I love going to day spas so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to have some treatments at the Calistoga Village Inn and Spa. However, I do like the spa treatments to be sanitary and conducted in private. This place was just one big room, and didn't seem that clean to me. I had a mud bath, mineral bath, and was horrified that all of these treatments occur in just one big room. There were lots of other women getting the same treatments and I was completely creeped out and not at all relaxed. The prices are pretty good, but to me, it was not worth it at all.
I had read lots of ads and articles about the Beauty Mark on Charles St. in Beacon Hill, so I headed out there. I was interested in seeing some of the more unique products that I'd heard they sell. Getting here can be a little tricky by car, as there really isn't much parking available in Beacon Hill. I was surprised at how small this shop is. The sales person was very friendly and helpful, but I just expected more products and more unique stuff.
Pet World in Natick has a huge selection of pet supplies. This shop is in a difficult location which can be a pain to get to. However, the people who work there do know a lot about pets, and are very happy to recommend products that you may need. This shop also sells small animals and has a little cat shelter called "Kitty City". The only negative, other than the location, is that the prices here are a little more than the chain shops.
Ardan, which is currently in the process of being renovated, is located in Wellesley Square. At one point, I decided to try this salon instead of my usual Boston hair salon, and was somewhat disappointed. While the prices were a little lower than Boston prices, so was the quality. My appointment was with the owner, who was very friendly. I walked out of there with a decent haircut, not great, not really what I wanted, and when I did go back to Boston, it had to be fixed. Overall, I think this place is good if you have well behaved hair, but not great for a more complex style.
Beauty and Main, which is located on Route 135 in Wellesley Square, carries many cosmetics and skincare lines that are typically sold in larger stores, such as Laura Mercier, NARS, and Paula Dorf. While other Beauty and Main shops carry Trish McEvoy, this one doesn't, because Grettacole down the street already does. The prices are in line with the prices of these brands online and in the shops in Boston, and the sales staff is friendly and knowledgable. They are not pushy at all, and are happy to answer questions.
The Cheese Shop of Wellesley, also called Wasik's, is located on route 135 in Wellesley Square. This is easily the best cheese shop I have ever been to. Not only do they have an amazing selection of cheese, they also have teas, spices, cookies, candy, olives, breads, and fresh pastas. While the selection is great, the best part of this shop is the service. The owners are always working there and know so much about cheese. They are more than happy to help recommend cheese and are very generous with samples.
The Palisades Market is located on the Lincoln Ave, which connects the two major roads in the Napa Valley. This market, which is usually crawling with locals, has some of the best lunch food around. They have a large selection of sandwiches, as well as prepared salads. However, the best thing here is the homemade desserts, and fresh breads. For a great quick picnic, pick up some cheese from the case, and some fresh bread, and enjoy!
The Soda Canyon shop on the Silverado Trail in Napa is a good place to stop during your drive through the Napa Valley. This shop not only sells regular convenience store items, they also have prepared lunch which is great. When I'm in the Napa Valley, I prefer to pick up a quick lunch and eat outside (saving my appetite for a great dinner). What's great about the Soda Canyon store is that they actually have a little picnic area, so you don't have to take your picnic elsewhere. The prices here are also very reasonable!
PROS: Good prices, great food
This Trader Joes in Framingham has a large selection of food, including a huge frozen food section and a small area dedicated to wine and beer. This is one of the few Trader Joes in the area that carries two buck Chuck (now $3) and they also have great beers and wines at reasonable prices. The grocery area has lots of different foods that are exclusive to Trader Joes - it's definitely worth a trip here to load up on inexpensive staples. The only negative is that the aisles are small and it gets very crowded here on the weekends!
PROS: Great prices, big selection
CONS: Small, crowded store.
The Franklin Park Zoo, located in Dorchester, is a good place to take the kids, but is not the best zoo around. This zoo has the usual...zebras, lions, etc, but one of the most interesting things is the butterfly area. Here, the butterflies roam around free (it's covered). The zoo also has several concession stands with the usual fare, and a gift shop. If you live in the Boston area, it's a quick drive, although public transportation can be tricky.