M and I have been together for a few years now and this year we have a lot to celebrate. My son is graduating college, his daughter is getting her Master’s and we finally got new patio furniture. Also, this year M celebrated a very big birthday and I wanted to make it special. Even more special than when I invited everyone to the Melting Pot for fondue, which I thought would be a hoot, and found out that most people do not consider sitting around a table sticking raw meat into recycled corn oil a hoot. As M’s mother so elegantly put it, “What? We go to a restaurant and have to cook our OWN food?” Luckily for me, the Melting Pot has a full bar and I found that dirty martinis complement raw chicken chunks doused in hot cheese very well. So, there’s that.
Anyway, this year I decided I wanted to really go all out, and remembered that years ago he had mentioned that he has always wanted to stay at the Delano Hotel in South Beach. This was it! I would take him to the Delano for a weekend and make it a birthday he would always remember. Though his birthday is in March, I actually had this great idea in December, so for Christmas I presented him with a certificate that said Delano Hotel Birthday Weekend March 4-6!!. Then I called to make reservations. Then I called my bank to take out a loan. Then I told M this was his Christmas/Birthday present for the years 2016-2020. The Delano folks are pretty, pretty proud of their hotel.
The weekend finally arrived and we packed our bags and took the 35 minute flight to Ft. Lauderdale and then the 40 minute Uber ride to South Beach. We stood outside the airport watching people get picked up by town cars and limos. Finally Javier’ rolled up in his Silver Elantra, salsa music blaring from the windows. “I can’t stop here!” he yelled and pointed to a sign that said “Cabs only” so we had to sort of run to keep up with him til he got to the area where pick ups in Elantras were allowed.
40 minutes later we rolled up in front of the Delano and it was all that you would imagine. White billowy curtains hang from the ceiling, the sea breeze rustling them gently. Odd pieces of furniture are strewn about, chairs made out of clear plastic and one out of gold, a see through grand piano, a giant chartreuse chair that looks like it came from the PeeWee Herman show. It all works though, like being in a weird dream with cocktail service. And everywhere, beautiful people. BEAUTIFUL. YOUNG. PEOPLE.
We get up to our room and quickly get ready for the pool. You’d think living in Florida, we would not be too excited about a pool but the thing about Floridians is we LOVE our pools from inside. We don’t actually GO in them. Like we go about our days, I don’t come home from the grocery store and think “Okay time for a swim.” I may glance outside and think.”Ew someone needs to get that dead lizard out of the pool,” but go in it? No.
So when we go to a hotel we cannot wait to get to the pool and this is mainly because there is bottle service and you can order food and to me there’s something about eating and drinking poolside that is a vacay in itself. So I put on my new tropical print one piece with an appropriate cover up and we get to the pool where we are greeted by a young girl in short white shorts with a belt and a white tshirt. “Can I help you”? she asks sort of eyeing us suspiciously. “Oh yes, M answers, “We are staying at the hotel and we would like 2 chairs.” “Wait here please, Soledad will be with you in a moment.” And I’m thinking I just want a freaking lounge chair, not a front seat at the Oscars. WTF?
The beautiful Soledad approaches us with a clipboard. She is perfectly tanned, long brown hair brushing her back, in a little white shift with lots of sideboob, but the good kind, not the kind where you are afraid one wrong move and you may see something you will never be able to forget. She is kind and friendly, “M and Amy, isn’t it beautiful today? We find you a perfect spot. In fact the people who were supposed to have this cabana have not showed up, and we have a nice bed here that you can use. Would you be happy with a bed?”
Would I be happy with a bed? I would be happy if I could conduct my whole life from my bed. I live for my bed, so yes I would be happy with a bed. “Carlos!” she yells to a beautiful young man standing a few feet away, “Please make up the bed for Amy and M.” “Of course, ” he says, his white chiclets catching the sun. And he makes up this bed with pillows, and towels and sheets and I climb on and he says “Diego is your server and I will send him right over,” and I close my eyes and think “I never want to leave this bed by this pool.”
Diego takes our order of bloody mary’s and something called a bento box which has chinese dumplings and 2 sushi rolls and edamame and I settle in mouth watering, and take a look around. There is a group of people in the pool each drinking from a tall glass of champagne. The woman is surrounded by several Channing Tatums and has stylish short blonde hair and a blue cut out one piece that shows off her perfect bod and even though her hair is wet you can’t see any bald spots, so I hate her. In front of me two young women are floating on a raft drinking rose’, their massive heads of hair up in touseled buns. I want to stand up take my cover up off and pull my bathing suit out of my butt crack a little but I do not want to call attention to myself. I am in the land of beautiful people and I am afraid someone will come up to me and say “There’s been a mistake, the white trash pool is over there,” and I will end up sitting on a plastic dining chair.” Definitely keeping a low profile.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I see a line of young women heading our way, the leader wearing a tiny bikini and a wedding veil. I close my eyes and try to ignore them, but of course, I know. This is THEIR cabana! They decided to show up after all. Bachleorette Bitches. So they gather round whispering behind us, and poor Soledad comes running and I can’t totally make out what is being said, but I do hear, “Well are you going to change the towels on it because THEY’VE been laying on them.” and I assume she means our old wrinkly bodies have been laying on HER CABANA BED.
Then Soledad leans down to us and says “M and Amy I’m so very sorry but we are going to have to ask you to get up but don’t worry, Carlos is bringing 2 lounge chairs from the beach for you.” And we stand up just as Diego arrives with our drinks and bento box. So we are standing there like 2 idiots holding our bento box while Soledad asks people to please move over and make room as Carlos places 2 canvas lounge chairs covered in sand next to the bed of my dreams.
And the girls all pile on to the bed after giving us dirty looks while Carlos tries to brush the sand off our chairs, and I keep the bento box covered so as not to find my California roll grainy with it. And EVERYONE is staring at us thinking, “In a place like this, I can’t believe there are people who would actually try to steal someone’s cabana.” So much for keeping a low profile.
We finally got settled on our chaises, downed our bloody’s and devoured the bento box. You haven’t lived until you have eaten sushi with chopsticks poolside, whether on a cabana bed or a plastic chaise. with a spoiled brat in a wedding veil next to you. Anyway, it’s not whether you’re on a cabana bed or a chaise lounge, it’s whose ass is next to yours on it. It was an amazing weekend. Happy birthday M!