My friend and I did not want to jump into really expensive items on our list. Obviously, shopping in OKC and ziplining are more expensive items. And no matter how much we wanted to do them right away, we knew that easing our way into it would be better on our checkbooks.
So, we went with manicures. Now, at the time, I was 32 years old. I had never had a manicure in my entire life. I received my first pedicure at the age of 29, as a going-away present from a friend of mine in South Dakota. I remembered it being pleasurable and oh were my toenails pretty! Ashley (my friend) and I wanted the same feeling on our hands. So, we left our significant others at my house (where they indulged in video games) and we set off on our quest to get our nails done!
And it was a challenge! There are tons of nail shops right here in Tulsa. There's almost one on every corner. All you have to do is find a strip mall and you will find a nail salon. We stopped at two nail salons on a Saturday morning, only to find them booked or out of business. Finally, we stopped at the Cocoa Nail Bar and walked into a wonderful pampering experience. The owner was a lovely woman in her 50s, who decked the place out in gorgeous blues and browns. We told her we wanted a gel manicure (might as well go all out without getting fake nails) and she introduced us to another woman who would serve us.
As we sat down, the owner served us complimentary cappuccinos (not as great as what you would get at a coffee shop, but still a nice bonus). And then she busted out a tub of what I could only describe as inedible chocolate ice cream. It was something the owner made in her kitchen at home - a rub to exfoliate the skin. It looked, smelled and felt like ice cream, but it was definitely not something you should eat. And it certainly set off a craving in my four-month pregnant belly. I wanted to eat it SO BAD! But, I resisted the urge. Both the owner (seated below in one of the comfy chairs in her salon) and her employee massaged it into our hands and our forearms. It was like magic. At first, yes, it was rough, but their hands worked out any tension that was in our muscles. And when they washed the chocolate ice cream away, our skin felt like a freshly washed baby's butt! I will not lie. That was definitely the highlight of the experience.
Ashley and I chose our colors and the employee and owner went to town on our nails, transforming them from dull everyday nails to remarkable works of color. We were both unaware that a gel manicure would require us to sit with our nails under a special gel light, so it took longer than what we originally anticipated. I did not ask the purpose of the light, nor did I care. I was too busy gliding my fingers over my deliciously smooth skin. I wanted to steal that tub of ice cream and take it home to rub it all over my body!
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the gel manicure lasted for weeks! No chips, no fading. The only way you could tell my nails were not fake were the tell-tale signs of growth at the bases. I thought it was great for the $30 I paid. In fact, it was so great, that I went back two months later for another treatment. I then brought my daughter in to the Cocoa Nail Bar for the same treatment. She was so excited at the idea that she sauntered through the doors, wearing her sunglasses, acting like a total diva to the delight of the owner and everyone in the salon. In lieu of a cappuccino, she got served hot chocolate (it being the Cocoa Nail Bar, after all).
I am sorry to report that the Cocoa Nail Bar permanently went out of business. I discovered this sad fact a couple weeks ago when I wanted to treat myself again. But, I was glad to have been a customer of theirs and to experience a top-notch manicure and a free pampering.