Sunday, April 5, 2009

An Anniversary

No, not a wedding anniversary but actually a celebration of when we started professional massage therapy training, and met a group of friends who were destined to have a tremendous impact on our lives.

April 4, 2004 was a warm spring day when we first entered Classroom B of Body Therapy Center's Palo Alto massage school. It was day one of the 125 hour Fundamentals of Massage course. We'd taken a weekend introductory course at a local junior college, and although the ambience wasn't even close to ideal (working on the floor on a towel with clothes on, no tables, no lotions), it sparked our interest enough to investigate "real" professional training. We did a little research and decided that Body Therapy Center in Palo Alto would be the optimal school, given the extensive number of classes and modalities and the flexibility in scheduling, plus they had a great reputation.

So signing up was just a phone call (and I'd assume a check) away, right? Nope. The school is justifiably picky about who attends their classes. It's a massage class - people would be undressing / undressed, and it's obviously a hands-on practice in the truest sense of the phrase. So we were invited in for an "interview." Of course we passed, we're as normal as it gets, and it was an early indication that this school was definitely on the right path. Their intent was to provide excellent training in a relaxed comfortable environment. Now we'll accept your check, and class starts on April 4th.

We met our friends Angela, Nicole, Rebecca and Monika that first day, as well as our good friend Pamela, who was teaching a rare Fundamentals class, as she's normally a highly regarded Advanced Massage and Bodywork instructor (next semester). The first half of the day was the anatomy portion, and we all went to lunch at what would become one of two major "hangouts" over the next four semesters ... Molly Stone's Market, with their awesome deli. The other was a little cafe called Printer's Inc., where we generally met before classes.

The afternoon session was the massage portion of the class, and we were all introduced to our first "hands on" sessions. Basic Swedish massage techniques ... effleurages, light strokes, nothing fancy. We were told that at the end of this 125 hour course that we could claim to be able to give a "basic relaxation massage." And that was correct. But we of course thought we were awesome. And we all had new friends. Immediately, decisively, no arguments from any of us. New buds.

Next was Advanced Massage and Bodywork, then Cranio-Sacral and Acupressure semesters, and seminars in Chair Massage, advanced neck and shoulder work, advanced sidelying technique, Hot Stones, and Hydrotherapy. Plus a couple semesters as a teacher's assistant in the Advanced semester classes. Lots of hours learning to rub people the right way!

So that's the massage school background, and the point here is that we made several of what have become the best of friends, in that setting. Many of the girls have made the long trip to Bend several times, to visit us, and we take every opportunity to get together.

Saturday the 4th of April marked 5 years that we've known each other, so I thought I'd put on a little dinner party.
The food went like this:
- Freshly smoked salmon, compliments of Pam's friend Cal, was out of this world
- Angela's home made cheeseball, likewise
First course: Scallops and Scallops - Pinot Gris
- Bay scallop tequila lime ceviche
- Cornmeal dusted Alaskan scallops with chipotle aioli on phyllo squares
Salad course: - Montes Syrah Rose
- Mixed field greens, raspberry balsamic vinaigrette, sweet cherry tomatoes and mini peppers, Mandarin orange wedges, thin slices of parmesan
Entrees: - Quivira Zinfandel
- Chicken Cordon Bleu with mornay sauce
- Halibut filets marinated in grapefruit juice and Dijon mustard
Dessert: - Ice wine and coffee
- Individual French pastries, compliments of Nicole who's now attending professional pastry school!

Great friends, I don't take their friendships lightly, and they all know it. Amazing how a little twist of fate like landing in the same massage class, could create such incredible camraderie.


Anonymous said...

What an attractive group of friends you have. :-) Fantastic meal, I can attest as I was there. Lucky me!!!

Nicole said...

Wonderful menu...really enjoy your blog..I just posted a spicy scallop with chili mayonnaise on my blog tonight...wonder if it is similar to you cornmeal scallops with chipolte? Weirder things have happened...I love that your outlook is so positive..cheery..that's definitely not me, but I like to see it in others...I might not be able to write if I didn't maintain a certain amount of "morose"..LOL!