Remember how in the 70s women could solve all of their problems with a stupid bubble bath? Well, I don’t know about you guys but a warm soak in an oversized, Greek-inspired bathtub just isn’t cutting it for me anymore.
Enter my mom.
She’s been trying to ‘take me away’ from everything since the Great Tumor Scare of 2011. I guess it’s sort of a “Thanks for Not Dying’ mother/daughter trip. But lots of things … and life in general … just kept getting in the way. And all of the bigger plans we contemplated (NYC, Chicago and the like) kept getting swept under the rug until we could “find the time.”
So, tired of waiting on me and my sad excuses, she booked a room at a hotel on the Gulf Coast only about an hour and a half away from where we live and gave me two days notice for the kidnapping. Which was good. I had only two days to worry about whether I’d get everything done before I left. It’s so hard for the mom to step out of the family equation. Part of that is real and part of it we do to ourselves. I knew dirty laundry and frozen pizza wouldn’t hurt anyone while I was gone. So I left. On Sunday afternoon. With my mom. For only one day. One great, relaxing, unplanned, nobody-pulling-on-me kind of day.
Talking the whole way up, we arrived in no time and checked in to our hotel, Beau Rivage, which is also a casino. For anyone unfamiliar with these parts, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a big casino destination. Some of them are a little dumpy, but others are actually very nice and attract the kind of entertainment that (sadly) is becoming more and more representative of my generation. (Case in point, I’ve seen Rick Springfield there several times with friends. Don’t judge, please.)
We went up to our room on the 25th floor to drop off our luggage and get settled in. I’m not a huge germaphobe so I kicked off my shoes immediately and walked across the carpet to put my stuff in the bathroom. I was about halfway there, curious as to why the floor felt so cold, when I realized my feet were almost completely underwater. The carpet was soaked which, you can imagine, was a pretty gross discovery to make considering I had no idea just what I was stewing in. After a few phone calls, a return trip to the front desk, and an elderly lady passing out cold in our path to the elevator, we were settled in our second room, now on the 11th floor. I glass-is-half-fulled it and decided that it was at least nice to know that they cleaned the carpets from time to time.
Because I was starving, we had dinner early at the Brazilian Steakhouse (a South American Churrascaria) nearby. My kids love that place so I felt a little guilty being there without them. But we only got the soup and salad bar so they didn’t miss much. The cream of poblano soup is a meal in itself. And I got my requisite Caipirinha cocktail. If you’ve never had one, click here for the recipe. And go get the rum out of your liquor cabinet.
Stuffed like ticks, we returned to our hotel and walked over to its neighboring property, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, to work off some of our dinner until we could breathe again. And until it was time for Desperate Housewives. (Again, don’t judge. DH is significant to me, and I’ll explain why in May when the show airs its final episode. Check back with me then.)
When the show was over, my mother said she wanted to go to the casino. She’s not a big gambler and I’m even less of one, largely attributed to the fact that I never win. But this night was about relaxing so, being the kick-ass mom that she is, she suggested that I hang back in the room to read, write and veg in front of the TV (I chose D, ALL of the above) while she went to lose her money on her own. (I’m kidding. Unlike me, she sometimes actually wins. But not this time. Except that she did score a couple of drinks, including the one she brought up to me in the room. That’s service.) We talked and watched TV a little before finally surrendering to sleep shortly after midnight.
The next morning, she slept in a little. I tried, but my stupid brain wouldn’t shut off so I got up and took a long bath and read more of my book, the last of the Hunger Games trilogy, until she woke up. We dressed pretty quickly and went downstairs for a late brunch, light gambling (I lost $20), even lighter shopping (I spent $10) and a brief stint in the arcade. (About which I knew my kids would be pissed, but I brought them my ticket credit for the next time they visit and they want to bring home another stuffed six-foot, green-spotted snake. So I think I’m good.)
Realizing it wouldn’t be long until my kids got home from school, we checked out, packed up the car and headed out … but not before seeing this sign we somehow missed on the way in to the hotel.
We laughed at it … then she took off her “do-rag,” I unrolled my left pant leg and we got the hell out of there.
I wasn’t gone long, not even 24 hours, but it was nice taking a break to do nothing in a relaxing setting with my mother. And did I mention it was all on her? Next time, Mom, we’re going to the spa. Love you … and thanks.