Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sneaking In

Everyone does it at some point. Maybe you did it when you were in college.  We waited to share the moment with our children.

Wyndham Resort in background at night

 Pretty much as soon as we arrived into Barra we heard from other cruisers about how we could go to the nearby luxury Wyndham Resort, pay for lunch, and use the pool for the afternoon.  Sounded like fun!  We also heard the golf course locker room had a Jacuzzi and nice showers.  Say no more!  So one day we loaded up our backpacks with towels, hair dryers, and some reading material and dinghy-ed over to a remote dock at one end of the hotel property.  We walked about a half mile to the hotel, proceeded through the front doors as if we were staying there, and found our way down to the pool level, feeling a little out of place in our cruiser clothes but none-the-less forging onward.  We arrived poolside, found a lounge chair, and just as the kids were ready to jump into the pool a waiter came up and asked us if we were staying at the hotel.  Was it THAT obvious?  Friends told us, “No one is ever at the pool,” but we saw plenty of people and felt a bit misled.  The waiter gave us some options.

  1. Pay 1100 pesos (approximately $100 USD) and get a 500 peso food credit and use of the pool for the afternoon, or…
  2. Leave
 Trying to act composed and not humiliated we did a quick calculation.  We may be able to eat 500 pesos worth of food but were a few hours at the pool really worth 600 pesos?  We decided to leave.  We opted, instead, for our own “Plan B”.  It was…if we sailed our boat to the hotel marina early the next day and paid the ridiculously high 1200 peso slip fee, we could use the pool that day and for the better part of the following day before we left.  Plus, we would get an electrical hook up for the night, we could fill our water tanks, AND have access to fresh water showers!  But that’s incidental.  So we trudged back through the hotel lobby… “the walk of shame” as Doug called it and tried to calmly explain to the teary-eyed kids why we weren’t staying at the pool for the afternoon.

As pleased as we were with “Plan B” Chandler and I still couldn’t shake the idea of taking a fresh water shower and drying our hair, so we ventured to the golf locker rooms to see if that option would work.

We had to walk another ¾ of a mile to get to the building that housed the 19th hole and locker rooms. Dejected, hot and tired, we were dragging by the time we arrived and did our best not to arouse suspicion.  Facing humiliation one time a day was enough for this family.  No one was anywhere in sight as we wandered down the hallway looking for the locker rooms.  We found one and since we couldn’t find a sign indicating male/female, we all went in together.  The kids and Doug jumped into the Jacuzzi and I found my way to the shower.  Unfortunately, for Chandler and me, none of the electrical outlets worked so we didn’t get to use our hairdryer after all.  About 30 minutes later we were all clean and refreshed.  Chandler left the locker room ahead of the rest of us and came running back a moment later.  She had found the ladies locker room where the electrical outlets did work.  We left what was, by then, obviously the MEN’S locker room just as a maid walked by looking at all four of us, especially Chandler and me, with a quizzical look and a half-hearted, “Hola”.  Humiliation that time didn’t feel so badly. Perhaps one toughens up with each blow.

The next day we executed “Plan B” and enjoyed a fun-filled 24 hours at the Wyndham Resort Barra de Navidad.  And we shrieked, hooted, and howled as we legally rode the pool slide.


Henry Wyatt


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