I’m not even going to sit here and say that the Worcester Mariott is a five star hotel, but after roughing it for four days, it felt as though we were living in the lap of luxury.
Instead of a five-minute walk to the bathroom, we had one right near the bed, with a mirror that actually had a reflection.
Instead of a pond full of leeches, we had a warm pool and a Jacuzzi.
Instead of an air mattress, we had king size beds with lots of pillows and soft blankets.
Instead of hamburgers over the campfire, we sat down to a three-course meal.
And also, instead of tents, we had two adjoining bedrooms, which made all the difference in the world.
See, the theory had been, when we first set off on our little trip, that Tiger would have his own little tent, Ashes would have her own, and Corb and I would have a little bit of privacy, each and every night. And, my god, did that theory go south way fast.
Of course, both kids didn’t even last thirty seconds in their tents. The first night, both slept in our tent, making for a really tight fit. Ashes, snoring away to my left; Tiger, snoring away to Corb’s right. And Corb, claiming the lion’s share of the air mattress. Fortunately, Pauline, who has always been terrified of camping alone, managed to snag Ashes after that first night, but that still left a Tiger in our tent.
And quite frankly, even though the tent was pitch dark at midnight, without a lamp, neither of us was going to risk it.
So, having two adjoining bedrooms really meant something. It meant two televisions in each room. Two sofas. Two desks. Oh, and most importantly, one lock between the rooms.
In other words: privacy!
“I’m tired,” announced Corb, around ten o’clock, at which point the kids were still in full swing. And then, he whispered to me, as I followed him into the other bedroom, “Wake me when the kids are asleep. And bring rub rub juice with you.”
Hmmm. Lifted eyebrows.
Well, kids don’t like to go to sleep very quickly, especially when they’re excited about the thought of spending the night in a hotel. So around midnight, I checked to make certain that they were asleep, crept carefully into the bedroom, closed and locked the door, moved over to Corb, and shook him softly.
Shake shake shake. “Corb?”
Corb started to mumble in his sleep. “Hey, yeah, what?”
Then his eyes stopped fluttering and he was back to sleep again. Did I ever mention that Corb’s impossible to wake up once he’s fallen to sleep?
I placed the rub rub back on the dresser by my side, unlocked the door, patted Corb’s soft blond hair, listened to him snoring away, and picked up my copy of Sick Puppy . Within half an hour I was asleep, too.
Around four in the morning, I was dimly aware of the fact that there was movement to my right. Even though I was more in a dream world than not, I could sense that Corb had gotten up from the bed, had turned on the bathroom light. I was dreaming, but at the same time, I was aware of what he was doing.
He tried to talk to me. Really, he did. “Ted,” he said, and I think I said something along the lines of, “Huh?”
No reply at all. Poor Corb.
But then, around seven thirty in the morning, something strange happened. By some weird twist of circumstance, both of woke up around the same time.
We looked at each other.
Then we looked into the adjacent bedroom, to the pleasant sight of two kids, still fast asleep.
I got up and closed and locked the door.
It’s a good thing hotel rooms are fairly soundproof.