Despite dating for more than 16 months, DD and I had never spent more than 48 hours together until recently.
Work, kids, dogs and distance usually keep our time together to a minimum.
So, when DD mentioned he was heading to his annual work conference in Florida, I asked/begged/pleaded to tag along.
I figured one airfare and three nights in a five-star hotel were already paid, why not take advantage of the luxury and add a holiday together onto the end?
I’d also heard the outlet malls were AWESOME and was desperate to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.
What’s not to like?
(I possibly hadn’t entirely computed that it would take three flights, Snowmageddon 2016, and a 700k car trip involved to get us there, but hey.)
Things got VERY posh when we checked into the hotel – the Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes. For some reason we scored part of the Royal Suite, with an enormous corner balcony looking out over the pool and distant theme parks.
The room featured two double beds instead of one king, which DD and I both pretended to be disappointed about, but were secretly a bit thrilled to have. I love spooning as much as the next person, but when it’s time to sleep I like my own space.
It also turns out that DD and I both prefer the left side of the bed.
So two beds suited us just fine.
The bathroom was quite something. When you walked in, the lights automatically switched on and the toilet lid rose theatrically. A little control panel on the wall allowed for front or rear oscillating water jets to rinse your nethers (normal or soft options).
I was a bit lairy about being oscillated, but I knew you’d want the lowdown, so …
1. Expect to spontaneously squeal when that first jet hits, especially if you’re an edge-of-the-seat percher like me.
2. Go for the “soft” option.
3. Make sure to locate the “stop” button in case you accidentally hit the “normal” option.
4. Do not jump off the toilet in shock instead of pressing the “stop” button, as you will have to change out of your wet clothes afterwards.
5. Prepare for spontaneous giggling when you press the “dryer” button.
And don’t get me started on the shower … A four-letter-word popped out of my mouth when I opened the frosted glass door of the shower recess for my morning ablutions. It was almost as big as my entire bathroom at home. Blardy hell.
So, while DD slaved away at his conference, I enjoyed bubble baths and luxury showers and oscillating sprays in intimate places.
I also snuck along to a few of his conference cocktail parties to sip complimentary Pinot grigios and eat canapés invariably containing fruit (blerg, Florida, what’s with the pineapple in everything?)
I’m not used to being the handbag – when I was a magazine editor someone else was always the “plus one” – but I loved it, and I think I slotted into the role pretty well … apart from when one of DD’s colleagues told me a fish taco anecdote that made me laugh so loudly I think the whole room turned around to stare. DD was a little taken aback by my unseemly screeching, until he heard the fish taco anecdote … then he agreed it was totally shouty laughter worthy.
But the hotel was a bit of a gilded cage. It was in the middle of nowhere, with every food and drink option at five-star prices.
While I got the chance to slip to an outlet mall for a few hours and buy shoes and spent many lovely hours lounging around on the balcony reading my book, eating apples and drinking Diet Cokes that DD stole from the conference for me, I was more than ready to hit the road after night three.
Mind you, I’d say YES to being the handbag again in a heartbeat.
As usual, there are happy snaps …