Joseph Cianciotto: Weekend at the Hotel
Posted by Joseph Cianciotto
I initially created this blog for my daughters and as that has continued to evolve I think I am going to start addressing these entries explicitly to them. Think it will be a fun thing for the nuggets to look back on and read, and at the very least it will add some fresh narrative to this site.
Anyway, here goes…
Dear Hannah & Sophie,
Last week we were in Pennsylvania visiting with Mommy’s family. For the last 12 years we have been staying at the same Hampton Inn fifteen minutes from Grandma and Pop-Pop’s house. Now that you are both six and four it would be a thing you have done for your whole lives.
Something that these hotels now do, is they will offer free breakfast in the morning. I don’t know necessarily what I was thinking, but Hannah, when you were 18 months old I started taking you downstairs to the makeshift café and there we would stock up on crappy breakfast food and bring it back up to the room. From the day you first set eyes on that cornucopia of yogurt, stale bagels and cereal, you were hooked. And the crown jewel of this the experience is that you get to pour batter in the waffle maker and create….well, a waffle.
I mean sure the waffles come out lopsided, overstuffed and sometimes even burnt, but that has never been the point. You love making them, and because of that so do I. You’ve also discovered the orange juice dispenser, and while I can’t say that I ever remember you actually drinking it up in the room, you get it every time.
Sophie, sometime around this past summer, when you turned three and a half, you started joining your sister and I on these pilgrimages to the lobby kitchen. And as much as Hannah is mesmerized by the waffle-maker you could honestly care less. That said when we make our way back up to the room, you’re the first one to lay claim to your half of the waffle. Your jam is that you’re all about the small yogurt packs on ice. You will literally spend five minutes carefully choosing your favorite flavor, even though there’s only ever two. You are also all about the juice dispenser, and of course you’ll grab whatever fruit is in the bowl. The nice thing about you both is that you’re all about making sure we bring something upstairs for mommy as well, which she never eats, but hey it’s the thought that counts.
Now, if you’re old enough to be reading this, I am sure you have to know that I totally have OCD when it comes to germs. So with that in mind, they have this indoor pool at the Hampton Inn, which is something of a petri dish. As long as I have been staying there I have avoided both the pool and the wet people who happen to come out of it quite successfully.
To you both though, this indoor pool is like the greatest thing since Peppa Pig. So after numerous requests we packed your bathing suits on the way out so you could get a chance to go in over the weekend. The really messed up thing is that you somehow convinced me that I had to go in the pool with you. And from there I had to go and pick up a bathing suit in Walmart, which in itself gave me the trots.
So there we are, at 4 PM on Saturday afternoon, over in the pool, at the Hampton Inn. Hannah you just went for it when we got there. Fortunately, you can stand in the three-foot section so you were free to play with your cousin. The other really crazy thing is that there was some other kid in the pool and somehow you made friends with her without even speaking like two telepathic dolphins.
Sophie on the other hand…Sophie….you were permanently attached to my neck like a human shawl. To be fair you could not stand anywhere in the pool so it made sense for me to be holding you. And like everything, you were super cautious at first but within 15 minutes you were dragging me over to the five foot section and treading water to the ladder all by yourself.
I gotta’ say though, that hour we spent in that over-chlorinated cesspool was the best part of the whole weekend. It was a ton of fun playing with you both and getting to experience that through your eyes reminded me so much of why I loved going in the pool on vacation, even in the most broken down of roadside motels.
Hope we get to make more memories like this again.
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