Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hot tub madness

When is a hot tub not the best thing in the world?  I mean, really. 

After lunching in Mount Airy (the real-life Mayberry), and swooshing through more country roads, Bill and I pulled in to the Fairfield Inn in Elkin, North Carolina. We had ridden all day in the rain, with a moment here and there of sunshine.  But mostly, rain.  Our socks were drenched, our pants were soaked, and although our upper bodies were kept dry by our gear, our hands, helmets, and lower bodies were drenched and cold.  We had been hugging our bikes through turns, squeezing clutch and brake, and our muscles were crying out.

One thing that I learned on this trip is the level of commitment.  Once you set off on a bike for four days of riding, there's really no turning back.  Oh, of course, you can literally turn back, but you're on the bike.  To do so means riding all that way again.  OMG.  We were so tired and sore.

The hotel staff couldn't have been nicer, and we checked in, donned our swimsuits, and hit the hot tub.  Holy canoli, the sensation of sinking into that hot water, feeling everything relax...  There's never a bad time for a hot tub, but wow.  This was great.

Once dressed again, we asked a nice staff-person where we could get a good steak dinner.  He started ticking places off on his fingers, "We don't have any of the big chains.  We don't have Appleby's, Chili's, Outback.  Now I love Appleby's but I really like Chili's.  Outback is a little high.  We don't have any of those places."  Bill perked up hopefully.  "Texas Roadhouse?"  "Nope.  I keep telling them, we need a big chain.  Like Outback.  'Course, Outback is a little high." 

Seriously, this went on for several minutes in the hallway, the guy naming all the places we couldn't go for dinner, until he finally mentioned the Dodge City Steakhouse.  "Now, it got some bad reviews a while back, but they have new owners, and I've been there four times since the new owners, and I've been happy every time." 

He gave us directions and then it took about eight more minutes to extricate ourselves from this conversation, and we went upstairs to discover it was raining--pouring--again.  Aye carrumba.  We debated, and I checked the internet to get excited about the restaurant.  Only to discover it's only open on weekends.  Oh dear.

Bill called the front desk and discovered that a local Italian place delivers to the hotel, straight to the room, so we called, ordered, and had salmon and a delicious creamy mushroom chicken delivered.  Guy knocked on the door, we let him in, and he says, "I'm guessing you're the guests came in on those bikes out front."  Yep, that's us.

After dinner we hit the hot tub again, this time highly entertained by staff drama.  Some argument had ensued prior, and the aftermath of dude on the patio staring silently off in the distance, crushing his soda can in his hands before stalking off dramatically, unfolded in front of us.  We heard other staff, also enjoying the hot tub, processing the experience, unconcerned that two guests were hearing every word of it.  The very young woman soothed the very young man at the heart of it all, and the other men (boys, really) weighed in.  Yack yack yack.

Along with the hot tub, cable, and BED, the hotel also had a CLOTHES DRYER.  All praise the Marriott chain!!

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