Thursday, June 21, 2007

First Family Vacation: Friday

It's a good thing, because Friday dawns bright and early with my 9:00 appointment with the Spa Girls. Teresa and Gina pick me up, leaving me free to get ready on my own and leave David and Jarrah in their pjs, the better to sample the wonders of the hotel pool. The previous day, we'd taken a stroll around the corner to Coco Key, a water resort attached to Cherry Valley. I wasn't really sure what an indoor water resort might entail, but Coco Key is quite a wonder with twisty slides two stories high, and a sort of Lazy River on which you float in a tube. It wasn't crazy-crowded, the air was very warm, and the families were clearly having a ball. Jarrah didn't prevaricate, indicating that we were to put on her "baby suit" and go straight into the "fimming pool." The catch, though, is that Coco Key costs 30 dollars *per person* and that seemed a little steep to entertain someone who might go down the slide once and announce "All done!"

As it happened, we were wise to save that cash, because Jarrah LERVED the hotel pool. David proudly told me that she was very brave, and even rode a noodle without him holding on to her. She even told me later, as a point of pride, that she went "unna the watah," even though David said she definitely didn't like that part. I was only sorry I had missed it, since we never did find another moment to go in the pool.

So they had a great time, which is good, because I was off having a BLAST. I love a spa morning, and I love dishing with awesome women, and to be able to do both for four hours was heaven on a stick. Even better, Marlene had booked the entire spa for her 22 participating guests, and they had a central room she'd kitted out with bagels and mimosas so we could nosh and shmooze to our heart's content. My pedicure was fine, but my facial with the delightful Carrie was sheer bliss, even including full body comfort on a sort of Craftmatic bed that cradled me like a kitten. The best part was I never had to get bored like I sometimes do at spas, because my friends were in and out of the rooms to chat with me. Teresa even took my picture in a face mask, something that might have annoyed me except that I adore her so much. ;)

Our spa morning was meant to be followed by a "tour of local sites," which I reported to Carrie, who replied uncertainly "I'm not sure what those might be." Hee. Turns out we were supposed to visit the giant Longaberger basket (the Longaberger company is based in Ohio) and something called "the Mounds," which I never really got a straight answer about, but it all remained a mystery because Marlene was called away for an emergency dress fitting. She sent Teresa, Gina and I to Royal Thai for lunch, where we met David and Jarrah, and it was supremely delicious. At this point the sky was threatening a bit and there was a heavy feeling in the air that we really don't get in San Diego and that I find rather exciting. We thought we'd have time for a long snooze when we got back, but it was really just about an hour before we needed to get primped for the rehearsal dinner.

I had seen Denison University, where Marlene is Chair of Women's Studies, once before under a steel-gray sky and several inches of snow, but in June it was a leafy, brick paradise. It's a small school, but obviously one with a lot of money, because just driving onto the campus makes you want to go take an Intro to Philosophy class, so stately an edifice it is. The rehearsal dinner was in a gorgeous blond-wood room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking one of the tree-filled quads, and the glass sparkled with recent showers in the late afternoon sun as we took our seats. We had an elegant meal of which Jarrah ate nary a bite, and chatted again with Marlene's pals, some of whom were becoming old friends from previous encounters. We finished off the evening at the Cherry Valley bar again (you might think I was drinking excessively, but I stuck to Shirley Temples on this trip--I wasn't in a mood to miss anything) and David retired early with Jarrah while I whooped it up with various members of the wedding party.


Anonymous said...

Sam, the picture of you twirling your hair is just gorgeous! I'm so glad to hear you all are having a wonderful time. (And I'm sure the wedding will be beautiful, too!)

Miss J

Mary said...

Love that room, tooooo!