What's that? The weekend's just beginning? Oh. So it is. I'm sorry you didn't get to start yours on Wednesday.
We're just home from an amazing night at the swimming pool hotel. The what, you ask? The swimming pool hotel. You know, the one where they have a swimming pool IN your hotel room. Here, let me show you what I mean:
The hotel chain is called Sybaris, and I've been dreaming of spending a night there since I heard of it 4 years ago. It was totally worth the wait.
I imagine everyone in the world is reading Momastery these days, because that Glennon is one smart cookie. I found her blog over a year ago, the piece called A Mountain I'm Willing To Die On, and last March she posted Birthdays, wherein she tells the story of her first birthday spent with her husband and how he didn't know what her expectations were and she was so disappointed. Instead of brushing it under the rug, though, she made the brilliant move to *wait for it* talk to her husband, and explain why birthdays are a big deal for her and that celebrating special occasions is something that makes her feel loved. That post encouraged me to give my requests to Jimi regarding this year's birthday - and man, did he outdo every one of my expectations.
Wednesday night, he presented me with a smallish package, wrapped in red paper dotted with multicolored Christmas trees, with a card tucked in under the hand-tied pink fabric bow. He gave it to me early, saying I'd probably want to take it with us for our overnight trip on Thursday. I thought it was a vibrator - we went to the naughty shop a few weeks back and there was a great display of high-end vibrators that the sales lady claimed came with a 10 year warranty. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Turns out the warranty is really only for a year, girlfriend just didn't know her job too good. Anyhow, I wasn't willing to drop $120 on a vibrator that night, and when we came home we discovered that you could find the same thing on Amazon for $70. Score! Except I never did buy it, because, well, do I really NEED a $70 vibrator? So yeah, I thought that's what was wrapped in the Christmas paper. It wasn't. It was a kindle fire. Holy crap! A kindle?! I couldn't believe it. I spent the next few hours playing with my new toy - ha! That sounds funny after talking about vibrators. But yeah, I "bought" some free e-books, discovered our Amazon Prime account allows me one free book rental per month from the online library, ordered a protective cover for the kindle, bought that new First Aid Kit album and uploaded it to my cloud (I have a cloud!), played Angry Birds for the first time. LOVE.
(And I'm the girl who swore, when e-readers came out, that I'd never own one. Books are where it's at, I said, and no electronic device can ever be as satisfying as turning the pages on an honest-to-goodness, made-of-paper book. Um, yeeeaahh...unless that electronic device can also allow you to surf the web, read blogs, stream Pandora... I often say dumb things. Let's just leave it at that, shall we?)
For the last few days, Jimi'd been telling me "We're going to Indianapolis and catching a train up to Wisconsin and back. An overnight train ride! We've got a room on a sleeper car, and there's a dining car - I think it'll be fun." "Uh huh" with a side-eye was my response. I didn't buy it. I didn't know what he had planned, but I didn't think that was it. In an effort to get the secret out of him, I told him yesterday morning, "If we're really going to be riding a train all night, I'm just wearing yoga pants and a tank top (no bra) and my grey sweater." (My friend Angie calls this get-up "fat ballerina". Or maybe that's only when you're wearing leggings, not yoga pants. Either way, it's my favorite outfit and I always giggle at the idea of me as a fat ballerina when I wear it, which is every day I can possibly manage to leave the house without a bra.) Jimi just shrugged his shoulders at my comment and said, "So long as you're comfortable." I sorta expected him to argue - I mean, what about the nice dinner part of my request? So I sat on the bed to be packed a bra, a nice sweater, some clean jeans, a comfy dress I like to lounge around in - I figured we probably didn't have reservations somewhere with a dress code if he was letting me leave the house dressed like a fat ballerina, but I didn't want to find myself with no options if we did actually end up somewhere that frowns on yoga pants in public. Jimi comes in, sees my to-be-packed pile and sighs, "What are you going to do with all these clothes?" "Just in case," I say. He put aside the sweater and the dress. "You won't need them. Trust me."
He was right. We were naked within minutes of the above photo being taken. Actually, he was already naked from the waist down - he saw me starting to take a picture and ran for the bathroom. Oops! I'm not used to a wall full of mirrors.
Ten miles outside of Louisville, he told me where we were really going. At that point, my interest in a fancy sit-down dinner was gone - I wanted to get to that pool as fast as I could. We got into Indianapolis an hour and a half before our 6 o'clock check-in, so we went to the Wal-Mart down the way for provisions. There was a Noodles & Company across the street that promised a quick meal, and it was conveniently located in the same shopping center as a liquor store and a naughty shop. On a whim, I popped into the naughty shop and bought a grab bag of novelties while Jimi bought the booze, and we headed off into the sunset toward our evening in the Den of Sin. (The grab bag was an awesome impulse buy. That's all I have to say about that.)
Our suite was amazing. For starters, you're in your own building, so you don't have to worry about hearing your neighbors gettin' freaky in the middle of the night. When you walk in, the pool is on your right, and I expected to be hit in the face with an awful chlorine smell, but there's a wall of windows dividing the suite in half and the door opens to the living/bedroom section. To the left of the door was a massage chair (!!), an electric fireplace, and the entertainment center in the corner. There were two club chairs and a round table along the side wall, and then the king-sized bed on a light-up platform jutted out at an angle into the room. A flat-screen TV hung just above the massage chair, and could be turned in any direction for your viewing pleasure. (Free porn on 3 channels.) The carpet was plush and freshly vacuumed, and there were two soft robes waiting for us on the bed. (Available for purchase, $75, buy one get one free! We didn't come home with robes.) The mini-kitchen had a small fridge (complete with bag-o-ice in the freezer section), a microwave, coffee-maker, a couple of mugs and champagne flutes. There was a huge two-person whirlpool tub, his and her sinks, and a bidet! Have you ever used a bidet? Me neither, till last night. I was impressed at the selection of toiletries they offered - toothbrushes and toothpaste, Bath & Body Works shower gels and shampoos and conditioners, cotton balls and Q-tips. I don't stay at hotels very often, okay?
Then there was the pool. They've got several different options when planning your stay, and each has a different sized pool. Ours was 16 feet long, 4 feet deep. Not enough for diving or actual swimming (though it did have a swim jet, I don't think it was powerful enough to actually swim against; I kept running into the wall.), but plenty big for hanging out naked in the 92 degree water with your honey. The next time we go, we're hoping to stay in the suite with the second floor loft, with a slide into the 22' pool below. How awesome would that be? Really awesome, that's how awesome. A pipe system hidden by fake ivy rained water into the middle of the pool - we expected it to be cold water, but it was shower-temperature; Jimi loved it, I thought it was a little too hot.
There was a normal shower in the bathroom, but in the pool portion of the suite there was also a glassed-in shower cave that doubled as a sauna. Jimi liked to sit in the steam for 10 minutes or so, getting real hot and sweaty, then turn on ice cold water full blast through the four overhead shower nozzles and the hand-held sprayer. "Like the Norwegians," he said. Yeah, I prefer to go from steam to pool, not steam to ice, but I'm probably just a wimp and doing it wrong.
Remember the kindle he gave me? Their sound system included a jack to plug into it, so we were able to pipe music throughout the entire space. They didn't offer free Wi-Fi - I imagine most of their clientele aren't interested in surfing the web much during their stay - but my phone can act as a portable hotspot, so we were able to stream Pandora all night.
Jimi is smart and suggested we sip on a concoction of lemon booze, orange juice, and champagne all night, and it was delicious. (I would've drunk more champagne, though, if I'd realized he'd paid $35 for the bottle. I'm more of a $12 champagne girl, and I prefer the sweeter ones over the Brut.) We also had crackers, and filled the mini-fridge with hummus, cheese, and a tray of fresh-cut fruit with vanilla-bean cream cheese dipping sauce. And a mini cheesecake, which I somehow completely forgot about until I was packing everything up this morning. THAT is how awesome our night was - I forgot about cheesecake.
Wednesday night we had dinner with my family for a cousin's 16th birthday, and around the table upon our arrival went choruses of "Nat, you look so good!" and "Nat, you've lost a lot of weight, haven't you?" and "Oh, you look great!" Always nice to hear, and I'm hearing it more often these days and that's really nice. But I've not really SEEN the difference yet. Sure, my clothes fit differently, but I've still not been real sure what all the fuss is about. I saw it last night, in the full-wall mirrors. I stood there in the bright lights and saw my naked self. I see what they mean when they say what they do. I do look good. I mean, I'm still carrying some extra baggage, but compared to where I've been, I look great. I recognize my body, the one I remember loathing when I was 16 and had that ittle bitty pooch and now look back on with longing because my only pooch was little and alone. I'm not down to just the one yet, but I'll get there. I can see, now, that I'm making progress, and man, that's great motivation. I laid on my back last night, on the plush carpet, and put my hands on my hips. Guys, I have hip bones again. I can actually see them and feel them. I was pretty bummed a few years back when I realized they were missing. Last night, I felt sexy. I spent something like 18 hours naked in a room full of mirrors, and I felt sexy. Fuck yes.
We spent hours in the pool, floating, kissing, laughing. We played silly water games and did handstands. We talked and talked and talked. We fed each other fruit and took turns sighing over the awesomeness of the chair massage. We watched some porn reality show on the Playboy channel and laughed at the chick giving a blowjob to the strap-on. (Seriously, what's the point?)
I'm just so happy and glad that Jimi took us on this little excursion. I'm flattered by his attention and generosity. This one night away, it was like a refresh key for the romance portion of our relationship - there was nothing in the world except the two of us, and we had a comfortable, fun setting where we could relax and wallow in being in love.
On our way home today, we stopped at the outlet malls and I bought myself a new dress. Jimi says he needs to give me more excuses to dress up, and as he dropped me at the fitting room with an armful of frilly frocks, he headed toward the Tools & More with this: "Don't just try them all on and decide you hate them and give up. Find a dress. We'll go out." Yes sir. I found a dress, but not until he came back and picked it out for me. He dresses me so much better than I dress myself - he knows while the dress is on the hanger if it's right for me; I'm doing good if I can make that distinction while I'm wearing it. Clothes shopping is typically a horrible experience for me, resulting in a complete meltdown of my self-esteem and extra beer and junk food consumption. Today it was fun, though. The 14s fit, and I may have been able to get into some 12s if I'd really wanted to push it. My favorite dress was a gorgeous red number that wasn't in my size, but was in a 10, and so I tried it on anyhow. The bodice was too tight, but it didn't look as awful as I'd expected and it wasn't uncomfortable and it would've fit well in another few months...I almost bought it. I sorta wish I had, now that I'm thinking more about it. I may go see of the local store has my size. I really loved that dress.
Jimi humored me and let me spend 20 minutes trying on rings in the discount gold and diamond outlet. I don't dare let myself read into that, or that he said, "I'm glad to get a better idea of your tastes, to know what you like best." I hate that the rings I like the best are the ones I don't want because for their price, I could nearly build a Sybaris-esque master suite onto my home. (Which we're seriously considering, by the way. That's how we're spending the first lottery check. When we win.) Honestly, when it comes to rings, all I want is the wedding band, yo.
And then we drove home and kissed the puppy and the kitty and lived happily ever after the end.
I started this post right after we got home, maybe around 5ish. It's after 9 now. Jimi's been sleeping for hours - he says he pulled the bottom fitted sheet off the mattress when he was pulling back the covers on his side of the bed last night, and he never got it back on all the way, so it balled up underneath him all night and was lumpy and so he didn't sleep well. That's not the hotel's fault, he does that at home too. Even if he'd slept as soundly as I did, we didn't sleep long enough, there was too much excitement to be had. I'm probably going to be in bed myself before too long - it was a fantastic night, and I'm appropriately worn out because of it. My arms and legs and back have that good I-got-a-good-workout stiffness and soreness from so many hours in the water. I feel relaxed and calm and happy and in love. I'm content with my world, right here, within these walls.
32 is already better than 31, and it hasn't even officially started yet.