Ballina, Co Mayo– I am trapped in this country. As I await judgement I do what any red-blooded American woman would do…I hit up the spa. A full body massage, light pressure and a seaweed snuggle, let’s detox shall we? Welcome to The Icehouse, a salmon weir turned radiating retreat an hour south of Sligo. This place ticks a few of my boxes with an accommodating staff, various treatment options, the Heritage suites with antique furnishings, etc. I swim and sauna at least once a week at home but trust me, The Icehouse in Ballina is like a whole new world.
I wander around this uninhabited dreamworld unaware of where I am going. I still have no idea what time it is. This pink twinkle palace is an aromatherapy room that smells like milky lavender fairy dust. How did I get here?
The relaxation area has floor to ceiling windows overlooking the river Moy, with fresh fruit, infused water, blankets from Foxfords and headphones with snooze tunes. To watch a river flow without hearing it in complete silence presents like magic.
It is like taking a tranquilizer. I am paralysed. I reach optimum levels of clarity here, although fleeting, this gives me a sense of hope, a calm.I am doing all the things they want me to do and some of the things they don’t. Over-worked and stubborn, I am in the system. I am isolated but have never felt so warm and cozy. It is gezellig!
Am I taking a risk? Yes. Am I suffering the consequences? Yes.
Is it worth it? I guess we will have to wait and see.