IMG_3091I’ll call this one We Got Too Greedy, or else maybe Tub o’ Sludge. Here’s why:

We went on vacation, all ten family members, thinking, OK we’ll stay for the FIRST part of the week in the cool old inn with the 1940s bathrooms. Sure, the other guests there are mostly ancient, but we figured that even if one or two did chance to visit the pool, they wouldn’t mind us with our goggles and our floaties and our young ones with their fat baby limbs – and they didn’t.

And I loved that inn in Tucson and felt so sad when, on Thursday, we bid it goodbye to go to another, 21st century joint, named for the two brothers whose portrait hangs in every lobby, founders of this giant hotel chain.

There, at the J.W. Starr Pass Marriott, were ten times the number of guests, including a Medical Records Convention, a Transit Conference, and a charming gaggle of pre-teen females here with their folks (or mostly mums, really) for some sort of Trapeze Convention.

At this hotel, there are pools within pools, and a water slide, and a Lazy River, with the usual giant inflatable tubes in which you can float serenely around the perimeter of the aquatic  acreage, propelled by just enough water pressure to make a girl feel like Katherine Hepburn on the African Queen, before the part where she and ‘captain’ Humphrey Bogart get a little storm-tossed.

That first night, when we came back from dinner, however, our tub looked like this. While we were gone it had vomited up this black sludge that would not wipe away with mere towels. I called Maintenance, who came instantly and poured what looked like Muriatic Acid down the drain and strongly suggested we wait until  Housekeeping could come in the morning to truly sanitize the thing. No baths for us!

Then two of us humans began also vomiting up stuff, such that I got to spend five hours in a dark hotel room next door watching inane pre-teen programming on the Disney Channel while rubbing the back of my favorite six-year-old as he did residual gagging and spitting for 90 minutes into the room’s wastebasket, carefully lined with the plastic bag from the ice bucket – all this  while everyone else had the world’s most festive time with our brother-in-law/brother/uncle team, the ones we had come out west to see and here they are:

toby & rusty

Then, the same night it happened again with our tub. And the baby broke out in hives. And on our last full day yesterday the temperatures plunged from 90 degrees to 60 degrees and a day-long wind blew that practically sanded our faces off.

Still it was wonderful to be there and now, in two hours, we will fly the five hours home.

I will remember the clear dry air but not the sludge, and how we cherish these brothers who live here. Also I bet I will remember always how lovely it was to watch, at the pool, as 11-year-old trapeze girl, as slender as a young stalk of celery, executed an amazingly long hand stands while sipping at her lemonade upside down, through a straw – and don’t I wish I had captured an image of THAT  wondrous feat!

And also I love caring for any sick child which in any case helped me take my mind off my own sickness.

Here he is playing on my phone once he felt up to such pleasures. And here I am bidding you all Good Day as we drive to Phoenix to begin the long journey home.

gametime on the iphone


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