Birthday Weekend

This past weekend was “Kristen’s Birthday Celebration, Take Three.” Take one didn’t happen because on my actual birthday Sean was flying home from Berlin and arrived at 5:00 a.m. so he was in no condition to celebrate with me. Take two was also a bust because for the last few weeks we’ve both been battling a horrible head cold. I was not in the mood to go for an aromatherapy massage and eat my favorite food when I couldn’t smell anything and my nose was running like a faucet. So on Saturday, for take three, we finally spent a relaxing day at the Radisson Blu Tbilisi hotel.


When it comes to spa treatments, I’m awkward to say the least. I like getting massages and body treatments – I’m convinced an aloe wrap I got in Dubai saved my skin from second degree sun burns – but I never know what to do. Do I change in the locker room, or in the spa area? Should I shower or rinse off beforehand? Should I be totally nude?

This last question is the worst for me. I’m sure massage therapists have seen every weird thing you can imagine, but I don’t want to be the girl that assumes I should be totally naked and then they are shocked and blinded by my bare ass. But I also hate when I leave my underwear on and then clearly it would have been fine to go in my birthday suit. I feel like every spa I go to is a little different when it comes to the level of undress expected, so no matter what I do I always feel like it’s a little bit wrong.

By the way, totally nude would have been fine this go round.

I’ve never had a Thai massage before, and it was an interesting experience. It was probably the most intense and almost painful massage I’ve ever received, but three days later I’ve got to say my shoulders and hips feel amazing. I’m always surprised to discover where I’m holding tension as the massage therapist works on me. I always thought it was my hips, but apparently I hold a lot of tension in my shoulders. I guess that explains my poor posture some days.

After our massages we had a little bit of time to enjoy the indoor infinity pool on the top floor of the Radisson. The water was a little cold but the 360 degree views of Tbilisi were absolutely stunning – even on a gloomy day like we had.


We then changed and went to dinner at Umami, the Asian fusion restaurant in the hotel. It’s funny, while Tbilisi is completely different from Dushanbe, in some ways it feels like Dushanbe on steroids. My favorite restaurant in Dushanbe was the Asian fusion restaurant at the Sheraton, inAzia, and, it’s early, but probably my favorite restaurant in Tbilisi will be Umami. Umami is like inAzia, but 100x better.


We ordered three sushi rolls, two different sashimi, drinks, and dessert. I wish my stomach could have held more because I also wanted to try the curries, bento boxes, dim sum, wok selections, and ramen. The entire menu made my mouth water. We obviously will have to be back. Many, many times.

Not bad for the third attempt at celebrating my birthday if I do say so myself. Here’s to 29!

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