Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Day at The Spa - Not What I Expected


On Saturday my husband and I got a "date day."  We dropped off our kids at their grandparent's house and off we went.  Jim had the day planned starting with a trip out to Jacumba, about an hour's drive east of San Diego.  We were heading for some hot springs.

We knew it was going to be quirky, but we had no idea it was going to be completely bizarre.  First we pulled off the highway into a town that was hidden behind some hills and nestled right against the Mexican border wall.  Jacumba seemed to be a dusty, forgotten town, practically deserted.  We found the Jacumba Hot Springs sign and pulled up.

This little hotel has been around since the 20's, and I don't think they have redecorated much over the years.  Everything was broken, sun damaged, and deteriorating.  There was even a coffin in the front patio.  It was so fascinating - I wanted to take pictures of everything!  There weren't many people around except for the owner and some locals.  We went into the restaurant and had a quick lunch. 

Next we were ready for some hot springs.  Natural sulphur hot spring water is piped into one large hot tub and 2 lukewarm pools. After paying for our day pass ($15 each), we were shown where everything was.  We went out to a room made of metal siding.  We ducked into some changing rooms, got into our bathing suits, and eased into the hot tub.  This area was great.  The ceiling was rusty, the paintings of the Spanish Armada on the walls were completely warped from the humidity, and the cement was rough from mineral deterioration.  A great wicker chair from the 70's was in the corner, most of its canes breaking and brittle.  A local man talked our ears off about hunting, auctions, and politics. I mainly floated around while Jim entertained his conversation. 

We took a dip in the pools outside but it was getting chilly (surprisingly) and we were happy to get back into the hot tub again.  After a couple of hours we were ready to seek out a nearby chocolate shop (which sadly was not open for business yet), and head back into San Diego for a romantic dinner.

I loved our little adventure.  I'm quite sure the owner loves how weird the "spa" is, and wouldn't change a thing.  I appreciated its total authenticity.  Plus we got to sit in natural spring water, which is a rare treat.  If you're ever passing by Jacumba or need a truly bizarre experience, I highly recommend it!
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