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Shave and a Haircut…Western Style

 

Photo Courtesy of Pelican Hill Resort

I love Pelican Hill. I have golfed there often and, despite, the tricky “level” greens, there’s nothing like playing with an ocean view on every hole. I also like the clubhouse for its atmosphere and food. It’s probably the best “19th hole” I’ve been to. I do like my OC types of restaurants and this can have that feel. And, if you’ve never had breakfast down by the pool area on the hotel side, it’s a must. Guys, you’d probably get points for taking your woman there just for breakfast.

What I didn’t realize was that the resort has so much more to offer, which is kind of sad considering I had attended the 2011 “40 Under 40″ event there earlier this year. Before I get into the fun part, I have to tell you that a great date would be to check out the spa –or golf for men and spa for ladies—and then eat at the restaurant. They make the pasta on site and when they told me the noodles melt in your mouth, I was skeptical, until the noodles did just that.

Well, thanks to my connections at Churm Media, I was fortunate enough to attend a special “bloggers only” tour of the hotel/resort side. In addition to the above, I got to taste several gelatos at the gelato bar and then we went down to the spa. Now, if your masculinity cringes when you hear the word spa, then let me remind you that every gangster movie involves a bunch of masculine Italian dudes talking business in a steam room with towels wrapped around their wastes (hopefully). I actually only tend to do spas in Vegas where I work out, get a massage, do the steam room (to rid my pores of the cigarette smoke) and lounge around watching the sports screens. But, that is going to change…

At Pelican, the foyer has a nice open feel with

I don't think I could get through one line of hand-carving and some guy did this whole thing...

a hand-carved(!) waterfall and a nice shop with scents and other spa things. There’s a gym and a Jacuzzi and the standard steamers. BUT THEN…

There’s now a barber shop! Okay, I have a barter deal with my good friend Torey at Salon TM2 in Irvine as far as my hair goes, but they do straight-edge razor shaves here! That’s pretty much on every man’s bucket list, which looks something like: wear dark brown poncho like Clint Eastwood in a spaghetti western and a Clint Eastwood cowboy hat (not an Indiana Jones one) and walk in all squinty-eyed and stubbly-faced. Hold a mostly-smoked cigar at the side of your mouth and say, in a gravelly voice, “I need a shave.”

[fade to reality] Okay, the scents and the string music pretty much knock that out, but I was told that they were gonna be changing the scent to something more “manly” while also piping in Sinatra while displaying ESPN.

As luck would have it, Kate Starr hooked me up with a freebie. My first ever straight-razor shave job. I met my shaver (is that what they’re called?), Amy, and she let me get comfortable on the reclining spa table. Okay, I passed on the barber chair, but I have enough metro in me that I prefer the spa table. Amy described to me her long family history of barbers. She even showed me her sharpening stone passed down from her grandfather.

 

This was her grandpa's. It's old...

After sharpening it, she took the leather strap thing and proceeded to do that thing that barbers do with the razor on the strap thing. I forget what it does, but it has to do with making sure I get the fewest nicks possible.

She actually did that thing you see them do in the movies.

After spending time chatting about the finer points of Jack Black men’s facial products versus Lab Series for Men (I use a mix of both), I got a face wash followed by the hot towel wrap to soften my beard. Seriously, it was just like in the movies! She then worked the shaving lotion in and we discussed the good old days of beach volleyball (Karch, Stoklos, Hovland, etc…) while it softened my beard.

I have to tell you that I really love my 5-blade. I shave in 30 seconds and my face is smooth. But a man’s gotta try the straight-edge…

As my barber brought the blade across my neck, it definitely was a different experience. She warned me of a pulling feeling since that’s how the blade actually gives you that close shave. What was interesting is that there were places where I felt nothing and there were places where my manliness was tested. “Wow this is the easiest part,” she said as she shaved my chin, one of my thickest stubble areas, while I thought “okay, THIS is what makes me Clint Eastwood!”

 

eh, close enough...

 

When we finished, I got post-shave lotioned up and my face felt as smooth as a baby’s butt. I definitely felt more burn than I do with my five blade, but all it did was remind me all day of how much of a MAN I was now! And the cool thing is, my sides have always grown in a little sparse as compared to my moustache and chin –yes, I can grow a fu Manchu—but since that straight-edge, it seems to grow in more evenly and full.

I’m looking forward to my next time there. Gonna throw in a foot massage and a request for some Macallan 18, though. Because a little scotch always takes away the (wait for it) edge

Happy shaving!

Bill

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