Sunday, March 29, 2009

Fantasy Island Redux

Imagine my surprise when I picked up the Sunday paper and saw the headline on the travel section-- "Fantasy Island" . Yesterday I referred to the dynamic dyo of Tattoo and Mr. Rourke.

The Pioneer Press story wasn't about them either. It is about the world's largest water park in northern Germany. Developers have turned a form blimp hanger into an enormous beach party. It has sand beaches, islands, the requisite water slides and of course, this is Europe, the nude spa. I laughed when I read the encounter of the author and his young son with the spa.

It brought back memories. About thirteen years ago our close friends moved to New Hampshire. That winter NH has record snowfalls. They had one storm that knocked out electricity to rural areas for months. A lot of snow. Some ice. They thought they had moved from a snowy, wintry state, but realized New England can have a few wintry surprises too.

By April they wanted a respite. We arranged to find cheap flights and accomodations and meet for a long weekend in Las Vegas. We brought ten year old Andy and used the town for home base with day trips to see the sights. One day we drove to Death Valley. On the way back, someone at a gas stations directed us to a hot springs in the desert. We had our bathing suits in the trunk and were game. The springs were inside a building with separate entrances for men and women. That should have been a clue. Jon and his friend Dave took Andy to the mens' side. Sue and I went into the womens room. We showered and changed into bathing suits in private stalls. When we attempted to enter the hot spring area we were stopped and informed we could not wear suits. I went to a Catholic girls school where we showered individually after gym and admit I am pruddish. We skipped the dip in the hot springs. Then we waited for the guys. After a while they came out. Andy was quiet. I'm not sure he was prepared for a spa experience with naked 70 and 80 year old men. Did I mention the place was by a retirement trailer camp?

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