Friday, August 13, 2010

An Afternoon of Swank

We hung out at the pool for most of the morning, but I could tell, even with liberal re-applications of sun screen, that we were reaching our limit around 11. I don't want to be dealing with no stinkin' sun stroke, that's for sure.

So I started pulling kids from the pool.

Even with much protestations. They had to come out of the pool.

The boys stuck it out...

Until I said that we were going for SUSHI lunch!

Then it was a mad dash to exit the pool and get ready.

Apparently, the closest sushi was a sushi bar in the lobby of the nearby Marriott hotel. We could walk there, said the front desk, but it was already pushing 100F, so we decided to drive the half-mile.

Alas, the sushi bar didn't open until 2pm, so we had to kill some time in the (wonderfully chilly air-conditioned) lobby of the Desert Marriott. It was pretty high-brow, and I wondered if we'd be asked to leave if we hung around and loitered. But the lobby was the size of a city block, so I guess there was plenty of chance for us to get lost in the crowds of beautiful people.

I mean look at the size of the LOBBY!

Why yes, that is a lagoon. INSIDE. Here, take a closer look.

There are all sorts of exotic birds in the lobby, too. Gorgeous.

Hello Elliot.

And Romeo...

Eventually, after lounging around in the bar...

...the sushi bar opened.

The food was all made before our eyes.

And it was all pretty delicious.

I told the kids to eat slowly, because the food was incredibly expensive (and this was the 'cheap' place... prices went up sharply if you went into the 'sushi restaurant' wing of the hotel). In fact, it was the only "place" we ate at on the whole trip. Everything else was grocery store foraging. Good thing, because you go broke really quickly when lunch costs $100.

Anyways, we had a lovely, entertaining lunch, and then Kelly asked if we could go see the birds one more time.

We headed down to where the birds were, and that's when she noticed these little boats coming in and out of the lagoon.

"Mom, could we go on a boat ride?" she asked.

"Oh man, Kelly, I'm pretty sure those rides are expensive. And probably just for hotel guests. I saw a sign that said 'When you arrive at your reserved time...' and that sounds like something you had to sign up for in advance.

"Please, mom? Can't we just ask?"

Yeah. Paint me with sucker paint.

So I walked down to the little dock, and asked about the boats.

"Oh, those are our boat tours of our watercourses. It's about a 10 minute sailing. Would you like to go on it?" the lady asked pleasantly.

"I think I'd need to know the cost first," I said.

"These rides are complimentary. A service to our guests." she said, brightly.

"I'm sorry. We're not guests here. And we didn't sign up. I'm guessing we would need reservations." I replied.

"Ma'am, once you enter the doors of the Marriott, you ARE our guest. And how did you like your sushi?"

I blinked, "Um, it was delicious. And very entertaining. OK, I think we would like to go on this ride. Where do we reserve a spot."

"The boats run constantly. I think your family could get on the next boat. There are only 2 people ahead of you in line."

And so, file this under "It never hurts to ask".

Yes, Kelly. We WILL be going on a boat cruise. And it's FREE.

Waiting to cast off:

Heading out of the cold lobby into the hot outdoors:

We were not alone on the water:

Floating under these little arched roads reminded me very much of our canal boat tour in Amsterdam.

There were houses on the golf course. They sell for between 4 and 6 million dollars. If you buy one, Marriott Housekeeping is included, as well as room service, and all other hotel amenities.

It was a lovely cruise. And it didn't seem so very hot, out there on the water.

But all too soon, it was time to return to the lobby, and say goodbye to the Marriott.

We stopped at a grocery store on the way home (our usual modus operandi) and told the kids they could each pick out whatever ice cream they wanted. It was so VERY MUCH cheaper than getting ANY of the desserts offered at the Marriott. You'd thought we'd just set the kids loose in Disneyland, or something. WHo knew that a $2.50 ice cream could create so much glee.

And then we drove like banshees to get back to our suite before the ice cream melted, and lounged around in the cool shade to wait out the remainder of the hot afternoon.

There would be time for more pool antics once the sun set a bit.

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