My wife and I had reserved a couple of nights stay at the Sycamore Springs Resort in Avila Beach for our eighth or ninth anniversary. We had visited there on a couple of occasions and loved the remote wooded location. Peace, relaxation and quiet are the rule at Sycamore Springs. Before we even reach the room we are enveloped in the green of trees and ferns, the music of running water can be heard as it gently beginnings to tug at the stress and nervousness of the outside world. We have not yet even reached the building. Upon locating our room, we are slightly less than thrilled to find it on the ground floor and once inside, it is like any other hotel room. Rose floral printed chairs, richly colored comforters on the bed also with more floral prints, and dull yellow walls are what first catches our eyes, but we have brought wine and there is a basket of goodies on the bed filled with a rubber ducky and some bath beads. It was not until we pulled open the back door to reveal the small wooden deck with a spa hot tub built for two, a low fence for privacy with the remainder of the view overlooking a wooded hill covered in trees. Filled with excitement over finally being able to get away from our normal lives, we set about reserving a spot at the onsite steak house for dinner and resolved to try the hot tub later that evening.
Dinner was very good, in a steak and mashed potatoes kind of way and the cocktails flowed like the water that could be heard throughout the resort. After a long unrushed meal, we made our way back to the room, enjoying the sounds of the night and thankful to not be assaulted by the drone of cars on the freeway, which was too far away to notice. With the spas at Sycamore Springs, the tubs needed to be filled before we could use them and the water is actually from natural springs and smells of sulfur; hence the scented bath beads. Overall, we had a nice night and we had been able to unwind and forget about the banal tidbits of life. There were no dishes to be done, no work meetings, no crazy neighbors blowing leaves at 6:00 AM, only peace and quiet. It was lovely.
The following morning, my wife wakes up early and announces that she wants to go for a run on the off-road bike path that follows the river on one side and fields on the other. At the time, I was about thirty five pounds heavier and an infrequent worshipper of the gym and running was something that I never considered I would do. I told her to go ahead, and I in turn announced that I was going to take another mineral bath and sweat out the mild hangover that was ringing in my head. She went on her way and being a brutally shy, private person, I double checked that the door was locked, the "Privacy" placard had been placed outside and I fiddled with the blinds so that I could no longer see out the front. The spa bath was wonderful, but looking back probably not the best idea for someone that is already dehydrated and I quickly began to overheat. Leaving the pool of jasmine scented spring water, skin glowing bright red and sweating profusely, I spread a towel on the bed and laid myself out to channel surf on the television. I quickly shifted through the usual rubbish and settled on jumping back and forth between The Eukanuba Dog Show and Universal Soldier, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgran and a shit load of explosions. Still steaming in the cool air of the room, I would sip the ice water that I prepared for myself and dab the sweat from my forehead with the wash cloth that I had removed from the bathroom. Discounting the headache, I was happy as a clam...whatever the hell that means.
A Chow-Chow dog was parading about when I heard the beep of my wife's keycard at the door and I quickly pulled the towel over myself in the event that a maid or groundskeeper happened to be walking by and my wife came in with the oddest look on her face. It was a look of bewilderment interspersed with mirth and embarrassment. Our exchange went like this:
Donist - "What? What is wrong? Are you okay?
Wife - "Did... Did you know..."
Donist - "What? Did I know what?"
Wife - "I could see you out there!"
Donist - "Wait a minute. What?"
Wife - "I just walked by and I could totally see you through the blinds. You were naked, laying on the bed and watching Animal Planet."
Donist - "No way!" I can't see out the blinds, how could anyone see me?"
I jumped up and armed with only a towel around me, I ran outside and sure enough I could see everything going on in the room from the outside, including the Dalmatian trotting across the television. Oh no. Oh no. The hue of my body had returned to its normal shade before my wife had entered the room and it was now back to bright red. I dove into the room adjusted the blinds and spent the remainder of the "relaxing" holiday fretting that every person we had passed had seen me naked. Naked and watching doggies and beefy action heroes on the television. Did that server smirk when they brought us those pancakes? Did that jogger we passed laugh when he passed us on our walk? Were the groundskeepers talking about me as they chatted away? I will never know.
Moral of the story 1: ALWAYS check the goddamn blinds. Just because you can't see out, does not mean that someone cannot see in.
Moral of the story 2: We should not be ashamed of our bodies. That is unless you are naked and watching doggies and beefy action heroes on the television.
This time, I fell into the "weird" category. Go figure.