Always pack a swim suit.

by Todd Foley

Switching things up today by featuring my first guest blogger: My lovely wife, Nurse Kristen. We are currently sitting on our motel bed in a small Washington port city, and we have some pretty funny stories to tell about our day today.

Here’s the context: We absolutely LOVE Groupon. Last month there was a “romance package” deal for a night in a motel, including a complimentary humus platter and two glasses of wine – all for the price of $30. We made our way down from B.C. to the motel -which is actually quite charming. It’s owned by a Dutch family who gave the place a Dutch-esque renovation. The place prides itself in having a wood-burning fireplace in each room. Ours is currently lit, and it’s swell. 🙂

But back to our day. Seeing as it’s March in the Pacific Northwest, we packed accordingly and dressed for the [rainy] weather. Upon checking in, we were informed that the motel has a hot tub – which we assumed would be indoors. We thought back and realized, shoot, we hadn’t packed our bathing suits! This made us sad. But because a hot tub sounded so nice and cozy, we were determined to find bathing suits in this small town – no matter what they looked like.

Lesson of the day: Never take Wal-Mart for granted.

We were very hungry but thought we would make a quick stop to find a bathing suit. First stop led us to Walgreens – not really sure why. We didn’t see any bathing suits, but there were chocolate cream eggs on sale, so we got two. Then on our way to the register, the cutest girl scout IN THE WORLD asked us to buy cookies. One box of thin mint cookies made it into our hands some how. SIDE NOTE: This was Todd’s first girl scout cookie experience.

However, we still didn’t get what we most needed. We then went to Safeway, Rite Aid and another large market. We assumed for some reason there might be bathing suits hiding next to the apples…they weren’t. We found no suits, but more girl scouts. We told them no and felt guilty.

Then we went to the historic downtown part of the city, thinking maybe a gift shop or diving store might have what we needed. Finally found a pair of board shorts for Todd, but this didn’t help Kristen. We walked out of one store and Todd remembered going to a large public swimming pool as a kid. “They must sell suits there,” we thought, so we walked back to our car.

As we were approaching the intersection on foot, we saw two very well-dressed men walking toward us. Todd jokingly said “Oh, they look like Mormons.” Kristen replied “They definitely are!”

“Hello! How are you doing?” they yelled to us, waving their hands. Not sure if they were talking to us, we kept walking and turned the corner. “Excuse me!” they yelled. Definitely were talking to us. Normally we are very nice and conversational people, but we were increasingly hungry and still needed to find swimsuits. So we picked up our pace, got in the car and sped away from them. They seemed really nice – it just wasn’t the right time.

We went to the pool, which sadly had no swim apparel for sale. But we were determined, so we drove back into town [hoping we wouldn’t run into the Mormons]. We found one small consignment store still open, run by a lady named Kathy.

Let’s just say that Kathy seemed to have been kept company by the happy flask while bringing out the new “Spring apparel” [which she obviously was very excited about, considering she mentioned it at least three times while we were there]. Kristen managed to find a swim suit, of which she only used the top. There are some things you just don’t share – in this case, swim suit bottoms. To substitute, she found a pair of really baggy yoga pants [think Aladdin]. They would just have to do. Finally, we could go eat dinner – plus we just needed to get away from crazy Kathy.

When we got back to change, we realized how foolish we were going to look walking to the hot tub: Kristen was wearing a bikini top, baggy yoga capris, a hoodie and knee-high boots, whereas I had my newly purchased and oversized board shorts, canvas shoes and a black blazer. At least no one would see us.

That’s when we learned the hot tub in clear view from the motel’s formal dining room.

But there was no way we were going to back out after all we went through to get these ridiculous swim suits. We made it to the hot tub and struggled to get the top cover off of it. We looked like two poorly dressed delinquents. But as we finally got into the hot water and enjoyed it in all its warm glory, we realized something: Sometimes you just know you’re with the one person that was meant for you. We’ve found that you just have to learn to laugh at yourselves – especially when you find yourselves in unexpectedly awkward circumstances.

This is a story we will look back on and tell our kids some day. They’ll probably have the most embarrassing parents ever. Lucky them. 🙂

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