Okay. So it’s been so heartening that people are reading North of Beautiful and chattering about geocaching, my favorite geeking out pastime. If the book gets people out and about, GPS in hand, I’m a happy camper. But why is no one talking about the Naked Spa featured in the book?

It’s a real place, people! And it’s Nirvana. If you follow all truly blissed out women in the Northwest, you will be led directly to the Olympus Spa–a Korean-style sanctuary where every bit of a woman’s body gets scrubbed and exfoliated. And yes, you shed all clothes so that you can marinate in one of several saunas and hot tubs for an hour before the Scrubdown.

I first heard about the Naked Spa (I mean, Olympus Spa) two years ago when my good friend Lauren raved about it after going through a temporary rough patch in her life. And then out at an SCBWI dinner, Ginger Knowlton–the rocking agent who reps one of my favorite authors of all time: K.L. Going–went on and on about her transcendental experience at the same Naked Spa. Well. I had to see the place for myself.

My very dear Ozzie friend, Nicole, was game for a field expedition to the Naked Spa. Two words: life altering. It’s not that the scrubbing feels good–it can actually be downright painful…and more than a little unsettling how much dead skin gets rubbed off. But it’s uplifting in a way that a massage is not. You feel like you’re leaving much more than your skin on the table, but all the daily worries that you wear. Literally.

So a week after returning to the states, my friend Nicole blocked out her entire day to take me to the Naked Spa to scrub the worst bits of my China experience off my body. I literally floated out of the spa; I felt 10 pounds lighter. As if I had shed dead weight I wasn’t even aware I had been carrying.

Today I am thankful for places like the Olympus Spa that cater to a woman’s spirit as much as her body. And I’m thankful for true friends who know how to care for a sad heart.

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