Sunday, June 12, 2011

Queens for a Day

Every year, May to June is a crazy time. My birthday always falls a week after Mother's Day and my mother, the Nana's, birthday is a few weeks later and always falls near Father's Day. Every year, Mom and I rack our brains over what to get each other for these occasions. (Father's Day, sadly, does not usually warrant too much fanfare...maybe a barbecue dinner or picnic!)

This year, I decided to take two days of vacation, a Monday and Tuesday, for my birthday. S had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, my actual birthday. On Monday, I thought I would send S to school and then either get a massage or go to an afternoon movie or something. When I mentioned this plan to Mom, she suggested we do a spa day together and count it as Mother's Day and my birthday. "Why not your birthday too?" I suggested. And then Mom said, "And let's go to a really nice spa, not just a day spa."

Now, I should explain at this point that my Mom and I are not fancy people. I've had the good fortune to go to several spas, day and otherwise, in different cities. My Mom has only done day spa stuff with me, maybe twice before, and never a full massage, only facials and pedicures and such. So I was a little surprised at her request, but all for it. I researched and found out that the Mokara Hotel on the San Antonio Riverwalk has the only five-star spa in town. They have a package where you and a friend can get a massage and a deluxe pedicure and enjoy lunch on the rooftop deck overlooking the skyline of the city. It's a little expensive, but sounded great.

When I proposed the idea to my Mom, not only was she raring to go, she upped the ante. "Why don't we check in the day before and spend the night at the hotel and have dinner on the Riverwalk? I mean, it is for both our birthdays and Mother's Day, so we should go all out!" she said. So we did!

Getting ready to head downtown for our Mother-Daughter Retreat

And it was wonderful! The staff at the Mokara Hotel treated us like queens. When they discovered we were from San Antonio, it seemed like they went out of their way to make our stay special. Would you like complimentary champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and a cheese plate sent to your room? Yes, please! We can put you in a better room if you don't mind waiting a little bit, is that okay? Yes, thanks! How about a tour of the spa while you wait? OK, great! And now enjoy drinks on the river and we'll call you when your room is ready!

Isn't my Mom cute?


And they didn't actually call--the Manager came and PERSONALLY ESCORTED US UP TO OUR ROOM. I thought my mother's eyes were going to bug out of her head--she couldn't believe it! Didn't he know we were just regular people?! LOL

And then our bags, which had magically disappeared when a gentleman took our car off to valet parking, leaving my mother fretting slightly over their whereabouts, were delivered, followed shortly afterwards by the champagne, strawberries, and cheese. We kicked back and snacked on all our goodies, plus a few nuts and snacks in the minibar and just talked and talked. It was really lovely.

Later in the evening, we wandered down the Riverwalk and stopped in at the Republic of Texas restaurant for dinner. We sat on the patio, watching the world stroll by on the Riverwalk and noshing on fantastic Tex Mex appetizers and drinking frosty margaritas! So good!

After dinner, we went back to our room and watched a bit of the Survivor finale. Then, we put on our suits and headed upstairs to check out the rooftop's heated pool and hot tub.

Looking at the stars and the skyline from the heated pool, we decided "This is the life! If only we could do this all the time!"

The next day, we enjoyed our spa experience to the hilt. We relaxed, we got massaged, we lunched on the rooftop in our spa robes, neck warmers, slippers, and shades, we drank more champagne, we got our toes done, we steamed, and we whirlpooled. It. Was. Amazing.

roof of the Mokara Hotel
Post-massage lunch on the rooftop deck.
Mom and I wore our robes, slippers, and neck warmers, plus shades, of course!

All too soon, it was time to leave. Mom and I were super-relaxed after our day of pampering and wanted nothing more than to go upstairs to our room, crawl into our plush beds, and nap until dinner time. Unfortunately, we had to go pick S up from day school, which was sure to bring us back to reality with a thud.

"When we do this next year, we should stay TWO nights," my Mom said. And just like that, a tradition was born.

Happy birthday, Mom! I love you! Thanks for being a wonderful mother, an amazing Nana, and an even better friend. I am already looking to next year's Mother-Daughter Retreat!

Note: I was not paid in any way for my experience at the Mokara Hotel and Spa or the Riverwalk. All opinions expressed are my own, achieved on my own dime. :)


  1. What a totally dreamy way to celebrate each other! I love the new tradition!

  2. Sounds like heaven to me! It's funny because I'm the opposite making a huge deal about father's day and not so much about mother's day. I guess that's because my mom always downplayed it when we were kids (I later found out it was because two of her very best friends were never able to have children so my mother felt that just having us made every day Mother's Day). Now that Will's birthday is so close to Mother's Day, I am more than happy to turn the focus to him! Jeff, on the other hand, would prefer not to make a big fuss about father's day, but I do. Every.single.year. :)