Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Tuesday Tales

Yesterday’s rainforest hiking odyssey left us all a wee bit tired, so we made the group decision to declare a “Take It Easy Tuesday”. Hahahahaha! That lasted until after breakfast, when we meandered down to the beach for a light…hour-long…exploration expedition. During this time we strolled down the shore until the sand ran out at the point where it met a sheer rocky cliff. But not to worry! There was a barely discernible, loose-dirt-and-gravel, precipitously sloped path leading up and into the woods. Perhaps it leads over the barrier, and there’s more beach on the other side—clearly, we need to find out! Our sweaty exertions were fortunately rewarded by just this outcome, and we were able to…continue walking some more (yaaaay...ish).

When we made it back to the hotel—hot, thirsty, and even more fatigued, it had blessedly arrived at the Lunching Hour. After this, it seemed advisable (at least to ME) to take a dip in the pool, then lounge in a chaise with an enjoyable book. Since I’d come up with this admirable plan all by myself, I took my own counsel and did just that. The boys, on the other hand, had gotten this idea in their heads that what they really wanted to do was…ocean kayaking.  Alrighty then, enjoy your interlude of…manly water sports…fellas. I’ll be here, perhaps with my eyes open, or more likely NOT.
Eventually I went upstairs to change out of my bathing suit…and encountered a dilemma. You see, Team WestEnders has developed a certain…let’s call it Packing Protocol…when we go on vacation for a week or so. I prefer not to check bags (both because it’s a hassle to wait at baggage claim, and because of the cheap—I mean “frugal” factor). 

So, we figure out half of the wearable items we need for our trip, and plan to have everything washed in the middle of our stay.  At an all-inclusive resort, this means handing over our laundry to the staff, for them to clean and give back when it’s ready. This has always worked out just fine in the past, but in this case the description of the service in the brochure made me a tad nervous, since it promised a turnaround time of…48 hours. Okay, they’re busy, I get it. But this meant we needed to surrender our grimy apparel this morning, to make absolutely sure we wouldn’t be caught in 2 days wandering around...stark raving naked. I mean, this is a super-friendly and accommodating place, to be sure, but I feel certain that would be…strongly discouraged.

We called the Front Desk to inform them of our clothing-cleansing needs, and they had it picked up and whisked away in about 10 minutes. (Yep, they’re that good.) Okay, fast forward to the afternoon, when I wanted a dry outfit…and my only available bra was still yucky-damp from this morning’s activity. With a sigh, I was just about to take it into the bathroom and apply a few minutes of hair-drier action when lo, I heard a gentle tap on the door. It was none other than a polite member of the housekeeping staff, returning our fresh-smelling, stain-free, folded and hung-up tee-shirts, shorts, socks, and undies. (Seriously, it was total overkill to treat our inexpensive, mass-produced leisure wear with such care, but I appreciated the thought, nonetheless!) The attached ticket helpfully informed me that it cost….43,800 colons…which when I did the conversion, quite possibly makes it the most extravagant load of laundry in history….and worth it at twice the price, if you ask me. (And no, you don’t really want to know what that is in American dollars, trust me…)

This brings me to another point about coming to these luxurious places (because you know, we do it ALL the time…or, like “twice”). I spend the week willing myself not to feel uncomfortable about all of the attention and pampering we receive. People bend over backwards to make you happy and anticipate your every wish…and it makes me feel spoiled and guilty! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to stop myself from blurting out, “I’m nobody! Stop treating me like royalty!” Especially when we’ve been…needy guests. First our toilet didn’t want to flush properly (fixed in 20 minutes). Then we requested an extra bed, since the ones provided in the room consist of a huuuuge one (bigger than a King-size, meant to sleep 3, maybe? Tried it for a night, didn’t work so well for us) and a slightly-larger-than-Twin (not big enough for 2 full-grown people, which covers even Riley, at this point). This was delivered by dinnertime

Next, our safe--which had been functioning perfectly well up to that moment--suddenly refused to open and relinquish our stuff. They sent someone up almost instantaneously. Lastly, tonight I went down to dinner by myself, since the boys weren’t cleaned up yet from their busy hours o’fun. Julio, the waiter assigned to the section in which I parked myself, refilled my water continuously…inquired as to whether he could bring me beer…or coffee….or anything else…and finally, unbidden, carried over a plate with a pastry from the dessert bar,bowing and presenting it with a flourish, “This is for you.” Obviously, I’m not cut out for any kind of celebrity…I thanked him profusely…then fled in embarrassment.

Maybe by the end of the week, I’ll become accustomed to it, and even relax into Diva Behavior...just in time to go back home where no one jumps to wait on me…or wants to know if I’d like anything brought to me…or takes care of my laundry…or nothin’.  Oh well, for now we have discovered that the MLB All-Star Game is being broadcast on Fox…Espanol. As long as we mute the Spanish commentary, we can kick back and enjoy some of America’s pastime, in our clean clothes, on our three beds…like the kings and queens we (temporarily) are!

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