are seriously considering switching to the far less complicated Hello Kitty ATM machine pictured below.

Seriously, it’s either Bank of Sanrio or the freaking mattress at this point…and since Hello Kitty has way cuter ATM cards, I think we’ll go pink.

In the meantime, rest in peace, WaMu, we haven’t loved a bank as much as we loved you since, well…ever. Free checking, cool tellers, cheeky wording on your ATM prompts, and yes, we even loved those goofy ‘Whoo Hoo!” commercials.

But today, as we say goodbye for the last time, the only catchphrase that comes to mind is a sad, heavy-hearted: “Boo Hoo!”

Vaya con dios, amigo…

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Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe

Lest you think all we did was gorge ourselves on green chiles, Christine and I did find time one night to visit one of the coolest spots in Santa Fe…the Ten Thousand Waves spa and resort. A Japanese spa with communal, private, premium private and super premium private baths and an array of fancy, awesome-smelling spa services, this place rocked!
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Ten Thousand Waves, Santa Fe (Feb. 2008)
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And getting there is half the fun. Driving through the winding, snow-capped mountains to the spa is an experience in itself…and then once you get there, wow…you feel like you’re in fuedal Japan or something. The entire walkway to the main spa — which is a bit steep in parts, so leave time if you need to take it slow — is lined with delicate Japanese lanterns that give the snowy path a dreamlike quality. Really beautiful.

Reaching the main spa, you check in and are each given a warm cotton kimono and some f-ing amazing cucumber water and are shown to the locker room. Showering off the impurities of the outside world with some of the best smelling hippie soap and shampoo I’ve ever encountered — seriously, it smelled so good, I kinda wanted to eat it — you dump your clothes in your locker, wrap yourself in that snuggly kimono and make your way to the baths for a soak.

The door on our Kabuta private bath! (Feb. 2008)
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The view from our private bath! (Feb. 2008)
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We reserved a private bath (a steal at $25 per person for an hour!) called Kabuta, which means “Piglet” in Japanese. I later learned that the reason for the name was that when the spa was built in 1981, the neighbor next door was so upset at the prospect of a spa in his midst that he built a pigpen six feet from this bath and stocked it with a dozen baby pigs. Ha!

The Kabuta name remains, but luckily for us, the piglets are long gone. All you see from the bath now is an amazing view of the snow-covered hillside and the stars above. This place was gorgeous…we could have stayed all night.

When your hour is up, a soothing gong sounds over the speaker near the tub and a dreamy, disembodied voice tells you that you have five minutes remaining. That’s right…a soothing gong! There’s no rude-ass knocking on your door to shoo you out at this joint.

Totally relaxed at Ten Thousand Waves! (Feb. 2008)
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So, with a light snow beginning to fall in the distance, we reluctantly wrapped ourselves up in our kimonos and made our way back down the path to the showers. Driving home, totally relaxed and smelling of yummy mint and lavender, we hit the bed hard and slept like babies till morning…

Domo arigato, Ten Thousand Waves. Domo arigato mucho!

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